A valance is a shorter strip of fabric that hangs along the uppermost part of the window. It can be paired with blinds or curtains, or it can stand on its own. It's a great option for windows that are too small for full-sized drapes or as an accent on very large windows that would seem too bare with drapes alone. The classic colour and cut of Sears' Grandview Straight Valance goes well in a variety of spaces (sears.ca, $29.99). Or check out their lined scarf valance, which adds an elegant, glamorous feel (sears.ca, $34.99).
Grommets are the metal loops at the top of a curtain through which the drapery rod slides. They reinforce the fabric and allow the curtains to open and close smoothly. Grommets add an easy, contemporary feel to a space. Because the look is more dressed down, consider choosing elegant fabrics and decorative drapery rods. Curtainworks' Monterey Textured Lined Grommet Drapery adds a casual, modern touch to large windows (curtainworks.com, $21.99–$34.99).
If you have a window that gets serious sun exposure, Roman shades are a great way to keep the bright light at bay. Plus they look infinitely more graceful and decorative than average blinds, because they lie smoothly while down and stack elegantly when raised. They are also easier to clean and come in decorative colours, so you don't have to worry about hanging drapery on top of them. Consider visiting a specialized store such as Blinds To Go for more information on finding the right set of shades for you.
Drapery can say a lot about your space. To dress up a more casual space without going over the top, keep decorations primarily limited to the fabric and cut selected. Experiment with unique patterns, colour blocking and texture. For a fancier space, such as a living room or dining room, explore more elaborate additions, such as bows, tassles, ties and folding patterns. Sears' Leona Embroidered Sheer Rod-pocket Panel adds a soft, elegant touch (sears.ca, $24.99). Or for a more dramatic statement, experiment with their Silhouette Sheers (sears.ca, $9.99–$188.99).
If you have some basic sewing skills and access to a sewing machine, creating your own, personalized curtains is well within your grasp. Simply select a pattern, such as McCall's Window Essentials, pick out some fabric from your local fabric store and get sewing. Don't be afraid to ask the staff there for assistance to make sure you pick out fabric that is appropriate for your needs. Consider creating bows or rosettes for the corners or a trim for the edges that's made of lace or a contrasting fabric. You'll have decorative curtains you can be proud of in no time!
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