How Do I Choose the Best Ascot Valance?

Kay Paddock

An ascot valance is a window valance that hangs down in folded triangles or "V" shapes. The valances are so named because they look similar to the end of an ascot necktie. These valances can come in a variety of sizes, fabrics, and colors. One popular style features two layers of fabric in which the points of the back layer hang between the points of the front piece. The best ascot valance for a particular window treatment will depend on the style and colors already in the room, the look of the curtains, and the size of the window.

An Ascot valance should complement the window's size.
An Ascot valance should complement the window's size.

Window treatments such as curtains and valances can perfectly match or they can be in contrasting colors and patterns. The type of ascot valance you choose will depend on whether you want a uniform look or something more likely to draw notice. Choosing a fabric valance in different colors or patterns than the curtains can add interest and contrast. If you want something that looks more formal or subtle, then an ascot valance in the same material and colors as the curtains may be the best choice.

The size of the valance will depend on the width of your window and the length you feel looks best. The width of a valance should at least equal the width of the window. In many cases, however, you'll want a valance that is much wider because some styles do not stretch perfectly flat across, but are designed to either hang loosely or gather. Pre-packaged valances typically come in standard lengths from 12 to 20 inches (about 30.5 to 50.8 cm), though you should be able to find shorter or longer styles if you prefer them.

In some cases, an ascot valance is a single triangle of fabric. This allows you to purchase as many or as few as you need to fit your window. One popular style requires two rods to hang two different layers of fabric. One layer hangs in front of a back layer that is often in a contrasting color or pattern. This style can look dramatic whether there is only one contrasting point or a long row of them across a wide window.

The different ascot valance styles allow you to choose from a wide variety of looks. Many have tassels, beads, or buttons on the points as well as other embellishments. One popular style is a fabric-covered ascot valance made from a solid material for a rigid and tailored look — a narrow window in a formal living room or dining room could look wonderful with a single point in this design. Other styles hang freely with no straight edges or lines and can help complete a breezy, casual look.

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