Valances, swags, and cornices are three of the most common types of window treatments available on the market. Though all of them are designed to complement the aesthetic of your window, they each have distinctive appearances. Understanding more info about what the differences are between these three different types of window treatments can help you choose the one that is the best fit for your home's windows.
Valances are simple pieces of fabric which hang down from the top of the window frame. Unlike blinds, they do not reach all the way to the bottom of the window, but instead simply cover the top third or so of the window. They are divided into two main variants: simple valances, which are, as their name suggests, plain pieces of fabric attached to the top of the window which hang down loosely, and pleated valances, which provide a more straight edged aesthetic to your windows. Pleated valances are divided into sections with hard pleats in the fabric, and hang down quite rigidly. Pleated valances are ideal for a more traditional look, while simple valances are much more casual in appearance.
Swags provide a more amorphous aesthetic to your home. They are made out of large pieces of fabric, and are draped over windows. They are usually quite long, reaching the floor on one (or both) sides of the window, depending on the type of swag chosen. Swags can also be used to create a canopy over a bed or similar applications. Swags are great for creating an airy, carefree aesthetic, but do not provide a great deal of privacy to the windows which they are installed on. This means that if you wish to block the view of your window, you'll have to use swags in conjunction with another type of window treatment, such as a pair of blinds or shutters.
Unlike swags and valances, cornices are not made entirely out of fabric. Instead, they are constructed out of wood and are attached to windows much like valances are, only covering the top third of the window. They are then paired with other window treatments, such as blinds, which hang within the cornice and provide privacy and a softer aesthetic to the window. Cornices are ideal for adding depth to a room that lacks layers or decoration, as they will extend out away from the window for a few inches. However, as they are made out of wood, they represent a higher investment when compared to valances or swags.