Category Archives: valance

First Finish of 2020: Kitchen Valances

This project falls squarely in the “why on earth did it take me so long to get it done?” category. After all, last year’s major kitchen remodel — faithfully documented on the pages of this blog — was essentially completed by the end of August. (You can see one of my last posts about the kitchen here.)

The only thing left to complete the remodel was making valances for the three new windows. I already had the fabric, a vibrant Jacobean floral that had been in my stash for a few years. The fabric (from the “Breath of Avignon” line designed by Sandy Klop for Moda) inspired my choice of paint color for the lower cabinets:


I also had a picture in my mind’s eye of what the valances would look like. No simple ruffled valances like I’ve made before. I liked them well enough but this time I wanted a more tailored look. I envisioned valances that curved upward from the sides with an inverted pleat in the middle made with contrasting fabric.

Since I had covered the back wall of the glass-fronted cabinet with yellow fabric . . .

. . . I decided to use fabric in the same shade of yellow for the pleat. And for extra pizzazz, I decided to insert a navy blue flange between the pleated part of the valance and the top band.

After taking very careful measurements, I drew up a pattern on freezer paper . . .

. . . and proceeded to fashion the first valance.

Alas, it was not a success:

First of all, I measured incorrectly; the valance wasn’t wide enough. You’re not supposed to see the end of the spring tension rod at the top of the window. Second, when the valance was placed at the top of the window, you could see the bottom of the pleat. That was not the look I was going for. Third, instead of folding the ends of the upper band in to make a rod pocket, I sewed the ends shut. (What on earth was I thinking?) In order to audition the valance on the window, I had to add a sleeve on the back.

The valance isn’t a keeper but it was very useful as a prototype. With some valuable input from my sister Diane, I nixed the pleat and changed the flange from navy blue to yellow. Here’s a close-up of the updated flange:

Can you see the pattern of tiny little flowers? It’s very subtle.

I’m much happier with the look of the yellow flanges:

I fussycut the second and third valances to match the design on the first, simply because I thought it would look better than having each valance cut at random from the focus fabric.

The lining of the valances is a blue print pulled from my stash:

Before the valances went up, the globes of the pendant lights blended into the white woodwork. I really like the way they stand out now. Here’s what the kitchen looks like at night:

I can now declare the kitchen remodel officially complete. One of these days I’ll do that “before and after” post I promised last year.

 

 

 

Posted in family, home dec, kitchen remodel, update, valance | 10 Comments

A Lofty View

Fewer than 24 hours after arriving in Atlanta for our annual Thanksgiving visit with my sister Diane and her husband Ed, my trusty 1975 Elna, stored at their house, was set up and humming away. The project: refashioning a pair of tab curtains into a valance and panels for the loft in their home.

I made the original curtains for our other sister Reigh’s dining room when she and her husband George moved to Idaho in 2008. When they built their retirement home this year, there was no place for the curtains. Diane was only too happy to take them, knowing I could transform them into something when I came to visit in November.

At her last foray to Scott’s Antique Mall in Atlanta, Diane found a beautiful Italian walnut bench from the early 1920s with a cane seat and buttery yellow silk seat cushion. She realized that the curtain fabric would go perfectly with the seat cushion. By the time I arrived, she had a plan.

Here is the loft before:

2013-11, loft before
Before: Loft with Valance

(The bench is deliberately set off center, because it looks better when viewed from below.)

Here is the loft after:

2013-11, loft after
After: Loft with Valance and Panels

 

Here is the loft viewed from another angle:

2013-11, loft view from stairs

 

And here is a close-up of the fabric (too gorgeous not to be used again!):

beautiful home dec fabric
Beautiful Home Dec Fabric

 

 

 

Posted in update, valance | 7 Comments

Guest Room Glamour

When I visit my twin sister Diane in Atlanta, there’s usually a home decorating project in the works. During my current two-week Thanksgiving stay (nearing its end, alas), I made a new bedskirt and window treatment for her downstairs guest room.

When Diane and her husband Ed moved into their present home 10 years ago, I made simple tab curtains for the windows:

The ruffled bedskirt, which I had made several years before, was a carryover from their old house:

This time around Diane wanted a tailored bedskirt and some kind of window treatment that could be raised and lowered. She wasn’t happy with the idea of Roman shades or any variations on that theme, so she came up with her own design: a simple pointed panel in the “down” position that folds and buttons into a valance in the “up” position.

She made a sketch of what she had in mind:

Here is Diane’s vision, transformed into reality:

She had the bright idea of adding tassels on the sides of the panels to disguise the brackets holding the curtain rods. Clever sister!

In the “down” position, the panels just cover the tops of the plantation shutters on the bottom half of the windows, completely blocking outside light:

In the “up” position, natural light floods the room:

The panels measure 34½” wide and 36½” long and are lined with blackout fabric. Five inches from the top of each panel are five self-fabric loops enclosed in a seam. About 21” down from the top are five ¾” buttons covered in the same fabric. The loops and buttons blend into the background so well you barely see them. A deep pleat is formed when the buttons are raised to meet the loops.

Here is a close-up of button and loop:

The fabric is a screen print by Mill Creek Fabrics that Diane found at Frugal Fabrics in Norcross, Georgia. The new pleated bedskirt is made from the same fabric:

The reward for my labors? I’m going home with the castoffs! I’ll probably be able to use the old tab curtains in my own home, and I’ll cut the bedskirt apart and add the ruffle fabric to my stash.

Here are a couple before-and-after shots. First the windows:

And now the bedskirt:

Let’s finish with a view from across the room:

Another successful collaboration with my twin!

 

 

 

Posted in bedskirt, family, update, valance | 7 Comments