Curtain Valances - do we need frills on our windows?

This topic is quite controversial. Were I live (New Zealand) the answer would be no way!! Our architecture and design is simplistic, minimal and less is best. We have large windows, often the full height of the wall and barely room for curtains, let alone valances. Anything that has a slight gather is frowned upon. Timber (wooden) blinds work, slimline blinds (any kind of blind really) and then they are mostly left pulled up, being used to create shade in the later day when the sun makes the room too hot and glarey.

Decoration or rather lack of it it the predominant style for our homes. It probably has something to do with the age of our country, we are young and our homes are new, there are very few over the age of one hundred. When you compare that to a country like England or France who have homes that are several hunderds of years old then you can understand that their style of decoration is quite different. They have small windows, drafty glazing and often the homes are not insulated. This means window decoration is a necessity, not just a fashion statement. They use the window valances and curtains to stop drafts, keep the warmth in, create privacy and obviously to decorate in keeping with the period of the home.

Therefore there is a place for frilly windows and decorative curtains or drapes, but it is like all parts of design, don't over do it. More is not always better, a subtle inverted pleat valance provides a sophisticated window valance, even a french pleated valance can look simple with the correct choice of fabric.

What I am trying to express is that decorating your window is fine, but remember that you have a whole room to co ordinate, you will have to balance that space with your windows, can the rest of your room compete?

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