Boost Style and Function with Living Room Drapes and Valances

Decorating your living room windows with both drapes and valances is an excellent way to add privacy, control light, and boost the style of your space. The right combination of floor-length drapes and decorative valances can transform an ordinary room into a gorgeous sanctuary that reflects your personal taste.

Different Types of Living Room Valances

Valances are decorative window treatments that only cover the upper portion of windows. Many homeowners opt to use valances in tandem with standard drapes that run from ceiling to floor for a coordinated, polished look.

Standard Valances

The most popular type of living room valance is the standard horizontal model. These valances are mounted directly above the window frame and typically made of the same fabric as the drapes for a cohesive style.

living room drapes with valance

Standard valances come in a variety of different lengths and shapes to match your room’s look. For a traditional style, choose a more substantial valance around 16 inches long. For a sleek, modern feel, narrow streamlined valances 3-5 inches long create clean lines.

Layered Valances

You can make a major style statement by layering two valances rather than using just one. Often homeowners will combine a sheer, lightweight see-through valance overlaid with a valance made of thicker, opaquer fabric. The transparent top layer adds breezy texture and dimension.

  • Sheer lace over linen or cotton is an elegant combination.
  • Hang a soft ruffled valance over a smooth velvet valance for romantic contrast.

Textured Valances

If you want to infuse visual interest into your living room windows, choose a distinctly textured fabric for your valance rather than a smooth one. Textured valances pair especially well with sleek floor-length drapes to create intriguing contrast.

Some great textured fabrics to consider:

  • Nubby burlap
  • Coarse linen or jute
  • Luxuriously thick velvet

Blackout Valances

If too much outside light pollution streams into your living room or you want to ensure complete privacy, blackout valances are the solution. These thickly lined or specially constructed valances completely block incoming light from the window frames when closed.Blackout valances can help create a peaceful, comforting oasis in urban apartments dealing with light pollution or living rooms that face busy streets.

Motorized Valances

For ultra modern convenience, consider motorized valances that can be remotely adjusted at the touch of a button. Motorized valances use mechanized systems that enable you to control them using a remote control, smartphone app, or home automation system.

This flexibility makes it simple to modify the amount of light filtering into the living room or to control privacy. Keep the valances open to enjoy maximum sunlight during the day, then subtly close them at night for a cozier ambiance.

Fabrics and Materials


When selecting drapes and valances, lightweight, breezy fabrics tend to suit living rooms best. Some top choices include:

  • Crisp linen
  • Lightweight cotton
  • Luxurious velvet
  • Sheer fabrics like silk or voile for layering

Living room drapes with valance can be lined or unlined depending on your specific privacy and light control needs. Make sure to pick drapes wide and long enough to generously cover your entire window area.


Traditionally valances are made from the same fabric as the matching drapes for a cohesive look, but you can also choose complimentary patterns and textures. Medium-weight fabrics tend to be ideal for crafting elegant living room valances.

Measurements Needed

In order to select drapes and valances with the proper dimensions for your living room, you’ll need to start by carefully measuring your windows. Key numbers to have on hand include:

  • Exact window height and width
  • Desired drape length from top of rod to floor
  • Preferred valance length based on look you want
  • Distance needed from wall/ceiling for mounting brackets

Having these windows measurements will make the whole process of choosing, ordering, and installing living room drapes and valances smooth and accurate.

Mounting and Installation

Once you’ve selected the perfect drapes and valances, it’s time to tackle mounting them. Fortunately most homeowners can easily install their new window treatments as a DIY project with basic tools and a helper.

Inside Mount

Inside mounted draperies and valances attach directly to the window framing or walls around the window. This method provides a built-in custom look for a sleek streamlined style.

Outside Mount

For outside mounted treatments, the drapery hardware is secured to the wall, ceiling, or molding around and above the window frame. Outside mounting allows more latitude in positioning, making it easier to layer drapes and valances.

This technique also enables fuller drapes for ampler light control. However, outside mounted window treatments require careful measurements of clearances to ensure proper positioning.

Step-by-Step Process

Follow these simple steps for smooth DIY installation:

  1. Mark all bracket locations based on measurements.
  2. Securely screw brackets in place.
  3. Thread drapery panels and valances onto rods.
  4. Place rod ends into brackets.
  5. Adjust until aligned evenly.

Design and Style Considerations

Choosing drapes and valances to beautifully frame your living room windows entails assessing priorities and room factors to select the optimal style.


Before deciding on specific treatments, think through your goals. Typical reasons for adding window decor include:

  • Blocking incoming light
  • Increasing privacy
  • Visually expanding small spaces
  • Elevating room aesthetics

Window Attributes

The size, shape, placement, and unusual attributes of your living room windows will impact optimal drape/valance choices. Consider factors like:

  • Standard or irregular dimensions
  • Bay or corner placement
  • Height from floor
  • Room visibility

Decor Style

The overall decorative style you want for your living room should steer fabric textures and patterns for cohesion. For example:

  • Florals for romantic cottage rooms
  • Geometrics patterns for modern spaces
  • Rich solids for traditional sophistication

Coordinating Fabrics and Accents

Tying drapes and valances to other living room textiles and decor visually pulls the space together. Repeat colors, patterns, or key motifs in pillows, rugs, and artwork. If your room lacks an obvious style direction currently, allow the new drapes to establish the color palette going forward.

Creative Touches

By incorporating special details like layering and alluring textures, you can take your living room drapes and valances to the next level of elegance. Some inspiring ideas include:

  • Layering sheer curtains over the drapes
  • Topping a plain valance with ruffled lace
  • Flanking the window with stylish tiebacks
  • Selecting drapes and valances in indulgent fabrics like velvet or silk
  • Working with interior designers for custom designs

With the right combination of floor-length drapes and standout valance treatments, your living room windows will transform into an alluring focal point reflecting your personal tastes.

Follow the measuring, mounting, and styling guidance outlined above to create a window backdrop with just the right amount of privacy, light control, and fabulous flair.

Soon you’ll have a living room retreat that makes you smile each time you relax into the plush comfort of your own personal sanctuary away from the bustling world.

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