With many types of window coverings there aren’t that many options in terms of creativity. Sure, you can choose a patterned material for a cellular shade, or a carved rail on a shutter, but they are still mass merchandised options that are available from companies with a vision toward design, like Hunter Douglas or Graber.
With valances, though, the entire world of options is available to you because as a rule, valances don’t have to DO anything other than be attractive. You can add touches of your personality to these valances. Some choices are more obvious, like adding fringes, bandings or trim, but feel free to really think outside of the box. In the photo, notice the belt-buckles that were attached to the face of the valance. This style of valance is called a “stagecoach valance” among other terms. The executive that these were done for is big into the western lifestyle, including activities in the Reno Rodeo and other horse type events. So, when she called me in, she already knew that she had these amazing belt-buckles to include with the design. We also used faux leather to trim out the fabric, and “Bam!”, we nailed it.
In order to create something that is this creative or tuned to your tastes, it is important that you have a very good relationship with your designer. You need to express to them exactly what you want. One thing that I can’t stand is seeing some top treatments or draperies and knowing exactly which designer designed them, because all of their designs look the same. I think it is far better to design a fabric treatment to the specifications of the client and not to my personal tastes.