The valance is one of those things pretty much everybody has seen — yet far fewer know it by name. When you see an interior top treatment on a window (that fixed little curtain that hangs down just a short distance and covers little, if any, of the actual window), you’re probably looking at a valance.

But you may also be looking at a cornice, which is distinct from a valance in one key aspect. The cornice is a “hard” treatment — essentially an upholstered piece of wood — whereas a valance is has a “soft” appearance due to the nature of the installation. Because the “curtain” is fixed to a curtain rod or piece of wood and allowed to hang freely, it creates an effect that is distinct from the cornice.

The reasons people use valances and cornices on their interior windows is largely the same — it’s an attractive looking feature, it creates a pleasant aesthetic, and it has the ability to hide the tops of curtains, which themselves often look rather incomplete if left alone without a top treatment.

What many people don’t realize is that valances also look fantastic as an exterior feature of the home. Many homeowners find that installing a valance in the porch gives their home a unique aesthetic with enhanced curb appeal.

So how would you go about shopping for, and choosing, a valance for your porch? First, you’ll want to start by looking at some images of valances. Searching Google images for “porch valance” is a good way to get a quick look at some different possibilities. Note the different shapes and sequencing on the fabric. It’s important to realize that any good valance or awning specialist will be able to offer the fabric of your choice, as well as the sequencing or “cut” of your choice. Never settle for a company who offers extremely limited choices in terms of your fabric or style. A valance is a distinct and important addition to the front of your home, and you should be able to settle on a style that matches your home and personal tastes.

Here are some other qualities you should look for in a valance, or any company who sells and installs them:

  • Professional help with choosing a fabric and design that complement your home and your personal tastes.
  • Industry standard measuring processes and CAD rendering to make sure the valance fits perfectly to your porch
  • Super strong stitching for long-term durability
  • Expert installation with stainless steel hardware and welded panel seams

Now that you know what a valance is…

There are probably several different companies that sell and install them in your area — but since this is a highly visible feature of your home aesthetic, you want to make sure it’s done right, from the process of selecting a fabric and design to installation and maintenance. A high quality valance should give you exactly the aesthetic quality you’ve been looking for with none of the hassle — that’s when you know you’ve hit on the right solution.