A New Twist on a Kitchen Valance

IMAGE-1-Awning-Valance There are three reasons to add a drapery to a window: privacy, shade relief from the sun, and to add color, pattern and texture. There are many style options, as well as thousands of fabrics, to choose from. I have a client who was looking to update her kitchen, but she wasn’t ready for a complete makeover-she just wanted something new and fresh. A new drapery is a great place to start! Her single kitchen window overlooks a river, so she doesn’t have to worry about privacy and certainly didn’t want to cover-up her view. I decided to give her something unique: an awning style valance. Awnings are typically found on the exterior of homes to keep the sun out, but this style works for inside, too! IMAGE-2-Before-Curtain                     Her old curtain was a simple blue valance with a scalloped hem and tassel trim. It was not only time for a new style, but a new color. IMAGE-4-TasselsIMAGE-3-Fabric-and-Rods She’s thinking of decorating the kitchen in a French Bistro look, so I found a contemporary paisley print in shades of dark red and gold. Instead of trim across the bottom, I decided to add tassels. The only other thing I needed was a pair of tension rods. This is an easy DIY project for someone with a sewing machine and basic sewing skills.     Measure the width of your window opening and add 1 in. for the seam allowance. This window was 41 in. wide. I decided on an overall length of 25 in. and added an inch for seam allowance. I cut two pieces from the paisley fabric 42 in. wide by 26 in. long. IMAGE-5-Cut-curve IMAGE-6-Center-point Instead of a straight hem across the bottom, I wanted a curved hem for the tassels. I drew a gentle curve from one side to the middle and repeated on the other side. Cut out the fabric. IMAGE-7-Sew IMAGE-8-Top-Opening Next, pin the right sides together and sew all the way around with a .5 in. seam allowance. Be sure to leave a 1 in. opening on each side at the top for the rod pocket, and an opening at the top so you can turn the valance right side out. IMAGE-9-Iron-and-Topstitch Turn the valance right side out, trim the corners and press. Sew a top-stitch at the top edge to close the opening. Sew another line of stitching 1 in. from the top to make a “pocket” for the curtain rod. Insert the rod. IMAGE-10-Add-Rod-Pocket I then measured 18 in. and 19 in. from the top edge and drew two lines across the width of the valance for the second rod pocket. Sew on both lines. With a seam ripper, open the seam between the two rows of stitching (at the sides) and insert the curtain rod. IMAGE-11-Valance I hung the valance between the upper cabinets as high as possible. I put the second a little above the half way point of the cabinet. You can adjust yours to whatever height works best for your window. I liked the gentle curve of the fabric, but it could have been pulled straight and tight. Sew the tassels to the center point and corners. This is a perfect window treatment for an apartment window. There’s no need to drill holes with tension rods, and you can take it with you when you move! Merri Cvetan of MEC Design Studio is an interior designer who writes about her projects for The Home Depot. Merri’s DIY kitchen valance makes for a great indoor project to take a bit of the bite out of winter’s cold. Home Depot’s selection of windows for kitchens and other rooms can be viewed online on the Home Depot website.

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