Kitchen Valance & Swag Curtains

Written by meg campbell
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Kitchen Valance & Swag Curtains
A simple lace window topper is appropriate in a kitchen. (detail of curtain image by Tomo Jesenicnik from

Swag curtains and valances are commonly used kitchen window treatments, in part because they're short and don't obscure the view. Since their main function is decorative, they must be paired with shades or blinds for privacy.


Valances, also known as window toppers, are used to dress windows without blocking the light or the view. Swag curtains also perform a decorative function, as they're short at the top and their tails, or sides, hang along the window frame. Both types of window treatments bring colour, pattern and texture to the kitchen.

Types of Valances

Valances are essentially shortened curtains. Nearly any kind of curtain is adaptable to valance style, but a few types are more popular as window toppers than others. Tab-top, rod-pocket, pinch-pleat, box-pleat, tied, draped and gathered curtains are some of the more usual valance styles. A wooden cornice is another valance that can also double as a shelf above the window.

Types of Swags

Traditionally, swags are used in rooms with formal decor. However, fabric selection and finishing techniques can result in an informal window treatment. Less formal swags are composed of fabric artfully draped across a curtain rod. More elaborate swags have multiple layers of fabric sewn into place before mounting. Not all swags have tails; those without are short swag valances.

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