Cornices work basically the same way as a valance, providing a decorative top treatment to a window, hiding traverse rods or the tops of stationary side panels. But cornices possess a couple of features that make them unique from valances. First of all, a cornice is not free-hanging design off a pole or board. It is constructed out of a solid board, either straight at the top & bottom or shaped on either edge – the possibilities are endless. Cornice patterns include repeating patterns such as arches or scallops or more symmetrical designs.
The cornice board is padded and the fabric is stretched tight over the board, in most cases resulting in a smooth surface. (Exceptions are cornices made with folded fabric.) Welt or gimp trim finishes off the edge of the cornice.
Cornices are great light-blockers. Because the board returns to the walls on both the sides and the top of the cornice, they are ideal for pairing with room-darkening drapery panels in media rooms and master bedrooms for the ultimate light-blocking coverage. Extend the sides of thecornice down the length of the window and you have a lambrequin or cantonniere style. This style works well with a blackout cellular or roller shade for blocking light leakage.
This cornice has enough room behind it for a roman shade. Cornices work well for hiding cellular shades.
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