Valance, Swag, and Cornice: What’s The Difference?

valanceWindow treatments are a great way to customize your home with your own personal style without making too big of a change. The right kind of window treatments can even improve your living situation in more ways than one. For instance, did you know draperies can reduce the amount of heat loss in your room by up to 10% during the winter?

It’s true window treatments can give your home a little extra flair. But what exactly is the difference between treatments and what do they do for your windows individually?


A valance is a fabric that hangs over the top of the window itself to help hide the hardware of your other window treatments such as the curtain rods. A valance is a simple way to add a beautiful and soft look to your windows and helps to put a cap on your entire window treatment.

A valance can either be used to cover other window treatments as a means of layering. Or a valance can be used by itself for a casual decorative touch.


A swag is a loose piece of fabric that is casually draped over a tieback in the corners of your window or draped over a curtain rod. Swags provide a simple, romantic touch to a room and look best in cottage settings.

However, a swag by itself doesn’t offer a lot of privacy. For this reason, you may want to consider incorporating other window treatments or shutters alongside a swag.


Cornices are similar to a simple valance. However, unlike valances, they’re made from wood and are typically decorated using wallpaper, fabric, or paint. A cornice is then placed above the window.

Depending on the type of wood used to make the cornice, a covering of the cornice itself may not be necessary. This is especially true for those who love a more romantic, rustic look to their homes. Like valances, a cornice can either be placed above the window itself or may serve as a cap for layering window treatments.

Windows treatments and curtains are a wonderful way to add a little something to your home without changing your entire layout. To add some flair to your home or master bedroom, consider incorporating a valance, swag, or cornice in your home today.

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