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Window Treatment Topper: What is A Cornice?

Posted: Friday, February 10th, 2017 | Filed under: cornice, window blinds, window shading, window treatments
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shading-blog-117-corniceWindow treatments come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your home design, one may find it a challenge to choose the perfect style of shade to seamlessly flow through the interior design of the rest of your space. For a structured and tailored feel, either to stand on its own or top above drapery panels, the experts at Shading Systems suggest exploring the versatility of a Cornice.

What Is A Cornice?

A Cornice can be defined as either an ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling or an overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice. From a designer standpoint however, this type of Cornice refers to a hard top window treatment. A cornice is generally made from a firm and solid material like wood, which is further painted or covered with coordinating fabrics or trims to match the window treatments. Cornices also add dimension from padding that is placed between the solid surface and the fabric. To create a cornice, fabric is stretched, pulled taut, hand-stapled then upholstered to a rectangular box made of wood. The cornice is then attached to the wall above the window, which creates a rigid box-like aesthetic.

Uses For Cornices

Cornices are often used in interior design as a function to disguise curtain rods and other hardware that would otherwise give an untidy appearance. Cornices help enhance drapery and blinds, thereby making a more formal design aesthetic. Cornices were once commonly used as décor over doorways, typically as unique decorative shelves, spice racks, flower boxes and mantels. Today however cornices are used in design as window toppers to create a structured and dramatic effect.

Cornices can be made into many sizes and build using a combination of material or ornate trim. These are typically custom designed to the closest 1/16″ in length. Cornices can also be made completely of wood and feature various applied trims, crown molding and other decorative details, cuts and make beautiful shelving decor. Cornices, though box-like, can also be arched underneath, perfect to accentuate an oval top window.

Valances vs. Cornices

A cornice is one of two types of window top treatments; the other option being valances. Though these two styles of window treatments have the same function as toppers, valances and cornices often are used interchangeable. However it’s important to remember there are differences between the two very distinct styles. A valance is a short curtain or drape that covers the top portion of a window, giving it an elaborate classic appearance. These window treatments are commonly used on their own or are paired with window treatments such as drapery, blinds and shades. Valances are made of fabric matching the fabric of window treatments when paired with drapery or shades. Valances are hooked on drapery rods often with decorative medallions, or can be attached to a hidden board hung over the window. Unlike cornices, valances come in various styles such as pleats, balloons, jabot, swoops, swags, to loosely draped valances and more.

A Custom Cornice In Your Home

This style of window treatment can work in any room in your home, adhering the fact that it does not take up space, but rather frame a window area quite nicely. Consider a cornice for your home office, dining room, even laundry room, and this style of window treatment are durable and can be made to feel grand and classy or sleek and simple. Whatever material and design style you choose, the professionals at Shading Systems can help you best select one fit for your space. Call Shading systems at 1-888-SHADING today!

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