After looking at my pleated shade-covered office window for quite some time, it finally occurred to me what was missing: a cornice. I needed an upholstered cornice to make the window look complete.
Cornices, whether upholstered, wood, metal or soft, provide an eye-catching focal point in any room. These treatments can be a great solution for those areas in the home that cannot accommodate a full drapery panel – and yet provide the beauty of fabric nonetheless. And in my case, my window is directly above a very wide file cabinet. There’s no room for draperies; even curtains would crowd the area too much.
Many architectural flaws have been hidden by cornices as well: consider that windows of uneven height can be made to appear level by employing a cornice or two; some can even be hinged on one side to swing out from a window or French door, in case access is required on an infrequent basis.
Unlike many window treatments, cornices are not about addressing immediate needs such as sun control or privacy issues; more so, they celebrate much of what is joyful about having a beautiful window to appreciate. Cornices often will “finish” the design of a window by hiding drapery hardware or even a damaged window frame and will also add another dimension of detail to a room. And don’t forget: cornices do not need to be fabric covered in order to meld well with a room. Consider how a wood cornice can add architectural detail; how a wallpapered cornice could blend with similarly papered walls; or how a painted cornice could provide an attractive accent. Each choice will change the look and feel of the interior.
Photos courtesy of Interiors by Decorating Den, decoratingden.com
– Kathleen Stoehr
Author, The Window Decorating Book