Cornices, whether made of wood cornice boards and stained to perfection or covered in a lovely fabric will always be in style for modern windows. They give your rooms a finished appearance and also add a bit of classic grandeur to your projects. Cornices can be used on the top of any window as well as above interior doors. This type of specialty window treatment will be enduring and pass the test of time, but it’s not a fad or dated trend, so it will never go out of style.
Cornices for Your Windows
Custom cornices are the perfect addition to your home. They are specially made of premium and quality wood to last for many years. You may have them stained to match your other trim work in your home or painted in any color you wish. There is also a third option that allows you to have the wood sealed and then covered with a soft fabric. Another type of cornice uses padding underneath the fabric for visual texture and depth over your windows.
Wooden crown molding cornices attach to the wall and extend up to the ceiling height to add some flair to your windows and dress them up. There are hundreds of patterns of crown molding, some taller and some more narrow to fit any space above a window up to the ceiling. Wood cornices fit on the wall and up to the ceiling in most cases.
Crown molding boxes are created by making a wooden box with an open bottom. Since the top is closed, it won’t allow dust into it and makes for easy cleaning. You can choose for them to extend up to the ceiling or a shorter distance upward. Then you decide if you want fabric and padding on your cornice box for an upholstered cornice. If you decide to add fabric, you are choosing from literally thousands of patterns, colors, and types of fabric from which to choose, meaning that you will definitely find something you truly love.
Cornices can be understated or they can be very formal, depending on what look you want to achieve. The manner in which they are positioned over windows hides your hardware and drapery rods to give you a sleek and modern appearance.
Cornices of all types are mounted above the window frame at the top of the window. The great news is that you can add a cornice of any type to your existing window treatments no matter if you have draperies, blinds, shades, or Roman shades. They look wonderful in combination with all window treatments in a modern design.
Different Shapes of Modern Cornices
Cornices give your window coverings a very distinguished appearance and they are available in many different shapes and sizes to match your decor seamlessly. Many shapes exist from the straight cornice that is straight on the bottom to ornate designs. Some of the most popular designs include arched with a graceful arch in the center and partial arched with an arch in the center but square or angled on the two sides. The step arch style is square on the bottom two sides and then it appears to stair-step upward to an arch in the center. The step straight style is similar except instead of an arch in the center is it straight across. Scalloped cornices can resemble scalloped valances and come in several different styles. They have scallops that extend downward on both sides and then one or more scallops on the bottom in between the two on the sides. The scallops may be more graceful with fewer of them on a cornice. Other popular styles include the skirted arch, the raised top, and the tapered pleat with a banner. When you decide to have a custom cornice for your windows, you can choose any of these styles that you like or even have one customized to any shape you desire.
On top of all these gorgeous designs of wooden cornices, you can have them made with stripes in the wood grain to create a great focal point in any room of your home.
3 Different Styles of Modern Cornices
1. Simple but Elegant
A simple straight box cornice covered with fabric and some extra banding elements along with draperies to match can make a lovely focal point in any room. This modern cornice idea works well with linen fabric in a solid color for a neat and tidy appearance. You can add any type of banding to the bottom of both drapery panels and also to the fabric on the bottom of the cornice to tie in all the elements together. Most of the time, a solid color in a neutral tone is chosen and the banding will have bright pops of color to match your decor with perhaps a crystal geometric banding for interest.
2. 2-Layer Cornice
Bathroom and kitchen windows that get little sunlight in the summer can shine with a 2-layer cornice. You use a simple straight box cornice and cover a portion of it with one solid color fabric and the rest on the bottom of the cornice box with another solid color fabric. These should both be colors that are echoed in the flooring, cabinets, or other fixtures. If you get little sunlight, you can use only this type of cornice, or if you need light and heat control as well as privacy, you can add blinds or shades under the cornice as your first layer. Remember to use a first layer that is approved for wet areas and will not warp or fade, such as faux wood blinds.
3. Scalloped Cornices for Formality
Your more formal rooms, such as formal living and dining rooms can be made even more beautiful with the addition of scalloped cornices. If your windows are almost floor to ceiling, the cornice can be attached at the ceiling height and extend downward more than a traditional length to add height and stunning visual appeal to your formal rooms. This works best when paired with drapery panels in a more luxurious fabric to add texture to the room.
Combining Valances and Cornices
You may be more familiar with valances than cornices and there are differences between the two, but you can use either as a top treatment with all types of window treatments. Some homeowners have discovered they can make a valance appear like a cornice from a distance by having the fabric stretch across the window very flat and returning it on both ends to the wall. This may keep your valance a bit cleaner because dust won’t settle in the folds of a ruffled valance, but it still isn’t exactly as neat as a cornice.
If you are using a cornice as a stand-alone window treatment, you can choose any style and fabric you wish. You can also choose the length of it to match your rooms.
To add a lot of texture and softness to a room, you can add a window cornice that is tufted with button accents and highly padded, so it looks like a tufted chair. This idea usually works best with a solid color fabric of your choosing so the gathers of the tufts don’t affect a pattern in the fabric.
If you are layering window treatments with a cornice, most people use a neutral tone for the first layer next to the window that is mounting inside the window frame. This works well with blinds, shades, roman shades, etc in an off-white, tan, or light solid color. Then when you add the cornice at the top, the fabric can have splashes of color in a nice pattern or a more bold color to pick up your accent color in the room.
The very best use of a custom cornice is when you have lovely specialty-shaped windows of any type. Arched windows really attract attention when they have arched wooden cornices to accent their shapes. If you have a small window in an area, you can add an arched cornice even if the window itself is not arched to create this architecturally lovely appearance. Remember that the cornice covers the top of the window frame so you can make it appear to have an arch even if it doesn’t.
Cornices Never Go Out Of Style
As you can see, cornices never go out of style and you have so many options from which to choose. You can make it demure or exceptionally grand and everywhere in between. You can contact us for a free in-home consultation to discuss all of your options in dressing your windows with cornices. One of our expert designers will be happy to help you choose which style will fit your needs the best.