Lambrequin style window treatments

One of the most traditional styles of valence is the lambrequin. And up until recently, they’ve gotten a bad rap. No longer associated with stuffy, over-decorated rooms, they’ve been popping up in the spaces of some of our favorite interior designers in the past few years. So what’s the difference between a valance and a lambrequin? A valence is the general term people use to describe a window treatment that covers the top of a window. The lambrequin is a valence that comes down further on each side of the window, and often has a curvy, sculptural shape to it. Lambrequins are also usually stand-alone window treatments (no shades or blinds beneath!). We love using lambrequins in our own projects because of their whimsical scallop edges (they can add architectural interest to boring windows) and they’re a great alternative to fabric heavy (read: expensive), curtain panels. We’re in the process of making four lambrequin valences for a client’s dining room–we can’t wait to show you the finished product! Here is one of the lambrequins in progress at our upholster’s work room:A page of lambrequin shapes from The Encyclopedia of Window Fashions–a great reference book if you don’t already have it! We created our own design above, but it is of course based on the forms below. Lambrequins at the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia. We love how exaggerated and almost cartoonish these are…Lambrequins and intricate valences were a signature of legendary interior designer David Hicks. This is a room of his below, designed in the 1970s–we still reference it today!Featured in Architectural Digest, the designers of Brockschmidt & Coleman layered beautiful sheers behind these lambrequins. Interior designer Miles Redd is a big fan of the lambrequin. We’ve always loved the way he used red tape to accentuate the curves of the window treatment. Redd’s protegé, Nick Olsen, is also fond of the lambrequin. We’re always amazed by the cyclical nature of interior design trends, and delight in seeing modern designers’ interpretations of a classic form.
There are so many incredible sources of inspiration available to designers with the advent of Pinterest, Instagram, and the thousands of blogs that allow you to access images from all over the world. It can be overwhelming though, and coming up with new ideas can sometimes feel daunting and downright impossible. Whenever we’re feeling creatively tapped out, we remind ourselves of this quote from Jim Jarmusch: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photography, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.”  At the end of the day, it’s true what Jean-Luc Godard said, “It’s not where you take things from–it’s where you them to.” What do you think about this argument? Are we all just a bunch of copy cats recycling someone else’s ideas? And how does that idea translate to the decoration of your home? Food for thought on this Monday morning!

  • Hillary Butler {Fine Art}

    I am seriously chewing on that quote. If you steal enough good inspiration your work becomes authentic. Hmmmm. The part that I think is so radical is,”Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.” I think I rather like it!

  • Sarah

    Lambrequin style treatments should be used more often. They are so chic and really unique in today’s interiors. Love!

  • Edilberto Durano

    I agree, Sarah. They have simple concepts and complex ones too. Interior designs such as Lambrequin deserves to be a trend! Ed of InteriorMotivesHuntley.com