Valances over beds–you have come a long way, baby.
Traditionally called half testers, they have their history (like many things) in 14th Century Europe. Generally speaking the more elaborate a bed was, the richer the family was. Half testers were born as full tester beds and had intricately carved wood frames and were massive in scale. In the 18th Century, half testers became more decorative and lighter in appearance, relying on more fabric and less wood.
Hello America! Half testers made their first appearance in American interior design in the 19th Century and started (like it’s English cousins) as heavier looking with mostly wood frames.
Unlike canopies and full testers, half testers only cover the headboard and part of the bed. They can be attached with a corona or cornice or done as soft valance.
I love valances and cornices over beds. Not only do they add visual softness, valances can be a great solution to a long “plain” bed wall when you don’t want the expense of changing out your entire bed. Also, you may love your current bed or headboard but just want a new look. Valances can be that change.
Here are some of my favorites:
Which one is your favorite?
As an interior designer I can tell you that anything can be done! And with the right fabrics, colors and furniture choices, a bedroom can be transformed into a sanctuary. Maybe your sanctuary should include a bed with a valance!