What Is A Pelmet?

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By Charlotte Miller

In the realm of interior design and window treatments, the pelmet stands as a timeless and versatile element that adds both aesthetic appeal and practical functionality to a room. Often referred to as a cornice board in some regions, a pelmet serves as an elegant finishing touch to windows, enhancing the overall ambiance of a space while offering various benefits. Let’s delve into the nuances of pelmets, their definition, styles, and the role they play in elevating interior décor.

What Is A Pelmet?

A pelmet is a decorative framework or valance typically positioned above a window, extending horizontally across the top. Crafted from various materials such as wood, fabric, or even metal, it acts as a decorative covering for curtain fixtures and conceals the top part of curtains or drapes, adding a polished and refined look to window treatments.

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Elements And Styles:

  1. Architectural Design: Pelmets come in different architectural designs, from simple straight lines to elaborate shapes, offering versatility to complement various interior styles.
  2. Fabric Options: Fabric pelmets allow for customization with a wide range of fabrics, patterns, and textures, enabling coordination with existing upholstery or décor elements.
  3. Additional Embellishments: Some pelmets feature decorative elements like trims, tassels, or piping, adding a touch of sophistication and detail to the overall design.

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Functional Aspects:

  1. Concealing Hardware: Pelmets effectively conceal curtain rods, tracks, and fixtures, providing a neat and streamlined appearance to window treatments.
  2. Insulation and Light Control: When paired with curtains or drapes, pelmets contribute to improved insulation by preventing drafts and also aid in controlling light penetration into the room.
  3. Room Acoustics: The addition of a pelmet can contribute to sound dampening within a room, absorbing echoes and reducing noise pollution.

Versatility And Adaptability:

  1. Suitable for Various Window Styles: Pelmets can be tailored to fit different window shapes and sizes, making them adaptable for bay windows, French windows, or standard window frames.
  2. Complementary to Interior Themes: Whether in a classic, contemporary, or eclectic setting, pelmets can be customized to blend seamlessly with the existing interior décor.

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Installation And Maintenance:

  1. Professional Installation: Proper installation ensures a precise fit and secure attachment, often requiring the expertise of a professional to achieve desired results.
  2. Maintenance: Fabric pelmets may require occasional cleaning or vacuuming to maintain their appearance, while wooden or metal pelmets may need dusting or polishing as part of routine care.


Pelmets, with their dual role of adding aesthetic charm and functional benefits, serve as a versatile and impactful element in interior design. Their ability to enhance window treatments, contribute to energy efficiency, and augment the overall ambiance of a space underscores their significance as an essential décor element, enriching the visual appeal and functionality of any room.


What Is The Purpose Of Pelmet?

A pelmet, also called a valance, is a frame made of wood or fabric that goes above a window along with its curtains. It’s usually used to hide the curtain track for a neat look. Additionally, it helps block out light in the room and provides extra insulation to keep heat inside your home.

What Do Americans Call A Pelmet?

A pelmet, also known as a valance in North America, is a narrow piece of wood or cloth above a window that hides the curtain rail.

What Is The Difference Between A Pelmet And A Valance?

In Britain, they call a valance a pelmet, but they mean the same thing. It’s like how they call eggplants “aubergines.” So, if you see someone talking about a pelmet, they’re just using a different word for a valance.

What Is A Pelmet In American English?

A pelmet is a decorative border or cover at the top of a window or doorway. It hides the curtain fastenings.