A valance is a short drapery or any kind of horizontal element – such as a wood or metal frame – that is hung at the top of a window. Not only does it add ornamentation, but it also conceals the top of the curtains and/or window hardware for a finished appearance. A valance can also be a drapery that is hung along the edge of a shelf, canopy, bed, table, or altar. In any case, they can be lined, shaped, and trimmed to coordinate with the adjacent décor and decorative elements.
See also: cornice