Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Topping Windows with Pelmets & Cornices

I really enjoy watching old movies, especially those made when it was customary for men and women to wear hats. Toppers embodied a kind of formality of style that has fallen out of fashion, but I think there is something refined about seeing a dashing man like Cary Grant or William Powell (two of my faves!) in a cap.

What does this have to do with interior design, you ask?
I've begun to appreciate more and more the look of pelmet or cornice boxes atop a well-dressed window. Like a milliner's felted creation, a pelmet/cornice adds a finished touch that a rod can't always capture.

As with hats, there are many styles of pelmets to choose from:
(sample cornice/pelmet shapes via Pinterest)

Pelmets/cornices can be glamorized with fancy fretwork designs.

They can be accentuated with bold, banded ribbon.
(via Lonny / Lonny)

Cornices can be scalloped for a feminine, soft effect.

A pelmet can utilize a classical greek key style.
(via Decorpad / House Beautiful)

Haven't had enough pelmets and cornices?
Here are a few more unique toppers for your windows.

Do you prefer neutral and subdued? 

Or bright and monogrammed?

How about a cornice that is architecturally arched?

Or why not stud a pelmet for tough but sophisticated look?
(via Katiedid)

So, what's your take on dressing windows with pelmets or cornices?
Is the look outmoded like a man in a hat or timeless like Cary Grant and William Powell? 


  1. Love 'em! As long as the ceiling isn't too low.

    Anything structured and detailed adds such a nice touch to the room. I need to try the studded version at some point.

  2. I love them and think they're making a real comeback. I tend to like them with a little embellishment but not too much (does that sound wishy-washy?). I like the banded, greek key and a little fretwork, and I think they're especially great in bedrooms for some reason!

  3. I think I'm starting to love them again! The fretwork designs my favorite and I'd have to say no the scallops!

  4. As a fabricator, I can tell you that they've never gone out. Cornices are one of the timeless treatments that we always sell! Great post!!

  5. i love the 'PLAY' on images and words.
    you have my fave man ....C.G.



I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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