I have to say, I love pelmets.  Or cornices.  Same thing, really.  For the uninitiated, they are those decorative upholstered "boxes" over the top of a traditional window treatment which originated to cover the drapery hardware.  I suppose it is the traditionalist in me that falls hard for these treatments, the girl that likes thing to look finished.

These days, there is tons of nice drapery hardware out there, and more and more people go for the casual look of leaving the rods exposed.  But pelmets are being employed to solve other kinds of design issues.

This one, from Katie Rosenfeld, makes the most of the sloped ceiling and really highlights this potentially awkward accent wall.

This one makes the most of a narrow window that doesn't require a shade, and brings a welcome hit of pattern to a lovely white kitchen.

(Come to think of it, that one might be a valance--basically the non-upholstered equivalent of a cornice or pelmet.)

This next one creates a sense of architecture at the top of the window seat, framing it out and making the spot feel cozier.

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Cornices can also create a sense of architecture to create a shower enclosure.

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Blogger Naomi just made the cutest one for a client, using one of blogger Caitlin's new fabrics. Check out the entire bathroom transformation, "Project girly glam."

In baby Lucy's room, we are using pelmet boxes to bring some color to the windows, where there is no room for a pair of panels (both windows are only an inch from the wall on one side) and where my clients have decided to use soft shades in all the windows throughout the house. It's not a big room, and it could use some drama. I'm working on the design today. While looking at inspiration, I came across a couple of one-page guides to pelmet shapes (in addition to the more extensive ones in my drapery bible, The Curtain Design Directory.)

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Any favorites?  If you want to try your hand at it, check out blogger Jenny's tutorial here, and some of her reader results, here.  Personally, I prefer a plywood construction, but her method is perfect for renters, folks without power tools, and anyone looking for a more temporary fixture.

Have fun!