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What Is A Cornice Board

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, used to start out each new season with the team in the locker room where he would pick up the football and say to the team “This is a football.” It was all about getting down to basics.

cornice board over wood blindsWhat Is A Cornice Board?

This is a cornice board (also called a top treatment since it is mounted at the top of the window).

They are constructed of either solid wood which is painted or stained OR they can be wrapped in fabric to accent the decor of the room or to match draperies that can be installed underneath the cornice.

They have a dustcap (or wood board that goes across the top of the treatment), hard returns (wood boards that go down the sides of the treatment), and the face board (which is the front piece that is most prominent). The face board can be cut straight across (like the picture here) or they can be more decorative with rounded scallop cuts or tapered curves or similar designs.

In this picture, a black and white fabric wrapped cornice is used to offset the white and black wallpaper in this bathroom. The cornice is also used to cover the top of the wood blind thereby hiding the brackets and headrail of the blind.

If you will notice, the window molding on the left side goes right against the perpendicular wall in this room. When our installer did the remeasure for this designer, he specified that the workroom notch the bottom 5 or 6 inches of the left return leg which would allow the cornice to sit flush against the molding on the left side while resting nicely against the wallpaper on the right side. It’s so much easier to plan for these situations beforehand than it is to try to deal with a treatment that doesn’t fit properly on the day of installation.

Cornice boards are usually mounted on L-shaped brackets (sometimes call angle irons or L-brackets). If memory serves the interior designer on this job wanted this cornice to be close to the ceiling but as a general rule of thumb, a cornice without draperies underneath would be installed approximately 4 or 5 inches above the window molding.


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James A. Holloway
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James A. Holloway

James A. Holloway has been working in the window coverings industry since 2001 but it wasn't until 2009 that he took the leap and started his own installation business.

In 2011, he created the "Window Treatment Installers Network" a online forum for window treatment professionals.

In 2013 he began writing for window coverings blog called TraVerse.

And in 2014 he was recruited by the Custom Home Furnishings Academy to teach their Installation 101 Curriculum .
James A. Holloway
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