First up is the sleek, simple, goes-with-any-style upholstered valance. As this particular space demonstrates, it's a great way to lower the height of a super tall ceiling, creating a more intimate feeling. Believe it or not, this style is DIY-friendly, depending on how much of a control freak you are; only a professional will get each line perfect.
To try it yourselves, pick up pre-cut plywood, batting, L-brackets and fabric. Assemble the form, wrap it with batting, attach the fabric to the back with a staple gun, then fasten to the wall with the brackets.