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The Decorating Divas
Baby, it's Cold Outside - Clothe your Windows in Color and Texture
January, 2006 - Issue #15
Dupioni silk in the same shade as the paint was used to create these simple, yet elegant, window treatments in this clean and contemporary dining room.
Dupioni silk in the same shade as the paint was used to create these simple, yet elegant, window treatments in this clean and contemporary dining room.
You wouldn't dream of wearing that little black dress without the perfect shoes and pair of earrings, would you? Then why skip hanging window treatments when decorating a room?

Anne: I recently helped a couple with most beautiful living and dining rooms, except there were no window treatments anywhere. He didn't want to obstruct the beautiful views, as they had just spent a small fortune on landscaping. She was more open to listening to my "finish the rooms" mantra, and eventually, he relented. When the new treatments were installed, they couldn't believe that their home went without them for more than four years! They had no idea how window treatments truly finish a room, making a space warm and complete.

Donna: There are many types of window treatments available these days, each making their own unique statement. I personally love to use natural materials, such as burlap, finely woven jute, or even simple linen.

One of my favorites is burlap. It's best in long panels, with a 3-inch border down both sides and across the bottom. And I particularly favor velvet for the border, as the juxtaposition of the fabrics is interesting to the eye. And since burlap can be purchased for $2 to $3 per yard when you catch a good sale, you can afford to purchase a luxurious velvet or mohair for trim.

Another one of my favorites is linen. It provides texture in a room, too. I lean towards using a linen rich in color - it can make a great statement without any additional embellishments.

Alternating stripes of cream and taupe were used to create the window treatments.  Horizontal stripes were chosen over vertical stripes to make the traditional room a bit more casual.
Alternating stripes of cream and taupe were used to create the window treatments. Horizontal stripes were chosen over vertical stripes to make the traditional room a bit more casual.
Anne and I prefer to keep the window treatments unlined, especially when we use burlap or linen. Leaving them unlined allows some of the natural light to come through and really shows off the texture of the fabric.

Anne: One of my favorite fabrics for window treatments is silk. We tend to think big bucks when we hear the word, though. However, if you can find a good fabric outlet (and there are several in the Los Angeles fabric district), often times you can pick up a dupioni or shantung silk for about $12 a yard.

Sometimes, plain floor length panels will fit the bill. If you want something with a little more oomph, add cut fringe, bullion or beaded fringe. Other times, I like to piece the silk together, either in horizontal stripes of 12 to 18 inches, or vertical stripes of 8 to 12 inches (often with an inverted pleat across the top to accent one color over the other). I have even used 15-inch squares of four different tonal colors of silk to make panels that were more unique.

Donna and Anne: Keep your eyes on the lookout in decorating magazines and unique home furnishing shops for inspiration. And don't forget, you can always embellish ready-made, store bought window treatments to give them a custom-made look!

And last but not least, our great find of the month: crystal chandeliers for recessed lights! Go to www.cristalier.com and check out their amazing assortment of crystal chandeliers that attach directly to your pre-existing recessed lighting. What a great way to give an existing recessed can a dressed-up look without having to rewire and patch holes in your ceiling! We both ordered them in clear for our powder baths!

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Anne and Donna love e-mail. Make their day by sending your thoughts to decoratingdivas@insidescv.com.
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