Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suit Yourself with Diverse Window Treatments

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Suit Yourself with Diverse Window Treatments

Article excerpt

Q: I'm a little confused about how to dress the windows on our sun porch. My sister-in-law says all windows should have the same kind of curtains, but what if I don't want to cover up all the windows? We have a nice view, and the sun only comes in one end of the room.

A: Then take a leaf from author Patricia Hart McMillan's book and mix things up to suit your room -- and yourself.

The dining area in her home is wrapped with windows opening to the outside. They're all dressed alike as far as the cheery checks go, but the designer has combined long tiebacks with short shirred curtains, depending on the need for privacy and view.

While I'm on the subject, McMillan has more window advice to offer in her new book, Decorating for Dummies (IDG Books Worldwide), written with Katharine Kay McMillan:

Turn colorful dinner napkins into toppers for kitchen or breakfast nook: fold in half on the diagonal and drape, pointed side down, over a decorative wooden rod, covering rod completely.

Make a faux balloon shade from a rectangular tablecloth: fold cloth in half lengthwise and drape over a fat decorated pole. About 6 inches from one side, use a length of ribbon to gather the tablecloth up until it begins to swag. Tie ribbon in a bow. Repeat on other side.

For that lodge-look (and added insulation): punch grommets across one end of a wool plaid blanket. Use grosgrain ribbons to bow-tie the blanketcum-curtain to a wood pole, or better, to a tree branch at the window.

Q: We are building a new house and have to make a decision about the kind of floors we want. The question is, we have several dogs -- big dogs. I happen to love hardwood floors, but I'm afraid of what the dogs will do to them. What would you recommend? This is our retirement home, and we want it to last as long as we do.

A: Then think hard-surface materials, such as ceramic tile, natural stone and, yes, even hardwood. Certain restrictions apply, as they say in the commercials. …

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