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Swags Highlight a View and Make a Statement

Originally, a swag was a great length of heavy fabric draped over a heavy decorative pole. The pole was hung above a large window or other decorative feature, so the fabric draped gracefully across the top and hung down the sides. You might imagine swags over the windows in an ancient castle throne room or on the wall behind the throne, itself. (Okay, I know castle windows were, in reality, little skinny things that barely let in light; but this is an imaginary dream castle.) Swags framed a large window or set of windows, but did not move to cover it, as drapes do. This simple, dramatic treatment was designed to add style, color, and a ‘finish’ to a room. This swag, sometimes called a scarf swag, is often placed over sheer panels or movable drapes now. (more…)


The Appeal of Soft Valances

For clients who come to home decorating reluctantly, soft valances can seem like the last word in frivolity.  Unlike curtains, blinds, or shades, they serve no obvious purpose.  They don’t block out much light and don’t contribute to privacy.  The question we’re constantly asked is, “What’s the point of them?”

The point is aesthetic rather than utilitarian, but it does exist.  Curtains border a window on only two sides.  With a valance added, the treatment surrounds the window like a picture frame, which attracts the eye.  If you get the curtains and the valance in the same medium to heavy fabric, like chenille, it’s an old-fashioned, stately look, ideal for older houses – or, for that matter, new ones with an older design. (more…)


Tips for Decorating the Kitchen

The kitchen is more than just a space in which to cook. It is a gathering place for family, social activities, and receiving guests. It is a central part of the home. Decorating your kitchen can be challenging. Whether your kitchen is small or large, there are a number of things you can do to create a welcoming space. It should be functional as well as inviting. Here are some tips for decorating the kitchen. (more…)


Technology Hits the Window Treatment Industry

Years ago, my mom was amazed when we children bought her a new television with a remote control. Being able to change channels and control volume from her recliner was, according to her, as great as “sliced bread.” Not too many years after that, we celebrated her birthday by getting her a gas log system for her fireplace, again with a remote control for operation – again amazement and awe. If she were alive today, remote control of many other things would probably be a part of her life, and I think motorized shades for her windows would have been top on her list of great new innovations. (more…)


Blinds or Shades? Choosing the Best Look for Your Space

A good window treatment can really pull a room together, not to mention cut down on your energy bill, but choosing one can be daunting.  There are so many options available, each subtly different, that you may find yourself spoiled for choice or just plain confused.  In particular, people tend to think of blinds and shades as more or less interchangeable, especially if what both words call to mind for you are the utilitarian, white vinyl versions of each.  But blinds and shades are now available in a wide range of styles to suit every room.  Here are a few of the most popular. (more…)

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