Thursday, February 21, 2008

Window Dressing

Five easy solutions that will ensure you don’t turn a blind eye to your treatments.

1. At certain times of day, sunlight can be intense: At 4 o’clock, my living room might as well be the Kalahari. Keep the unsightly out of sight—without sacrificing precious rays (and cost-efficient solar heat!). Wealthy Victorian-era homeowners weren’t thinking pure cosmetics when they patterned their plate glass windows. Apply a decorative film to imitate their technique without spending a fortune on acid etching. All you need is a little water and voilà: Instant French-bistro simplicity. For extra chic-factor, attach only to the bottom pane.

2. If you’re surrounded by windows, and you live on a high floor, your privacy requirements may be lax. Some treatments can fall short. No one wants to be momentarily blinded by an errant beam. Install a sliding curtain panel system so you can customize your coverage throughout the day. Separate hanging sections are easily adjusted to desired length and can even be repurposed as airy room dividers.

3. Those dust-traps you call Venetians are havens for mites, crack with age, and a real pain to clean (unless you have a black tub and about four hours to spare). Roller shades gently diffuse light, and some even provide UV blockage and reduce heat transfer. To splurge, go motorized.

4. While transparent sheers are ideal in daylight, by nightfall, they can be as revealing as Ms. Janet’s Superbowl XXXVIII snafu. Add drama with gorgeous coverings that let the light shine in, while providing optimum privacy. These obscure outside-in views perfectly, so you can keep that romantic dinner under wraps.

5. Maybe you like what you’ve got, or you just spent a ton of cash on improvements. Take it just a small (affordable) step further with accessories. Flowers break up design monotony, provide a perfect dose of color and whimsy, and are a great way to bring in your favorite hues. Hook up a hanging vase and knock that stale glass/table rule on its ear. A.

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