But there are so many books—and so many look the same, cover upon cover, guts upon guts. In my opinion, Heather Luke’s Curtains, originally published in the UK and then brought to the United States by Creative Publishing International for an American launch, isn’t much to get excited about if you have an extensive library at your fingertips already.
The two-color drawings are OK—certainly not done with a practiced hand, but one relatively competent in sketching, perhaps. They do the trick. The treatments she features are nothing innovative: there’s your garden variety Tie Headings section, Flat Panels section, Romans, Cascades and Borders, and more. Descriptions, for example, run to the pedestrian, “For a stylish, contemporary edge,” the author states about bay windows, “a fixed pole and eyelet headings allows the curtains to pull right back.” Well, no kidding.
Facts, figures and a glossary wrap up this starter book, one that even a beginner probably will find banal. To be kind, there’s nothing wrong with this book; just nothing new. Pass.
A BLESSING IN PAPERBACK
Conversely, another offering by Creative Publishing, International, Windows with Style: Do-it-yourself window treatments, The Home Decorating Institute, created by the editors of Creative Publishing International, offers clear, easy instructions with step-by-step, full-color photographs on how to create window treatments. The photographs are top-notch, clear, concise and inspirational. They are photographs that can be shown to clients, and also used in the workshop when in construction mode.
Windows with Style is divided into six sections: Window Treatment Styles; Window Shades; Simple Window Styles; Creative Rod-pocket Curtains; Top Treatments; and Alternative Window Treatments. Each section offers sub-sections, such as Swags, Valances and Cornices in the Top Treatments chapter; and Panels, Tabs and Tent-flaps in the Simple Window Styles chapter.
Like Heather Luke’s book, the treatments aren’t so innovative that we will be surprised and delighted by the sheer ingeniousness of their designs, but more so, what a terrific resource this book is in creating these designs. Subheads cover materials needed, cutting directions and then offer numbered step-by-step instructions with matching photography.
There’s no glossary (but do we need any more glossaries . . . how many ways can we describe a pouf valance??!!), but there is a handy index at the back for quick reference. With more than 450 photographs and illustrations and 224 pages of window treatment goodness, this soft cover book is a great addition to any library—and at just under 20 bucks, it’s easy on the wallet, too.
This is the kind of book Creative Publishing excels at and bless them for it.
To acquire these books, contact Creative Publishing International: 18705 Lake Drive East, Chanhassen, MN 55317; www.howtobookstore.com
Kathleen Stoehr is president of Chemistry Creative, based in Minneapolis, MN. She has more than seven years’ experience covering trends, window treatments and interior fashions, and is a former editor-in-chief of Window Fashions magazine. Stoehr can be contacted for comments, queries and trend information at kstoehr@chemistry creative.com.