That said, Traditional Home Window Style is a mix of good information plummeting headfirst into an abyss of graphic mess, with type fonts surging and diminishing as if by whim, changing color, so much crammed onto a page that the eye skitters willy-nilly around desperate to find a resting spot at which to start. Lines intersect, boxes pop—it’s truly an awful start to what is, at the root of it all, a pretty good book on (primarily) soft window treatments.
Get past the over-designed introductions to each section, however, and the reader will receive a sweet surprise: page after page of nicely photographed window treatments, given good explanation to allow the reader to learn why a particular style was chosen and why it works.
There are six major chapters: All Through the House, which features a tour of Maryland interior designer Fiona Newell Week’s latest home; Draperies and Curtains, which offers information that, as window treatment professionals, is the equivalent of reading “See Spot Run,” but for homeowners may offer something to ponder; Valances and Cornices, a short jaunt through nicely-put- together top treatments; Swags and Jabots, a pretty treatise on elegance; Shades and Blinds, a look at some hard treatments but with particular emphasis on soft shades; and Sophisticated Combinations, which displays how two seemingly disparate treatments can look fabulous together.
In my opinion, the window treatments are photographed from too far a distance, but according to the author, she wanted to show the treatments as they worked within the interior, which makes sense. Unfortunately, my eyes were often drawn to a foreground vase, for example, instead of the treatment behind it. In any case, the examples are nice and gave me pause to consider the possibility of doing something similar in my home. Nice treatments, varying styles, pretty details, a variety of interior spaces.
A final section, Working with Professionals, soars into graphic design Hades. Try hard, little soldiers—read it if you can. The information is good. It’s a cheerleading session on why hiring an interior designer to help with window treatments is a good investment. We can only hope that every homeowner will suffer through these page-designs-on-acid and take them to heart. Then, it offers advice on what to consider when deciding on a new treatment. All good information.
One final note: only one section is credited—the section All Through the House is credited to the interior designer and photographer. No other photographs offer any information on the type of window treatment materials used, who created them, who designed them. Nada. ‘Tis a pity.
Kathleen Stoehr is president of Chemistry Creative, based in Minneapolis, MN. She is a former editor-in-chief of Window Fashions magazine and is the author of the recently published Dream Floors, Hundreds of Ideas for Every Type of Floor, available from Randall International. Stoehr can be contacted for comments, queries and trend information at firstname.lastname@example.org.