All in One
CHALLENGE: I have relocated
to a new home on the coast. It is beautiful. The living space is
small, yet I have lots of windows that give the room a spacious
feeling. I need privacy, yet I don’t want to enclose the space
by covering the windows and make them dark. How do I achieve harmony,
balance and a calming environment in a space that is small and cluttered?
SOLUTION: You are correct in knowing
the windows add to the spacious feel of the room’s interior.
Too many times a mistake is made by bringing in a dark and dismal
window treatment that encloses a space such as yours. When there
is a great view to the outdoors, you want to preserve all of it,
and enjoy that wonderful view.
Addressing your need for privacy is an important consideration in
window treatments and how they affect the overall space. Today’s
window treatment manufacturers offer a wide array of window treatment
choices that will preserve your view, yet offer privacy, noise control
and energy efficiency . . . all in one. Even though a window treatment
may seem transparent, the materials that make up the window treatment
are very energy- efficient. Window shadings products, such as Silhouette®
from Hunter Douglas, have been around for a few years now. They
are offered in beautiful lightweight materials in many colors and
with the function of a blind with the look of a drapery panel. The
difference is that the vanes also are made from soft fabric-like
material. The energy efficiency of these products is amazing, too.
Natural woven shades and sunscreens by companies such as Castec
offer the warm earth tones that are all the rage again.
A Designer ShadeCloth Collection by Soleil offers the automated
shade with lift systems that are remote controlled. The advantages
include EasyUp battery powered controls, 126-inch-wide sunscreens,
ClassicFlat™ and SoftFold™ Roman shades.
These products are all versatile as they offer many options, one
being that when raised, you will be able to add a fabric overtreatment
such as a valance, swags, cascades or any other type of top treatment
that would work with the area above the window for mounting. Most
manufacturers offer remote control on many of their products. By
using this type of treatment you will be able to keep your view
of the outdoors and still have a colorful window treatment at the
top of the window.
To create harmony and balance in the living environment, a few designer
secrets need to be implemented. First of all, less is more when
it comes to organizing.
Balance is a sense of equilibrium and may be either formal or informal.
This is achieved by keeping continuity to your furniture sizes and
shapes, implementing the correct shades and tints of color and creating
a specific mood for your lifestyle.
Harmony is an agreement among the parts. Unity and variety of materials,
color, shapes and textures used correctly will create harmony. Try
to limit to three your selection of patterns in one room. Try not
to group together prints of the same size; for example, two floral
patterns of the same scale. Do not use them side-by-side. By varying
one so that it is a smaller size than the other, they will not compete
with each other.
When using color, for example deep green, try to use the same color
family of greens and don’t mix a warm green with a cool green.
Undertones in color will affect how a color is perceived. Light
also affects color in a room. In fact, it can change it drastically.
When choosing color, never choose the color at the store. Lighting
is different than in the actual space it will be. Natural and man-made
light affect how a color looks. Colors will also change in the evening
opposed to the morning or midday. I like to take a large piece of
poster board, paint the board the color I am contemplating and place
it in various parts of the room I will be using it in. This will
tell me if I like it or not. Live with the color choice at least
three days before you decide on a particular color.
Calming colors are in nature, so observe the outdoors for colors
that soothe and have a calming affect. Did you know that green is
the most varied color of the palette? There are more shades of green
than any other color. So be careful when choosing a particular shade
of green. When using various shades of any color, make sure they
do not conflict with each other. Remember to live with all color
choices in fabric, flooring, paint colors and paint stains for at
least three days before making your choice.
Also, try to repeat a color in different rooms in your home by changing
the color’s shade or tint. The shade of green is deep green
(adding black) and the tint of green is light green (by adding white).
This is the formula used when mixing colors from the color wheel.
The original color will be either a shade or a tint of that color.
A very useful tool, a color wheel, can be purchased at craft stores,
home improvement stores and art supply stores. This will give you
a little more insight into the palette of colors, their identities
and how they work in terms of their complements.
Additional reading on the language of color can be found through
many search engines on the Web. Books on the psychology of color
and how it affects our environment are also useful tools in understanding
how color affects our everyday lives.
Start a file with photographs from magazines that appeal to you.
Categorize them by room, color or style. This will tell you which
choices you like and dislike. Do not be afraid to critique a photograph
from a magazine. You may find the perfect room or a room you definitely
do not want in your home. The process of elimination is a great
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles
written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many
questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as
well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business.
If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please
send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential
and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty
member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured
in numerous books and publications.