An open-and-shut case for dressing doors differently

November 09, 2009|By ROSE BENNETT GILBERT / Creators Syndicate

Q: Our sun porch has six windows plus a French door that leads out to the patio. My furniture is mostly traditional, so I'm thinking of using pleated draperies on the windows. But what should I do with the door? It opens into the room, so more drapes won't work.

A: Full-length draperies - no, since they'd get tangled whenever your doors are opened. But never mind: Consistency is also the hobgoblin of designing minds. It's OK to handle doors and windows differently as long as you create some continuity in their dress.

Look at this smart solution for a situation much like yours. This room is also blessed with many windows, plus a French door opening to the garden. To play up the importance of the windows, designers Susan Curtis and Aparna Vijayan installed floral draperies on wooden rods mounted as high as possible above the actual window frames. Then they installed dark-stained bamboo blinds inside the windows for more privacy and light-control.


The combo is as pretty and traditional as it is practical for the windows in this sunny sitting room. But the glass-paned door obviously required another solution - in this case, a short valance made to match the draperies. Gathered on a curtain rod mounted on the door frame, it goes right along when the door's opened and closed.

For more simple solutions to many varieties of, ahem, window panes, look up the helpful and colorful book from which we borrowed this photo: "Can't Fail Window Treatments," by Nancee Brown and photography by Melabee M. Miller (Creative Homeowner, publisher).

Q: Furniture for the Cure - a good idea gone wrong?

A: Furniture for the Cure started off on the right note: It was founded by award-winning furniture designer Glenn Midnet, owner and CEO of Design West Group, to honor his mother Alyce, who died of breast cancer when he was a boy.

But as it was introduced at the High Point Furniture Market last month, the first piece in the Furniture for the Cure Collection quickly struck an off-note with the press.

The back of the "Alyce Chair" incorporates the Cure's signature pink awareness ribbon, a distinctive loop cut from plantation mahogany upholstered in pink Dupioni silk (or platinum and peal metallic fabric, or any fabric specified by the customer).

Several home fashions editors covering the Market raised, first, a collective eyebrow, then their voices, complaining, "Pink is not cute." "I'm a cancer survivor, and I don't want to be reminded of it at my dining room table!"

Midnet is said to be distressed, understandably. His Furniture for the Cure organization and The Platt Collection plan to give 10 percent of the chairs sales proceeds to cancer research.

"Better to give the money directly," suggested one editor, uneasy with the nature of the fund-raiser. "Taking advantage of the disease," she sniffed.

So, which do you think? A humanitarian cause or suspect capitalism? We'd all be interested in the opinion of the home decorator. Let us hear at

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Hampton Style" and associate editor of Country Decorating Ideas.

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