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New Year, New Look: Tall, Soft and Simple


So the new year is here. The Christmas decorations are put away. The house needs a new look, but you don't know how.

The sunroom / dining room has a beautiful view of the gardens and woods through a large bank of windows. But it is noisy, hot in summer and cold in winter. Where to start? With the bare glass windows.

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This hot, bare glass room calls for something on the windows.

First, to control the hot sun, shades are a great choice. They can retract up and out of the way when you want a completely open look and then drop down before the sun heats up the room.

Designer roll shades, Allure transitional shades or Duette Architella cellular shades could be good for the under layer.

Next, to handle the noise and add some softness and height to the bank of windows, add tall panels and high mount. At each break of the windows add more panels, covering wall space to unify.

Wide, decorative drapery hardware will also unify wide windows by pulling the eye to the full, dramatic width and balance out the height. Drapery panels look best if they can be positioned off the floor for a clean aesthetic. This length will also help with low maintenance and will be easier to open and close if moveable drapery is preferred.

Tie the colors / textures of the window treatments into existing furniture if you are keeping it. Or ditch the old furniture if you don't like it and replace. Start with the window treatments first, since this is the bigger issue, and then find furniture and accessories to coordinate. Work with a window treatment specialist for the best results. Many headaches can be avoided by working with professionals at the start.

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Sunroom windows that were formerly hot and cold are tamed by designer roller shades and complemented by softening, tall side panels and decorative hardware.

Then there's the master bedroom. It has tall ceilings, but feels unfinished. The transom windows have some old faux wood blinds, but they are heavy to lift and dusty. The room fells noisy and cold. The furniture is nice, but the space still doesn't feel finished.

This is a classic window treatment story. The space is so close, but the windows have been forgotten. Simple solution is to take down the old blinds. Add some roman shades to enhance softness and light control. If room darkening is not a problem, then install below the transoms and use a light filtering lining. If room darkening is an issue, then go above the transom with an opaque lining.

Then, to add a layer of height and softness and color over this, add tall panels above the top of the transom. The panels could add color (see the soft pink in the photo) or texture to the space. Since the master bedroom is separate from the rest of the home, the color choice here can be different. The key is soft and pretty. Then dot some of the window treatment colors into the room accessories. And voila, a beautiful, finished master.

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Above, master bedroom windows are treated with embroidered, light filtering roman shades below the transom, allowing for soft privacy. Soft petal panels mounted wider and higher than the windows expand the pretty elegance of the bedroom and finish the look.

Winter is a good time to redecorate before the hecticness of summer is here again. So enjoy this time to create a new look for your space.

Quigley Draperies, at 860 W. Broadway Ave. in downtown Roosevelt Park, features their own custom work room and installation, as well as experienced, trusted design assistance. Quigley's is celebrating 91 years of helping homeowners decorate their windows and are looking forward to 91 more. Call (231) 755-3248 or visit

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The new year is here. The decorations are put away. The house needs a new look. Noisy and hot in summer and cold in winter? Carol Beatty of Quigley Draperies shows you options here.

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