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Carol Beatty, decorator and window treatment specialist at Quigley Draperies, offers solutions to some common design dilemmas.

Think Tall, Soft and Textured when Updating the Look of Your Windows


Updating your look? Think tall, soft and textured.

Question: What do I do to change out the tall, white vinyl vertical blinds on my sliding doors, windows, and tall transom windows above the others in the family room? I need my window coverings to help wth more insulation in the winter, and with sun and heat control in the summer. The trim is wood in a medium stain and the walls are light tan. I prefer neutral colors. The ceilings are tall. The room feels cold in winter and hot in summer!

Answer: A good solution could be Duette Architella shades in a textured pattern that looks like linen, to add warmth to the wood trim. The color could be not white, but a softer tone like desert sand.

The Architella is a cellular shade within a cellular shade design that will greatly assist with insulation. On a scale of one to five for insulation, Architella is rated four — four stars as compared to a vertical blind at one star.

The white color on the exterior will reflect heat back outside from the sun. By lower the shades about one hour before bright sun starts, heat gain will be reduced. The air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard to keep up.

The sliding doors could be a Vertiglide, pulling to one side. The windows could have a top down/bottom up LiteRise shade for more control.

The top, high transom windows could have PowerView shades. They could be controlled with a surface wall control. Or hooked up to an iPad or Alexa with a timer, to open and close even when you're not home.

This should soften the look of the room and get rid of the busy, noisy vinyl vertical look. The medium sand color will work better with the wood trim color and the neutral furnishings.

Muskegon, Muskegon County's online magazine

Above, a good illustration of design solutions mentioned in the first question in this article: sliding glass doors with Duette Architella shades; top down/bottom up shades on the windows; PowerView shades on the high transom windows. Photo by Hunter Douglas.

Question: What do I do to get a new look in my dining room/kitchen bay? I now have floral, poofy side panels on the outsides, tie backs, and gathered valence below the tall transom windows all around. I want to keep the ivory walls and wood floor. I don't have a problem with the sun, or privacy. I just need a new look! Oh, and I just ordered a new light fixture in bronze.

Answer: You have tall windows. Let's accent the height by bringing straight decorative panels all the way to the tops of the transom windows, not below them like your existing treatment. Also, add panels at the outside AND inside corners of the bay to add more softness.

Bring decorative rods in bronze all the way to the tops and across the full widths to add interest. Have the panels made with modern pleats and rings for easier maintenance.

As for fabric solution, consider a soft color in a casual, linen texture. For instance, a soft spa blue with an ivory, vertical leading edge, or ivory pattern decorative tape. Or, possibly, a medium geometric in an embroidery in blue, green and ivory. If you do use a pattern, keep the sample for at least a week to make sure you really like it!

Possibly consider finding an area rug for under the table in the colors of the window treatments to pull it all together and add needed softness. Table runners and dishes can also pull in the new look, and a new centerpieces would also look nice.

You will be amazed at the drama of bringing the focal point to the top of the beautiful bay windows. Your home will look refreshed and new!

Muskegon, Muskegon County's online magazine

Above, a good illustration of design solutions mentioned in the second question in this article: tall drapery panels go all the way to the top of the transom windows; decorative hardware in bronze spans the full width; color block fabric for visual interest. Photo by Carole Fabrics.

If you would like help with a professional window treatment design, specification, fabrication and installation, we would be happy to help. At Quigley Draperies we’ve been helping homeowners decorate for 89 years! Come in to our showroom or call for an appointment. We'll help make your windows beautiful and the process easy. We do all of the work, start to finish.

Muskegon, Muskegon County's online magazine

Above, Carol Beatty at the Muskegon Home + Garden Show March 9. If you missed her there, don't worry — Quigley Draperies, at 860 W. Broadway Ave. in downtown Roosevelt Park, features their own custom work room and installation, as well as design assistance from Carol.

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 89 years of helping homeowners decorate their windows. Call (231) 755-3248 or visit

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