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Window coverings can make seasonal changes, too

Now that we have awakend from winter’s short, dark days there’s a powerful impulse to let air and sunshine stream into the home. And that means it may be time to change the window coverings. This year, however, many homeowners and tenants alike might assume they can’t afford such a makeover. That would be unfortunate because sunny days do carry a potential psychological charge we could all use.

So let’s see what’s possible, keeping in mind that less is best for window coverings in the warmer, sunnier seasons.

Q: A set of bay windows offers a beautiful view from my bedroom, but I like to keep the room darkened in the early morning. The drapes I currently have in place do block the sunlight. But they’re mainly decorative, and they give the room too somber a look. Is there a way to create a softer, fresher effect while still securely covering the large center window and the smaller windows on each of its sides?

A: Think simple. The shade is surely the most straightforward type of window covering and often the most sensible choice as well. But most shades are boring to look at and wouldn’t take your setting in the direction you want it to go. Some models are quite decorative, however, and it’s these you should consider. For example, take a look at the shade in the photo that has been installed on a bay-window array similar to your own.

This particular shade system, available from Hunter Douglas, permits easy and effective light control while adding an attractive touch to the room. Shop around for shades on today’s market, and I guarantee you will find the degree of opacity, the lifting mechanism and the decorative effect you prefer. I can’t guarantee that the price will be right for you, but some options may prove surprisingly affordable.

Plus, you won’t necessarily need to mothball the draperies you’ve got now. Notice how in this graceful treatment the draperies are hung to frame the bay windows, providing a welcome contrast to the shades in both texture and styling. The swagged fabric on top of the windows acts as a unifying element for this serene and functional design.

Rita St. Clair is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services Inc. E-mail general interior design questions to her at rsca@ritastclair.com.

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