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DECOR SCORE- Arch Advice: It's Curtains For You and the Family PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert Creative Syndicate   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:07


Straight answer for curved windows: Hang curtains high and stack them back in the corners.

Q: We are charmed by our "new" home — it's Georgian- Revival, built in l920-something. But we are a little flummoxed by its traditional architecture, especially the arch-topped windows on the sun porch. There are four of them — beautiful but we live on a busy street and need some kind of curtain or other covering. How should we deal with the arches?

A: More easily than you might think. Many window hardware manufacturers offer curved curtain rods; you can also order rods custom- made to exactly fit your particular arch.

There's also the design school of thought that curtains lower the window and leaves the top arches bare — letting in the light but not the eyes of passersby.

You could also opt for the attractive solution used by designer Phoebe Howard - aka "Mrs. Howard"— author of an excellent new book, " The Joy of Decorating," (from which we borrowed this photo). She simply ignored the arches, installing curtain rods high on the wall above them.

The curtains pile up in the corners by day, letting in the lovely light; by night, they pull completely over the windows, arches and all, to insure privacy for those who dwell within. Can't you imagine how this room would pique outsiders' curiosity, with its eccentric collection of accessories, including a twig chandelier and vintage stage light!

Q: Thinking of moving the old TV into the kids' room?

A: Logical thought with everyone happily trading up to flat screens. But think again about relocating your old — and heavy — set to a chest or dresser where the children might tip it over on themselves. The statistics are alarming: the number of injuries related to furniture tipping increased more than 40 percent between l990 and 2007.

The statistics have so alarmed the AHFA (the largest organization of furniture manufacturers, importers, and distributors in the U.S.) that they've revised their tip-over requirements for furniture. Announced at the Spring Furniture Market in High Point, compliant manufacturers are now required to include a "tip restraint" with each chest, door chest or dresser taller than 30 inches.

The restraints attach the furniture to interior walls, framing, or other support so the piece cannot tip over, even if more than one drawer is open at a time or children climb up on the drawers. The AHFA (findyourfurniture. com) also advises parents to:

• Put heaviest items in the lower drawers.

• Do not set TVs (or other heavy objects) on top of the furniture.

• Never allow children to climb or hang on drawers, doors or shelves.

• Never open more than one drawer at a time.

• Do not tamper with the drawer interlock systems.

Q: What's the brightest new idea in kitchen design?

We'd have to vote for Plain and Fancy custom cabinetry, teaming up with leading- edge kitchen hardware from Hafele. Together, they're offering big little ideas like kitchen drawers that light up when you open them (duh!) and cabinet doors that lift up and out of the way (shades of the iconic gull-wings on DeLoreon cars of the l970s). The combo of handcraftsmanship, for which 44-yearold Plain and Fancy Custom Cabinetry is celebrated and cutting- edge architectural and cabinet hardware — Hafele's claim to fame — promises to make home-life easier for persons with special needs and lots cooler for the rest of us! Have a look at www.plainfancycabinetry. com.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the coauthor of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:10