Dining Room Decorating Ideas

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Some dining room decorating ideas are good other are great learn how to decorate dining room windows. Always consider the window, the style of the room, and the view when choosing a window treatment. Most decorators agree, no treatment is the best treatment of all. If you don’t need to cover your windows for privacy, but want to soften this area of the room, swags or valances might be perfect. Other options range from simple blinds, shutters or shades to full drapery treatments.

What’s the difference between curtains and draperies? Curtains are usually less formal than draperies. Curtains hang from poles or simple curtain rods. Draperies are usually made of heavier fabric and hang from poles and brackets or tracks, and are pulled back, or opened and closed by a rod or pull-cord system. Keep in mind that ready-made draperies are much less expensive than custom-made treatments. Therefore, if you have standard-size windows, you might want to con-sider a plain treatment such as sheer white panels, which are sure to look good. You can always go back and customize later. Without getting too carried away with every type of fabric treatment available, consider the following options for the dining room.

A fabric treatment is the most popular way to surround a window with color, soften a room and turn an ugly duckling into a swan. The right treatment can make windows taller, smaller, wider, less obtrusive or grander than they are. Window treatments can be made from many different fabrics. The fabric you choose for your window treatments can set the mood for the room. If you have windows of different sizes or styles in the room, treating them all the same way will bring everything into harmony.

Floor-to-ceiling draperies
Good for tall windows or a large expanse of window area. These draperies should be lined as sunlight will fade colors in a fabric fairly quickly.

Swags and jabots
The fabric drapes across the top of the window frame and down each side in soft folds. This is a nice way to frame a window with a pretty view and a good use of a printed fabric where you want a touch of color or pattern. The fabric might match the wallpaper or seat cushions, creating an accent around the windows.

Cafe curtains
A valance and half curtains to the sill are often found in country dining rooms. This type of treatment evokes a casual, informal feeling.

Curtains made to cover the entire expanse of window when closed can be pulled back gracefully with a tieback and hooked to the window frame. A tieback can be made from the same fabric as the curtain or a contrasting fabric. It can also be a silk cord or wide ribbon. If you use sheer panels, for example, you can tie them back with fabric used elsewhere in the room or with a solid-color fabric to match the walls.

Fabric Shades
A more tailored approach might be a no-frills fabric shade. One style that I particularly like is the Roman shade, especially made of natural linen. A balloon shade is another option that is quite popular. It is made with cording running through vertical lengths of ring tape that raises and lowers the shade, which usually just covers the window area. The Roman shade rises in tailored, flat pleats, while the balloon shade is more billowy and rises in scalloped poufs. These types of shades are offered in standard sizes and limited but tasteful fabrics through mail-order catalogs. This is an excellent way to have a custom look without the expense. Of course, any of the above can be made to order from your selected fabric through fabric shops and showrooms with decorating/workroom services.

We often see shuttered windows on older homes. This is because the casement around the window is deep enough to accommodate the space needed to hold the shutters when opened. Shutters can be solid or louvered. You have the option of covering the lower portion of the window for privacy and adding a valance over the top portion of the window for softening. Or, you can have two sets of shutters or full shutters that fit over the entire window, depending on its size. For nonstandard windows, the shutters would have to be custom-made and costly. Standard-size shutters are available through mail-order catalogs and home centers.

Blinds are made of wood, metal, vinyl or stiff fabric. When miniblinds were first introduced, they were extremely popular. They are still a good solution when you want privacy, light control and minimal coverage.

Wooden blinds are currently in vogue. These are not like the old Venetian blinds your grandmother had in her house. These are sleek and sophisticated and come in decorator colors (although white, beige and natural wood tones are still the best-looking), as well as different widths from mini to 2 inches. You also have your choice of different colors for the tape that runs down the front of each side if you want contrast. Go with the same color as your walls for blinds and tape.

Vertical blinds look like they belong in an office. However, like horizontal blinds, these come in a full range of finishes and textures. They offer the ultimate in light and privacy control.

Pleated fabric shades offer another option for the dining room. Introduced to this country from the Netherlands in the 1970s, they are quite popular for a crisp, carefree, stylish look. A 6-foot fabric shade stacks to under 3 inches, making it a practical treatment where you want to allow for maximum light. The permanent pleats come in 1- and 1 5/8-inch widths.

This type of shade is a can’t-go-wrong solution to covering windows with a streamlined, good-looking treatment. In fact, when you first move in, measure every window in the house, take these measurements to a home center and order them for all the rooms. In this way your home will have a unified look on the outside and even if you decide to add valances, curtains, drapes or other treatments, this will not be money wasted. It’s a good beginning or an end. At a later date you have the option of adding a valance or drapery treatment. If you’re moving into a house, not an apartment, the outside of your house will look better if every window is treated the same.


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