1. MINIMAL IS IN
Strip away heavy window coverings and replace with simple shades. One path to less fabric is using an upholstered cornice, says Sue Pelley, national spokesperson for Interiors by Decorating Den, or a flap valance like the Ace three-piece set from Swags Galore.
2. LIGHTEN UP
Natural light in the kitchen is essential. "Pleated shades offer a privacy treatment and still allow plenty of light," says Pelley.
Just one example of an attractive pleated shade is the Smith + Noble version, available in tones ranging from White to Sky Blue, in subtle stripes and a tropical-looking pattern. It even comes in versions suitable for skylights or arched windows.
3. PICK CURRENT COLORS
If you're using fabric, make sure it's in a contemporary tone.
"The terra cotta shades are very 'in' mixed with greens, blacks and golds," says Pelley. "You can also mix cotton fabric prints, either within a treatment or coordinating a print in the valance or cornice with another print on the cushion seats or place mats."
If your kitchen is particularly tiny, then light, cool colors can make it look larger and brighter, while dark, warm colors can make an oversized kitchen more inviting.
4. TRY SOME TEXTURE
Another hot trend is Roman shades made of rattan, bamboo or other natural fibers, says Pelley: "They add visual interest with their texture, but still roll up smoothly like the Roman shades of old."
5. SOFTEN DIRECT LIGHT
Too much direct sunlight is also an issue in kitchens, says Pelley, since it makes it hot and unpleasant to work in. Simple wood blinds or woven wood shades, like the Provenance sold by Hunter Douglas, will filter the light without looking too heavy.
6. CONSIDER SOME CURVES
"There are typically lots of straight lines in the kitchen — the cabinets, the appliances, the counters —everything is straight or square," says Pelley. "It's a good idea to add a window treatment with soft curves to open the space up, especially in a small kitchen."
Arching a valance is a good option, particularly over the sink. Other options include a curved cornice, a box-pleated valance with a curved line along the bottom or a London Shade from Smith + Noble that is nearly flat at the top but falls from inverted pleats to gentle swags along the bottom, with wings at either side.
Interiors by Decorating Den, www.decoratingden.com
Hunter Douglas, www.hunterdouglas.com
Smith + Noble, www.smithandnoble.com
Swags Galore, www.swagsgalore.com
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-Steve and Sandra
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