Dressing up the windows in a bright dining room

DESIGN

December 15, 1991|By RITA ST.CLAIR | RITA ST.CLAIR,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: My dining room features a pair of glassed French doors leading to a terrace. The space also contains a large bay window. What kind of treatment should I use for these openings? Privacy is a consideration, and I want to eliminate the annoying daytime glare.

A: As your question implies, you're among the majority that thinks all the glass areas in a room need to be treated in the same manner. In fact, however, identical coverings are usually not the best solution for a combination of windows and doors of varying size and style. It's often preferable to emphasize these -- differences through the use of soft treatments like curtains or draperies whose color and material are not the same in each case.

That was the approach taken in the dining room shown in the photo. Here, a large recessed window and a pair of French doors were given diverse treatments.

Glass doors that open into a room always present a decorating problem, since side curtains or over-door coverings must be applied in a way that allows the doors to function properly. This is not an easy trick to accomplish. And, quite often, the attempt results in an awkward design.

So, instead of relying on that sort of standard, but inappropriate, treatment, I recommend outfitting the doors with a sheer fabric, gathered and stretched on rods at the top and bottom of the glass openings. Besides ensuring privacy, that option can produce a simple and harmonious design, if the color of the fabric blends with the door frame.

At the same time, I would advise that the treatment for your bay window be done with a bit more flair.

Here's one possibility: Use the same sheer fabric to make a pair of curtains that will be hung from a traverse rod on the inside of the window frame. In that way, outside light can be allowed into the room whenever you desire, and glare will be greatly reduced when the curtains are drawn. A decorative top treatment would be a welcome addition, I think.

Note that in the photo the large window has been emphasized with both a valance and a wallpaper border. You'll see, too, that the same border, from Sunworthy Wallcoverings' Jessica Layne collection, has also been applied at chair-rail height along the adjoining wall.

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