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Window treatments can be overlooked, but they can often set the mood in a space.

Fussy, traditional draperies (far left) have given way to design elements such as a cornice board with streamers and bracelet accents.

By SUE DOERFLER Gannett News Service

Ah, the lowly window. It's all too often the last element we think about when we decorate a room.

Perhaps it's because we're too busy trying to decide wall color or we've spent all our extra cash on a new sofa.

Shelly Castleberry of Padden Interiors

Today, window-shade choices go far beyond the basic vinyl roller shade and into a whole world of existing fashion choices. But before you decide which shade will grace your window, it is important to analyze your needs and understand your options.

There's not much to like about a doctor's office. It's a place too often associated with pain, embarrassment and the secret dread that a lump, rash or shortness of breath may be cause for serious concern.

But what if the waiting room were more like a living room, with comfortable chairs, warm lighting and attractive paintings? What if the examination rooms were fitted with wood cabinetry instead of stainless steel? If the walls were painted with flowering vines, not hung with lurid renderings of vital organs?

An often-used room, the kitchen is a gathering spot for friends who come to dinner. A lounge chair, next to a case filled with cookbooks, is a cheery reading nook for hungry visitors waiting for the suppers the couple enjoy cooking. "I like to take older things and mix them with the modern," said Barb Hembree, leading the way out of the kitchen to the living room at the front of the house.

In defiance of the UB apartments mandate that prohibits painting, Hodges has managed to break up the creamy beige colored walls with ornate draperies

draperiesI've heard it hundreds of times, "I just can't believe how window treatments finish the room!" When a window fashion is designed specifically for you, all the elements in the room magically come together. To achieve this decorating nirvana, you should consider working with a professionally trained expert in window fashions.

The rush is already on to spiff up homes, so pull out the checkbook and get those projects started.

By Jake Klein, Special to The Times August 31, 2006

LABOR DAY may still lie ahead, but for anyone hoping to spruce up the home before Thanksgiving, the calendar is screaming something else entirely: Get moving.

In the photo we show here, there's a comfortable blend of the rustic - in the stone fireplace - and the traditional - especially the windows with their almost mission-style wooden framing. The furnishings are an easygoing blend of the casual - like the wicker on the seating pieces - and the traditional - like the classic mantel, wooden cocktail table and gathered, full-length draperies.

The amalgamation creates an atmosphere you could call "rustic on good behavior," naturally warm and inviting but not downright casual.

BY MOLLY MILLETT
Pioneer Press

SMITH+NOBLE
This natural woven flat shade from smith+noble illustrates the organic, minimal, earthly trend in window treatments.

NATURAL LOOK

For fall, trends in window treatments range from natural, woven materials to purple hues to panel track shades.

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