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 By David Ferguson

The second step is to "frame" the window by installing attractive side drapes made from a fabric that works with the view outside and drapery hardware that complements the wood furniture.

Placed under the window, the sofa can be upholstered in a fabric similar to the draperies to draw even more attention to that area of the room.

 By Cheryll Gillespie

Speaking of boundaries, screens and wall to wall drapery can work wonders in a small space to section off specific areas: hide a kitchen, a bed or a wall of cabinetry or home office. To make this drapery work, attach drapery rods to the ceiling and allow the drapery to fall to the floor.

By ELIZABETH BETTENDORF

Window treatments are also a challenge when designing a family living area.

Couture says to choose ones "that roll up high like Roman shades" to keep them safe from kids and pets.

Long thinks it's important to factor in whether the room will be used for a lot of TV watching.

"You need to think about light control. A light sheer window treatment, for example may not work for TV viewing," he says.

Floor coverings should be neutral colors also. Dark green tile throughout most of the house might seem chic today but not so much in a few years. Wood floors are always in vogue, so that choice is safe. Wall-to-wall carpet is always welcome; here again, select a color that is neutral.

 By Katie Brisichella

Interior design is experiencing a surge of optimism, regardless of the woes in real estate. Color trends are bursting with life, excitement and sophistication.

In 2007, there is a "new elegance" found in soft window treatment designs. You will see designing with a touch of elegance and gorgeous glamour, but kept on a modest scale. Most of us want to live, feel and experience the good things of life, including beauty and loveliness on a daily, personal basis.

Perhaps you have noticed areas in your home where your furniture, flooring, artwork or even your window coverings are fading. Try lifting an area rug or turning over some throw pillows and there is a good chance that that you have already been subjected to sun damage. UV (ultraviolet) rays are the leading cause of fading. The second biggest contributor is heat. By reducing both of these properties in a building we are able to preserve its contents.

Some tips and trends for choosing the right drapery, shade or valance

Fall often is the time when people realize their window treatments could use a fashion makeover. Daylight hours grow shorter. Temperatures, cooler. Cocooning sets in. Warmth and privacy become priorities.

But choosing the right window treatment is not always an open-and-shut case.

You can make the room feel better proportioned by changing the emphasis from the fireplace wall at the end, to the window in the middle of the room.

This can be accomplished with just a few steps and the first is to paint all the walls, including the fireplace, in a single colour.

This may mean replacing the wood panelling with drywall if you choose, or painting the wood and brick with an appropriate paint.

Black and white, the yin and yang of the design world, is a cornerstone of classic home decor.

The versatile palette transforms easily from warm to opulent to modern to peaceful, which is why the combination has been used for centuries.

"It has been a staple in our lives since the beginning of time," said Elizabeth Rosensteel, owner and lead designer of Elizabeth Rosensteel Designs in Phoenix.

The contemporary home easily incorporates these colors with its sleek, modern and clean feel.

 drapery

The red kilim pillow clashes with the subdued color scheme and the texture is not a good match.

We photographed this sophisticated, French-inspired living room at the Ethan Allen in Woodbury, then added one clunker. Have you found it?

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