road in the summer

Three Drapes in One

A friend is posting an online countdown to spring with accompanying pictures of flowers, or fields of green, or sunshine. It’s just about the most inspiring thing I’ve seen online yet. I get a warm fuzzy feeling every morning when I anticipate standing in the sun, actually looking at all that green. I can’t wait. I know I should have lived in the tropics.

Just exactly what does this have to do with design dilemmas? Well, it makes me think that spring is close. And just the other day I was talking to a gal about having summer and winter drapes. Like in the olden days. She thought it was a good idea.

But the reality is that most of us don’t have the luxury of two sets of drapes. We don’t have the downstairs maids to take drapes down, clean them, fold them correctly, store them and deinstall/install  again in six months.

I like the idea of heavy drapes in winter; it makes the room warmer. Actually warmer, and implied warmer. They cocoon the room. I like the idea of lighter drapes in the summer; they billow slightly in the breeze and filter the light just enough. And there is the privacy issue.

So, I have a solution. My living room balcony doors are pitiful — the condo is older and the doors need to be replaced. I’ll get there, but now the doors are just like two big holes in the wall and I need heavy drapes to keep heat in. So I have drapes with flannel lining. Which allows light to filter through but also provides good heat-loss protection. And I have an insulating layer that attaches to the back of these drapes which doubles the insulation value of the whole treatment. On a separate rod I have a semi-sheer drape that hangs between the drapes and the window.

In the spring I remove the insulating layer. The drapes still stay closed mostly, but the light transfers through and the room feels lighter. In the summer I move the drapes off the windows so they hang like side panels, and leave the semi-sheers closed most of the time. They provide privacy but allow the light (and not the heat) to filter through. This might be a solution for you.

Next week I’m off to Vancouver for an intensive colour course with the True Color Expert, Maria Killam. I’m just excited as heck; I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and I’m looking forward to sharing my new knowledge with you.

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