Home & Garden

Curtain Call

10.06.11 Garage Roller Door

Famed interior designer Tanya McQueen is teaming up with Cotton Candy to give you some gorgeous, unorthodox approaches to add window treatments to your home.  And if you thought McQueen’s work on ABC’s popular reality series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was dynamic, check out what she’s got under her sleeve.  These window treatment ideas will have you begging McQueen for a curtain call – pun intended.

Tanya McQueen:
I’m always looking for unique ways to stage my life, raise my kids and fluff my abode. This calls for an out-of-the-box approach. Actually, out-of -the -box is my battle cry. I don’t want to look like my neighbor, I want to be ME: happy to embrace change and looking for ways to make my life and space beautifully eclectic. One quick and easy way to change up you living space is to attack the “eyes to the soul” of your home – your windows.  Yes, there are blinds and curtains, roller shades and shutters, blah, blah, blah. Come on, you can do better. Here are just a few ideas that I love. After reading a few of these ideas, try creating a few of your own.

No. 1 Lattice
I’ve never been a true fan of lattice. Having grown up in the South, it’s sort of an abused material; a go to for fencing, skirting, gardens – seemingly everyone has a few sheets of it sticking up somewhere. But, if you take this ordinary material and paint it a sleek white or daring, shiny black, it takes on an air of architectural genius. Try cutting a sheet of lattice to perfectly fit inside your window. Using small nails, tack it to your inside window frame (of course painting nail heads so they blend).  Voilà. You now have a window that sets you apart and provides filtered light and adding a visual twist to your home – inside and out.

No. 2 Mother Nature
I happen to be very fortunate that I get to split my life between Los Angeles and Texas. Two homes, endless projects and cross culture blending. In Texas, people still garden to put food on the table, in Los Angeles, people garden to fulfill their need to be “organic.” I’ve seen this explosion the past few years – the new go-green-or-go-home approach to LA living. Well, if you’re going green, go green all the way. It’s so cool to bring the outside in. Stop looking out your windows at greener pastures, and put the green inside your windows. I love the idea of installing wooden or glass shelves in a window. Once installed, you have a perfect window garden. You can mix and match plants ‘til the cows come home. Make it all herbs, or try blooming varieties. You’ll love the feeling you get when surrounded by good ole’ Mother Nature.

(Click the photos below.)

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No. 3 The Country
The old saying, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”  Um, well, that’s true. I just love a twist of nature in every room. So much of my inspiration comes from nature. Textures, colors, shapes, all surround us every day. Whether on a city sidewalk or a rural dirt road, open your eyes and take it in. Literally take it in; take it right inside your front door. If covering a window with curtains, use something a little whimsical as a tieback. One of my favorites is antlers. Animals with horns naturally shed them, so essentially your recycling and being resourceful. Take each antler, and attach it to your window frame. You can then swing open the curtains and tuck them behind the antlers for a very unique and classy approach to framing your windows with curtains but still allowing for light.

No. 4 Artwork
I’m a huge advocate of the practice of installing art in the most unusual places.  Too often walk through life in a ho-hum, routine way. This uninspiring approach applies also to how we stage our home and our lives. If I handed someone a painting and instructed them to hang it, I would bet the bank, they’d walk over to the one open, white wall in the room and hang it.  But, let’s get wild and crazy.  Where else could you put that beautiful art? Try a window. I love the idea of slightly covering windows without completely covering them. I love natural light, I also love the way windows add architectural interest to a room, but I also understand not wanting to leave a window blank. Art is a natural way to accomplish all of the above and still creating a smart, classic home vibe. Try taking two pieces of artwork which can both be hung horizontally.  Hang them on the frame between two windows. You’ll love the way the art pops with the natural light that floods through the windows.

No. 5 A Garage Door
Now, I tried to resist sharing this last one, because it is quite bold and definitely requires a bit more resourcefulness, but I’m so in love with it, I’m challenging someone to try it. I have always wanted to take a glass garage roller door and replace a bank of windows with it. I love the idea of it having a dual purpose.  Window by day and an opening to the world by night. I just dream of opening my house to the outside. Sure you can open a window or swing open a door, but nothing seems as magical as rolling up an entire wall of windows to make the inside and outside one. I’ve been stashing pictures of this concept for some time. Now, I’m placing them under my husband’s pillow, in his sock drawer and taped on his rearview mirror.  I’m hoping he gets the hint.

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