Draperies have a softer lookHeavy drapes are...


Draperies have a softer look

Heavy drapes are out, and the light and airy look is in, says Lori Novack of Step by Step Interiors in Annapolis. Add to this the burgeoning number of window treatments available, and consumers can get confused by all the options. Ms. Novack and Jo Anne Lash, owners of Step by Step Interiors, a custom decorating firm, offer a few suggestions for those who want to update their windows' look.

Some of the more popular treatments their clients have been asking for, say the duo, are swag and cascade variations, valances and balloons.

* Valances are an inexpensive option made from colorful fabrics. Hung at the top of the window, they may be used alone or with draperies to hide hardware and cords or with vertical blinds and pleated shades.

* Swags are made from draped material above a window. For a formal look, fabric is usually board-mounted with cascades descending on either side. A contemporary look is achieved by wrapping the fabric around a rod or pole in swag-like effect. A soft swag treatment is mounted with holders on both sides of the window with cascades.

* A cascade, usually used with a formal swag, is a fall of fabric that descends in a zigzag line from a drapery or top treatment. A jabot is a shorter version of the cascade and is found between swags that meet.

* The balloon has three or more "poufs" across the window that can be either stationary or movable horizontally.

Treatments on their way out are country-style curtains, pinch-pleat drapes and cafe and ruffled curtains. An alternative to the traditional bridal gift registry is being offered by Federal Hill Interiors.

Designers Robert Hale and Tom Williams established the Wedding Interior Design and Gift Registry Program to help brides in planning, designing and accessorizing their new homes. They can help coordinate other gifts received at the wedding, such as linens and dinnerware, into a design scheme appropriate for the couple.

The program offers gift certificates for interior design consultation, decorative accessories, window treatments, sofas, chairs, bedspreads and more.

D8 Brides who wish to register may call (410) 837-9000.


Custom furniture

Baltimorean Thomas K. Seiler makes distinctive furniture for people in search of something just a little different from mass market products. His approach to furniture making is very similar to what he uses in his chosen field, architecture. He works with the client, sets an agenda and pulls it all together to accomplish the client's and his vision.

Mr. Seiler uses combinations such as aluminum, mahogany, black walnut and veneers to create custom furniture.

The piece -- whether it be a dining room table, bench, chair, entry hall table or coffee table -- can be used to complement an accent wall, fit into a specific space or just stand on its own. His work, ranging in price from $350 to $4,300, is done strictly by special order and so far is not available for sale in stores. Call (410) 367-4116 for more information.


Jill L. Kubatko If you're a traveler who can spot the words "antique show" on a sign half a mile away -- but who almost always finds it was the day before, or has just closed, there's a new service just for you. It's a 900 phone number called the Antique Show Hotline that features coast-to-coast information on the dates and locations of major antique shows and flea markets. A call to the hot line, (900) 903-SHOW, will produce a week or two of listings, giving city, date, location of the event, whom to contact for more information, a phone number and, if possible, how many dealers will attend. Listings are updated weekly.

The service is the invention of Lou Zimet, a New York antique enthusiast. Callers can select from four geographic areas -- Northeast, Southeast, Central and West. Each area is further split into two parts: For instance, in the Southeast region, Florida is one part; Maryland and all other states in the area are the second part. Calls can be made from rotary or touch-tone phones and cost $1.49 per minute. Ms. Zimet says the average call is 3 to 4 minutes.

For more information, write Antique Show Hotline, P.O. Box 264, Montrose N.Y. 10548-0264.


Karol V. Menzie

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