It's spring -- time to pull down the heavy draperies and let the sun shine in.
For an airy curtain that won't block the light, try sewing together lacy women's handkerchiefs, as shown in the March issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The dainty handkerchiefs are available cheap at just about every flea market and antiques shop; some are quite charming.
Starch and press the barely there white curtain for a crisp look. Or, for a more bohemian look, sew together patterned handkerchiefs that all share a color and leave the curtain rumpled.
Elsewhere in BH&G, a South Carolina homeowner rearranged her furniture to suggest a foyer in a wide-open living room that had none. She placed a rectangular drop-leaf table in the middle of the room about eight feet from the front door. To the left of the table is the living room, delineated with one large area rug. To the right of the table is a matching runner that visually leads the way to the rest of the house.
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Meanwhile, a Virginia homeowner copes with a small dining room by covering one wall with mirrors. Positioning one end of the dining table flush against that wall makes the table look twice as long -- and the room twice as big. To add to the illusion, she has centered an ornate sconce on the mirrored panel directly above the table. With the help of the reflection, the sconce looks like a full-blown chandelier.
TAKING A SHINE TO SHRINES
Is too much negativity swirling around your home? Then check out the March/April issue of Hallmark magazine, which has an interesting article about home shrines.
The author and her new husband were looking for a positive counterbalance to ex-spouses, financial problems and blended-family stress. So they rigged up a corrugated-steel awning and floodlights next to the front door and gradually filled the home altar with items meaningful to individuals and the new family as a whole.
Among the treasures that took up residence in the shrine: a gargoyle, Celtic cross, a ribbon of Chinese coins, Tibetan prayer flags, children's art projects, a pink Mexican ceramic bunny, a Darth Vader sprinkler head, sparkly marbles from the tables at their wedding reception, a statue of St. Francis and several concrete Buddha heads.
Although I wouldn't want to be the neighbor who has to see this assemblage while standing at the sink washing dishes, it's a neat idea.
In the hustle and bustle of today's world, it is easy to give family matters short shrift. A shrine of some kind, indoors or out, is a daily reminder to put family first and nurture those relationships.