LKNConnect’s Designing Doctor Margi Kyle answers a reader’s question about what to do about the interior design, color, and especially the windows in her new home.

Dear Dr. Margi,

I just bought a new house and have no idea what to do with the windows in this room. Some of the windows have plantation blinds but not all of them. I have not a clue where to start when it comes to windows.

Should I put color on the walls or windows? Can I leave them without any treatments? We really do not need privacy in this room. Our furniture is all black leather and would like to add some green to the area. I think that might pull in the green from outside in. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help. — Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

You are not alone.

Many people have problems decorating their windows. Window treatments are usually the last area of design that we address. When you treat a window before the furnishings are in place, you will always over decorate them. They are the first thing you see when you enter a room. Because they let in light, have a strong line and often a view. They can be the main focal point in the room if they are overdone.

Where to put color?

I would rather see it on a wall than in a window.  Color changes 4 times a day. In the early morning the light coming through their windows is warm. At noon the light coming into the room is cool, early evening it goes warm again. And then again when you turn on the artificial light!

Color on the windows? No.

When color is put in the window, it will change 4 times a day and spread around the room affecting all the other colors — creating an unsettling feeling in many rooms and adjoining areas.

Plantation shutters [left] or Side panels [right]

Window treatments are needed

I do feel most windows need some sort of treatment. Either functional for light control or privacy. Or to finish the room. If you need privacy, then continue with the plantation shutters.

You say you don’t so perhaps just an interesting valance or side panels — finishing and filling the room as well as softening the windows.

As for color and print — stripes will add height to the room. Or use a subtle print with another color in it for accent. I found this fabric from Greenhouse fabrics to bring in more green and work with the outside in.

Fabric 1

Let’s talk about fabric

When considering a fabric, don’t look at it lying flat, if it is going to be in a side panel. The roman shades will show the fabric best — both finishing the window and giving the option of being open and out of the way, or down and giving privacy. They are great insulation in the winter cold or the summer heat. In addition, they can be pulled up and out of the way. 

The first fabric will give you a big bang for your buck. It will stand out and be noticed. The second will blend into the walls if you are keeping them white. 

In general, a window treatment can either:

  • Carry a vertical or horizontal line
  • Deflect or defuse light
  • Advance or recede
Fabric 2

Test the fabric in your room

Always see if you can get a yard of the fabric in question. Bring it home and look at it in all the different lights. The same with paint, buy a small container of the color in question and paint it on a foam board. Move it around and see how it looks in all the different light.

Have fun with it and enjoy your new home. — Margi

Do you have a Design Dilemma? Building a new home or renovating an existing one? We’ve got an expert here at LKNConnect — Margi Kyle. A professional Interior Designer for over 45 years, Margi has an extensive portfolio, a brilliant vision for color and style, and a willingness to help the design-deprived among us! If you have a Design Dilemma, write Dr. Margi at or call 704-661-5223 to ask your question. Include pictures and details, and Dr. Margi will respond to your Design Dilemma with a perfect solution!

Margi Kyle – The Color Doctor

For over 45 years, Margi Kyle, “The Color Doctor”, has built an astounding portfolio from the ever-important ‘Designer’s perspective’. Never idle, this Professional Interior Designer has contributed to this industry as an Interior Designer, Television Host, Mentor, Keynote Speaker, Educator, and Writer. Margi has Taught Interior Design of over 45 years and is the executive director for We Make Color Easy, The Dewey Color System.  

Go to The Designing Doctor to purchase The Magnetic Room Planner or Margi’s color course and coordinator. 

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