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By Danielle Robinson
CTW Features
Contemporary bathroom design may often favor sliding shower doors to keep
water off the floor, but shower curtains certainly shouldn’t be swept under the bath-
mat. Inexpensive and versatile, a shower curtain is like a piece of art: a huge canvas
to showcase your personal tastes.
“[A shower curtain] is a great way to turn an otherwise drab bathroom into a great
bathroom,”says Neil Rasmus, president of NewYork City-based Izola Shower.“It really
does open up creativity, and people are a little more fearless about taking chances.”
Cheryl Clendenon, owner of Pensacola, Fla.-based In Detail Kitchen and Bath,
agrees.“When I design a bath, I always factor in the design of the shower curtain right
from the start,” she says. “The shower curtain is a huge feature of a bathroom and
should be considered as carefully as any other design decision.”
Although shower curtains often feature loud patterns, the newest trends are shift-
ing back toward simplicity,
Clendenon says. “The material
selection is more important than
overly fussy accents such as ruffles.
When looking for accent, it should
come in the form of tasteful passa-
menterie.” Her preferred forms of
passamenterie – a design term
referring to fabric trims and embel-
lishments – are a grommeted top
for a casual look or an inverse pleat
for more elegant designs.
Tucson,Az.-based interior design-
er Lori Carroll,owner of Lori Carroll
&Associates LLC,also recommends
a more understated look.“I typical-
ly use fabrics in neutral tones with
a lot of texture,” she says. If you
prefer a little adornment, keep it
tasteful with simple cording or a
pretty beaded trim.
Another way to effortlessly add style is to go for a layered approach, placing two
curtains on top of each other.“Use two fabrics to achieve a soft look,”Clendenon says.
If you can sew, try using the shower curtain you already own – just choose your sec-
ond fabric and attach the two by hand.
Of course, understated isn’t for everyone.To make a splash, look to the past for
inspiration.“Retro patterns and colors are popular now and perfect for shower cur-
tains, bringing a little pizzazz into the bathroom,”Carroll says.“My contemporary spin
on that trend would be using textured, multi-color circles or a ‘geo-deco’ pattern in
natural colors.”
For a trendy curtain that is sure to withstand the test of time, look for eco-friendly
designs, which incorporate fabrics made from natural fibers that haven’t been
exposed to harsh pesticides or dyes.“Manufacturers are also using recycled fiber and
even recycled plastic, milling it into fabric for environmentally sustainable alterna-
tives,” Carroll says. “These unique fabrics are perfect for shower curtains and the
choices are endless.”
The best way to end up with a shower curtain you love,however, is to go the extra
mile and seek out a custom curtain, Clendenon says.“I still have – and love – my cus-
tom shower curtain from seven years ago!” she says.
“Use a classic material and make it so that the accents can be swapped out when
you tire of it or redecorate.” If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you can save
money by making your own. If not, seek out a seamstress or hire a designer to help
you craft your perfect custom curtain.
© CTW Features
A D / S p o n s o R s h i p
The percentage of new and
expectant moms that will
likely change their purchas-
ing behavior to help protect the envi-
SOURCE: Peanut Labs
© CTW Features
Curtain Call
Take your bathroom to the
next level with the effortless
style and creative charm of
a shower curtain
Give your garden a wild side with expert tips to create a flourishing wildflower patch
Where the Wild Things Are
Image courtesy of In Detail Kitchen and Bath
Image courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond
By Robert Sharoff
CTW Features
Punxsutawney Phil may have seen
his shadow, but spring is still right
around the corner.This year, start early
and plant a wildflower garden – a beau-
tiful way to welcome the warmer
months ahead.Wildflower gardens have
become popular in recent years, but
they can be tricky, so start flexing those
green thumbs now.
“Wildflowers are harder than you
think,” says Michael Mushak, of Tuliptree
Site Design in Norwalk Conn. “People
think all you have to do is sprinkle the
seeds, but there’s a lot of planning and
preparation that goes into a wildflower
Here are Mushak’s four tips for getting
the most out of a wildflower garden:
1) Size Matters: The effect of a wild-
flower garden is cumulative. Too small
and it all just looks like a weed patch.“I
tend to think you need a minimum of a
thousand square feet for a wildflower
2) The Comfort Factor: Many people
like the idea of a wildflower garden with-
out quite understanding the reality.
“Before installing a complete new land-
scape, let the existing grass grow for a
year to see how comfortable you are
with the look of a natural environment.
The next year, if you decide to continue,
eliminate the existing grass and plant a
wildflower mix that is appropriate for
your climate and site.”
3) Stay Vigilant: Wildflowers require
less maintenance than traditional gardens
but still need constant scrutiny.“Invasive
plants like Mugwort can move in and
take over a wildflower meadow very
4) Nothing Lasts Forever: Wild does
not mean unplanned.“Wildflower mead-
ows require reseeding every few years to
recreate the original mix and look.”
© CTW Features
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February 11, 2010