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by Debbie Wiener

In Slobproof's Designing Dilemmas series of posts, Slobproof founder & award-winning interior designer, Deborah Wiener, answers design questions submitted by customers.  Submit your own Designing Dilemmas here and check back every month for more of Debbie's expert advice.

Window Wear

Dear Debbie,

We rent a second floor apartment with a large sliding glass door off of the kitchen onto a small deck. The door measures 77" high by 96" (97") across. The seal on the door has broken and the cold air leaks through. This was a home made addition to the house so the specs are unusual. Above the opening for the door (where you would hang a drape or vertical) is a bowed piece of wood (1" x 4") extending across the opening. I am totally lost as to what to do to make it look good as well as to be more energy efficient.

~ Laurie

Dear Laurie,

Sounds like you need something that can provide insulation and privacy with as low a profile as possible. That makes me think of a cellular shade that raises and lowers on the sliding door, as opposed to a vertical that opens and closes from the side. Cellular shades have small honeycomb cells that would trap cold air and provide you some relief during the winter. When not in use, the shade folds up like an accordion at the very top of the window, blocking very little light and taking up very little space at the top. It's not very deep either, so when you have the cellular shade down, covering the sliding door, it would project less than two inches out from the glass. You can check these shades out for yourself at or at showroom stores, like Next Day Blinds or Blinds to Go. Consult with a pro about whether you'll be able to mount such a shade on the wood trim over the window.

Accentuating Color

Dear Debbie,

I have a huge family room with a high ceiling that needs color. My husband is scared of too much color but I hate the bare look of it now. We have a big rich brown sectional and a rich brown Hunter Douglas blind in the one window leading out to the sun room. I am interested in neutrals or warm colors like Tyler Taupe HC-43 by Benjamin Moore but I am not sure, it might be too dark for the room with the dark furniture and blinds. What is a good wall color for the room and what color accent pieces should I have with the couch?

~ Christine

Dear Christine,

I always say that color goes hand in hand with lighting. You can't add strong wall color without good lighting to support it and keep it from making a large room dark and dull. If there's not a lot of natural light or if the room lighting is poor, then do keep the walls light. If your husband is scared of going beyond a warm neutral, then keep it simple and add color in other ways. Two great options with brown are pale blue and pumpkin/orange. If you paint the walls in a soft taupe, then add colorful accents to give the room life and depth.

Debbie Wiener
Debbie Wiener

Debbie Wiener is the owner, creator and principal designer of Slobproof. While she is NOT a slob, she married one! Then she had two boys, a dog and a bird and they became slobs and well...... instead of losing her sanity and screaming at her family, she decided to design a SLOBPROOF home. Talk is cheap, but emails are free! Got a question, concern or a designing dilemma in search of a designing solution? Email me at and I’ll do my best to email you back thoughtful answers that you can really use.

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