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For the most part, people want curtains for privacy and to control the light in a room. The main choices are blinds, shades, shutters and drapes.

Hawaiian living involves blazing sun most days so totally getting rid of window treatments may not be an option. But, if you find yourself in a wooded, shady location with no neighbors close by, why not forego draperies or blinds altogether and let the outdoors in? In this situation you may consider tinting the windows a bit just to minimize any damaging rays on furniture or floors.

If you love the bare look at your windows but still need some privacy,the industry has that covered. Cellular shades are energy efficient and come in many colors and fabrics to match all decors. They can be opened from the top or the bottom depending on what you wish to see or not see, for that matter!

Roman shades are usually made of fabric and fold up accordion-style, however, when totally opened they tend to take up a decent amount of space at the top of the window. Wooden or vinyl slatted blinds are perfect for allowing the amount of light you desire. You may pull these up the whole way but most people just open the slats. Plantation shutters fall into this category as well, but they are custom made and can be quite pricey. But that one time purchase may be well worth it as they can increase the value of your home.

Matchstick rollup blinds seem to be all the rage but remember when the evening comes you can see right through them, so keep that in mind.

With so many hard surfaces in our homes you may notice the acoustics are not quite right. That’s where fabric comes in. Add a carpet over the tile or hardwood floors to cut down on the noise. And, of course, add fabric to the windows. If you love your existing shades or shutters, just hang stationary draperies on either side to add softness to the room. Hanging draperies higher and wider than your window will instantly make your room appear larger and the ceilings taller. Even the windows themselves will look bigger if you cover the frame with curtains on the outside.

How long you make them is another drapery consideration. Window coverings that fall just to the sill is more of a casual look and may be the best option if you have pets. Most draperies skim the floor. One quarter inch off the floor is perfect so dust doesn’t collect.

What color and pattern to choose is where it gets tricky. Ah, the tyranny of choice! It’s like when you go to a buffet where there are so many choices, you can’t choose! If your look is more traditional, formal draperies may be your best bet. They tend to be made of more luxurious fabrics, like silk, velvet, linen and even cashmere. The look is stunning and as you can imagine much more expensive than your everyday curtains but gorgeous, custom draperies take the whole atmosphere of your home up to a whole other level! Again, this would probably be a one time purchase worth considering.

Most of us opt for ready made curtains mainly for ease of purchase, cost and the multitude of choices. You can add your “pop of color” at the windows. Bold shapes and patterns in bright colors used to adorn windows in the 1940’s and 50’s and I, personally, am happy to say, “they’re back!” Bark cloth is a great choice to add some casual fun to any room. This says Hawaiian living at it’s best, so embrace it!

Don’t be afraid to try a small pattern even if you have other patterns about your room. Just make sure some patterns are small while others can be large in nature Just make a central color the common denominator.

If none of these sound like you, curtains come in more neutral colors that will give a welcomed, calming effect and who doesn’t need that in these crazy times?!

Whatever you choose, make it a reflection of your personal style and don’t be afraid to try something new!

Okinawan cuisine? I had only sampled their version of doughnuts, andagi. Upon recommendation, I went to dine at Izakaya Naru on South King Street. Immediately I was happily transported to another country. The tiny pub was as welcoming as the wait staff.

The menu had so many tantalizing options and it is my understanding that the specials change nightly.

I particularly enjoyed the Lotus root with natto. The next dish I tried turned out to be my favorite, stir fried bitter melon with tofu. It was simply delicious!

I also ordered the stone roasted beef tongue in their special sauce. I finished my meal with choysum with white miso. That, too, was amazing! All in all, I feel my love affair with this little gem has just begun.

Another plus? It is open until 2 am most nights, a welcome treat after a long day.
Reservations most definitely recommended. Maybe I will see you there!


July 1st Moiliili Summer Fest… Moiliili Hongwanji MIssion 5 – 10 pm
July 4th Freedom Run for the Epilepsy Foundation… Kailua High School 7 am
July 4th Da Hui Independence Day Paddle Board Race… Turtle Bay Resort 9:45 am
July 4th Kailua Parade… from Kailua Drive to Kailua Intermediate School 10 am
July 4th Kailua Air Show and Fireworks… Kailua Beach Park 6 pm
July 4th Independence Day Celebration… Ala Moana Beach Park 8:30 pm
July 7-16th Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music”… Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall
July 15-16th Prince Lot Hula Festival… Moanalua Gardens 9 am – 5 pm
July 16th Annual Ukulele Festival… Kapiolani Park 10:30 am – 5 pm
July 15-17th Haleiwa Arts Festival… Haleiwa Beach Park 10 am – 6 pm
July 20-22nd Queen Lili”uokalani Keika Hula Competition… Neal Blaisdell 6-10 pm

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff