ask decor8: Courtney Needs Your Help!

Courtney from Two Straight Lines has such a beautiful home, as I'm sure you'll agree. But, like any homeowner, she is having a bit of a design dilemma. Recently, she wrote in looking for some help from decor8 readers. Here's her issue:

"I am having an awful time with window treatments in my eat-in kitchen. It is on the west side of the house so it gets blasted in the afternoon with a terrible glare. I live in Michigan and the light here is glaring because it is often overcast."

She continues, "So here's the deal: I made little cafe curtains for the "cute French kitchen effect," but they really don't suit the purpose too well, because they block out half of the light all of the time, and don't do anything for the afternoon glare. I've considered bamboo shades, or possibly wide wood shades with a colored twill tape. My island is sort of charcoal, so I though it might be nice to make these charcoal, since most of this room is cream and khaki, with teal and red accents. I am a big fan of stripes, so maybe a pinstripey look in a bamboo shade would work. I also have considered the striped solar shades like these, from Smith and Noble, but worry that they may look to "officey", although we do have bronze colored ones in our home office and den. Solar shades are nice because they block the glare, but you can still see the yard, which is one this side of the house. I like the curtains over sink, but could layer a shade under them as well, but I would also be willing to lose them altogether. Here is a link to my flickr account with additional photos."

Okay Courtney, I'll start off this discussion with my tips: I suggest bringing in some pattern and texture into the space, and since you like to keep things neutral, add some visual interest by incorporating a bit of texture, like bamboo. Since you are open to stripes, opt for something along the lines of these natural woven shades with a multi colored stripe trim, maybe something that brings in a little of the rust I'm seeing in your living room, along with the cream, beige and charcoal that is currently in your kitchen. Since your island has a dark base, and your floors are hardwood, the colors that run through the bamboo would be a nice tie in. The Saga Solar fabric is a good option for the stripe lover in you.

Now, I'm turning this discussion over to decor8 readers, do you have any advice for Courtney?

Want to show off your space? Have a design challenge? Send your photos, with details to decor8blog[at]yahoo[dot]com.