(NC)—Gathering around a table to share food is an important ritual as old as civilization itself.  In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that family meals help anchor a family and that children of families that eat together regularly are less likely to encounter difficulties later on.  To help ensure warm, welcoming and on-trend settings for these age-old gatherings, experts at Canadian window fashions leader Hunter Douglas, offer the following tips:

• Wood:  Use protective finishes that make your dining table spill-proof and durable against everyday wear and tear, as well as unforeseen accidents.  Be sure to finish wooden chairs and other wooden accessories such as hutches or dressers throughout the room as well.  Drape a decorative runner across the table between meals for a chic cover.

• Rugs:  Place a dark-coloured area rug under the table so that spills will not stand out.  Patterns tend to camouflage stains better than solid rugs, though be careful not to select a pattern that is too busy for the room’s décor.

• Chairs: Use upholstery fabrics such as cotton blend and wool that are relatively easy to spot-clean and are typically resistant to wear and fading.  Particular cotton weaves such as canvas are more durable than others.

• Windows: The last thing you want is the setting sun, particularly harsh in the summer hours, emitting a distracting glare while carrying on a conversation at dinner.  Window fashions such as Vignette Modern Roman Shades from  Hunter Douglas combine the look of a fine drapery with the ease and convenience of a shade for excellent light blockage and UV protection.  They are the only shades on the market with no exposed rear cords for enhanced child safety and a smooth, uniform appearance from both inside and outside of the home.

• Place Settings: Last but certainly not least, matching place mats and coordinating settings add instant personality to the room while incorporating an extra element of colour.  To make these settings more family-friendly, allow each child to make their own place card with a new nickname each month.

With these tips, your dining room will be full of cheer in no time.

More information is available online at www.hunterdouglas.ca or toll-free at 1-800-265-8000.

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