Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Dressing Windows

In Europe there are many houses with doors and windows right on the pavement, where people walk past at eye level. Putting up some sort of screen is necessary for privacy, but in Britain this is further complicated by the need for light. Once one becomes accustomed to natural light, the artificial stuff just isn't the same.

I've noticed some of the window dressings in the cities we've visited and snapped photos of them for inspiration (but can I find them?). We've lived with our large bay window in the kitchen being a bit of a goldfish bowl for some eighteen years and I'm only now deciding I'd like to try for a bit more privacy.

Ghent, Belgium

The typical solution here is lace curtains (which Vivien tells me is now 'very old lady'). I don't mind 'old lady' at all but I was thinking more in terms of the Continental approach of just bits of lace in interesting shapes. They wouln't protect from a peeping Tom, but we have a few feet of yard and a brick wall between the bay window and the pavement, so I'm not so worried about that. One benefit of being close to neighbours is that there are lots of people around to observe unsocial behaviour. Besides, I still have drapes that close at night.

I'm collecting ideas for this project. A few things caught my eye in a home decor shop in North Shields the other day, from chiffon 'swags' to machine crocheted pieces intended for chair backs and arms (now that I would call 'old lady'). I was originally thinking of picking up the odd doily here and there and having a go with red dye. However, hand made bits at the flea markets don't come with a fiber content label and only natural fibers will hold dye; also I'm choosy about the shade of red.

I checked out the yarns available, figuring I could manage a granny square or some double/treble crochet.  I haven't decided yet how to approach this, as the three windows are different sizes, two about 30 x 40" and the centre window about 40" square.  

Any suggestions?

1 comment:

Gam Kau said...

I have no sewing skills and am not creative about this sort of thing, but I've noticed many people have shutters on the lower parts of the windows which provides privacy, yet still allows natural light and a view from inside. I'm not sure I'd like shutters because they might be difficult to clean? Not sure...