June 10, 2009

Much Ado About Windows

Inspirational window Shot - Sara's Story

All my inspiration shots (like this vignette from the web portfolio of New York designer Sara Story) have big beautiful windows which give opportunities for lovely drapes, shutters, casings and more. In my basement, I have the exact opposite: one 20" x 16" window. As I mentioned before, it has the effect of a pinhole camera — the one little place where natural light finds it way into my basement.

Meg's basement window

Here is the thing: when you have so little to work with, it almost makes the decision harder. It has to be right. If it is dressed too much, the proportion will be off; if not enough, it looks like some cheap little basement window. Which obviously, it is.

I love the thought of a shutter like this one by designer Kay Douglass. It could be open all the time but still frame out the window and give it some architectural (big word for small window) interest and some detail through nice hinges:

Inspirational window shot - House Beautiful

Another thought is to hang a rod from the ceiling in the little bay area where I find my tiny window, and to frame it out in sheers or crisp white linen panels so it looks like a pretty little nook. I am leaning towards the last option since this basement reno hasn’t afforded me much opportunity for bringing on the pretty, so even the softening effect of some linen panels would be a welcome change.

Anyone else out there have painfully small windows? How did you dress them?

Photo credits:
Sara Story’s Gramercy Park project
Meg Crossley
3. Kay Douglass project, photography by Simon Upton, published in 
House Beautiful