Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Curtain Blabberings

In the early 1980's I was fascinated by Dorothy's Ruffled Curtains and Laura Ashley's flowery English country curtains. I bought material and sewed our curtains myself and planned colors and styles in our many homes here and there around the world.
My mother sewed curtains professionally and I always admired her neatness and accurate finishing touches. I am happy to have curtains in our dining room, lovingly crafted by her talented hands years ago.

Today some of our rooms have no curtains. I love having the light stream in our windows, see the rays of sun dance on the furniture and especially be able to look out at the view surrounding the Duck and Cherry. The woods behind the house remind me of Robin Hood's forest of Nottingham. The squirrels leaping from tree to tree would be hard to see if I had curtains covering the view. The breeze making the greenery sway from side to side, the colors of the sun setting, birds walking on the porch; I don't want to block these things out. Nature is lovely.

Curtain habits vary from country to country. I noticed in the US that neighbor's had their curtains closed during the day to keep the sun from fading their furniture and carpets. They also wanted privacy at night.
Norway is quite different that way. People seldom draw their curtains. They keep them open, even in the evenings when the lights are on and you can check out what they are watching on TV or which book they are reading. This is especially neat in December when you can see the lighted Christmas trees adorning every living room.

I had a totally different experience when we lived in Austria and Switzerland. There most every house and apartment has "Rolladen", roller blinds, on the outside of the house. These keep both mice and men out and makes you feel safe and secure in your own fortress. It also makes the room dark for those dependent on that for their needed sleep. The feeling of WWII and German air raids prevented by turned off street lights and window blinds on every home came to mind. If I looked out of my home in Austria in the evening it was just like that. No street lights, no lights at all as everyone had their roller blinds shut closed. I could only see my neighbors' houses if lightening struck and lit up the area.

In Switzerland some had wooden window shutters. We had that on our home in Okinawa, Japan, too, and a good thing that was. When typhoons came and whirled across the island, we were safe behind the shutters, candlelight aglow to make up for the loss of electricity during the storm.

I still enjoy curtains, but also Venetian blinds. On some windows that's all I need.

What about you? Do you like heavy historical brocade curtains, light fluttery sheers, or happy calico patterns with ruffles?

Photo of Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, waking up from a nap behind the dining room curtains.

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