The Suggestions for Windows Decor

The is only in the apartments of the exceptional few that windows must be arranged with reference to a good out- look. Unless you live on a square or a park or overlook the river, you are not apt to have a pleasing expanse to consider, nor need you study carefully the interior of your room as part of a general line of construction leading up to a particular view outside, as when a wide window, for instance, opens directly on to a grove of oak-trees.

Perfect freedom of access to windows does not have to be so care- fully considered in your arrangement of things. Your windows for the most part, in fact, serve only a utilitarian purpose, that of admitting light and air. They are, with their hangings, really part of the general framing of the room, as it were, as the walls and the doors are — one more panel in your wall surface to be decorated according to given rules.

The particular problem confronting the house- keeper, then, is a question of tones and lights, of agreeable shades not only harmonizing with the colors of the room, and making the interior in which you are temporarily housed, with its surrounding windows and doors, one composite whole, every part blending and balancing with the other, but producing as well a restful impression upon you when you look directly toward the light.
Take, for example, the arrangement of some windows in a city apartment. These windows, being on the tenth floor, give a view of a mile or more of chimneys and ugly roofs, with a stretch of northwest sky beyond. After much study an uncomfortable problem has been met in this way:

The window-sills outside have been filled with rows of ever- greens in pots, so that if you are standing in the room you see nothing of the ugly foreground below, with its rows and rows of chimneys. Curtains of a soft tone are hung from the top of the window over the glass of the upper sash, and are then made by their gathers to fall in a straight line across the window, a half -yard or more above the ever- greens. In this way any one sitting in the room, on looking up, sees only a foreground of greens against the blue of a northwest sky, the straight line of the soft curtain forming part of the frame to a lovely picture.

The tact of the hostess has thus been proved by her success in making her windows agreeable, both to those who stand and to those who sit in her drawing-room.


Again, to those who love the sky and who want it in their rooms, and yet who must shut out the eye of the passer-by below, the arrangement of the curtains becomes a serious question. Not only their texture and their colors, but the lines in which they are made to fall, become questions of importance. Thus in many New York windows you will see the thin, soft, ruffled curtains crossed and looped back just below the top of the lower sash.

This gives the inmate an opportunity to look out in the street, while still protecting the eye from the unpleasant reflections of opposite houses. When, however, in an apartment on an upper floor, a glimpse of the sky, instead of an opposite wall, is possible, these curtains should be looped higher up — in an angle made by the upper frame, in fact.

The lower part of the window can then be filled with plants, but the sky in all its beauty may be freely shown. The look of a window to the passer-by should never be neglected, and unless you study the question from the out- side as well as from the inside of your room you are not apt to make your windows a success.

Windows have often been likened to the eyes of a house, but they are something more than that. It is easy, after a little, to know just what kind of a face is behind them, whether it belongs to a dainty personage, or to one who has only hung up a curtain in order that she may do what she chooses behind it — peep out at you unobserved if she wants, or be untidy with- out betraying herself! A sheer soft silk or a silk Olene will give you perfect protection from the passer-by, serving you as well as any lace curtain falling straight. It has many advantages.

You can dress your window with thin curtains to look well from the outside, draping them prettily, tying them with a ribbon, looping them high or low, getting just the lines you want, so that a pleasing impression is made upon the outsider below. Between these thin curtains and the room a soft, transparent silk or silk Olene not only gives you privacy, but does so gracefully, as it were, without putting the affront of too obvious a protection between you and the passer-by.

It allows the light to come through and you to look out, and it adds to your room certain tones impossible without it. The color chosen must depend upon those in the room. Red is always a little theatric, rose tones are becoming, and the yellows cheerful in all weathers.

But the material used must be sheer and soft, so that the curtain does not present the impression of a fiat surface between you and the light, but permits the outline and quality of the thin muslin curtain to be visible, the thin curtain remaining what it was originally designed to be, part of the general line of construction.

This fashion is strongly recommended to those who want a view of the sky, as well as soft and agreeable lights, and who are afflicted by the windows of their opposite neighbors. Sash-curtains which cover only the lower part of a window are never seen to-day, happily enough, since few things are so ugly; but this arrangement of soft silk over a muslin or lace curtain gives quite as much protection without afflicting the eye.

The cost of the silk must vary with the quality, but silk Olene, when good in tone, answers every purpose. A yellow  silk Olene costing only ten cents a yard was used in a comer window with the summer and autumn sun burning into it, and the owner hardly knew whether it had faded or not at the end of several months, so perfectly had it lasted.
White muslin curtains are never agreeable in strong sun- light unless softened by one of these thin over-curtains, but the market is full of cream tones, yellows, and soft shades. When one does not want the silk curtains, there- fore, good effects may be attained without them.

China silks are most satisfactory, and can be washed with impunity. In windows with leaded panes, or in those filled with plants, or where a question of breaking up of sharp lines is alone considered, these China silk curtains of white, green, yellow, or pink can be hung with a deep valance running across the top of the window, and two straight pieces falling from underneath, one on either side. One gets a good outshine in this way, and, with one fern or small rubber-tree in a brass pot set on the sill, one is able to get perfect privacy until the lamps are lit at night.

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