Light Filtering Roller Shades for Bright, Airy Kitchens
When we were young, growing up in Texas, We used to ask mom why she decided not to have the kitchen sink in front of the kitchen window. She said that she’d never had a choice in the matter, though it had never bothered her too much. Mum was the epitome of a farmer’s wife, quiet and accommodating, pulling her weight in equal measure to support the smooth running of the farm. The perks of growing up on a cattle farm were that we got to eat the prime stuff, fresh and tasty. To this day, I’m yet to come across better steaks and pot roasts than what was served up on the farm. Even the humble casserole was never tastier! We would sit on the kitchen counter by the window and watch mom work, watching the goings on outside, through the kitchen window. The casement windows were large, and we would often jump out through it, the dog with us, to play hide and seek. Mom always had some muslin curtains swagged back, and occasionally she would change them to café curtains when she got bored with the look. Like most country homes, we had drapes in our house, pooling on the ground, quite messy, dogs, cats, hamsters and kids hiding behind them and dirtying them with grubby fingers and sometimes, muddy shoes!
But kitchens fascinate me, and I spend an inordinate amount of time there. As a young family, we’d lived in a little cottage in Croissy-Sur-Seine, near Paris, in France. Here, we had a cozy kitchen cum dining, everybody automatically gravitating to where the lady of the house hung out! Even the guests. So much so that Gabe had a bar built into kitchen cabinetry as an extension, and since we had French doors leading out to a small yard beyond the dining table, it was easy to entertain. I had natural shades on the large window above the sink, and it had a very nice feature that allowed me to bring the shades down from the top for great daylighting, as we had very nosey neighbors whose kitchen windows faced ours, even though they weren’t very close to us. But what really bugged me was the bottom edge of the window was aligned with the work counter, and this resulted in water splashing on the window pane as I washed dishes, and this meant that I had to keep the grass shades raised while I worked at the sink! But they weren‘t mine, they’d come with the house, and we were here for only a short while, so I decided to make do with them. They were very pretty and gave the kitchen a lovely garden-like feel, and because I was careful, I didn’t have mold growing on them. And I could have my privacy when I wasn’t cooking, by letting the shades down from the top to any level I desired. I love baking, both sweet and savory, and I left the grilling and barbecuing to Gabe and the kids, who got very excited every time we decided to have a cookout!
Now we’re back in Texas, and while we searched, I insisted that I wanted a house that had a kitchen cum dining space, just like we had back in France. We found a lovely double storied house with the walls mostly finished in beautiful open brickwork and accordion doors all over, except the kitchen and bathrooms that had awning windows. All the window and door frames were painted white and really gave the place a wonderful open feel. We felt as though we’d come home! Though it was quite a bit larger than what we were used to in France, with all the modern equipment at our disposal, I didn’t mind a bit!
The icing on the cake was that the windows in the kitchen were installed a foot above the counter level, spanning the length of the counter, right up to the ceiling, making the space look vast. And, of course, I needed window shades here – this was Austin, Texas! The heat could be killing, and the afternoon sun could be quite disturbing. And while I was endlessly fascinated with the natural shades we had in France, I decided to do some research before going blindly into any purchases. One thing was sure – no drapes!
I decided on the vertical shades from Graber for the accordion doors – something called sheer vertical shades, not really like the vertical blinds, much nicer, more romantic, its vanes enveloped by a sheer cover, room darkening ones for the bedrooms and sheers for the common areas. They’re absolutely the perfect deal for expansive glazing, moving with ease to either side when the doors need to be left open.
For my kitchen windows above my sink counter, all of hell’s angels wouldn’t be able to convince me to use anything but the light filtering polyester roller shades I found, also by Graber – LightWeaves Cordless Roller Shades with a dual speed brake system that could be adjusted to slower speed if required – a tug of the sealed hem bar and the shade could be raised to a point desired, or lowered when the sun was at its irritating best! The polyester fabric wouldn’t collect any grunge as the exhaust system I had over my hob was very powerful, and any moisture they absorbed would dissipate easily. Thank the stars for operable windows! And I chose the four and half-inch symphony wood valance in white, to go with the wood window frames, the shades in the standard roll for better light and privacy control, and no fussy scallops.
Once again, the kitchen is the converging point for folks! Must be the combination of great food, wonderful setting, and even better company!