Saturday, November 5, 2011

Green Gingham Kitchen Window

"Red check gingham seems to have
the same affinity for a kitchen
that red Geraniums have.
Blue. . .is equally friendly.
Green is very agreeable
and too rarely used."
~ from a 1922 House and Garden magazine

We have just one window in our tiny new kitchen, but it is window enough, especially as our last apartment had none. My favorite home from my childhood had the classic Window Over the Kitchen Sink, but in this home, the kitchen window is above the apartment-size stove. That's okay too. Accustomed--or resigned, depending on how full I'm seeing my glass on any given day--to small apartment kitchens, to have one now that I can move around in at all, let alone one with a brand new even-if-apartment-size stove, and then to get to have a window over that stove in that kitchen too--A window! A kitchen window!--is just a sweet and exciting thing.
I knew before we'd even found our new apartment this summer that I wanted green gingham--a bold vintage-looking Kelly green gingham, not a sage or celery or mint or pine--in the new kitchen. I didn't expect it to be so hard to find. After a fruitless search for fabric in the right shade of green, I did manage to find the vintage skirt above. It was the color I wanted, and I soon started transforming it into kitchen curtains. It was a shame to have to destroy the skirt, though: Look at that ruffle! Picture that skirt with a black turtleneck and black knee-high boots! Ay! It hurt to cut into it.
I had to abandon plans of a cafe curtain for the bottom due to a limited amount of the skirt fabric and instead fill in the middle with an old dotted Swiss-type lace from Mike's mom, but there was, after much sewing and hot-gluing, enough of the skirt to patch it all into a valance and the bottom piece, and I love the curtains now. They are obviously handmade and have all kinds of little flaws, but I love them, and they suit our simple little kitchen.  I want to bring my little cardboard house collection back from my parents' place next visit to perch on top of the frame above the valance, and I have a stained glass piece in mind for the window pane so we can continue to have the natural light but also a bit more privacy in the kitchen, but in the meantime--and until spring when the next-door neighbors use their fire escape/deck area again--this is our kitchen window. One more puzzle-piece of our home's now snapped into place. And someday, I'll find--or make--another green gingham skirt. :)


FlowerLady said...

This is so sweet. I love the gingham and the dotted swiss is wonderful with it too. Your red heart and accents are great, and I love your coffee pot. After years of dreaming of a window over the sink, I finally got one when we remodeled and let me tell you it sure has made a difference when I wash dishes. :-)

Enjoy your sweet apartment and lovely kitchen. It looks very warm and inviting and must be a joy to walk into every morning.


Cindy said...

Val that is so adorable!! You did a great job.The sacrificed skirt will love hanging there for your

One suggestion..I too had curtains one time hanging over a stove...spray them with scotchguard to keep from absorbing the steam and grease. And as cute as those little house will be...they will absorb stuff also.
In my last kitchen with all decorations surrounding my upper cabinets...and I never fried in the house...I was shocked how icky my antiques and glassware got. I climbed up there many times a year to take them down and wash
So do you have a little place to go outside during the summer like your neighbors?

Hugs Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

Lisa said...

Good work, Val! ALL gingham is good!

I added Susan Branch's blog to my list after seeing it here - we have some of her cookbooks at the library, and they're charming.

Val said...

Thank you, FlowerLady. I'm sure the window does make the dish-washing more enjoyable. :)

Thank you for that tip, Cindy! I hadn't thought of that. So far, I've just been pinning up the curtains a bit with clothespins when I use the back burners. Thank you for the idea. I will do that. And no, no outdoor space for us. It is the one thing about this apartment that's lacking in my eyes--I miss having a garden sooooo much--so I continue to dream of it for "someday/again." :)

And yes, Lisa, about the gingham. I love any color of gingham and have used most by now, I think. And oh my goodness YES about Susan Branch. I think she and her work are the dearest. :)

C'est moi Claudette said...

I bet it did hurt to cute the pretty skirt up to make curtains Val, but now they are YOUR CURTAINS, for your sweet little nest.

Anonymous said...

The skirt is amazing transformed into a lovely adornment for your kitchen window! You did an amazing job, I just love it!!!
Diane- RetroRewinds (Etsy)

Val said...

Exactly, Claudette. 'One of a kind, even if it hurt to cut the skirt. :)

And Diane, I'm so glad you like them! :)

asmplelife said...

What a cheery window! Gingham just makes one smile, doesn't it? And I'm a big fan of Susan Branch, especially her apple crisp recipe. Best crisp I've ever tasted =]

Wish on a Whisker said...

Hi Val~ I always enjoy catching up on your blog. Love your pretty green curtains. I sure hope your mom is feeling well. I know the feeling of medical bills coming in, but I'm learning not to take it so seriously. Thank you for letting me know about Paula. Have you talked to her or Adam? Love to you, Mike, and Stuffed. ♥~ Mandy

Val said...

ASL: Gingham, Susan Branch, and apple crisp! I wish we were next-door neighbors. :)

Mandy, hi. I only emailed with Paula, I'm not in touch with anyone else in her sweet family. If I hear more, I'll pass it along. And thank you about the curtains and my mom. Everything's still the same with her, tremors and all.