A window without frames is like an eye without lashes Wednesday, Sep 8 2010 

When I moved into this house, it had no internal architecture.  There were no skirting boards (other than diddy little strips that were an apology for skirtings), no window frames, no architraves, no cornices.  Nothing.

It’s a newish house so initially I thought that perhaps it was part of the more modern architecture.  And then as time went by, I wondered whether it had just been a ploy on the part of the builder to save money.  Because let’s face it: windows without frames are (usually) ugly.  And internal architecture is dreamy….. sigh….

Beautiful mouldings

And being in possession of my new drop saw, what better way to test it (and my own powers) than to install my own window frames?

window without frame

The render around the window just looked bare and ‘wrong’ without a frame.  No need (it seems) to put wood all through the inside – instead, you can just cut architraving to fit the outside (like a picture frame) with some nosing at the bottom, and stick it on.  And paint it white.

Window with frame after

The window just looks so much more elegant and complete!

Window before

This one’s all ready for its transformation….

window after

After the first two, I realised how much better the windows were looking with frames.  Kind of like eyes with lashes.  And I confess I do love ornate frames, like lashings of mascara.  But my house really would look strange with large Georgian window frames.  So I did try to contain myself.

Before the frame

The kitchen really only had half a frame.  But even that looks better with architraving around it.

Kitchen window after

Of course the downside, is that one then realises just how many windows there are in a house.  And only doing some is not only odd, it makes the ones left undone doubly annoying.

study window before

But even windows like this, crammed up against a wall, look better with a frame:

Window in study after

I feel like evangelising about this.  It’s amazing how as soon as they are up, they look as though they have always been there (a sure sign that it’s the right architraving and a sure sign it was needed).  But the room also looks subtly better: finished, more elegant.

So, only another million windows to go then.  Well, not that many.  If my house were that big I guess I’d pay someone else to do this….


I need your opinion…. Friday, Sep 3 2010 

recycled french grain sack chair

You know when you’re going out and you can’t decide which shoes to wear?  So you put one of each on each foot and hobble lop-sidedly along and ask your husband/friend/boyfriend/sister/mother for their advice?  Well – this is just the same.  I need your opinion….

I’ve been coveting these grain sack chairs.  Elegant, rustic, interesting and recycled.  Yum!

And I’ve now acquired a pair of chairs and am thinking about options to redo them.  Here is one of them ‘before’:

doesnt cost the earth chair before

They are identical.  I don’t have any grain sacks, so instead, I want to use the coffee sacks (recycled) that I used on the bench (see previous post https://doesntcosttheearth.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/organic-recycled-end-of-bed-bench/).  I love the texture, the casual funky look, the print.  But I can’t decide how much of this to use and whether or not to combine it with a more conventional fabric, such as linen, as well.  So here are some options I’m considering – what do you think?

sacks on chair

You have to imagine it all tight and upholstered, not all baggy…  Is this all ‘de trop’ with all the red circles?   Is it better with only one bit of pattern?

recycled sacks on chair

Is the red too much on a chair (I made it into a cushion on this post https://doesntcosttheearth.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/grain-sack-pillows-that-dont-cost-the-earth/), and is it better with no pattern just writing?

doesnt cost the earth chair with sacks

Or is it better with lots of different writing?

Lots of writing on sacks

Or even more different colours etc, but symmetrical

recycled sack chair

Just to throw one more thing into the mix, I have a roll of beautiful Ralph Lauren upholstery linen, which goes beautifully with these hessian sacks.  So I can also do a combination of linen and sacks…

(do you get why I can’t make my mind up now??!!)

linen upholstery

And this linen is (understandably) smoother and nice to sit on with bare arms or legs (which, this being Australia) is likely.

So, should I combine the two?  And if so, should I put linen on the inside, that you sit against, and just have the sacks on the outside (which I can’t show you as it’s too hard to mock-up).  Or does that miss the point?

And if I’m going to have parts that are plain – should I use plain hessian sack or the plain linen?

can't decide!!

Can you believe that I actually don’t even drink coffee?  I love tea – but I don’t think tea sacks exist.

What do you think?  What should I do?  All comments and suggestions gratefully received!

Found – the history (and the man) behind the architectural drawings Thursday, Sep 2 2010 

Some behind-the-scenes detective work has turned up the author and architect behind the recently purchased drawings (see post below).

The chap is an Irish man called John Leeson, who died in 1855.  He graduated school in 1813 with two prizes, and the from 1819 went off to design and build three of Ireland’s great churches.  In between, it seems he travelled to Europe and produced the drawing that I now have in my hot (and very excited) sticky paws.


The church pictured is one of his.  The drawings I have seem to be his earlier works and designs.  How thrilling!

They are already 200 years old…

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