Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recycling


There's nothing that quite catches the look of a steel frame casement window. They are so elegant and make the window itself worth looking at.

Many of these windows that were installed in Europe and even the U.S. are being torn out and replaced for newer and more energy efficient windows... with these being single pane, I suppose the green girl in me can't criticize too much.


{Photo via Parterre}

So what are steel frame window lover's to do??? Recycle of course!

Refit with mirrored panes and voila... fabulous, vintage, eco-chic mirror at your service.



{Photo via Trouve}

A used window frame should be steal right? Oh no no...welcome to the world of Antiques! Large antique window mirrors usually go for a killing, especially if they're European. Beauty does come with a price.


{Photo via Relics}

Though in my financial logic, you're really getting a 2 for 1... it looks like you've added window when hung against your wall AND it provides the functionality of a mirror. See, in a convoluted way it can be made reasonable.

{Photo via Ballard Designs}

Even without my logic, there are options to be had. Many retailers now sell reproductions in more affordable price ranges. In contrast to higher end antique stores where the mirrors are usually already made, you might find raw frames at good prices at consignment shops or salvage yards. You are left to do the legwork of turning it into a mirror, though you now have the option to select the type of mirror that goes into the frame (or any other surface at that- try cork!).




The last option is one I've tried and tested... cutting out the middle man.

While walking my dog past my neighbors house a few weeks ago I saw a discarded old steel window, broken panes and all, out for bulk trash collection. I stopped dead in my tracks... I barely knew my neighbors, but I had to have their trash! Getting it was the issue... it was a little embarrassing, I mean I was oogling at their garbage for goodness sakes! I contemplated just going and taking it, though they have a security camera and it was inconveniently angled right on the window... I thought about going in the middle of the night in all black, though the chance of being caught and branded as the neighborhood's sketchy klepto designer kaboshed that idea. I had to ask them for it... there was no other way. So I practiced my spiel on the phone with my sister, she wished me good luck with my dumpster diving, and across the street I went. Luckily my nice neighbor encouraged my "recycling" and didn't make me feel awkward at all. The next morning in 38 degree weather, my husband and I lifted my 38 degree steel window and brought it home. That 150 ft walk never felt so far, but I now have a vintage steel window frame gracing my garage and awaiting a new look.

8 comments:

christyzee said...

very beautiful!
blessings...

vicki archer said...

I can't wait to see what you do with it, xv.

M said...

Wow thats a great find.
One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

pve design said...

Wonderful to see clearly, and that something that was in full view can indeed enhance more than just a pretty view.
pve

lovely jubbly london said...

I love windows turned mirrors! Good luck with your project!

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Your story of your great window debacle reminded me of when I found my French window in a garbage dumpster in Paris' Bastille district.

It was peeking over the rim of the dumpster and out of the corner of my eye it caught my attention as I was walking through the district one February at least 7 or 8 years ago. I climbed into the bin and handed the long frame out of the dump to my less-than-impressed friend Cindy, an American visitor who was staying with me in Paris for the week. The French "door" was too big for us to be allowed entry on the bus or metro, so we marched across the city to St German des Pres, where I was living at the time, carrying the frame as snowflakes licked our faces.

A French man stopped and offered to help and after walking with us for several blocks to his dinner reservation he asked me to join him. Giving him a quick bisous on each cheek and I thanked him for his help but declined the invite claiming my husband "wouldn't be too impressed if I started dating a Frenchman" but assured the gentleman that his help had been much appreciated. He then turned to my friend (who was also married) and said, "Et toi? Perhaps you would like to join me?" to which my friend in haughty French responded, "Monsieur, I will not be chosen 2nd..." and stormed off into the dark cold night, her hand cradling her pregnant womb.

It's one of my favorite Paris memories.... that frame has hung on my dining room in Paris, tangled with vines in the terrace walls of my home in Holland, and now having just moved to Berlin it's awaiting the perfect place to hang. But I know wherever it hangs, it will bring me joy and memories at my "found art".

Enjoy yours!
Toma

niartist said...

Can't wait to see what you do with it.

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