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Monday, July 8, 2013

a beautiful reclaimed window gets a new life

I'm a sucker for old windows. Really, almost any kind of old window will do.

More years ago than I care to admit to, my husband and I were shopping in the amazing Architectural Salvage store and I fell in love with the masses of reclaimed windows filling the store. They have lots of other goodies too but the windows...oh the windows!

I was well and truly hooked. I named my favorite window Sally, after Sandra Bullock's character in Practical Magic. She so reminds me of the kitchen in the aunt's house.

Fast forward 17 years and I've still got the lovely old windows we purchased in my Portland Oregon home.  For the longest time, I had Sally leaning against a wall. And she looked great.

But she had a dream of swaying gently above the fireplace...or hanging above the entry into the kitchen...or...
I went back and forth over where she'd live and the years passed, and she stayed put leaning against the wall in resignation, knowing one day the wait would be over.
We finally gave Sally her home over the fireplace in the front room. This room gets the west sun so she gets to sparkle a lot. As she deserves.

I'm sorry to confirm that yes, she has some broken panes. She survived all these years with all of her panes intact, then a few weeks before we hung her, I foolishly had her leaning in that fireplace area and she fell. I'm trying to convince her that she's more charming this way but I don't think she's having it.
I tell her that if she had all of her panes when the sun hits her full blast each afternoon, it would reflect too much and blind everyone. She just gently shakes her head at my lies.

The supplies were simple, all from our home away from home [pun intended], Home Depot.
1. two E-Z Ancor Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors [we always stock these in the garage, super useful!]. Sally only weighed a few pounds but we still used the 75 pound anchors. I certainly didn't want her to fall and lose any more panes!  Always err on the side of being safer and more secure I say.
2. two screw hooks
3. about 3 feet of chain, purchased by the foot. HD has many by the foot chain options.
4. two turnbuckles [side note: I actually wanted these just for looks but they came in very handy in the end]
the process
1. first we decided how far forward she should hang. You can see how silly and deep that area is and I wanted to be able to put seasonal decorative items in front of her but I didn't want her so far back that she got lost in the shadows. So we found a happy compromise about 1 foot back from the front edge.
2. next we drilled 2 of the white E-Z Ancors into the ceiling
3. then we screwed the 2 eye hooks into the E-Z Ancors
4. next came the chain looped onto the eye hooks
5. next came the turnbuckles. I mentioned I wanted these just for looks but they actually came in very handy in the end for leveling the window. see how they twist on each end?  we were able to make minor adjustments to the leveling by screwing each end...genius!
6. and finally...Sally was looped onto the open end of the turnbuckle. she already had nice bulky closed screw eyes [she obviously was displayed like this in her past life as well], but we could've easily added those if necessary 

Here she is again, isn't she lovely?

PS. As I was writing this, I searched the interwebs for more reclaimed window pics for you. Check this great post from the wonderful Eclectically Vintage on repurposing windows: 10 Unique Repurposed Windows
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