And Paris is full of them!
Just the other day, as I was walking back to my office from a quick stop at the boulangerie, I noticed that the building next door was under renovation. More precisely, they were changing out all of the windows and replacing them with sad, no-charm, double-paned PVC windows. To truly understand the tragedy of which I speak, remember that this building was probably built in the 1700's if not before! The old, single-paned, lead-painted windows, were leaning against the stone wall.
I couldn't help myself. I had to save these windows! Never again will buildings have windows like these! They are historical and lovely and I couldn't let them die a sad death in the Paris trash heap. So I did what any freak would do - I went on a treasure hunt and picked out three of the best windows that were in the pile. I wanted to save them all, but I reminded myself that I live in 53 meters squared and I can't save the world.
As I lugged them into my office, I announced to my colleagues that I was saving the windows, and since they are cool people (or just freaks like me), they started giving me great ideas of what I could do with them: make mirrors! turn them into a coffee table! make a headboard!
yes, yes, yes!
One of my colleagues offered to bring them to my house in her car, another asked me how many other windows were out there for the taking. Treasures, I tell you.
Today the windows are sitting in my living room, waiting for inspiration. I've cleaned off the muck of time and now it's simply a logistical problem - how do I attach windows to my wall? How do I cut a mirror to fit? Should I repaint them or let them keep their old luster à la shabby chic? It's quite a predicament, but one that I absolutely love having.
In my teeny Parisian apartment, I would walk past treasures in the street, not allowing myself to dream of the wonderful things I could make with them. But today, in my little chez moi, I CAN bring home century-old windows without blocking the door to the bathroom. Makes me want to bust a Princess Jasmine on y'all - A whole new wooooorld...!
Behold the beauty of my windows:
I know that I'll have to reign in my craziness since I can't save all of the treasures that get put on the street (even though I totally dream of long, old window doors for my (currently non-existent) closets...), but it's nice to have a little creative project to make our house a home. I've written about my relationship with things, about really being here, and I can't tell you what a relief it is to not worry about that anymore. I still find lots of inspiration from minimalists, and I don't want to go overboard on stuff in such a small space, but it is lovely to feel happy in my space, no matter how small it may be, and to surround myself with carefully selected items that tell a story.
So the next time you visit chez moi, I'll tell you the story of these windows, which were once in a gorgeous, old hôtel particulier in the Marais, but that I saved from destruction.