A Combination of Zebra Sheer Shades and Artisan Drapes
Empty nests are tough to handle. My life has been hectic so far; being a professor at the University, managing a home and raising four children hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park, and being an investment banker, Jerry had had to travel almost the third of a year when the family was young. Our youngest, Sean, has just left home for his doctorate in Germany. Even with Jerry around, the house resonates with silence. There’s no motivation to do any creative and exciting cookery either, as Jerry and I are both hitting sixty and have to be careful about the food we put into our aging bodies. It’s mostly soups, salads, casseroles, a bit of the Mediterranean, and plenty of seafood cooked very simply, with little fat and salt. Hardly any dessert. And it suits us. After all, who wants to carry extra weight around?
The last few weeks have been dreadful, even though the old man and I go for early morning walks and workouts in the park. I haven’t felt like having anyone over, and though we’ve been out at friends’ a couple of times, coming back to a home empty of the kids who were such an exuberant part of our lives is even worse. Jerry still consults with a few firms, but I’ve retired, and though I’ve been an academic all my life, reading academic journals no longer holds my interest. I need to start reading fiction – romance and espionage, hmmm!
I’ve never been one to potter around in the garden. But I am interested in experimenting with different styles of home décor, I’ve never really had the time and energy to go all out and do something far out, even though I’ve entertained the idea in my head, especially after some of our travels. I think I need to give vent to some of my finer talents – might be just the thing to deal with the pit at the bottom of my tummy!
I’ve always gone for the classic contemporary style that requires little maintenance yet looked fabulous. I think I want to try out something wholly out of the ordinary. And I need to take it easy here – no whole house makeover or anything, which would be too much!
Fashioning a Wildlife Theme
Jerry grew up in South Africa, and the beautiful country has always held such fascination for me, and I figure the wildlife theme would be it! I’m thinking late vintage with some zebra stripes and leopard spots, a couple of faux animal rugs, and some window dressings that will highlight the whole effect. Our house is large, sitting pretty in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighborhood of Vancouver, BC. And we have a large family room that’s now woefully silent. With wooden wall panels and large window banks with deep sills on either side of the room. The floor was also wooden. I need to get rid of the futon and the lazy boys – probably sell them or give them away. My online research has given me some fantastic options for what I had in mind. After getting the lighting changed, I had the wood paneling and floor stripped and polished, a fresh coat of cream paint on the walls and ceiling.
I got terribly excited to find something called the Zebra Sheer Shades – they’re vinyl and crafted with dark opaque bands alternating with light colored sheer or room darkening bands, and if I decided on the black and white combination, it would give me an authentic zebra look, albeit straight, not wavy. And that was just fine because then I could just complement the shades with a large zebra striped, tasseled shawl for each of my large comfy off-white suede twin sofas.
This is a specialty window shading product that allows for room brightening without letting the bright sunlight overpower occupants as it’s striped. It features a single but continuous panel of fabric that is incorporated onto a roller mechanism that allows it to function as double panels crimped into a bottom roller hem bar, which allows the panel to roll up and down over the roller to provide alignment of the striped fabric.
Light and View
The 3” black opaque band blocks part of the sunlight and the view from outside when the shade is fully deployed over the window, while the 2” white sheer band lets enough of the bright light in. For complete privacy, the shade can be aligned so that the black bands stack one on top of the other. And if I wanted a clear view out of my windows, I could have them raised entirely out of the way as they would retract onto the head rail, completely concealed by an ivory colored cassette valance that goes with the window frames, and is offered free of charge. I decided on the fabric wrapped one because I planned to team them with some gorgeous drapes I found on the Zebrablinds.ca website.
Control, Insulation, and Maintenance
These shades come with a continuous cord loop system that allows a single continuous length that does not change as one lifts or lowers the shade. A tug of the chain at any particular point stops the shade, enabled by a smoothly engineered RollEase gear and clutch system. They will be inside mounted very close to the glass for whatever insulation they could provide, and because it is double layered, it does offer a modicum of a barrier between the window and the room. The shades are easily kept clean with a hand vacuum cleaner.
I realized that the room could look a little stark with just the shades, so I decided to combine them with drapes in a fabric called Metaleaf in Sepia tones – this brings to mind the dust and heat of the South African prairie, and I would suspend them from a double rod system four inches above the windows, with four-inch returns. They would find elegant purchase on the flour with a trouser length, their gathers made by the rod pocket and a classic header, as I would have two full panels for each window with a single draw that I could swag back in opposite directions for Royal glamor!
As I would have double panels for each window, I decided to have water repellent backings fitted for an easy fall and protection of the drapery from any condensation during the cold winter months.
I got fabulous deals on my purchases from Zebrablinds, and the stuff will be here is two weeks, complete with DIY instructions. Now, I could go ahead and order the antiques I’d had my eye on – the pair of Directoire chairs that I would team with my twin sofas, the French marquetry sewing table that would go between them, the coquettish mid-century two-light teak and brass table lamp that would transform the old Tallboy to the left of the room’s entrance, and of course, the Tudor two candle light wall sconces to be fitted on either side of my windows, to add to the new dressings they are to get! Add an old cuckoo clock, and twin faux leopard rugs for the floor between my sofas, and I was all set to plan a scrumptious menu, so we could have some of our friends over. I need to show off my new accomplishment now, didn’t I? I’ve never felt so naughty in all my life! And all without having to step out of my beautiful home. There is hope for us aging folks!