Saturday, August 13, 2011

#77 - I'll Take a Bird Over the Toupee!

If you enjoy looking out of a window or two in your home, regardless of the view, then you understand this topic very well already. For our cabin in the woods, we'll add a few great windows, installed with clever strategy to enjoy optimal views. NO WASTED VIEWS! After all, the entire point of moving to the country is so that we can enjoy the peaceful scenery.

Imagining country scenes from our windows is hard to picture sometimes because we will no longer have a street out front that remains jam-packed with too many vehicles, making it nearly impossible to pull in and out of our own driveway without asking someone to please scoot back OUT of our driveway entrance. And pulling an RV down the street to prepare for a trip is nearly impossible. Or, you can take Deputy Dave's solution and just drag the scraping bumper of your RV all the way down your neighbor's car, leaving a long indented scratch with the side mirror torn completely off.

Is this a neighborly hint to not park too far away from the curb? For the record, these neighbors are friends and this was their teenager's car --- which was repaired and totally repainted with the mirror replaced by Deputy Dave who drove across Houston to get one in stock because he was so worried about her driving without a side mirror for even one day.

In the country, we'll be able to keep the curtains or blinds open, even in the late afternoon and evening because there are NO neighbors within sight. Moreover, we'll have plenty of outdoor lighting in the country that will allow us to enjoy a pleasant night-time glimpse of our surrounding yard. Around here, as soon as evening-time hits, the window coverings are pulled closed because there are WAY too many people passing by, constantly, and privacy is important when you're crammed in together.

Deputy Dave tells me that having the freedom to walk around butt-naked, if he wants, would be nice. Being nakey in your own house is something city residents have to be extra careful about. I can picture my husband being hauled off in handcuffs after a cop comes to our city door in the evening because the blinds to the dining room window weren't closed tightly enough.

I can hear the cop now, "Sir, it doesn't matter that your WIFE was behind on doing laundry and that your underwear drawer was empty and that you were rushing from the shower to the laundry room to get a clean pair out of the dryer. The bottom line dropped your towel on the way to the laundry room and those blinds are opened 1/4th of an inch which carelessly allowed the innocent woman across the street to see your nakedness behind her high-powered binoculars. Since you offered her a DOUBLE moonlit night, you're going to jail!"

I need a second for this mental image to dissipate...okay...I'm good...

He said he will love looking out a window and not be forced to see the front, back, left or right side of a neighbor's house. The privacy we will finally have in the country is something we've never had before. Simple, quiet, uncongested privacy.

Beyond being an exhibitionist by accident, Deputy Dave said he will really enjoy seeing trees out the windows instead of neighbor's vehicles or the next solicitor walking up to our front door. Trees...ahhhh...trees.

And owning a front door that is located two acres away from the front of the property might make it less profitable for the solicitor to try to sell the ridiculous $65.00 bottle of cleaning solution. And, the dogs on the porch might make it even less appealing.

The picture below was taken in a house we owned in Clear Lake (Houston, Texas) and it had 22 windows that were floor to ceiling. I absolutely adored seeing the beautifully landscaped backyard and atrium located in the center of the house. Of course, the cute gal in the photo is my oldest daughter, Heather, when she was a little kiddo.

The only downfall of having all of these windows was during a lightening storm...the larger number and size of the windows made it a terrifying yet thrilling experience.

My favorite type of window for catching awesome views are the non-divided light (no separate panes of glass) and floor to ceiling "picture" windows. I love these windows. Our house had weird architecture that kept the public from being able to look inside the windows and this meant that we did not need any window coverings. Unobstructed windows are my favorite kind of windows!

In the below picture you might see windows you recognize. When I was growing up, many houses had this style of triple window in their living room...a huge window was usually flanked by smaller panel windows and it helped those living rooms to feel spacious beyond their actual dimensions.

The house I grew up in had a window similar to this.
And, at one time, we owned a house built in 1957, and I just LOVED
the living room window that looked similar to this one.
As we design our cabin, I will definitely plan for us to install a few awesome, catch-your-breath-can't-look-away kind of windows. I'll be picky for these particular windows because they are expensive. Also, we must think of being energy-efficient because I don't want pay to inadvertently air-condition The Big Thicket.

One place in the cabin where I will treasure a large picture window is in front of the kitchen sink. The living room must have a design that allows us to overlook the land. Having a few nice windows with great views can make your house feel like a million dollar home.

The picture below is our living room in Germany.

Don't you love the high dollar furniture we began with
in our early marriage? This wicker set was a gift from
my grandmother, for a patio. It ended up as Living Room
furniture along with the rabbit-ears, black and white TV
that only played the ONE Armed Forces Network Station
and the other stations were all German. No need for a remote here.
My husband served in the Air Force and the picture above was taken inside our off-base housing, shared with a German couple who lived upstairs. Every room in this German apartment had huge, amazing windows that opened EASILY with a single hand-lever. The exterior doors and the smaller windows opened to a tilt or you could rotate the handle around and it would allow the window to swing completely open. In the picture above, you can see the glass door tilted open. Talk about windows that were a cinch to clean! I fell in love with German windows during our years there.

All I can say is that these windows were BRILLIANTLY designed. I guess they were a prime example of excellent German engineering.

Below are more windows I think are beautifully installed.

This is gorgeous, but looks a tad too custom for our budget.
Well, MORE than a "tad" too custom...these windows probably cost
more than we're willing to spend on the entire cabin.

I like this door and window combination, a lot.
I could picture these off the combo kitchen/dining area
and off the master bedroom.
I also love this shot because it shows the view WITH a
porch/balcony with railing...which we will have as well.
Doesn't look bad at all.

These windows are nice. And, I bet they are very expensive.

Okay, I'd take these windows and leave the other walls in the room
alone for furniture placement, but this would give a beautiful
view of the outdoors. I love how the windows go to the floor.
As much as I love picture windows, we will need to have ample screened windows to let in the breeze.

In Texas, you gotta have screened-in windows.

It's great that I'm studying the practical details of building our cabin because I've learned that we will need to pay careful attention to the placement of doors and windows in order to take full advantage of cross-breezes. 

Great picture windows with transom style accents that give more drama with
added height. But, this means more installation and more money.
Once we get the cabin layout prepared, we can get estimates and prepare for this very important part of our construction.

Before long, we'll be able to enjoy outdoor entertainment as we set up our bird feeders within sight of our best windows. Since the cabin will be in the shade, we'll actually be able to keep the window blinds open so we can see outside. I'm excited about the prospect of getting to watch the birds flying around instead of being perversely mesmerized by my neighbor's toupee flying sideways as he does the lawn.



Anonymous said...

Let nature in !
We have three sets of sliding glass doors across the front of our house. They were more economical and provided more glass than windows. They have screens.
We actually built our house ourselves. We used lumber we sawed on our sawmill for paneling throughout. Beth

Mike said...

I remember that 3+ years we spent in Germany back in the early 80's. They believe the windows are the eyes of the house.
Did the Deputy side swipe the neighbor's car? Or, did someone else? 'I told em, move it or lose it.' hehe

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

We have "hurricain" windows on our house because in FL it is required by law to install them, they are supposed to be ubber strong against fly debris plus they are energy efficient, the bottom has a great swing out thing so you can clean the inside and the outside without removing the screens...or at least they tell me that is what it is for, I have not yet cleaned that side of my windows lol.

Now you would probably hate them since they are more cottage style and have the gridded panel look...but I love them...and my french doors that also sport the grids and have built in blinds.

Just wait till you get to the lighting choices...OMG I about went crazy trying to choose light fixtures for every room and outdoor area lol.

Blessings Kelsie

PS: In response to your rain comments...we have the straight line showers also...It is so funny to stand in my living room and watch it raining on one side of my house yet sunny on the other side.

Your goat milking comment...Merry (at the farm) was doing 9 goats by herself and it was a life saver on her hands...I will prob do mine by hand since I will only have one, but if milking makes my carpal tunnel play up I might then look at investing in a pump.

Rae said...

Funny about the windows and open blinds. LJ and I were just discussing that last night, when we went to town, about how happy we are that no one can look in our windows, and shocked that so many people go about their lives with the blinds wide open to their daily activities. :)

As for the kitchen window, ours looks out on the chicken yard. Fun to watch while doing dishes.

Last but not least, it's awful nice to let the dogs out to potty in the morning... In your chonies. Lol.

LindaG said...

We have nature, and we have windows on our retirement property, but we do have neighbors. So, when we go nakey we will pull the curtains closed, but we won't worry about weather or not we have closed them completely. :)

As for the solicitor, take a line from the song and put a sign at the entryway to your property:

'Our house is protected by the Good Lord and a gun, and you might meet them both if you show up here not welcome.'


You all have a blessed week!

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Beth --- it must have been awesome to build your own house and to use the sawmill for your wood needs. I think Deputy Dave would be in heaven if he could get a sawmill and the heavy equipment necessary to use wood from our land for some of the construction elements. We might have to look for used equipment.

Mike --- we were in Germany in the late 80's. Weird. Also, Deputy Dave was the one doing the swiping and he sure did pay for it.

Kelsie --- we once had a house with Hurricane windows and they were awesome. They are great for protecting the regular windows and also for security measures because you cannot break into those suckers! But, from the inside, they open up nicely. Our storm windows were not grided, they were two panes of glass, but they were nicely tinted as well to help keep out the sun.

I love picking out light fixtures...we had to completely renovate our house due to Hurricane Ike in 2008, so every room has new fixtures. I have this one particular ceiling fan/light that we bought while living in another house and I keep bringing it with me to each house we move to. Deputy Dave takes it down carefully, packs it away and puts another fan in its place (after letting the buyers know it is not staying). I love that fan and am looking forward to it hanging in our cabin. The other fixtures will have to be from artisans in the country. Ceiling fans will probably be from Lowe's.

About the goat pump, it looked compact and easier to use than some of the huge contraptions I've seen, but I don't know if all of it just didn't show up in your pictures. It was interesting. I'll have to really practice milking so I can be a human machine!

Rae --- I have seen some pretty disturbing things while on my evening just makes you walk faster or stop the walks altogether. And, it must be great to see the chickens from the kitchen window...I'll have to really think about how we'll set that up so I can do the same thing. I know the chicken coop can't be too far from the house, but far enough. And, I will really enjoy stepping outside in my Walmart moo-moo. But, I'll still have to dodge Deputy Dave's picture taking meanness. Maybe I'll buy super-sized tee-shirts and paint chickens on them to at least make it interesting for the photo shots.

Linda --- I think my body needs major recreational reconstruction before I'd be walking around nakey, but the ability to do so sure is nice. Not having to tightly close the window coverings is a nice bit of freedom. And I absolutely LOVE your quote about an unwelcomed guest meeting the Good Lord and a Gun...very good. I think I will be making a sign in the near future and will post it for your to see!! Thanks for sharing!