Over the last few weeks, I took a little time out of the busy remodel for the little red house to walk through the 10 PrairieMod Principles in a little more detail. You can follow the link to catch-up on those posts if you like. This week, I tackle a pesky problem with an aspect of the little red house I can't change: the view.
The little red house is situated in the suburbs, west of Chicago. The area is filled with large, beautiful trees, lots of birds and the occasional rabbit and raccoon. It's really quite beautiful. However, it's not alone out in the country. There are other houses around...some not so aesthetically pleasing to look at from your window. So what to do about it?
I have this very conundrum to deal with in the model room I've been currently working on. I don't want to limit the amount of light coming in from the room's only window. Yet, the view from this window looks onto a less-than-desirable scene. My solution?
First, I'm going to take a semi-opaque material and cover the windows over. The goal is to allow light in (slightly diffused) but keep the view out. But, an opaqued over window could be just as depressing as looking at a neighbor with questionable taste. How do I bring in a unifying element to link the window to the rest of the room and ultimately the rest of the house?
In the Prairie homes, designers like Frank Lloyd Wright would use art glass to enhance the view, cast wonderful patterns of light and shadow, act as a privacy device and ultimately unify with the other elements of the house. Art glass today can be expensive and fairly impractical. Instead, I can take the idea behind the art glass and implement a modern-day expression of it.
I can do it with a screen. I had a screen like this installed in my old house and I loved it. Laser-cut with precision, I get the beauty of an art glass window but in a modern-day format. Reducing a window design to only its minimalist linear aspects makes it fit into a contemporary environment with ease. I chose a design by Marion Mahony for its use of triangles--the main motif found in the little red house's tented ceiling and main window wall. I feel its conventionalized geometric plant design will work perfectly in the model room. Just because I can't see the outside, doesn't mean I can't still experience it.
I'm tweaking the design a little and figuring the measurements to make sure it fits. I hope to have it cut and installed in a few weeks. I'll make sure to get some shots of it when it's all finished. Hopefully it will help let the light in and be an alternative sight for my sore eyes. Fingers crossed!