In my last semester of college, I was staying late at the school to finish a painting. Dave was home with our 2 year old daughter. It was dark outside and silent in the studio. As I worked away, one of my favorite professors walked in. He was arranging some things for a class in the morning. As he headed out, he stopped and watched what I was doing.
I felt the hair raise on the back of my neck, as it does when I feel I’m in the spotlight. I continued to paint.
After what seemed like an eternity, he spoke.
“Tawna,” he asked, “what is wrong with your painting?”
I gave him my best fake smile and nervous giggle. I felt it had been going pretty well.
“I don’t know.”
He pushed his fingers through his hair like he always did when he was thinking.
“The light. The light is wrong.”
“You’re painting snow and a haystack. What is it like in the winter?”
My mind drew up only one thought.
I was startled by his excitement and by the fact my feeble answer was somehow right.
He pressed further.
“What is summer like?”
At least I had the answer this time.
He finally had me where he wanted me.
“Look at your snow and your haystack. They’re hot!” He ran is fingers through his hair again. “They’re flaming hot!”
He grabbed another paint brush from my taboret and starting mixing purple, blue, yellow, and white. After he had what he wanted, he swathed a line onto the haystack. It was so much cooler than the rest, and immediately I felt the cold breeze when I was feeding the animals on my dad’s farm. I smelled the wet hay.
“Cool down that haystack and get some more blue in your snow,” he clipped, then before I could utter a thank you he was out the door.
I remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a great one-on-one, impromptu lesson by one of the greats. I also felt the feeling of loss. I was going to be graduating with my bachelor’s degree in a few weeks, and there was a whole area of expertise that I wouldn’t be taught before I left.
Ever since then, I made it a point to try to understand light. I still watch the way colors transform under nature’s force of “cool” and “warm”.
So what does this have to do with window treatments?
I’ve come to the realization of why I’ve never liked them.
I’m fascinated with light.
I don’t want to block it. I want to see it and feel it.
I know that window treatments finish rooms nicely. They are especially great in massive rooms. They soften things.
Other times they are a must for privacy. In those cases, I usually opt for roman shades. They still bring a sense of softness, yet there is nothing taking over the room. Their lines are clean.
Other than that, I prefer to leave my windows naked. I love letting them show off their moldings, and most of all, I like to see what is outside.
That’s how a minimalist does window treatments.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the minimalist’s ideas for window treatments, or do you like a more traditional approach? Share in the comments!