The Thursday Three – velvet and verdigris

velvet damask vintage curtainsI will miss aspects of the cottage in the UK. Although the cheap white walls and dark brown carpet upstairs are not my choice, they are an OK backdrop for photos.

As you might know, I have been sourcing curtains, mostly old ( but a smattering of new linen ones) for the French house for a long time. It takes time to find the perfect pair and they are utterly critical when considering natural light and colour reflection and what could be more authentic or eco-friendly than keeping old, sound wooden windows & doors and insulating with thick drapes?

This pair of velvet and damask gems are superfluous to my window needs, but they are very heavy and very beautiful for the right spot, door or narrow window. Extremely well made and sitting on Etsy right now.

Having listened to many folk bemoaning the difficulty of finding drapes to suit the  height and drop of tall windows in French properties, I have started sourcing old pairs in good vintage condition here and in France as not everyone can sew their own.

Yes, you can have them made to measure and but that is very expensive due to the amount of material, labour and time required for proper hand finishing.  Vintage ones are an affordable option and tick lots of boxes for me; the response on Etsy to the curtains I have listed to date suggests a market out there. And I can post them safely anywhere in the world, unlike our restored & refinished furniture!

If you are making yourself, you really don’t have to pay top whack for fabrics. This length of Voyage embroidered linen was a 99p ebay find. As was this unusual and screamingly 30’s little embroidery destined for a cushion cover.

1930 embroideryvoyage linen








Find of the week, however, has to be these very old brackets , designed to hang a heavy tapestry on a pole. From a French château of course.But certainly simple enough for the hovel.img_20170303_091712

Yes you can stabilise patina and verdigris so it doesn’t come off on your 17th century Jacobean wool embroidered hangings.Details…Details….



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Thursday Three – velvet and verdigris

  1. Lynda says:

    I have never looked for fabric on Ebay. I must do this for my next round of window coverings… a bit picture window in the living room is calling to me for a better cover. I hope I am as lucky as you were!

    On eclectic taste. Why does anyone think that everything has to match? I have never had a room of matching furniture ever. If it is old, comfortable and beautiful, then I will want to live with it. If it is fabric covered and needs reupholstered then I will try to get the new fabric to fit the time period and the color to live happily in the same room with what I already own. Much of decorating, for me at any rate, is all about color. Easy wall colors as a backdrop (no color of the year for me) and then the rest is all about comfort not being matchy-matchy.

    I once had my sister state the obvious: “NOTHING you own matches anything else.”

    But it does; It all delights my eye and functions as designed. What more could you ask of a piece of furniture?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It baffles me that storm windows don’t exist in France. But then I think it baffles the French that Americans install storm windows in a way that makes their shutters inoperable. I’d be on board with using heavy drapes except that (at least where I am) there would be times I’d never want to open them.

    Also, I’m still debating the front windows on my house. The South Philly old timers think I’m crazy to want to take down fiberglass/aluminum awnings, and that historic preservation carpenter I met is encouraging me to hunt down old sashes for my front windows and use interior storms. If I got new windows, they’d have coated glass, which would be a nice replacement for the awnings. But I like the idea of doing something that everyone would think is crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do stuff that other people think is crazy all the time. Including buying this house.
      I swear no one else would have snapped it up ’cause it ain’t pretty (yet)


      • People have no vision. My parents got a ridiculous bargain on their current house. It had been rented and then vacant for a while but the only surprise was a leaking stall shower in a bathroom they intended to remodel anyway. They negotiated pulling out the dirty wall-to-wall carpeting before settlement and the seller and Realtor were horrified at the extra money they missed out on from just doing that.

        Liked by 1 person

    • francetaste says:

      The shutters are the storm windows. 1.5 inches of solid wood is great insulation, plus the air mostly sealed between the shutter and the window.
      I can’t wait for this move to France to become official so we can go do some antiquing/brocanting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But shutters also darken the room. I stayed briefly in the Ardeche and really liked the shutters that could close and then open like an awning. I also saw one fancy Second Empire style house in West Philly that has glass shutters, which fascinates me because I’ve never seen anything like that anywhere else.

        Are you moving into one of the apartments you just restored?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Interfering with your reply to France taste, we have classic plank shutters on 2nd floor and the two sets of French doors. On first floor ( living/dining/ kitchen floor) we have those Z folding shutters that can be angled as you saw in the Ardeche; I wasn’t keen on these at first, but the ability to angle them in the very strong afternoon sun is a real asset so they are staying now


      • This is why it’s helpful to hold off on making changes. My parents have a zoysia lawn that my mom wanted to have pulled until she discovered that it’s the best grass ever even though it’s brown for a third of the year, and she at first wanted to knock out the wall between the den and the kitchen until she warmed up to not hearing the dishwasher while watching TV. (Incidentally, she would like to paint the Philippine mahogany paneling in the den, my dad’s first and only veto on a decorating decision. She still thinks this would be a good idea for some reason)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m with her on the panelling, it can be extraordinarily dark and that whole panelled dark wood thing only really suited to very grand houses and chateaux. In a 16thc oak framed English Tudor manor house, then yes!


      • This is much more Leave It To Beaver than manor house.


      • francetaste says:

        But the darkness is great in the summer. It keeps the house cool. A/C is rare.
        The apts are for vacation rentals. Planning a vacation in France?


      • What’s air conditioning? Someone asked me if we are putting that in. I can barely afford the basics…!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes Chad, come over to Carcassonne, you can meet all these crazy ladies! Bring Mum!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I used a Southwest credit card for my remodel and have 100,000 miles now, so for the time being my travels are probably limited to between Canada and Belize.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I told one friend, a Philly native, that my goal number 1 was to get my house sunny enough that I wouldn’t need to turn the lights on in the daytime and that privacy is an afterthought and he said, “Why do white people care more about sunlight than hiding what’s to steal in the house?”

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Osyth says:

    Mouthwatering selection …. those brackets are absolutely fabulous. I just can’t wait to be at the point where I can start playing with fabrics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You don’t have to wait !
      Believe me, if I had waited to source any of the important details I would not have been on full restoration radar alert to pick up the treasures I have found already over this last decade.
      I’m certain that with your background you have taste every bit as eclectic & exquisite as Moi-Même.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Osyth says:

        You are absolutely right! I guess I have held back because of all the shifting around but I need to get back to it. I miss the thrill of the chase and that incomparable feeling when one unearths treasure. I do have eclectic taste, I hope it might be deemed exquisite too – I certainly have something to live up to in you …. x

        Liked by 2 people

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