Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Most Beautiful Windows in the World ...

According to Wikipedia (that infallible resource the insomniac  uses to gather most of her facts, and the validity of which she rarely questions), the honor of having the Most Beautiful Windows in the World is bestowed upon La Sainte-Chapelle, a medieval Gothic chapel in the heart of Paris. However, one begs to differ with Wikipedia just this one time, as we believe the windows in the Little Gothic Cottage in the heart of the Spooky Forest are now the Most Beautiful Windows in the World. Sorry, La Sainte-Chapelle. You've been downgraded to Number 2. Somebody should probably let Wikipedia know so they can correct their information.

Storybook Homes, the creators of the Buckleberry plans we are using to build our Little Gothic Cottage, has a resource list on their website of Preferred Vendors. Some of the vendors were already familiar to us, having used a few during the restoration of the Gothic Mansion. But as a large part of the Buckleberry's charm are the diamond paned windows, we found ourselves drawn again and again to one particular vendor - Hyland Studio - whose tagline is “old-world style in diamond paned windows and stained glass.”

So despite our floundering Canadian dollar, the planning involved in having the leaded glass made at Hyland Studio then sent to Jen-Weld to be incorporated into an energy efficient casement window, and finally crating and shipping those windows (and one door) all the way from California to Canada, we were in almost  unanimous agreement to greatly exceed our allotted window budget so we could have a few of those beautiful old-world style windows in our home. And although that decision initially caused a few sleepless nights (as it's awfully hard to start off a project so far over budget without losing some  sleep), we're awfully glad we did.

Without further ado, the insomniac  is pleased to introduce the skilled artisans of Team Hyland, photos courtesy of Tom ...

Char - Designer and Artist, shown here NOT working on our windows ...

Diane - Designer and Artist, also NOT our window. Too bad, that's a stunner ...

Bob - Master Beveler, who IS working on our windows!

Probably Bob again. Shirt looks the same ...

Bob looks to be a coverall guy - just like the spouse.

Steven - Artist (also our window) ...

Brad - Master Glazier (ours again) ...

Once our very large order was finished and on its way from sunny California to frigid Alberta, the insomniac  tried to exhibit a modicum of restraint by not texting Cherlyn every fifteen minutes and asking whether they were here yet. It was worrisome they were being shipped during yet another go-round with the Dreaded Polar Vortex, and we were somewhat apprehensive the driver might get caught in a snow storm and slide off the road. And not that we weren't concerned about the driver's welfare, but we may have been a teensy bit more anxious about our windows. Only a little bit, though. We're not total jerks.

When they finally did arrive, they had to be put into storage until the weather improved, i.e. warm enough to feel one's fingers without wearing three pairs of mitts. But on the first decent day in what seems to have been practically forever, Tristram and the other members of Team Wolf installed them without a single mishap, i.e. not having the trackhoe working on the conservatory make a sudden wrong move and knock one out of their mitts.

Windows being unloaded by random Hi-Way 9 Express delivery guy.

And Cherlyn.

After having spent the last quarter century planning our summers around which windows in the Gothic Mansion needed scraping and painting, we opted for a black metal-clad wood exterior which requires absolutely no maintenance other than cleaning. And a person probably doesn't need to do that very often either - if they don't really feel like it.

Tristram installing the first window ...

Cherlyn inspecting Tristram and John's work ...

Although the Buckleberry plans show all windows as being diamond paned glass, we ignored the recommendation and ordered plain windows for the rear of the cottage, allowing unobstructed views of the creek, the forest, and on a really clear day maybe even the top of a mountain.

Tristram did suggest we splurge on a leaded AND bevelled window in the Master Bath; the picture below shows what good advice that was. We decided against getting one in the adjacent Throne Room, though. Anyone seated on the Throne wouldn't be facing the right way to enjoy a pretty window anyways.

You'll have to use your imagination to visualize the
black pedestal bathtub underneath that gorgeous window.

And the black toilet in the Throne Room ...

And perhaps a flowery chandelier above?

Perhaps not ... the spouse has reservations about a frou-frou chandelier.
Maybe something with Gryphons instead.
That would please all concerned.

One was almost positive she'd gotten a picture of Chris from Team Wolf, but the camera seems to have malfunctioned. Hopefully you'll meet Chris when he arrives to stain and varnish the window at the top of the steep stairwell, which the insomniac  couldn't possibly do herself because of its location and will therefore attempt to bribe Chris into doing by baking him cookies. Or buying him wings and beer. Whichever works.

Quite sure that's at least a 50 foot drop ...

John getting ready for the triple window in the Library ...

You'll also have to use your imagination to envision the tiny conservatory on the other side of that large opening currently covered in plastic. And to imagine bookcases on either side of those glorious windows and maybe a window seat underneath. And should there be any money left after all that, perhaps an embossed brass ceiling in a Gothic motif. Although it's still rather up in the air, depending on which of us you ask, as to whether a brass ceiling is more important than a window seat.

Library Windows

Dining Room Windows

Kitchen Window and Door

They're both open because it was positively balmy that day. Haha.

It looks huge, but it's really not that big inside. Really. It's not.

We still have to get rid of more furniture.

When we emailed Tom at Hyland Studio and thanked him for our magnificent windows, he replied, “Thanks for the kind words. It is very important to us that you like our work. We are moody artists. Haha.”

Well, Tom - to set the record straight, a person doesn't necessarily have to be an artist to be moody. Just ask the long-suffering spouse. Or Tristram. Haha.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.