Ok, I’ll be honest. Though I love our neighborhood and the area we’re in, not to mention the ease of access we have to all other important areas of LA, we live across from some buildings I’d rather not see. I know they weren’t there when the home was built, and that a century ago we’d have likely had a view of the ocean. That’s why the living room has huge windows, including one large picture window that faces the street. The view through that picture window leaves much to be desired in 2014, however.
Wanting to move my (and others’) eyes from the view outside to the architecture inside, while maintaining the natural light pouring in, I started looking for some stained glass pieces to hang inside the existing window. I’m actually surprised the home doesn’t have any stained glass of its own; most craftsman-style homes of this era and area do. Perhaps some existed originally but has been replaced? I’d doubt that, judging by the original tiny panes of glass in many of the windows we still have.
It turns out stained glass is expensive. VERY expensive. However, on a recent work trip to Texas, I found two small panes of stained glass (likely transom or sidelite windows from their size and shape) for $75 for the pair! With lots of help from a generous coworker, I received the windows back at home in LA. We hung them with small brass eye hooks and the wood-colored wire we use for most of our picture rail hangings. I thought these panels would look nice as hanging sidelite windows next to our huge front door, and that I’d like to hang a larger statement piece in the picture window whenever I could find one we could afford. The larger pieces run $300-600 salvaged on Craigslist and auction sites! Not in the budget right now.
And then, in a random Craigslist search only a few weeks later, I scored. A large stained glass window *in the appropriate style* with dimensions that almost exactly reflected the aspect ratio of the picture window, salvaged from a church in the midwest… for only $60. That’s right- a window many times larger for even cheaper than the tiny windows! I couldn’t believe my luck when we drove up to the valley for pickup, and found that the owner of the window was moving and selling several other items- so we also bought an outdoor fountain with plants! Yes, a post about that is forthcoming.
Unfortunately, the owner knew nothing about the window’s history other than that it was from a church in the midwest. It would have been interesting to find out if it had come from a Chicagoland church, but oh well. We did some serious cleanup of the window, including removing some old paint from the wood with Goof Off.
Hanging this one was a bit trickier, as we didn’t want to damage the interior window sash wood, but wanted to make sure the large glass piece was adequately supported. Sadly, we found no brass-colored eye hooks large enough for the weight of the window, so we purchased grey ones. I’m sure I’ll use my favorite tool, Rub N Buff, to transform all the silver to the Spanish copper color.
So happy to see the difference these windows make- the eye now focuses on the inside of the home, rather than the ugly view across the street. Oh, and I picked up 6 more pieces of stained glass for $150 at a recent estate sale after I saw what a difference these made! We’ll be putting some of the new pieces up shortly.