When I came across this scene, I felt as if I’d walked into a Vilhelm Hammershoi painting. If you’re not familiar with Hammershoi, he’s the Danish painter from the turn of the century who captured quiet interiors and exteriors with soft, luminous light. This aging, eyebrow dormer window -- complete with peeling paint, rows of snail shells, and view of a peaceful meadow -- gave me butterflies.
The confluence of elements that had me all aflutter are really rather fundamental. The curved ceiling, under which the eyebrow window nestles, is comfortably embracing. The center, operable, six-lite casements invite fresh air, daylight, and communion with the meadow below. The fixed, multi-pane sashes on either end of the curve extend the view frame and emphasize an intimate scale, requiring you to approach with head bent if you desire a closer look outdoors. The crackling, creamy white finishes with glimpses of green paint below reflect the room’s history and the vagaries of personal taste. The collection of shells carefully arranged on the sill reminds us that the sea is nearby and that someone has enjoyed collecting its offerings to display in this special, private spot.
After I saw this tableau, I was ready to move in to this little house. If only.
by Katie Hutchison for the House Enthusiast