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Design Tragedies.

Lighthearted stuff this morning.

This is the view from my front window:

It’s gorgeous. I live on one of the nicest streets in Pittsburgh. The neighbors are nice, except for the church lady Trump Nazi next door, but we ignore her if we can.

Every year, I have this loveliness to look at through my front window except I really can’t look at it from my front window. Why? It’s because the previous owners put this behemoth bay window on the front of the house. This problem has plagued me since the days of the traffic cone orange countertops. (I fixed the kitchen. It’s always going to be a bowling alley but the Orange is now cost effective and nicer looking butcher block.)

Here’s the problem with this window and why it breaks my heart from both sides of the wall:

1.) It doesn’t match the era when the house was built. My house is mid century. That was the era of flat picture windows. So what?, you may ask. What’s wrong with a bay window?

2.) It’s disproportionally large for my house. I mean, it’s YUGE. Don’t get me wrong, I love natural light. But because it is a bay, it needs its own roof and the one that’s built onto the front of this house is also big and takes up a good chunk of the front exterior of this house. It’s not a giant McMansion. It’s a modest 3 bedroom. (Plenty big for a family of 4 but still not Versailles) Basically, this window looks like a giant wart hanging on the front of my house. It gives me a sad everytime I drive up to it.

3.) (and this is the stupidest part) Whoever picked out this window got the one with the blinds built into the glass. BUT the blinds can only be tilt adjusted to let light in. They can’t be retracted in any way. I can’t make the blinds go away. So I’ve been living here with days like today, looking out – through blinds. Short of breaking the glass (I’ve considered it) the blinds are a permanent feature. Who does that?? Oh, yeah, probably the person who picked the Orange laminate countertops.

4.) The frames are unpaintable. I mean the grilles are unpaintable. Someone must have been thinking, “oh, this wood grille looks so expensive (it doesn’t). Let’s not get painted grilles”. I’ve seen design noobs on YouTube who get apoplexy whenever someone paints wood. This is what I imagine happened with this window’s former owners. But now I’m stuck because unless I paint the grilles, which I can’t do without breaking the glass because they are also between the panes, no other color painted wood is going to look right from the interior or exterior. Painting the interior trim white will make the grilles looks kind of dingy. To prevent that, I have to leave everything else unfinished which looks, well, unfinished.

I’m assuming the original window owners discovered this too late as they painted every other trim surface in the living room but the window sash and frame. I hope they took a moment to appreciate how stupid it looks.

I’ve gotten some windows companies to give me quotes. I’m thinking of three simple double hungs with grilles and no internal blinds. The prices aren’t too crazy though with a retention wall to fix, it’s going to hurt (there goes replacing my laptop this year)

But every time I get one of these companies to give me a quote, they make a BFD about how much they LOVE the bay window. That’s because they have no design taste and can’t get past the fact that the previous owner spent about $14K on this ONE window. Oh, and the seal is broken. Gotta fix that. Great! Can you fix it by, you know, removing the window and replacing it with something more reasonable?? Then they look at me like I have two heads.

Then I want to get all Karen on their asses and shriek that the person who put the damn window in had more money than taste, no interest in the historical style of the house, bought blinds that can’t be retracted and I want to speak to your managers because I absolutely do not want another {{expletive deleted}} $14k bay window to replace it.

Meanwhile, the years go by with me staring out at the lovely street in a partial vision seat.

I’m ready to take a sledgehammer to it to force a replacement.

It’s going to happen one of these days. {{insert image of RD with goggles and sledgehammer going at it and screaming “DIE! DIE! DIE!” as wood splinters, roof shingles and glass fly into the air in a fountain of glittering shards. It will be my performance art piece.)

Will take pics.

7 Responses

  1. i know very little about how to design, though my parents certainly did. I do have a good appreciation for aesthetics, though. And seeing this, I think hat it is ridiculous to affix blinds which can’t be closed, to a nice window with a lovely view. I would prefer drapes, anyway, I do not like blinds. But particularly when they can’t be closed, I do not even understand the concept. You will be happier when you replace the window entirely, though I knot it is expensive.

  2. Are you going to remove the bay, so it’s flat or leaving the bay in place? My humble opinion is that crank out windows would look better than double hung but I have double hung myself, although it’s 2 units together.
    I predict a sledgehammer in the future, damn those window companies. Lots of building will be going on with the vaccine opening things up.
    My own projects will have to wait another year, I think.

    • Yes, I am removing the bay. It’s an eyesore from the street. It has its own roof and it’s disproportionate to the face of the exterior.
      I like casement windows but I think the double hungs would give me more ventilation options. The other option I’ve seen is the picture window with the large stationary section in the middle flanked by two casements. It looks pretty but if I’m not mistaken, the double hungs are the less expensive option.

  3. Yeah, the blinds and the grille are especially ridiculous. Perhaps you can work on provoking your neighbor (I recommend an “Atheists for Hillary” yard sign) until she throws a brick through it. Then you can make her pay for the replacement. Problem solved!

  4. I know nothing about house design, so have some Randy Rainbow:
    (Contains a few F-bombs)

  5. We had wacky grills like this on all our windows. What I discovered was that they are just decorative and you can pop them right off. It would probably be worth a look to see if yours are the same, try to slide something thin under one near the top and pry up gently… mine just popped off and all I have now are these little round numbs that if you don’t know they are there you don’t see them.

    • No can do. The grilles, like the blinds, are located between two panes of glass. The whole thing has to go.

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