Layering a Room Part II, Sheers and Lingerie

Grace and Jimmy, Rear Window.
Grace Kelly's wardrobe by Edith Head.

Elegant lingerie is not a luxury. It is a mental health necessity. No matter how bad the day is going, every visit to the ladies' confirms that one aspect of my life is tastefully coordinated. Most days.

The same holds true for window dressing, that oft overlooked element that contributes mightily to layering a room. Sitting at the desk or on the couch, I pause now and then to clarify my thoughts (truthfully I have few to clarify, usually I'm stumped). What then? I look out the window. How nice when the window dressing coordinates with the room and complements the view.

Especially if it includes a billowy sheer curtain, as its first or only layer.

2013. Daisy's house. The Great Gatsby

The effect of a full length sheer catching the breeze can be intoxicating, magical, lovely. And maybe reminiscent of elegant, expensive lingerie.

1938. Bringing Up Baby. Katherine Hepburn.
The bench by the window looks Louis 14 to me. I could be wrong.
My mother had curtains exactly like Kate's. Mom's cat was much smaller.
I would wear lingerie like this (if I owned it) while toiling at my desk writing blog posts.

That depends I suppose on your cultural references. And age. My age. No young woman today would be caught dead in anything other than plaid pajama bottoms and a t-shirt (from field hockey camp) thus rendering "sheers as lingerie" incomprehensible to most of my readers.

The generational issue aside, Hollywood knows all too well the power that white has over us humans. Especially when it is caught in the wind. 

1952. The Quiet Man.
That apron would make perfect café style cottage curtains.

It takes on movement, life. An invisible force lifting us up and out of our muddy mess into the clean whiteness of a different place.

Some of my favorite images of moving, billowy white with the power to delight, inspire, awe, motivate, or haunt, but most of all they transport me to a different place.

1959. Audrey Hepburn being fitted at Hubert de Givenchy.
The Independent
I like drapery panels with lots of volume. Go big or go home.
Louis 15 tables in the background.

1974. Alfred Hitchcock and Grace Kelly.
Hitchcock Zone

1983. Scarface.
Everyone has been in this situation. "We're late. You look good."
I also like a tailored look on the window as well.
I had the navy blue version of this skirt.

1993. Much Ado About Nothing.
Sheer white linen bed hangings are the crucial component of a romantic bedroom. 

1998. You've Got Mail. source
Design bloggers have written much about her bedroom.
I love the living room's bay window and the Regency desk chair, a charming but quirky companion
to the farmhouse desk.
The sheers softly diffuse light and the view. As well as the reality of living in NYC.

This movie made me seriously reconsider the merits of natural, wrinkly white linen with ruffles. For the window.
As gritty and unkempt as it is, the wrinkly white linen triumphs in the end.

2006. Marie Antoinette.
Just look at that sublimely embroidered silk sheer! Louis 16 table (he was her husband after all).
What do we call this piece of furniture? A double chaise longue? Anyone?

2009. Bright Star
English, old school gauzy linen, perfect for netting the breeze.

2013. The Great Gatsby.
Curtains played a huge but unacknowledged role in this version of Gatsby..
There is no "netting the breeze" here. While they appear perfectly divine, the winds
blowing across the bay bring nothing but disaster...

2015. Mad Max Fury Road.
This movie haunted me for days.
Haunting as it may be, this image still made me think how well that fabric would work as sheer curtains.
And this fabric is for all intents and purposes (of the movie) lingerie. Take that you young whippersnappers. 

I know. I am nutty with the sheers as lingerie thing. Too old. 

Rest assured, I have never (not yet) dressed a client's window in anything remotely suggestive of lingerie. Exhibit A.

These striped linen sheers are the decorative element. 
The pleated Roman shade has a black out lining for sun control 
and total privacy after nightfall.

But without hesitation I would, tastefully, of course!

How do you like sheers?

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

p.s. If you'd like sheers or anything else for your windows for the HOLIDAYS, get on it now!


  1. I'm thinking linen sheers that close for privacy (but not too sheer) for daytime, and a pulldown shade for blackout at night?

    1. That would work. I am very partial to Roman Shades and wrote this post on themm, http://accessdesigngroup.blogspot.com/2012/01/when-in-rome.html
      The lift mechanism is flaawless.

    2. ok, flawless with one a.

  2. Lina I love not only the billowing sheers, also that you have mentioned some of my all time favorite movies! Rear Window, The Great Gatsby, Bringing up Baby etc!!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Paintings of Central Park

    1. They are such great stories and visual treats! Thanks for visiting!

  3. Hi Linda! Great post! Love all the photos. Glad to meet another blogger from Mass. Isn't the weather gorgeous? I will definitely be back - love your taste.

    1. Welcome to my blog! Glad to find another MA blogger. The weather is positively and heartbreakingly gorgeous. Fall is on its way.


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