Sunday, June 5, 2011

Das Fensterbrett

If you live in America chances are you don't really have one or use one.  If you live in Europe chances are every single one in your house is as large as a shelf and contains a line of plants, or lamps, or picture frames.  I am talking about the windowsill or "Fensterbrett" (which literally translates to "window board").  These are forgotten and sometimes non-existent spaces in American homes, but seem to be extremely well utilized and important spaces in European homes.  The most common way to use a Fensterbrett is to cover it with plants that need a lot of sunshine.  This works beautifully with herbs in the kitchen. 

Have a look at Hilda Grahnat's super cute windowsill in Sweden.  She has such a cute fun sense of style and I love her cozy whimsical kitchen.  She has really done a great job utilizing the windowsill.  Here is a picture of her windowsillAnd here is a picture of her windowsill for Christmas.  The candles are for Advent and a great and cozy European tradition.

I have recently also begun to utilize my windowsills more.  I don't have as many as some other homes because my kitchen and my work room both only have skylight-style windows.  But, I have tried.  I want to get more plants for my windowsills.  But, the boyfriend just doesn't let me because we inevitably have the plant for one week and I kill it.  Kind of a waste of money.  He does have a herb growing project going, however, so perhaps one day soon we will have a windowsill full of oregano and rosemary!   

My windowsill in dining room.  Not a nice picture.

Making the most out of my HUGE windowsill in the bedroom.

Another view.  Loved these purple flowers I have had the last week.  I think they are peonies. 
Finally, here are some links to my favorite blog decor8.  I think that she has done an amazing job with some of her windowsills and as an American living in Germany she has really picked up on the German/European tradition of using these forgotten spaces to the maximum. 

Here she uses flowers and terrariums on a 3-season porch. 

Here, in the top picture, she has books on her Fensterbrett. 

Here, she has the traditional German Fensterbrett with plants!

The windowsill is a wonderful place to fill with things you love or plants that need a lot of light.  Plus, it really warms up a room to have some plants in front of a window and could provide privacy if the plants were large enough.  And it is the small spaces of a home, the usually forgotten spaces, which give a home style and character and which make a home cozy.  Don't forget to style your Fensterbrett. 

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