A Very Victorian Window

Next up in the “Finishing the Butler’s Pantry” project was to dress the large window in the space! Since the initial remodel, it’s looked like this, with too-short and too-modern curtains. It’s such a great window, and gives such good light – almost too good of light – this was by far the hardest project yet to get good photos of.


The starting place was this piece, that my mother bought for my birthday. Or Christmas. Or for a Wednesday. I don’t even know. My kitchen for the past two houses has been an apple-minty green and black, with small hits of pink pottery, so this was PERFECT. The hits of pink in our kitchen also was the inspiration for the color palette in the Laundry Room , which is adjacent and visible to the kitchen (If you are new to the blog, and haven’t seen the laundry room, and if you are in a sad mood, go look at it. It’s the most smile-inducing room ever). My mother and I found this lovely piece of glass at one of my favorite Indy antique haunts, Midland Art and Antiques.


I wanted to give it a built-in look (there isn’t any stained glass in the house that came with the house, which makes me sad). So, first up was clearing everything out! I mean, that’s a giant window.


We REALLY settled into traditional gender roles for this one. Doug handled the stained glass, and I made the drapes. First, he needed to build a larger frame. He started with a basic 1×4, and used the router to make a channel for the stained glass to fit in.

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He took the stained glass out of its current frame, which I’ll hang onto in case I can use it for something else!

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After Doug made the channel for the glass, he routed a decorative band on the inside of the frame.


This was the dustiest of times. If anyone wants to build us a garage or a shop, we’d be much appreciative!

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Doug did a dry-fit to make sure it was measured perfectly. Of course, it was. Step one in remodeling a house should always be to marry an engineer of some type.


The frame went together, and he added L brackets to give it more support, since if this fell to the ground and shattered, I would then fall to the ground, and shatter.

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And then we hung it up! We hung it slightly lower than then window frame, since there would be curtains up there to hide the gap, and I want to be able to see as much of the window as possible. Also, by hanging this in FRONT of the window, instead of inside it, it allows the window to still be operable – we can open the window, and it’ll slide right behind the stained glass.


In the dark….


…and in the light!


Once it was hanging in the light, I saw something that I had never seen before – a signature! I immediately recognized the name “Fox’s Stained Glass.” Fox’s Stained Glass operated in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis, and is responsible for some of the most gorgeous windows in churches, businesses, and houses in the Midwest. The owners retired in 2007, and handed the reigns over to Camden Stained Glass, who continues the quality work that Fox’s began. Though my piece is very simple in design compared to others they’ve done, I’m very excited to have this piece in our house!


While Doug was working on the stained glass, I was at my sewing machine. It’s been a while since I’ve just sat and sewed for hours, and it was lovely. This is the fabric for the windows – The greens are perfect, and the pink plays off the stained glass and laundry room. And I also love the gold.


I didn’t want to just do straight panels – I wanted to do a “more is more” Victorian Drapery, so I added black (to go with the cabinetry) and lace and trims and ribbons.


For the hems of the drapes, I chose a really great embroidered stitch.


Which used up all the thread on a spool, something I’ve never done before. So, I had to go and get more.


Next to the hem, I added a band of black trim. On the second picture you can see most of the drape (pre-steaming. Ignore the wrinkles).

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New and old!


Layer one. See? I had a terrible time taking pictures in the sun.


On top, layer two is a simple black valance with green and pink trim, and ruched up with green and cream ribbons.

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Layer Three is a black lace sheer panel just underneath the stained glass. Does black lace mean I have a sexy window? Is that a thing? But the scalloped edge is so sweet… either way, I like it. It’s very Victorian, I think.


I tied back the side panels pretty high up with ribbons.


Here it is! Bright and sunny daytime shots.

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And some night-time shots, which make the colors a bit easier to read.

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Thoughts? I’d love to know what you think. I think it might be a bit too busy if there were multiple windows like this, but since there is just one, I think it works! I almost wish there was enough room to put a small chair by the window and the library-of-cookbooks shelf. That might be completely ridiculous.


If you missed the first project in the “Finishing the Butler’s Pantry” series, you should check it out. It’s quite sparkly.


  1. For me it’s a bit too busy but Victorian style was all about layers and opulence with fabrics. Instead of a chair you could put in a small open bench under the window? It would be a cheater window seat.

  2. So, I had to comment on this one… first, I am learning how to do stained glass art and along with that, I’m developing a huge love for stained glass and the character it adds to a home; so, of course I thought your addition of this (specific) glass panel is the perfect touch! Good call on this as well as the decorative accents that compliment the panel!

    I also have to say Midland Art and Antique is one of my favs (I may have even seen this panel there??? Not sure but it looked familiar enough…) my oldest daughter and I are there nearly every week scrounging around (along with Southport Antique Mall).

    As always, thanks sooooo much for sharing your victorian adventure with the world!

    1. I love Midland and Southport both – SO GREAT. This window was there for a really long time before we actually took it home, so I’m sure you saw it! It was hanging vertically there. Thank you for saying such nice things – you are such a great cheerleader for me!

  3. No Butler’s pantry anywhere on Earth has more a fabulous window treatment!


    I think it is fun to have some fun in normally overlooked spaces!

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