Curtains and Window Coverings in Children’s Literature

We’ve explored the “starring” role of window coverings in literature and cinema, but there’s a certain magic to the stories we read as children. Windows and curtains play a special role in stories for kids, becoming everything from the punchline to a classic joke, to a symbol of a transition to a magical world.  Here are a few of our favorites:

 

Strickland's Amelia BedeliaFor almost fifty years, Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia has been one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature. Amelia Bedelia is the world’s most literal maid, and is infamous for following the requests of her employers to the letter. When asked to dress a chicken for supper, she puts it in clothes, and the miscommunications only get sillier from there. It only stands to reason, then, when she is instructed to “draw the drapes”, Amelia Bedelia gets out a pencil and paper and gets to work on her sketching of the family’s window treatments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strickland's Peter Pan WIndowA window covering can be the perfect symbol of transition into a whole new fantasy world. In J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan, it is through Wendy’s window that Peter Pan enters the Darling household. The image of the playful Peter Pan, leaning into the Darling household through Wendy’s billowing drapes is such a beautiful and classic image from a childhood favorite. When the Darling children and Peter try to escape home, it is the bedroom window that stands out in the London skyline, beckoning them home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strickland's The Secret GardenIn The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story of Victorian magic and mystery, curtains both literally and figuratively represent the transition into a place where dreams can become reality.

The roses grow in the aforementioned garden in a way that reminds Mary of a curtain, separating the magical garden from the miserable world outside. Inside of the bedridden Colin’s room, he hangs an actual rose colored curtain over the image of his mother to cloak from himself the truth of her passing. When Colin regains his health and his happiness, he draws the curtain back, revealing the truth and the light into the room.

 

A curtain can bring magic and smiles to any playroom or child’s bedroom. Whether you’re trying to evoke Victorian garden grace, gaslamp English magic, or mid-century American cheer, window coverings in children’s literature are a great place to find inspiration. Stop by our showroom on your way home from the library to share your ideas and find the drapes of your dreams.

 
 

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