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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Security Gates on Fire Escape Windows Can Be Pretty!

This is likely not a problem for people who live in the suburbs, but for urban area dwellers, securing fire escape windows is serious business. Unfortunately, when you go to source protective gates for your windows, this is standard:

It's unfathomable to me why anyone would cover a window with all this metal, much less "show" a home for sale with iron bars on the windows, but many do. When we first viewed our home, it had both security gates and child gates. Literally every window was obscured by iron bars of some kind. How inviting! (Not.)

Iron bars were the first things to go when we demo'd at the start of the renovation. Then I spent days poring over ironworks catalogs, searching for an aesthetically pleasing fire escape gate.

Trust me when I say, there are NONE out there!

Luckily, one of my book club ladies hooked me up with iron works artist Vallessa MonkThis is what Vallessa designed for me:

Isn't it lovely?

Valessa met me on location at the new place - "the job site" - to get a sense of my style and what I was looking for. I had looked at her website and admired her "nature" line. So on the spot she sketched a rough draft of iris and roses, not even knowing that iris are my favorite flower!

I paid her a deposit of 50% of the project cost that day, and she got to work. A few days later she emailed me the "plasmas":

Already, I could tell I was going to love it.

I couldn't believe how she could achieve such delicacy with metal:

The day it was ready, Vallessa emailed me a photo of the finished gate and said that she was on her way over from her studio in Williamsburg.

The installation was no different than for any other type of security gate:

And here is the final piece, blending right into my interior design - a work of art. I love the way it filters the light coming through the window when I wake up in the morning. 

A triumph of form AND function.

Security gates on fire escape windows do not have to look like prison bars!