Fly curtains hold a very special place in my heart. No regularly open door in Italy is without them, and it was through them that I first learned to view the world. When strange guests came calling, and in large Italian families there are many strange guests that you are urged to kiss and who pinch your cheeks until they glow cherry-red, I would hide amongst the strip-y stripes of fly curtain, chewing on them. As I grew older, I would spy on boys on motorini through them. I all-seeing whilst remaining totally invisible to them. The plastic strips would also make great fly swats.
So you see, fly curtains are incredibly romantic. Not boy-romantic, but life-romantic. I like the way the sunlight diffuses through them. But mostly of course, I like the way the flies stay out. Now, Italy is big on brightly coloured fly curtains made of semi-opaque, fairly hard (hence why they make good fly swats) strips. A bit like strips of hanging boiled sweets. Nice in Naples, where Farrow and Ball hasn’t visited yet, but in my house: no. I didn’t even really think they were necessary in this country until I got me a back door (glass, stable) which is nearly always open during fly-season. I.e. now.
I started looking for a fly curtain that wasn’t awful. It wasn’t easy. The most stylish I could find was by a German company using silver link chain. But even that wasn’t great and cost £100. Then I went to a friend’s barbecue and she had this great matt grey fly curtain. If Kelly Hoppen had a fly curtain it’d be this one. I did some research and tracked it down and ordered one too.
Officially it’s called the Silver Slat Blind. I got mine custom made as our back door isn’t a standard size. It looks great. The service was unbelievably superb – I struck up a correspondence with someone called Sue who was incredibly helpful – and I paid about £8.50 for it all in. I recommend it all highly. All from Holland Plastics.
The first picture is of a double white fly curtain for the terrace doors (the terrace, dahlink!). The second pic is of the original grey one.