Sunday, November 10, 2013

Going Blind

It has been a busy weekend here in Douma Nation.  Lots of running around and not as much lounging as we would like.

Ok, fine.  There was some lounging. But not as much as usual, I swear!

It all started when we were looking through a Menard's ad and saw that they had window coverings on sale.  We have three windows in our living room- the large front one with the stained glass and two regular ones.  We dealt with the front window soon after moving in a year and a half ago, as the previous owners had left us with a makeshift "window shade" of fraying, stained muslin on a cardboard roll.

 Clearly, this look had to go.  Unfortunately, this window is an odd size, so we were unable to purchase curtains that would work with the space we had.  I thought about buying ready-made curtains and just altering them, but after a lot of looking around, I wasn't able to find any colors or patterns that worked with the colors in the room.

 I am not much for sewing, so I was a little apprehensive about making my own curtains, but really the hardest part about the project was choosing the fabric.  All I did was measure and cut the fabric 2 inches larger than I needed, and then used iron-on seam tape to hem it all the way around.  This also worked well because the seam tape makes a crisp, stiff edge, so the curtains hold their shape better.  I made two sets for the window, so essentially they are double thick, with a neutral tone towards the back (this is what shows from outside the window) and the rust colored pattern in the front.  For the curtain rod I just bought a really nice rubbed bronze tension rod that was made for shower curtains, and a bunch of bronze rings with little clips on them.  The curtains stay up really well and I didn't have to attach any hardware to the molding!


So this brings us to today. Our other two living room windows are covered with cheap vinyl blinds that are broken in a few places and are constantly getting bent and tangled up. 

We considered putting up curtains instead, but I didn't know if I could find more of the same fabric pattern, and I didn't really want to try to add yet another pattern to the room.  Plus, I'm lazy and I didn't want to make two more sets of curtains. So we figured we would just replace the blinds with nicer ones!  After some deliberation, we opted to go with 2" faux wood ones, mainly because they looked halfway decent and because custom fitted real wood blinds are not in the budget.  Somehow we also came home with a 7.5 foot fake Christmas tree, but I'll save that for another post. 

We also purchased blinds for the parlor and the window in our foyer, which has been shade-less throughout the still-unfinished renovation.  This allows our skeezy, short bus-driving neighbors to see right into our living room.  While we had planned on leaving the window covering until we finish the renovation, we decided peace of mind was more important.

This morning we set about installing the new blinds, starting with the foyer window.  As always, this turned out to be a MUCH larger project than we'd anticipated.  Lance discovered that beautiful old moldings around the inside of the windows do not leave enough space to fasten the screws needed to hold in the brackets.  So, after an exhaustive search for small scraps of wood we could use to even out the gap, we ended up having to go ALL the way back to Menard's to buy one strip of molding to cut into pieces that would fit inside the window.  The upside was that this allowed us to stop for deeeeelicious milk shakes on the way home.

Once we got back, we ran into several problems:

1. The directions were full of errors
2. The packages do not contain the actual number of screws needed to attach the brackets
3. We lost a drill bit in a crack in the window jamb.....never did find it, either. 
4. And the worst part, is that we figured out we didn't actually need the extra wood pieces we'd made a special trip to buy.  However, there's no way we could have known this until AFTER we'd tried to use the new wood pieces. 

FINALLY, we got the foyer window done.....and then we managed to do 4 more windows (living room and parlor) in half the time (and with a LOT less swearing) than it took to do the first ONE.  

But it looks SO much better! These blinds actually close all the way and match the rest of the room! And now, we can get on with our Christmas decorating (yes, in early November.....)!