Our house gets really nice sunlight – especially upstairs and especially in the afternoon when the sun hits the front of the house directly. We love it for everything from hanging out to taking photos. And Burger, well, he loves it for just about anything: napping, grooming, sniffing things, more napping.
But the beams of sunlight streaming in also highlighted a shortcoming of this house: no window blinds. I think we took it for granted that the bedrooms in our last house came with nice white faux wood blinds, so it was kind of a shock the first night when we realized we had nothing for privacy or to keep the light from creeping in early the next morning.
So after way too many nights of undressing in the dark and waking up at the crack of dawn, we finally went out and bought a stack of . They’re Home Depot’s in-stock faux wood blinds. We splurged slightly on the “premium” version because they had wider slats (which means less window obstruction when they’re open) and they also promised better light blocking and had a break-away cord for added kid safety (no loops, just pulls, and the pulls break away under the weight of a child). Fortunately it was only a small upcharge, since dressing 11 windows quickly added up to over $350 (and that was with a coupon). Gulp.
But they were a necessary evil that each room needed (especially the bedrooms and bathrooms where a certain amount of privacy is not just appreciated, it’s expected). I say “evil” because we don’t consider them to be exceptionally pretty – even if they are an upgrade from vinyl blinds – but the function trumps any gripes that we have about form. And once you layer in some curtains the windows end up looking pretty great.
Installation was a bit tedious, but straightforward thanks to some good instructions. Having to hang eleven blinds and then make a few adjustments turned into a bit of a time suck (this project took about 6 hours total, broken up over two days) but it’s beyond nice to have privacy and early-morning-darkness in the bedrooms and bathrooms again.
Hanging them basically involved screwing two brackets into the side of the window frame, and then sliding the blind into place.
We were lucky that our windows were all standard sizes, so Home Depot had them on the shelf (they offer free cutting services if needed – but we were glad we didn’t have to stand there while they cut down 11 blinds for us). I did get to customize them for our house by adjusting the length, which I did after each one was hung. I just removed the bottom slat, cut the strings that held all of the extraneous slats that we wanted to remove, and then reattached the base slat to the shortened strings and tied that to hold it in place (this post shows that step in more detail if you’d like extra photos/info).
One new issue that we never encountered when installing these before was that the side pieces of trim that came with each set of blinds needed to be shorter to fit against our window frames for some reason.
So I broke out my miter saw to give each of them (all 22!) a trim so they’d sit flush against the window and still attach correctly at the corner. The pieces of scrap wood in this picture are just blocking that I used to keep the trim in place without risking my fingers.
They just snap together, so shortening them on the end didn’t interfere with how they attach.
Then all that was left was to enjoy some privacy and some light control. They’re still looking pretty basic because we don’t have curtains hung in most of our rooms yet.
Although we do have them in Clara’s room…
We also hung the curtains that Sherry sewed for our last dining room in the guest room.
We owe you guys photos of how each room is looking these days, so Sherry’s planning to shoot some pictures for you this weekend and write a “one month in” post for Monday. And speaking of the lady wife, we were just talking about how the first few months in a house always feel like you’re bleeding money. Seriously, someone get us a tourniquet. So although this is our third house and we should know how this goes by now (addressing all those do-this-first items just seem to add up) we still find ourselves walking out of Home Depot saying things like “Over $300?! Are these blinds made of gold?!”
P.S. Since Google Reader is breaking up with all of us in four short days (aka: closing down forever) we’ve been forced to find a new reader, so we’ve converted over to (it imported all of our favorite blogs really easily and we liked its clean layout) but we’ve also heard good things about . So this is just a little “remember the milk” reminder, except it’s “remember to switch readers because Google’s about to dump us all.”