Thing #11 – Windows on the World May 4, 2011Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, Home, random stuff.
Or on my front yard, anyway.
See, it’s kind of a long-ish story. Back when I bought this house, a long time ago, part of the standard real estate agent stuff was to make sure “all window treatments are included.” It only makes sense – the last thing anyone wants to do when moving into their brandy-new (old) house is worry about fitting curtains and hanging them before the sun goes down. Plus, what are the odds that whatever curtains that are hanging will fit and match the decor in the previous owner’s new house anyway?
As it happens, after my purchase offer was accepted, the old owner realized that she didn’t want to part with the valances downstairs – someone had made them for her or something. I didn’t care – they were nothing I’d want to keep anyway (they were some hokey calico or something that went with the hideous carpet, as I recall), and really, she was leaving the mini-blinds there and she promised to replace the valances anyway, and it seemed to mean a lot to her, so what the heck.
So I moved into the house, the proud owner of several windows’ worth of country blue, cotton-poly blend window treatments topping dusty, dingy mini-blinds on every single window downstairs, plus the upstairs hallway. Yay.
Time went by, and me, being me, I got used to them and waited until I found something I knew I’d love and want to keep around for a good long while.
(You know, kind of like how I eventually found Peeps.)
Eventually, I did find some (ridiculously expensive) gorgeous drapery fabric and bought oodles of yards of it, along with tons of drapery lining and proceeded to make plain, basic draperies – nothing fancy because I didn’t want to detract from the striking pattern of the fabric.
I got them all done, hung them (hanged them?), and hated them.
See, they were dark. And heavy.
And the rooms in my tiny house are even tinier. And dark.
I mean, we’d put the patio door in the dining room, which helped a little, sure. But not enough to justify these big, heavy, dark draperies covering the only east-facing windows in the entire house. It was like living in a cave.
And it made me sad. I so loved that fabric, and I’d spent so much time and money on those curtains, that I should have loved them, you know? But I just didn’t. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.
But then, I thought about it. It wasn’t the fabric, it was the design.
I needed something simple, yes – but not simple as in just lame, but simple as in tailored.
First, I practiced in the bathroom, then I took the curtains down, hung (hanged?) some sheers, measured and measured again, then finally ordered all the hardware for a massive Roman Blind Project.
That was, um, 13 months ago. I know that because the packing slip that came with the hardware was dated March 2010. But, see, before I permanently mount blinds, I’m going to need to paint, and painting is such a hassle, and I was busy and . . . last Thanksgiving (8 months later) I painted the front entry.
See, we’re moving along!
Of course, since I was recycling old draperies, I first had to pull them apart – and if you’ve ever taken a Home Ec class or made your own wedding gown, you know just how much fun it can be to pick all the stitches out of a project.
But I did it. Eventually. Over the Easter weekend (another 5 months after the Thanksgiving of Painting).
I picked the stitches out of the old curtains, pressed the daylights out of them, and cut them down into individually fitted blinds – I even numbered each panel to be sure it ended up in the window for which it was measured.
I was not taking any chances here!
I of course had plenty of help in the form of moral support from my faithful canine companion – especially when I had to lay each curtain on the floor to measure for the rings that go up the back of each blind to raise and lower them by.
While “normal” Roman blinds are usually mounted inside the window frame, I still wanted to be able to use the cool, “wrought-iron” rods I’d found, so I decided that these blinds would be tabbed – which also, as it turns out, helps lighten them a little. I love how things work out!
You know, it’s kind of amazing the way these things work. The blinds hang from the rods, and the cords are run through the rings on the back – seven horizontal rows, placed in columns beneath each tab – then up through an eye-bolt screwed into the woodwork behind each tab, then all the way across the top of the windows, where they’re gathered into one big bunch of cables.
Actually, that would be five big bunches of cables – I had initially intended to have all the blinds on each side work in conjunction with the others – to kind of treat them like one single unit, but I decided that it probably would not do to try to get too fancy.
That, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work the way I’d envisioned – unless it actually was one big curtain, and I didn’t want to have to fuss with seaming the fabric and dealing with a 13-foot dowel (as if!).
Besides, I’ve decided that it’s a plus to be able to adjust each blind individually.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
So the bottom line?
I love them. They’re simple, yet elegant, the gorgeous floral-paisley-esque fabric is highlighted, and I can let in as much light, or keep out as much cold (or heat!) as I want.
I’m so glad I’ve finally found just what I want.