Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buh-Bye Blinds

Week of June 7 through 13

I hate mini-blinds. I believe them to be the second most awful window covering (I say covering because blinds do not qualify as a treatment) ever employed by home builders. Mini-blinds are inferior in their ability to induce horrible-decor-seizures only to the dreaded vertical blinds. My aversion to blinds is not without cause. Blinds are always filthy. Over time, even the most fastidiously cared for blinds will get bent, and will then forever more resemble troll doll hair. Some blinds are even plastic. They sag. And somehow, cats know that the best way to get their people out of bed on a Saturday morning is to climb ever so noisily through the individual blind slats.

I'm not completely anti-mini-blinds. While visiting Chicago last summer we saw a perfectly innovative use for the offensive window covering, one that didn't send me into a rant about creative-decorating. Two artists had cleverly re-purposed blinds into cute eco-friendly "dresses" along a landscape display walking tour.

Obviously, when we moved into our house and discovered not only bent and dirty mini-blinds but also horrible fabric covered vertical blinds, it didn't take me long to disassemble and pitch the blinds from every room in the house. Save for a select few. I wasn't about to let my aversion to blinds affect my beauty sleep (or that of our guests) so the blinds in the bedrooms stayed until I could find an appropriate alternative.

Through pure serendipity, I happened upon an auction on eBay for an entire bolt of decorator fabric in the colors of our bedroom. Twenty-three whole yards of fabric-y goodness for less than $100. Easy. Deciding on appropriate window treatments proved to be a bit more arduous. I knew that the treatments in the master bedroom and bathroom needed to be the same to tie the two rooms together. The five differently sized and configured windows in those two rooms made that conformity difficult. I finally settled on roman shades for their clean, classic look, and the ease with which we would be able to open and close them for privacy and, most importantly, sweet sweet sleep.

I found a great website that produces custom, made-to-order roman shade patterns and fabricates custom kits with cut-to-length mounting hardware and shade creation goods. Feeling lazy about all the "sewing math" and errand running that would be involved in making the patterns and gathering the supplies myself, I opted to leave the hard work to someone else and focus my energies on the actual sewing and construction of the shades.

And so, for three whole days I ventured from my craft room only for sustenance and sleep. It was awesome. I actually listened to my entire iTunes library twice. I'm sew happy with how the shades turned out. (It had to be said.)

Bathroom Before
(Notice the absence of blinds in the before picture? That's because I threw them away months ago.)

And After

The shades in our bedroom are lined with blackout material. The luxury of a completely darkened room on a Saturday morning is positively heavenly. The cats will have to find a new way to demand our attention. And I'm sure that they will.

Bedroom Before

And After

Of course, the fabric I bought on eBay was more than enough for the shades. I knew when I ordered it that I wanted to make coordinating accessories for our bed to bring the whole room together. We received all of our bedding as wonderfully generous wedding gifts. Knowing that we wanted an understated beach theme for our bedroom, to remind us of our wedding in Hawaii, we registered for taupe, brown and ocean blue linens and towels. I had been waiting to find the perfect striped fabric to bring the colors together when I came across my twenty-three yard bargain. After two years, I had finally found the uniting fabric for our mismatched bedding that I'd been picturing in my mind.

I made a bed skirt.

(What a beautiful quilt!)

And two euro shams.

And even used mother-of-pearl buttons for the sham closures. Because I'm just that dedicated to remembering our beach wedding. (And the buttons on our ready-made duvet are mother-of-pearl, and The Crazy in my head prefers for things to coordinate.)

If I'd had just a bit more moxie after all of this work, I would have turned our old, discarded mini-blinds into a cute dress. But The Husband said it just wouldn't work in our landscape.

Around Our House Next Week: The Husband says "Shelves!" I say, "I'll believe it when I see it!"

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