Monday, January 30, 2012

Roman Shades and Living Room Envy

Have I ever posted pictures of my living room? It's a hot mess so probably not. None of my furniture matches, and there is absolutely no design. It can barely be considered functional. One day we'll get there, but it will be a while.

When we moved here the biggest thing missing was window treatments in the living room/dining area. So, I went to (gag) Walmart and found the cheapest and nicest looking blackout curtains I could find. I actually like them a lot, but I had no way of hanging them. The window is one hundred inches wide so Walmart didn't have a rod long enough for me to put the curtains up. Sad face! So, I improvised. I bought four panels. Two for the siding door, and two for the front window and door.

Here's the living room when we bought the house.

The entryway.
 The dining room.

Here's the dining room after I put up curtains in June.
 The living room window after I put up curtains. Sorry, these are the only pictures I've got. These are the panels I turned into roman shades... they are just held up by a tension rod. Not so pretty. I folded them up for the picture, probably because I wanted to look outside. Folding them was difficult, and not the what I wanted to do every time I looked outside!

That brings me to today. There are thousands of roman shade tutorials online, but I did mine a bit different than tutorials I saw elsewhere.  Roman shade kits are $60 at Joann Fabric (yowza!) and only go up to 40 inches. I needed 43 inches. So, I went to Lowes, and look what I found!
Yep, Blindz! And only $9.96 a piece. Win!

So, back in June I cut up the curtain panels I bought and hemmed the top and bottom and sides to prevent fraying. In the end they were 43 inches wide, just what I needed! From there, I measured fifteen inches down and took an inch of fabric and pinched it together, pinned, and sewed a straight line across the curtain. This gave me a half inch, hollow pleat (I have no idea what to call it). I made three of these, each fifteen inches apart. I took the picture below when everything was said and done, but it shows you what I'm talking about.

This is where the blinds come in. I put the blinds on my messy floor (I had everything clean and Avalyn spilled cheese puffs everywhere... and when there was finally time I couldn't vacuum because she was sleeping... *sigh*), and took them apart.

 It was super easy. I popped the caps off the bottom and untied the lift cord. 

Then I cut the ladder looking cords (the ones that keep the blinds spaced apart and twists them up and down, also much thinner than the lift cord), and from there the vinyl slats slid right off the cord! Yey! That left me with this:

 Let me explain this picture further. I put what was left of the blinds on top of my already hemmed fabric and used Velcro to attach the fabric to the top of the blinds. I would have used glue, but someone *cough* Keith *cough* stole my glue and wouldn't tell me where he put it. Yeah, awesome. I love it when he takes my stuff and loses it. Seriously ticked about that... but back to the shade! See the Velcro? It worked pretty well.

After I Velcroed the sucker I took the three lift cords and ran them down the length of the fabric. I used a pencil to mark where I needed to poke holes in my hollow pleats. I took two of the vinyl slats and cut them in thirds (the middle section was discarded). The pieces were just small enough to slide into the hollow pleat. Nice huh? Then I used my nippers to poke three small holes in each pleat and I threaded the lift cord through the holes. The picture above shows I knotted the cord, but do not keep it like this! I only did this to hold the cord in place for the next step. Here's what it looks like without the knot. Make sense? I hope so, I'm awful at explaining how I did things!
The next step requires glue, but I couldn't go out and get it because the roads are horrible. Unfortunately, I had already started the project, thinking I had my supplies. So without glue I had to improvise, and it's not pretty. See?
 Yeah, I had to tie on the bottom of the blind. Ew. It's supposed to be glued. Can you see how that would look a million times better? I sure do... As soon as it stops snowing and the roads are clear I'll go out and buy me some glue, until then I will make do with the unfortunate bottom of the shade.

After I did that the shades were done(ish)! So, I snapped them into place, just like you would mini blinds and gave it a little test. Viola! Roman shades!

 Here's the dining room now. With the two untouched panels. Still needs work in there. Let's not look for too long...
  A view of the front door. When I cut the panels that I used to make the shades, I used the leftovers to create  curtains for the window over the door. I just used an old rod from our last house and some command hooks to hold them in place. Not the prettiest but it makes it so people can't stare into my house!
And here's the living room now. With shades! I've got to say I'm loving that I can look out the window with ease. The snow out there is blinding, but that's okay because I don't have to turn on any lights. Yes, Avalyn's pants are around her ankles. She decided to come upstairs when I took the camera out (she was watching Muzzy in the playroom)... she then decided it would be a good idea to pull her pants down and dance for the occasion. Silly girl.

Here the shades are again, this time without a pants-less toddler in the picture. Hooray nap time!

 Well, that was my weekend project. It took me about three hours. Probably would have been longer with gluing, but we all know what happened with that. :p

A side note: The gray carpet on the floor is the color I'm going to paint the wall (probably next year, we have to get new flooring first. Don't ask, it's just what Matt says, no painting until the floor is in). I'm also going to paint the ugly honey oak trim white. The burgundy chair will probably go blue, and the pillows will get new cases when I find fabric I like. I'm not sure what will happen to the futon, but I seriously hope that a sectional couch is in our future.

Look at this room from one of Young House Love's house crashing posts. Isn't it beautiful? It's got a similar layout to my living room, in the gray that I like, with wood floors, a wingback chair, and a sectional! This person is totally in my head. If you check out the link above you can see their dining room, too. It has a cow painting. Seriously, this person is awesome. You can find her blog here.

Okay, I'm done stalking other people's living rooms for now. Does anyone else have living room envy? Or put up super awesome roman shades? I might be a little too proud of them, but I can't help it!

1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful arrangement...look so it.

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