Before & After: Shades for the Dining Room

ugly curtains beforeWe’ve finally been able to take down these cheap sheer curtains from the dining room window. I may have done a little jig when that happened. I’ve never liked these curtains. In fact, I took them down and we lived with a bare window for a few months this winter. Then, during one of the arctic blasts that spread across the Midwest, I re-installed the curtains to gives us a little insulation. I can finally say good riddance to the curtains … and hello to our new streamlined shades!

new blinds from blindster.com installed in the dining roomAs I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do for window treatments in the Dream House. I wanted something simple that would afford us a little privacy (and insulation!) without distracting from the beautiful old windows. I finally settled on fabric roller shades as a short term solution. As you can see, I decided to hang a shade over each individual window rather than having one big blind covering the entire thing. Because the windows open inward, I wanted to have the option of raising one or two shades while leaving the others drawn. This means that on warm summer nights we can have one shade up and the window open while the others are closed.

naked windows in the dream houseI ordered this set of blinds from Blindster and I’m quite pleased with the quality and the quick turnaround. I spent about $170 for five custom sized shades and received them within a week. I had originally purchased a bunch of IKEA roller shades but they were all too big for the windows. Interestingly, the IKEA blinds were roughly the same price as these custom blinds. My only complaint with the Blindster shades is that there’s nothing to dress up the hardware. The IKEA blinds came with a little plastic piece that slips over the hardware to dress it up a bit.

the roller shades in the dining rooms remind me of half-closed eyelids I used the dining room as my test lab with these shades. My first instinct was to order shades for every single window on the first floor but then I decided to start slowly. I’m actually glad I did. My measurements were a little off on this batch of shades. For a better fit, I should have had the shades made about four inches wider. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see that the shades don’t cover the window hardware. Oops! Now that I know that, I’m going to order wider blinds for the other windows. And I’ll just live with the slightly too narrow blinds in the dining room. Like I said, this will be a temporary solution until we start stripping woodwork. And then I’m sure we’ll face the window dressing conundrum all over again.

P.S. Does anyone else see a pair of drowsy eyes when they look at the photo of the two windows with the half drawn shades? Maybe I grew up watching too many cartoons but I can’t help but see a sleepy face on the wall!

— J. Blandings

Images: Mr. and Mr. Blandings

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