Window treatments are always a requested topic here on the blog. And I understand why. It can be difficult to know what kind you should use for your space and you don’t want to waste money on anything that won’t look good or function well. But they’re still a necessary purchase for most homeowners, so it’s always a blog topic worth sharing!
I’ve shared a heck of a lot about window treatments in the past. Here’s a look at those particulars if you’re interested…
- How to Choose the Best Window Treatments for Your Space
- Video: How to Install Blackout Bamboo Blinds
- Video: How to Install Solar Shades
- The Wrong Way to Hang Curtains
- Figuring Out Coverings for an Arched Window
- How to Make a Window Look Bigger
- How to Shorten Bamboo Blinds
- DIY No-Sew Blackout Curtains
- Choosing Custom Curtains
My Mom’s Bedroom Blinds – Before
Today, let’s take a look at the window treatments in my mom’s bedroom. She has a lot of windows in her condo and all of them came with shades when she moved in. That’s always a good thing because it means you have to spend less money right off the bat. The window treatments in her main room are of fantastic quality and work really well. However, the ones in her bedroom are a different story.
She has three large windows and all three had honeycomb shades on them. I’m not a big fan of honeycomb shades. I think they’re pretty outdated – they remind me of the 90s – and they can look cheap. In my opinion, there are just too many other good shade options out there to settle on cellular shades. She lived with these shades for years, until the two shades on the right stopped working completely! Yep, these shades have been stuck in the down position since last summer and my mom realized it was finally time to replace these. I mean, the woman wanted to look out the window for goodness sake.
Choosing New Window Shades
I’ve had good success with the brand Select Blinds (not sponsored, just genuinely like using them), so I told my mom to start there. Their prices are reasonable and you order them to fit your windows, exactly. My mom ordered a few samples, chose a fabric she liked, and placed her order in September. Well, due to COVID slowdowns, the window shades just arrived a few weeks ago. It’s safe to say, she was thrilled to finally get her order and ditch her old blinds for good.
Jan ended up choosing these woven shades in the color “Luna”. She went with an inside mount and opted for cordless to keep them as kid-friendly as possible. She also upgraded to a white blackout liner since this is her bedroom. All in all, the three large window shades cost around $850. That’s not cheap by any means, but I’d say that’s a middle-of-the-road price for custom window treatments.
Removing the Old Shades
Rory and I went over to my mom’s place to install woven shades and I figured it would take me thirty minutes, tops. Well, those old shades did not want to budge! I thought I would easily be able to remove them, so I didn’t pack any safety gear. I mean, who needs safety gear to install woven shades? I ended up wearing my mom’s sunglasses, which have readers in them, so if I looked down I was sure to fall off the ladder, and leather gloves, because I was worried that the window treatments would cut me or hurt my eyes! The shades were breaking off in my hands and disintegrating as I pulled them. I think that happened because they were so old and the sun had damaged them from all of those years of exposure.
We even used a wooden spatula to try to get the top piece off and it broke off in the shade! Ha! We then switched to metal and it worked a bit better. All this to say, this was not the norm! Typically, you would just snap the window shades off the top mounting piece and then unscrew the hardware with your drill.
Luckily, after lots of laughs and sweat, we were able to remove the old window treatments successfully.
Tips to Install Woven Shades
With the old dusty ones out, it was time to install the new ones. If you’re doing an installation like this it shouldn’t take much time at all if you’ve got the right gear.
- Drill (with pilot and drill bits)
- Tape Measure
- Piece of cardboard and a pen
- Hardware (usually comes with window treatments)
Measure & Make a Template
I’m not a fan of measuring…ever. Because I was installing blinds on three windows, with two pieces of hardware each and with four holes for each piece of hardware, I was going to have to measure 24 times! Instead, I ended up making cardboard templates, so I could measure each side once and use those templates on the remaining windows.
I measured the top of the shades to figure out where the hardware was supposed to be placed. That was one inch from the front of the window frame and one inch from the side, for these particular shades. Armed with this info, I cut a piece of the cardboard box that the shades came in and used it to make a template.
I then marked the spots for the holes directly onto the cardboard template and drilled through the cardboard and into the wood above. I did this on each side, so that was a total of six times.
With my holes drilled, I was ready to install the hardware shown above. This is the hardware that comes with these specific shades. Essentially, you screw the long piece into the top part of the window frame, slide the shade over it, and screw on the nut to keep it in place.
For some reason, Select Blinds likes to use flat head screws for their hardware. Personally, I’m not a big fan because I find it so hard to keep your bit in the slot when drilling in a flat head screw. A Phillips is so.much.better. I remember it took me so long to install the shades in our bedroom because of these dang flat heads. Luckily, we kept the hardware for my mom’s old shades and they came with Phillips screws that fit the hardware perfectly. So there’s a tip to swap out the hardware to make the installation easier on yourself!
With all of my holes pre-drilled, it was easy to attach the hardware. I ended up only using two screws installed diagonally with the hardware. I think four would have been overkill and even with just two, it’s incredibly sturdy in the wood window frame. With the hardware installed, I then slid on the shade and twisted on the nut.
The New Woven Window Shades
Here’s the before and after…So much better, right? And the best part? They actually work! My mom can open up her windows again and let the light stream on through.
The color of the woven shades works perfectly with my mom’s rug and bed frame. Plus, I love the texture they add to the room.
To move the blinds up and down, you just push them up or pull them down. There is no cord; there is no ring to pull; there aren’t any tricky ways to control them. In fact, at first we were both kinda dumbfounded trying to figure out how to operate them. Then, I just pushed one up with my hand and it gently moved up. And I pulled it down and it came right down. Whoa, so worth the upgrade.
For the most part, my mom pushes them all the way up during the day to let the light in. Even pushed up at the top, they still look great and add so much to the space. Then, at night, she can easily pull them down to get her room dark for bedtime and to have privacy.
Blackout Woven Shades
I wanted to show you what these look like when you pull them down. These pictures were all taken with the same exposure during the middle of the day.
They darken the room so much, but you do still get some light leak on the sides. Granted, this was the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day. I find that the only way to avoid light leaks is to use blackout curtains over window shades. (We have woven shades and blackout curtains in our bedroom because I like it completely pitch black! My mom isn’t one to have a dark room, so this is a big upgrade from her previous window treatment setup.)
Her bedroom is now the ideal place for a good afternoon nap!
Jan’s Bedroom – Sources
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore “Gray Owl” // Woven Shades in “Luna” // Upholstered Bed // Nightstand // Blush Quilt // Rug // Bedding // Pillows, Lamps, Accessories (HomeGoods) // Art (The Painted Lady in Chicago) // Chair (similar)Casey