Our New Window Shades in the Living Room
Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Lowe’s Home Improvement. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.
I don’t know about you, but after the holidays I’m always ready to freshen up my home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sparkly Christmas tree and festive garland. But once Christmas passes, I’m eager to get things clean, fresh, and back to normal around here. The holiday decorations can just feel “heavy” after awhile and I’m always craving lighter and brighter. Plus, it’s a good excuse to give the entire place a good clean to start off the year!
Back before I signed off for the year, I shared how I installed seven new solar shades in our living room. I kinda left you hanging on that post because I couldn’t give you a good before and after of the space. Our Christmas tree was smack dab in the middle of our large windows, so I vowed to return in 2020 with a look at the full view of the room. Well, guys, today is that day!! I’m back with a look at our living room solar shades.
Before we get to the big reveal, let me rewind to why (and how ) I chose these particular ones…
Choosing & Installing New Window Shades
Back in this blog post, I weighed all of the options for living room window shades. Should I do Roman shades? Or how about natural woven shades? There are just soooo many choices out there!
In the end, I decided on solar shades because they would give us the privacy we were craving without blocking out too much light in this bright space. I ordered these Allen + Roth solar shades in the color white/linen color at 1%. I chose a light color because I want them to blend in with the trim and almost disappear when they are rolled all the way up.
The installation intimidated me a bit – seven window treatments is no joke. Thankfully, they were so incredibly easy to install! I got them all done in about two hours (including the time it took for me to take video and photos of the process). Guys, this is a total DIY project! Trust me!
I put together this short video to show a step-by-step tutorial to install these solar shades. If you have a window shade installation in your future, I would give it a watch (lots of tips to make the process easier. I love a good hack!). You can view the video below or head over to my Youtube channel.
Our Living Room Window Shades
So now that you’re all caught up, let’s take a look at our new living room window shades. You’ll notice that the rug in here is different (more on that below).
I wanted the solar shades to disappear into the trim when rolled all the way up. These do exactly that. In fact, it’s hard to even see much of a difference when they’re all the way up. I ended up choosing a cassette valance to hide the shade when it’s completely rolled. Instead, you just see the pretty white fascia that blends well with the trim.
I opted for the cordless magic-lift option when ordering my living room window shades. That means that there are no cords and you operate them by tugging on the middle. It’s super convenient and I love the fact that I don’t have to have any messy-looking cords in here. I was worried they might be tough to operate, however, they work like a charm. I explained how to set the tension in the above video, so give that a watch if your particular shades roll up too fast or too slowly.
You can also change where they stop when you roll them. I have all of mine set to roll all the way up so they’re hidden by the fascia. But you could set them so they stop halfway or almost to the top – whatever you want.
The Big Front Window
Because our front window is 109 inches wide (soooo big!), I didn’t have the option to go cordless on this bad boy. For that one wide shade, I use a chain pull that is tucked away on the left side. You can’t see it because it’s hidden behind the curtain, but I can easily get to it to move the shade up and down. It’s also attached to the trim, so it’s taut and isn’t hazardous to children.
When I was researching window shades, it was tough finding one large shade option for our front windows, instead of a few smaller ones. I was so happy when I realized that these shades can accommodate windows up to 168 inches wide. This is a great solution if you have large windows, like I do.
Privacy During the Day
The biggest question I got from all of you was about privacy. So, I figured I should show you exactly what it’s like from both the inside and outside during the day and at night.
Here’s a view looking out during the day.
Here’s a view looking in during the day.
You can’t see in at all! We usually have these up during the daytime because I love getting as much natural light as possible in our home. But sometimes we do need privacy in here and they do the trick. You can’t see in at all!
Privacy at Night
We draw our living room window shades closed every night so we can have a bit more privacy when watching TV or hanging out on the couch.
Here’s a view looking out at night.
Here’s a view looking in at night (with all of the lights in the living room on!).
The only thing you can see are the overhead lights. And if I stood close to the window, you would see a shadowy figure (spooky!). Other than that, you can’t see in here at all so we do get full privacy. I’m happy we went with the 1% fabric that has a tighter weave and less of an “openness” to it. That definitely helps with the coverage we wanted in here.
New Living Room Additions
Because I’m teaming up with Lowe’s for this post, I wanted to highlight some other Lowe’s products from their Allen + Roth line. I ended up adding this floor lamp, this rug, this planter, and this vase to the living room.
I love the ornate look of the rug and the color it brings. Its final resting place will be the guest room (we don’t have a rug in there), but I wanted to see it in here with the other new accessories. The 8×10 size is a bit small for the space (it will fit perfectly in the guest room), but other than that, I love everything about it (including that price tag!). I’ll be sure to take some pics when I get it all set up in the guest room (the coziness factor is going up tenfold with this in that empty room!). If you need a new rug, it’s such a good one!
This black and brass lamp is also new (and quite a steal!). It gets dark so early these days and I love turning on all of the lamps in our living room (instead of the overheads) for a cozy feeling. This is such a good floor lamp, I kinda want to get it for our office too.
I added some fresh plants in our living room for 2020! I’m actually doing pretty well with plants in our house and it’s making me want to add them to every surface. They add some color, purify the air, and act as great decor…win, win, win. Here’s the pot on the left with a pothos plant. My new pots each have drainage holes, which is a must!
Here’s a link to the planter I placed next to our ottoman. It’s a hefty size so it could work on the ground or on a shelf. I believe the plant inside is called a “dieffenbachia.” I’ve been watering it once a week and it’s thriving. I just bring all of my plants to the kitchen sink on Sunday, give them a bath, and let them drain. Then I put them back in place for another week of growing!
Shop the Look
What’s Left To Do In The Living Room?
The window treatments were a big task on my living room to-do list and I’m so happy to cross those off! The last item left on my immediate list for this room is to add a gallery wall to the right of the table (above). It will go on that empty wall and will be a focal point when you walk in the door. I’ve slowly been accumulating special art, photos, and frames for this project. I hope to have that done in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.