simple spruce-ups in the suburbs :: take ‘em down!

This week’s Simple Spruce-up is quite simple. Many of you may remember our first ever in this series. If you haven’t read it yet, go back and have a look. Promise I’ll wait.

I provided that link, because I want to re establish the concept of going beyond your comfort zones in decorating your home. In reaching beyond those boundaries of what you think you can do. Because when you try something different, the possibilities really are quite endless. Not to mention, you totally build your own confidence in yourself, and the ultimate result is that you grow personally. I’ve seen it happen in myself. Doors are opened, and ideas are realized.

Windows are redesigned, and rooms realize their full potential.

Scared? Do it anyway. Unabashedly dive in, and you’ll be quite pleased with what you can accomplish…

Cheesy? Maybe. True? Absolutely.

I’m writing today on a subject matter I feel quite passionately about. In this series, we’ve been breaking down the basic concepts of commonsensical ideas that we may or may not have thought about on an applical level for ourselves before. Simple changes we can all use to have our homes reach their potential. (If you’ve missed some of the past ones, I’m creating a sidebar this week with links to the old ones for you to revisit if you wish.)

But people. Take down your blinds!

The resulting window treatments (as seen above) don’t have to be completely streamlined and perfect. I couldn’t be bothered to straighten the panels above oh so perfectly for the photo. Because really? Who cares?

Want to open up a space? Let in light? Add refinement to your design? Check. Check. and Check.

And that’s all from removing something from a space. When we first moved into our home, it came complete with wooden blinds. And at first I was all, I guess I’ll try it. I guess some privacy is nice, so the neighbors don’t run screaming after they see me in my skivvies. Because I totally eat cupcakes in my kitchen in my skivvies. Doesn’t everyone? No?

But it didn’t last long. I slowly but surely removed the blinds on all of the windows in all of my rooms. {well, almost all of them…but we’ll get to that…}

And in that process, I learned how to sew. And people, I am NO seamstress. Four straight lines = a panel. A rod and hooks = a “treatment.” But even that is debatable. I’ve found that pipes and hooks work just as well as the “traditional” options, and when you begin to think outside of the mass produced box, the possibilities are kind of wonderful. I don’t follow “the rules” about measurements and dimensions, etc. When it comes to sewing. It takes the pressure off. Do what you think looks fabulous for each individual window.

I realize it isn’t everyone’s taste. I just don’t want people to feel limited to the box with lines in it, as options for window treatments when it comes to the blinds budget Nazi in cookie cutter floor plans.

And when I couldn’t do the big girl projects? Well, that’s when my all knowing handy dandy cleverest of all mother in law comes in. She’s really quite inspiring with her work, but she made the hard stuff. Of course, not to go against what I’ve already said to empower you all…{seamstresses unite!} I really honestly believe I can figure it out. It just might not be as perfect, and well, if you’ve got those resources and are short on time, then by all means, beg ask someone else to do it!

Of course, there is always the store bought option. Or you can hire a seamstress. Or do something temporary to give yourself privacy while you figure out the rest… It doesn’t have to be done overnight. Slow is best, for me, as I figure out what is best for each room…

 

But I’m telling you…take down those blinds. And I’m also telling you…you can figure out how to sew four lines and make your curtains!

It’s really quite a wonderous event to me, to watch one of my favorite parts come together and soften a room. The space suddenly becomes more of a space, and less of the four harshly angled walls. It adds dimension and surprise and complimentary elements. And it’s very European.

 

From the creative additions…to the super simple ones…

I added a linen underlay to the spectacular brown tapestry shade my MIL had already made for me, when I was ready to lose the blinds in the kitchen. And she also inspired the front door, when I was ready to remove those as well, with a simple cheap, store bought a-la JC Penny sheer. Enough privacy to keep the creepies away, with once again brightening and softening something as subtle as an entry way window. It really is the simple things that can make a big difference.

Next to paint, taking down those limiting blinds or shades, and adding softer, creative elements by expressing yourself through fabric, is the second most, and EASIEST thing you can do. It can also be the cheapest if you pull a DIY. They’re also inexpensive to replace, if you grow tired of the look…though if you go mostly in pretty, simple neutrals, that’s not really likely to happen. I’m also going to be flogged by adding one simple minute counterpoint to this: I think too many people spend major bucks on something that rhymes with flankation and ludders. Just sayin. I think they’re boring when overdone. And that’s all I will say about that. Save the hate mail. I’m done.

Don’t worry about perfection. When will someone come to your home and oogle at your seams? Not so much ever going to happen, and if it does, I’m not so sure they’ll be invited back… Thanks but no thanks.

 

Simple. Easy. Inviting.

I will round it up with 3 counter points to the already formed argument in your heads…

1. The electricity bill: It’s an overused myth by people who feel obligated to keep their blinds because they bought them and then changed their minds, and their husband is looking for an excuse to do less work. Yeah. We all know that person. Check out how your home is positioned. Do you have energy saving windows? Investigate before you write off this option. If need be, experiment by raising your blinds for a month and documenting the difference. Try it before you knock it. It’s totally worth it. And if you pay a few extra bucks a month? It’s still worth it to me, to open up a space, and create a more inviting, unique home.

2. If you absolutely MUST keep your blinds in your home…check out the photo above…I sewed a simple little valance above the window. Guess what’s underneath? My blinds. So they’re almost gone…but not all. In some rooms, the keeping of the blinds prevailed. (GASP) This is also another option for those of you hardcore blindies out there. Most definitely look into other materials for shades. Like Bamboo. Those shall be installed in our bedroom soon…stay tuned.

3. Depending on the design of the front of your house, some people enjoy their rooms to match from the outside, front of the home. I think this is kind of important, but not all encompassing. Remember to try to keep your windows on the front of your home similar for curb appeal, if you wish, but again, to each his own. If you feel limited because you need to keep the blinds that are currently in your garage, just remember to see no. 2 above. There are always other options, once your budget allows.

I hope this helps, and that you feel oh so inspired to take action, and change your decor with your windows this year. Let me know if you do it. Now that we’ve taken that step…there’s no turning back for us! We would feel claustrophobic if they went back. We kept the blinds for our next home owners, if they so desire.

But in the meantime…take em down…

{-leave a comment…here!-}


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  1. Pingback: inspiration board : kelly's sitting space. | the handmade home