September 6, 2012

Blinded By the Light

After a long and unintended hiatus, it's time to dig back into the nesting around here.  Prior to summer, I was linking up with Jules and her William Morris posts nearly every week.  Jules kept her series going through the summer months, but I took a break -- it was hard enough to keep my house clean(ish) with the kids home on vacation, let alone tackle new decor or organization projects.  

But now it's September and I'm back. With gusto. 

The first new improvement we've done is buying and installing bamboo blinds for the living room windows. Back in May, I pulled down the old blue drapes in a fit of frustration. You might remember that from this long post, when I rearranged the bookshelves & living room.   But to save you from clicking over, here's a shot of what the room looked like with the drapes:
 And here's what it looked like, immediately post-drapes:  Very bright!
The drapes came down at the end of May, and that's how the windows remained, until the beginning of August.  We had mild, breezy weather for most of June and July, with temperatures staying under 90 degrees.  The living room, which faces south/southwest, got mighty bright and warm by late afternoon, but it wasn't too much of a comfort problem.

But when the weatherman forecasted a big warm-up for the first weekend of August, I knew it was time to get some blinds installed.  Off we trekked, first to Wal-Mart, where I could swear on my first-born that I've seen bamboo blinds before -- and I could also swear I've read of other bloggers and designers referencing the Wal-Mart option. But there was nothing even close in their aisles.

Then off to Home Depot, where the only bamboo blinds were off in the tiny section of "outdoor blinds."  They had some that might have worked, but they were too big, and cutting them down wasn't an option.

Finally, at Lowes, I found what I needed.  They were by Levelor, and too big, but the Lowes employee was able to put them in the nifty computerized machine that saws the blinds, still in the box, down to your specifications.

We brought them home, the Husband installed them in about half an hour, and voila:

I'm really pleased with how the color and texture of the blinds change the room.  It felt airy before with just the white sheers, but now it feels somehow more intentionally airy and casual. A big change from the heavy stodginess of  the navy drapes. (Not to mention, they do a great job of blocking out the intense bright sunlight and heat in these dog-day afternoons.)

Also new are the two faux-flokati pillows on the sofa. I'd been looking for plain, modern-looking white pillows off and on, and finally found these last week at Home Goods.
I brought them home, and that very day read a design blogger's post linking to these pillows from Crate & Barrel:

Notice the price: $89.95.  My Home Goods pillows are not luxurious Mongolian lamb's fur, but then they were only $12.95 each.  (And they're plenty soft enough: when Lily gets home from school every day, she plops on the couch and immediately proceeds to grab a pillow and start molesting the thing.)

My living room is not "done."  I still want to re-paint the window wall a deep navy blue, and eliminate the dusky blue from the other walls. (I believe the current color is Faded Denim, by Behr.)  Also, I intend to switch out the thin sheers for a more substantial, thicker white linen.  (Changing out the carpeting for wood floors would be awesome, but that's not in the works or the budget.)

Here are a couple of shots from my Pinterest home board, to give you the idea:

But as the year tumbles down into the busy new school year and the holidays, that project will have to wait until next year. For now, I'm very happy with this space, and I know I'll have fun "autumn-izing" and changing out the beach-y accessories. 
What passes for "autumn" around here should arrive just in time for me to bust out the Halloween decorations.  


  1. Love the blinds! They pick up the color in the coffe table and the wall unit, really pulling everything together.

  2. I love the new blinds, they do wonders for the space! The natural lighting you have is fantastic. Love the navy paint from your Pinterest pictures--especially the color in the second photo. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting, I'm looking forward to following your posts! :)

    1. I agree, the paint color in the 2nd pic is close to what I envision. And yes, the room gets LOTS of natural light -- these shots were taken in the morning. There's too much light pouring in the windows after 2pm to take a direct shot of them (at least with my limited photo skills). Thank you for stopping by! :)

  3. It is amazing how different the room looks with just changing the window treatments. I really like the blinds.

    1. Thanks, May. Sometimes it's subtracting rather than adding that makes the biggest changes!

  4. The new blinds look great. Amazing how much lighter the room is with them versus the blue drapes. And that machine that cuts them down sounds awesome. :)

    We have drapes to put up in most of our rooms in our newish apartment (been here 7 weeks), so we're looking forward to seeing how that all comes together as well as not seeing the neighbors when we lay in bed at night :)

    1. Ah, definitely need your privacy in the bedroom! Luckily my living room windows just look into my fenced back yard, so it wasn't a privacy issue when only the sheers were up.

  5. I love bamboo blinds! I've had them in our last five houses (except our current house, which came complete with hideous vertical blinds I won't replace for the short amount of time we'll be here). I think they are a great way of bringing in texture and natural elements in a subtle way. They look great in your room!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. And UGH on vertical blinds. I grew up with them in our apartment, and then had them in our first house as a couple. Evil things.


Thanks for commenting! :)

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