At our last house, while we lived there only three years, I definitely made some mistakes where making hasty decisions were concerned. Big changes at that. Like when I jumped straight in right away and refinished and re-painted our kitchen cabinets black only to realize a year later that I just had to have them white. That was not a fun transition. Definitely learned from that one.
I think "settling in" for a bit in a home is usually best before making big decisions because you can naturally figure out what functions best for you.
One of those areas worth some thought are window treatments. It is so crazy how much they can add to a room.
Funny enough, most people give curtains all the credit. I actually think blinds make the most difference.
The problem is, custom blinds can be SO expensive. Because of this, they're definitely not one of those things you regularly change out in your house just because your tastes change. You really want to make a good decision from the jump. But the problem is that usually blinds are an immediate must for a home for privacy reasons. So the typical white blinds are put up by the builder (if you're lucky), and you're pretty much left with that. We were lucky enough to have nice blinds that came with our last house as well as with our current one (I just remembered we did add dark blinds to our basement to match the dark trim down there now that I think about it, so this isn't our first go-round with blinds I guess).
Anyway, the front and sides of our house has really nice white wood blinds, but the back of our house has an entirely different set that are definitely not wood, warped in a lot of places, and the set in the family room even has brown water stains on them from a leaky window issue of the past. Pretty much right away, I knew I wasn't crazy about them, but after living with them for a year, I'm really ready for a change. They're probably 14 years old and some are in bad shape as I mentioned, so there's zero guilt getting rid of them. So I decided to go a different route entirely for the back of the house and replace those with bamboo shades.
We started first with the dining room. Here's a little before shot...
The little bench on the left usually goes beneath the windows, but I had just moved it out so we could hang the shades.
...Or I should say, so that Brad could hang the shades. He handles the dirty work where window treatments are concerned. For some reason, it totally intimidates me. So I provide beverages and moral support.
I am SO happy with how these turned out!
I'll totally admit, the dining room was the guinea pig of this operation. I mentioned that I wanted to add this type of shade to the entire back of the house earlier in the post... Well, the other areas are all fairly open to one another (the kitchen, breakfast area, and family room). This one is separate. So I figured if I liked them, but wasn't sure about using them everywhere else after this, it wouldn't look mis-matched.
Well, good news is, we kind of love them.
Bad news is, this particular style isn't available in custom sizes, which we need for the other areas I mentioned. They were actually on sale for $23 in store when we purchased them from Lowes. They are called the "Style Selections Pecan Light Filtering Bamboo Roman Shades".
So this morning I scoured the internet for affordable, custom bamboo shades. Which kind of sucked. And after about an hour of searching, I think I found a winner! I want to get them first and make sure they're actually nice and worth recommending before I, well, recommend them. So I'll keep you posted! I cannot wait to get them up! That space will be much more dramatic I'm sure because there are so many windows!
As far as how I feel about these vs. traditional blinds like we used to have, there are pros and cons. For this area (and for the entire back of our house), they work. Mostly because that area is very private. I wouldn't want them on the front of our house by any means. Even if you get a type that is "lined for privacy". I definitely don't think I'd invest in the lined versions. We have the regular un-lined version. When they're lowered, you really can't see any details through them at night from the outside. Also, when they're raised, you can obviously see everything anyway. Again, for us, that isn't an issue on the back of the house because it's private.
Another reason I like the unlined ones is that they provide just enough shade when lowered, but you can still make out trees and outside details through them. However, from the outside (at night with all the lights on inside), you can't see details inside the house.
Since they're raised most of the time, exposing bare windows (and the inside of your home), I would definitely not add these to your windows if you are in any way close in proximity to your neighbors. They will see everything. ...And because of that you'll want to leave them lowered all the time, which is a waste. To me, they look better when they're raised.
I was worried that I wouldn't really like the function of them, however, raising and lowering them is no big deal at all. During the day, I don't feel like I need to run and open them right away anyway because like I mentioned before, I can still see out of them fairly well when it's daylight.
Mostly, I just like the way they look so much better!
Here's a close-up of what these look like...
While we're really happy with these, I'm sure when we get the rest of them hung I'll have a lot more to report from the pros and cons department. Also, since those are a bit different, I'll be able to give a better review as to which I prefer.
So I'll be back soon with an update on how the rest of the (back) main floor turns out! I am SO excited to get these family room windows "dressed". I have some curtain panels in mind, but nothing has been ordered yet. They're seriously screaming for some love...
I hope you all are having a fabulous week so far!!
Do any of you have bamboo blinds?? What are your thoughts on them??