Today’s post was supposed to be all about bamboo blinds. Then we were blindsided (hence the title of this post) by this little incident:
That’s right. Dan, my amazing husband, DIY co-conspirator, photographer, and personal chef broke his hand during a recreational soccer league game. He may need surgery, but either way he’s going to be out of the DIY game for at least a few months. Now, this won’t stop me from crafting my way through the spring, and of course it won’t stop us from moving forward on the kitchen renovation, but it’s definitely throwing a wrench into some of our project plans. Not to mention there will be a little more stress on both of our shoulders until Dan is fully functional again. So, what does that mean? It means that things here at the blog will be taking a spin into a different direction: Creating Krista 101.
Last week’s Kitchen Mood Board post got me thinking: how many of us currently have spaces in our homes, apartments, or even offices, that are just itching for a makeover? The necessary changes could be something as small as a color scheme switch, a few tweaks to the layout of the space, or maybe it’s as big as a full on redecorating splurge. In any case, I want to make your lives a little easier by introducing Creating Krista 101. For the remainder of the spring, I’m opening up the floodgates to you – the readers! I’m volunteering my services to create custom mood boards for a few select readers! Feel free to reach out to me on Facebook (Creating Krista), Twitter @creatingkrista, or via the comments below, and let me know if you’re interested in a custom mood board, completely free of charge! I can help you come up with a color scheme, find affordable items within your price range, and help you re-envision your space this spring. It will be fun to try my hand at more of the design work that I love so much!
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, let’s move on to our regularly scheduled programming: how to choose and install bamboo blinds!
What do you do when your tall, (not so) dark, and handsome windows are covered up by (gasp!) 90’s era verticals? You stare angrily at them for a year until you finally get your butt off the couch and change them, of course.
Okay, just kidding. But seriously: it took us a YEAR to finally bite the bullet and make the switch from verticals (who even uses that term anymore?) to bee-you-tiful bamboo blinds. In case you were born in the 00’s, or even the late 90’s, verticals happen to be blinds that hang vertically rather than horizontally. They often have a cord to pull to slide from left to right instead of up and down, like your typical set of blinds. This was yet another classic case of the 90’s gone wrong. Which by the way, I’d like to point out that my new favorite television show, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is a classic case of the 90’s gone so right. Baby-Sitters Club references for the WIN.
Moving on from conversations around the decade of my precious pre-teen years, I spent months poring over a few different ideas for blinds in the living room. I actually haven’t shared too much about the living room in general because the room was updated and redecorated before I began this blog. The blinds were the last change that needed to be made, and I yearned for the inside mount roman shades of my dreams. However, shades like this beauty were not in the cards for us. Our windows are too narrow for the sought-after inside mount, and we have a lot of other colors going on: brightly patterned rug, multicolored accessories, etc. To keep things simple and to complement some of our dark wood furniture pieces, Dan and I decided to go with flat-weave, bamboo roman shades from Home Depot in Espresso for about $39 each. We bought two shades for our two windows, bringing this mini-makeover to a cool $78.
Hanging these bamboo roman shades was one of the easiest projects that I’ve taken on to date. In fact, I could have easily done this project all by myself – and it made such a change in upgrading the style level of this room! I would encourage anyone out there who’s a little fed up with their outdated window style to take this on. Here’s the process in just a few simple steps. We started with my favorite part of any upgrade: removing the outdated hardware. Goodbye, verticals.
The verticals were easily removed by hand, just popping them out, which left these two brackets. We unscrewed them from the wall and were reminded of the yellow paint that came before us (you’ll see what I mean in a few minutes).
Next, I measured the bamboo shade itself for hanging above the window. There were 27.5 inches between the hanging brackets that came on the shade (pictured above). Next, I measured the length of the window as 31.75 inches across. I subtracted the difference, which ended up coming out to 4.25 inches. I then marked the side above each window at 2.125 inches (that’s 2 1/8 inches) to center the shade above the window. This means that the blinds would be centered over the window, about 2 1/8 inches inside the edge of the window on each side.
We loosely estimated that the shade should hang one inch above the windowframe, and we marked this spot with a level. Then, we put the brackets at that line and traced the bracket hole circles to mark exactly where we wanted to hang the brackets (see the markings in the above image). I took a screw and marked these holes so it would be easy to drill pilot holes into the wall.
Dan frequently drills pilot holes before screwing anything into the walls, so it gets rid of any excess drywall material without damaging the walls. After that step, we just screwed each bracket into the wall. This was a little difficult because we had to hold our arms above our heads the entire time (not to mention I was standing on a stepstool).
Here are the brackets fully installed into the wall. Excuse all of these dark photos – we haven’t been getting a lot of sun lately, and the snow doesn’t help matters with my limited iPhone photo taking skills.
Once the brackets were installed, we held up the blinds in alignment with the brackets. The last piece involved screwing in the mounting piece (above) to secure everything.
Ta-da! You might notice on the right of the window that we also had to screw in a side piece to attach the bamboo blinds cord. This is a great way to secure the cord without having it dangle loosely to the floor (plus it keeps the cats from getting tangled in it). The finished product is looking fresh and complementing the darker wood of our mantel and chalkboard frame pretty well! I was originally hesitant to go with something so dark, but I love the way it ties in with our other furniture choices.
Don’t forget Creating Krista 101 is in the works! Reach out for some design advice on whatever space you’re trying to reimagine this spring.