Roman Shades

I’ve been wanting some roman shades for my living room for a good while now.  I’ve got some white roman shades in the bedroom from Ikea (left by the previous owners) that are really nice.  Alas, it appeared that Ikea hasn’t sold them in years.  I was debating attempting to make them myself (since I don’t know how to sew or anything).

Here’s the situation with my living room windows.

That’s a vinyl pull shade – the kind where you have to pull it just right so that it rolls all the way back up.  Tricky and doesn’t really work.  The blue curtains on the rod (also left behind from previous owners) were to try to hide the ugyly windowshade.  But then they were draped up like that because the kitten started clawing at them.  The vinyl shade had a gross stain on it, which I imagine came from rain coming through the open window once time.  Here’s a closeup of that … since its always nice to zoom in on unpleasantness.

Here’s the other window.  We bought these wooden blinds from Ikea for cheap – I’m guessing they were the $20 variety.  The cord broke almost immediately, so they’ve been impossible to pull up/open.  Kinda ganky.  I do not recommend blinds from Ikea.

You can see the kitties’ favorite spot to pile up.  And somebody playing videogames.  Also note the wooden thing sticking out of the wall.  The previous owners had big heavy drapes on these little windows.  The room isn’t that big to begin with, so we took those down but didn’t bother to remove the leftover curtain rod supports.

I had the idea to troll Craigslist for some window treatments, and lo and behold, I strike the jackpot.  White roman shades for $15 each!  And the seller was only 10 minutes drive from my office.  Check out the original price.

This is a pretty average price for a single roman shade.  The price just goes up from there.  What ever happened to Linens N Things anyway?  These guys were a bit different than my other Ikea shades.  Those had a cord to manually pull and then anchor to keep them held up.  These LnT shades claim to be cordless – not quite.  They do actually have cords in the back, but rather than manually hauling them up like blinds, or doing the pull-out roll up like the old plastic shade… these simply lift up and stay in place wherever you leave them.

See how much light comes through the shade when its down?  I actually like that.  The plastic roll shade blocked all light out, and the wooden blinds did the same thing.  Since we left them down most of the time our living room was very dark and cave-like in the morning.  Now its much brighter even when the shades are down.  No (Gollum) cave.

So to put them down, I simply pull on the bottom of the shade.  To put them up, I lift the bottom of the shade up and let it fold on itself, and it magically stays where I leave it when I stop lifting.  The little top flap isn’t connected to the rest like a normal roman shade.  It is hiding the metal bar that is connected to strings on the back side.

I realize that sounds confusing… or maybe I’m just making it confusing.  I had no concept of how these would work until we had them hanging.  I could do a little magic roman shade video if anyone thought that would be helpful/entertaining.  I think the cordless thing is great because A.  Cats loooove playing with dangly cords, and that can mean chewing right through the string (see 2 sets of headphones rendered useless due to kitty chews)  B.  If there are little kids around, cords are a hazard.  These babies avoid both those problems.

They love a room with a view.

The other window, looking not quite as scenic.  These shades were 1 inch wider than the other (I bought the 2 smallest sizes the seller had, and wasn’t sure how they would be mounted).  We opted to go on top of the trim since we couldn’t go inside the frame like the other window.  Not sure how I feel about this, but had to make it work.  As my mom says, nobody will notice from a galloping horse.

We also Finally took down the wooden curtain rod holders – there are some spackle patches where we covered up little holes.  Next stop… re-paint the living room.

Fun side note:  These shades were pretty wrinkled coming out of the box, but once hung it would have been difficult to take them off as the metal top was hard to snap into the holder, and it was all one connected piece.  I ironed them while they were hanging on the windows using a small piece of cardboard as my faux-ironing board.  Its funny because I never, ever iron if I can help it.


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