After we repainted our main floor we were left with this...
Holy freakin' light Batman! 25¢ a peek people (and let me tell you we had no line-up and I didn't see any open wallets).
So off to remedy this we must. Pre blinding light was your standard early 1990's vertical blinds complete with faded fabric (a sheen fabric I might add - oooh-la-la), a hideous bowed valance and of course, the clunky weights at the bottom of each shiny fabric vane nastiness. Good times.
We had to remove said hideous bowed valance in order to paint. And in order to get the valance down the whole blind contraption had to come with it (how is that for bad design planning). That being said, there were no tears shed (except of course from any poor neighbours who may have seen me in my summer nightwear) and I took this opportunity to do a MUCH needed update.
I entertained many options for a replacement but aside from going custom (bank breaker - you may have noticed those aren't really 'standard' window sizes) I didn't have too many options. The rest of our windows have nice white faux wood horizontal blinds so after a lot of searching and weighing our options we decided to go that route for the small window. We couldn't do it in the large window without using multiple packages and I thought it would look messy. Plus that pane on the right opens so that was another issue to work around. And let's be honest, who wants to open three sets of blinds on one window? Not me.
So for the large window we outfitted it with (wait for it) verticals! What? Verticals and horizontals side-by-side? Yes. Let me change you skeptics into believers.
But doesn't vertical = hideous fabric accompanied by clunky weights? Nope! I didn't know that you can now buy faux white wood vertical vanes but guess what? You can. And I did. Goodbye shiny fabric and stupid bottom weights. Hello clean streamlined vanes that match the rest of our windows. Thank you for stopping by.
Here is how Operation-Save-Our-Neighbours-Eyes went down.
We first tackled the small window to the left. Since we only needed a small width (about 21") I bought the closest size to that and had Mrs. Home Depot cut it down for me. Plus side? I didn't have to do the cutting. Down side? I now know far too much about Mrs. Home Depot's personal life. Her grandson is named Charlie FYI.
Next up we installed the two corner brackets. You can assemble these outside the window or inside the window ledge - we opted for the latter. I didn't bother patching the hole from the last set as the new track would cover it completely.
The steps after this were simple - install valance clips onto bracket, insert bracket and close clip. However, we were left with a lot of excess length so this puppy
To do this we simply had to cut the strings and remove the unnecessary blinds, and then put it back together again!
The trickiest part was reinserting the center thread through the base. Chef Kev came up with a good idea (old boyscout trick I am told) to singe the end with a lighter. Your unfrayed cord slips right in after that!
The hole on the underside is much larger so no problems there....
Then you trim off the excess 'ladder' (leaving about 2"), twist together and insert into the large hole in bottom. You feed the middle (singed) cord through the supplied plug and close 'er up. From there you tie a knot in the threaded centre cord and snip off any extra length.
Done! This photo was taken before the excess was snipped and of course the base sits on the window sill once completed. Oh, I should also mention that at this point we clipped the valance onto it's clips as well. Super easy.
Before I show you the 'After' let's move onto the newly swanked verticals (aka large window - aka too-much-information-if you-ask-the-neighbours).
Putting the header bracket up in the large window was quite simple as well. Due to the length and weight of this one the bracket required four clips. Different from the small window though, these ones were 'ceiling mounted' inside the window frame (as opposed to side mounted). Again we attached the valance clips onto the bracket and simply clipped it into place. I should also note that you can not cut down this type of window treatment (width wise) like you can with the horizontals. It has a completely different type of operating mechanism. So we were just lucky this fit our massive window.
The vanes were the real work horse of this installation as they all had to be cut down by hand to fit. To do that you simply measure the depth you need and do a test. Happy with the length you use your test vane as a template and mark up the longer ones so you know where to cut.
And then you cut. With your basic household scissors! For some reason this impressed me as I thought you'd need a large cutter. And let's be honest, I didn't need to know anymore about Mrs. Home Depot so was quite happy to do this in the comfort of my own (half blinded) home.
I recommend cutting just above the pencil line so you don't have to go back and erase all your marks.
And what do you do with all the off-cuts? Well you give them to your toddler of course and then snap a picture of his 'redecorating'. See how he started off so organized and then just threw them all in a pile? He gets that from his daddy ;).
Installing your freshly cut vanes is ridiculously simple as you just click them into the clips already installed in your top bracket.
And then you (well your neighbours) breathe a sigh of relief.
So we went from this:
I have plans to further soften the space with some panelled curtains on either end but for now we're just happy to have some privacy! And no, I don't miss the 1990's shiny fabric verticals. I've sent them away to go and join their cousins rag-wall treatment and decoupage plastic swan. Party On Wayne.
Just look at how nice and subtle the faux wood grain is on the verticals. Fits right in with all the horizontals. Reunited and it feeeels so gooo-oood!
And are you a believer now? Horizontals and verticals working together?
And to the neighbours... you're welcome. But you can still give us a quarter if you want.