Shady Business

Well, I certainly left you hanging on my roller shade decision for long enough!

As usual, please pardon my lack of regular posts and updates. This baby boy is proving to be “nap challenged” and only sleeps about 1.5 hours a day. Some moms I know get that much free time out of ONE nap! I’m not so lucky…and neither is the blog.

Back to where I left off:

  • FIX SHADES – $

If it were entirely up to me, I would have gladly spent the extra money on other future home decor necessities (Yes, necessities you heard me right). Who wants to shell out big bucks for big boring blinds? I want a conversation piece!  …or a couch that doesn’t have cushions with a “right” and “wrong” side due to mystery stains from years past. (I really shouldn’t reveal so much about my furniture, I might never have friends come visit again).

In the end, my husband and I decided to find a compromise. We purchased a new light filtering shade for the living room from The Shade Store, but we skipped the room darkening shade and left the bedroom blinds untouched. Since they worked, it wasn’t that big of a deal to us that the living room and bedroom shades didn’t match, for now.

The final cost of the single shade and installation ended up totaling just under 800 dollars.

That was a number we could swallow, unlike the initial $2000+ estimate (broken down in this post).

The final decision might have been entirely different had I not been pregnant at the time. I wanted to get my hands dirty fixing and stenciling those 20 year old shades! I still wish I had given it a go. We threw the old ones away anyway! It would have been like a free pass on a crazy experiment! Oh well.

We managed to place the order before the pathetic “huge”, (hugely pathetic?) 15% off sale was over.

The new shade arrived in record time, but scheduling the installation around our baby moon meant we had to wait an extra week or so before a contractor was available.


Luckily, that meant that we had time to remove the old blinds, patch up the walls, and freshen the paint before the new blinds made their debut.


Per the usual – “Nothing is Ever as Easy as it Should Be” – when the contractor arrived for the installation the box was missing some special hardware that prevented our blinds from properly fitting against the ceiling. Therefore, they couldn’t be rolled up all the way. He stood on a ladder for over an hour, sweating like crazy, while trying to bend and force these blinds into the brackets that were provided.

This was yet another THANK GOODNESS I didn’t try to do this myself moment!!

He ended up leaving us with partially-lowered, non-functioning shades (and a lot of new scratches on the walls), until he could come back and fix them once the right hardware arrived.



We only had to wait 2 days! (I’m impressed Shade Store).

The final step in completing Project: New Shades for Baby was adding a valance. I had the option of purchasing a new valance from The Shade Store for $25 per foot ($220+), but I boldly decided to forego the additional cost and secretly hoped that I could figure out a way to reuse my old valance.

Let me catch you up with a brief history of the old valances:

When we moved in the valances were a combination of yellowing (formerly clear) plastic, and the ever-so-attractive dingy yellow material that also composed the shades. Check out the before pictures if you are interested to see the details. (I don’t have a close up because WHY would you EVER take a picture of that hideousness?!)

I figured out that the shade material was removable (AKA – taped on) through a Christmas light hanging mishap, and I was left with a thick cardboard surface that was less offensive than the original shade.

In a fit of desperation (on a gross snowy day) I grabbed a step ladder and went to town painting the yellowing plastic and the board. Thankfully, it was an instant improvement instead of a risky disaster.

I was relieved to see that the holes for the valance were still visible when the new shades were installed and functioning.

I enlisted a handsome gentleman’s help to attempt rehanging the old valance.


Gotta love those sexy socks…

I was incredibly relieved to discover that the old valance would work…eventually. It was running into the new hardware, so we needed to notch out both ends with an x-acto knife and scissors.

You can see the hack job we performed below. Whatever, it did the trick.


*Be sure to take note of the “classic” former shade material and the tape used to hold it in place. It’s a miracle it lasted 20 years! I guess they don’t make tape like they used to…

Finally, the shades were up and looking finished!


and JUST in time to add that wall!