Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Evolution of My Living Room Window

Haha, haven’t you always wanted know about the evolution of my living room window  and all of its business (aka: window coverings)?  No??  What? Well, I’m going to give you the 411 on it anyway.  Maybe it’ll give you some insight as to how my mind works.  Looking back at all of the random stuff I think about, it’s kind of amazing that I can even feed and clothe myself…

Anyway, when we moved into our house we had those really large vertical blinds in our front picture window.  They grossed me out.  Now, I’m not knocking vertical blinds…they have a time and a place, but these guys deserved no time and had nooo place in my house. They were supposed to be off-white, but up close they looked more brownish from all the dirt build-up, and many of the slats were held together up at the top with a combination of black electrical tape and clear packaging tape.  Classy?  Not so much…

This is the best picture that I could find of the blinds in their "before" state.  That's the hubby playing playstation with his brother the day after we moved in.  I guess that guys have different priorities than girls, huh?

Problem:  Since our house is on a very busy road, we needed something to give us privacy.  But, since our house isn’t terribly large, I wanted something to let the light in during the day, because it made it feel bigger in there, and just I love natural light.  Since our couch sits right in front of the window, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room or space for curtains as the sole method of privacy.  Plus, having to open and close curtains as much as I wanted would probably get old quickly.  So that was out. 

Next up, I considered plantation shutters (see below), which I think look very classy.  But everyone I talked to said that they were uber expensive.  Cue: sad Sara face :(

(Image courtesy of Country Living)

Then, I came across this PVC lattice one day from Soulstyle

Yes, it’s PVC lattice!  As in the PVC lattice that you would commonly find under decks etc.  It was adorable and I was in love.  After much consideration and study on my front windows, I determined that it just wouldn’t work with my type of window.  Why?  Well, one full piece of lattice would prevent me from sliding open the windows.  Doing two separate pieces (1 for the top, 1 for the bottom) still wouldn’t work because I still wouldn’t be able to open the windows--there wasn’t enough sliding clearance between the two panes of glass. 

So that got me to thinking…what about radiator sheet metal?  I got a piece at Lowes and tried it out…it looked cute, but the size was all wrong, so I would need to special order large stuff and cut it to size.  Finally, to cover all the windows would be several hundred dollars, annnnd I wasn’t willing to give up my moolah that easily. 

By this time, I had discovered the wonderful world of Pinterest, and found the next two images:

It’s contact paper!  Perfect!  But, do you think I could find frosted contact paper anywhere?!  Umm…nope, and I checked everywhere.  I could order it online for $10, but then I’d have to pay at least another $10+ for shipping etc.  Gahhh…my conscience couldn’t let me do it (plus, I kind of wanted instant gratification…I’m not very good at waiting).  So I decided to try frosted window clings.  You know those little animals that you’d put on your bedroom window as a kid?  Well this stuff is similar…it sticks to the window using static cling instead of adhesive.  I got a large role (enough to do the bottom half of all three windows) from Joann’s for $20 (I had a 40% off coupon).  

(Pleeeeease forgive the mess! I was in the middle of painting the living room and doing the whole "push furniture to one side of the room to paint"...switch...and repeat)

So, I spent 3 hours one night sticking that stuff on there.  The first window was almost painful, but the next two windows went much better.  It looked nice, and you couldn’t see through it (which is why I left the top windows alone…I need to be able to creep on the neighbors/people walking down the street ;) ).  So you can still see stuff through the top window, but this is a non-issue to me since the only things that are up that high are the husband’s head (mine stays safely in the frosted zone haha), and our lighting fixtures.  Mine main concern had been met, which was: If I need to run from our bedroom to the basement in my tighty whiteys and bra one morning to get clean laundry, will I spare the little school children going by on the bus from lifelong scarring?  Yes?  OK.  Sweeeet-ness. 

A few days later though, one panel fell down. :( I wrongly blamed the husband…I yelled. :( Turns out physics just kind of sucks sometimes because static cling is NOT enough to hold those babies onto my windows.  A few days after the “incident” I accidentally sucked one down with the vacuum.  Then I witnessed the first panel fall down on its own (again).  Gahhh…I went to my fall-back method that can pretty much fix anything: tape.  I taped those suckers on there, and that’s where they’ve been ever since.  I’m not thrilled with the static cling product, but I DO like the frosted glass look.  So in that aspect at least, I’ve found the result that I was going for.  

BTW, those old vertical blinds: I got rid of them by posting them for “free” on Craigslist within 30 minutes.  I didn’t consider them to be in good enough shape to be worth selling, and I made some girl on a tight budget very happy :)

This past weekend I added some curtains to the frosted window setup for additional TV glare control during those rare times when we watch movies during the day.  I’ll still need another two panels (one more for each side), so that they can span the whole window, but I needed to know how they looked before I spent the money on another set.  And I’m still not completely sold on the curtains.  I’ll let them hang there for a while and see how I feel in another week or two before I get some more.  I LOVE the curtain rod though.  I got it from Lowes for $50 and it’s got “mercury” glass finials on the ends.   It just looks so darn cuuute!  

So there you have it: the evolution of my crazy thought process, and how my window coverings have changed from the time that we moved in up until right now. 

PS: see that cute red throw pillow on the couch?  That's my latest DIY project...more on that soon! 


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