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improving the view

February 8, 2012

As I have mentioned before, our family moved into a new-to-us house in August.  In the maelstrom of school, work, and general disorientation that comes with any move , my husband and I have done little — other than placing the furniture and hanging paintings — to make this house our own.

Enter the giant windows.

Floor-to-ceiling windows cover the back wall of our family room, offering a beautiful view of the nature preserve beyond.  When we first saw this house, Steve and I fell in love with these windows.

Wooden blinds on our picture windows. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

We did not, however, fall in love with the basic wooden blinds adorning them.  It isn’t currently in our budget to replace them, though, and their shade is helpful on Austin’s frequent sunny days.

Enter Pinterest, a.k.a. “Gathering Place of All Crafts I’ve Never Had the Guts or the Talent to Make.”

From Little Green Notebook

While surfing Pinterest and pretending to be crafty, I found this tutorial from the wonderful interior design blog Little Green Notebook.  Temporarily forgetting that I am neither skilled nor particularly patient, I decided to make pelmet boxes for my large picture windows.  Never mind that I had never heard the word “pelmet” before reading this blog post…  the tutorial made it sound easy, so I rushed off to buy fabric and batting and trim.  I gathered my staple gun and duct tape, armed for battle.

Once I figured out how to actually load the staple gun, I got to work.

I didn’t take any “during” photos of my process (and, fortunately, no audiotape exists of my occasionally expletive-riddled labor), but I will assure you it was somewhat time-consuming.  Because my center window required a pelmet box that was 74 inches wide, I was working with some very large pieces of batting, board, and fabric.  The two smaller boxes, at just 24 inches wide, were much easier to manage.  I also unintentionally chose a fabric that has a subtle horizontal pattern, demanding that I staple the fabric in a straight line.  A solid or non-geometric pattern would have been easier to work with.  Also, the only time I could work on the pelmet boxes was after my children were asleep (see “expletive-riddled labor”), so my boxes ended up taking about 6 hours or so to make, total.

This is an abysmal photo, but hopefully you get the idea of what the finished product looks like:

The fabric is taupe with a subtle horizontal pattern. The trim is navy. Most importantly, no more blind hardware!

While a strong wind might blow my pelmet boxes from their perch, and while I can’t attest to their craftsmanship or their endurance, I am proud of how they turned out.  I’m pleased with the final result, for sure, but I think I’m far happier with the daily reminder seeing them provides.

“If you are unhappy with the view,” my pelmet boxes say, “just change it.”

Oh.  Yeah.

Just for today, I’m going to stop cursing the darkness.  I’ll do my best to shine a little light.  If I can do it — believe me — anyone can.

Happy Wednesday, y’all, and thanks for showing up.

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