Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let there be light!

Well HEY! Thanks for all the kind comments on our new floors! I tell you what -- I am more thrilled with them each day. I swear these floors don’t show anything! I so wish I could say I’m the I-want-to-see-the-dirt-so-I-know-when-to-clean type…but I’m just not. Sorry. ;)

Anyhoo, I told you the new floors have spurred on some new projects. One in particular I wanted to take care of before they moved the furniture back in. It involved the roman shades in the family room, so I wanted to take care of it while the sofa wasn’t in the way.

I showed you here how I’ve fallen in love with bamboo shades. We used to have two-inch blinds throughout the house, and slowly but surely, I transitioned all the windows to bamboo shades instead.

They are SO easy to install:

Over time, I’ve been craving a little more light though. So I decided to try hanging them up higher instead of inside the window. When you install roman shades, you need to decide if you want them hung inside the window frame, or outside:


I’ve always hung ours inside, but I got the I-need-more-light wild hair and decided to try the outside mount.

I didn’t get photos of the process (because I was trying to get it done before the furniture was moved back in), but it’s pretty easy. You just take the bracket and hang it above the window, instead of inside the window frame:

That pic is looking up underneath the roman shade.

Make SURE that you either use anchors or get your screws into a stud or the header over the window when hanging them. You want to make sure the brackets have a good grip!

I started moving them up and decided everything would need to go up, so I moved the drapes as well. Now everything is hung right up under the crown:

And I have to say, I LOVE it! It raised the bamboo shades about ten inches, so it lets a TON more light in the room.

The only thing I didn’t consider…that the blinds don’t cover the entire window anymore:

oops :)

Whoops. ;)

In my defense, our upstairs shades have a ton of extra at the bottom, because I buy the 72 inch length for every window. So I just figured I’d have enough extra at the bottom. I don’t. :)

The only other thing that is different is the space between the shades. At the right angle, you can see between them:

outside mount roman shades

Not a big deal, but I like it totally closed off at night. :)

A new set of shades will fix these issues though – I’ll just get wider and longer bamboo shades. I’ll move these upstairs when I have the budget for new ones, but until then, I can deal with these little issues.

I figured the short shades would be hidden by the sofa, and they would have been if I hadn’t decided to move things around a bit. :) When they brought the furniture back in, I had the sofa and IKEA sofa table placed back about a foot. You can see the before on the left, now on the right:

Funny how one foot makes a HUGE difference! To me anyway. I love little changes like that! And you can see the difference in the shades and drapes in these pics too.

We need the extra space in the family room, not in the kitchen, so it works SO much better like this. But now the sofa doesn’t cover the entire window.

No biggie. I’m trying not to develop the heebs at night because of it. ;)

The best part – it made our windows and ceiling feel even taller AND lets in more light…for FREE!

Here’s the evolution of the family room drapes…very early on I went with the tan drapes on tan walls hung immediately over the window, with no blinds at all:

Then I moved on to the DIY drapes with blinds:

I still love those brown drapes!

And then I flipped the drapes and the bamboo obsession started:

roman bamboo shades

And after stealing the dining room drapes and raising everything up, (and OK, a few other changes) here’s where we are today:

drapes and shades hung high

Again with the cloudy, rainy day. This needs to shape up for my photos!! ;)

You can’t see the molding I installed around the windows now, but I don’t mind it – I’ll take natural light over that any day! This certainly has me thinking about moving more shades up around the entire house.

See how one thing turns into another around here?

So do you hang ‘em high? It’s an old decor trick that certainly works! I think it works best when the shades and curtains are both hung high – so the window really looks taller. Sometimes I think just hanging the drapes higher can make the window seem even shorter.

P.S. Check out my FAQ page to find out where I find my bamboo roman shades.


  1. Wow - love how the room has evolved! And the dome light shade looks great too!

  2. I love the drapes when you flipped them. I have a curious question and I hope it isn't taken negatively.
    With all the new floors and light shades and stuff: Are ya'll still debt free? Sorry if this is to personal of a question.
    Thank you for writing,

  3. Lovely Sarah! I love bamboo shades. I need to get some! The texture and different colors in them is fabulous. I really like how you hung everything high. Once I finally get some curtains for our living room, that's how I plan on hanging them. I just love your home. It's so homey and comfortable feeling. It looks great with the new floors too!! Awesome they don't show anything. I'm with you on wanting "stuff" on the floors hidden. =)

    ~ Catie

  4. I love the warmth of bamboo shades, and I have them in one room but the cords have broken twice. Grrr! Thankfully they are easy to re-string, but it's still a pain. Your new hardwoods are pretty! I'm glad you are enjoying them.

  5. It is gorgeous! But where are the shades that were there last? I LOVED LOVED LOVED that pattern!

  6. Started doing this to all my windows recently and just finished the last one! Such impact for zero dollars! I.LOVE.IT!

  7. I still love that coffee table... and the drapes are fabulous! Moving the blinds up really did make the windows look taller, nice!

  8. I love the natural elements in a space and the shades definitely lend a warmth to the space. The new drapes are very pretty.

  9. This is great! I just installed my first bamboo blinds in our home tonight! Love the way they look and the texture it adds to the room! Love how your rods are hung!

  10. Yesssir....or mam... Brilliant to hang the shades high, too... It totally disguises the fact that they are elevated! Genius...

  11. Love that room, Sarah!! I just Pinned that last photo-so cozy. :) The high window treatments really do make a difference.

  12. I love seeing how your space has transformed. Great job!

  13. You did a great job! I love how your home looks with new shades! Greeting and have a good weekend:)

  14. The entire room looks amazing!! I love before and after pictures, could get caught up in looking at them all day.

  15. Here's and idea. What about adding a thick Ribbon to connect the 2 shades. Something in a natural material. I have even seen burlap ribbon. That would cut down on the light coming in from the space between. Then you might get away with keeping them there. ps. Love your blog. I am a Director with Willow House and just love your ideas. I even see some of our products in your home :)!

  16. Seeing the progression gives me hope. We moved into a new home and nothing seems to fit together like the other house where it was done and perfect.

    I'm basically starting over in the living room with only our couch and coffee table.

    Have you gotten frustrated and felt gosh my room looks like crap?

  17. Ugh, now I am having an issue with what I was going to do in my family room & craft room. Ugh... you and your brilliantly lovely ideas!

  18. I like the shades raised- I like the more even line between the tops of them and the drapery rods. It looks so sharp! :)

  19. I love your light drapes in the famly room. Did you make them yourself or did you find them somewhere?

  20. Okay...I am turning into a thrifty decor chick wanna be. I agree with others that have commented I love your posts and the verbage. Don't ever shorten. they bring value.
    I have bamboo as well and I was re thinking them and now I want to keep them. My DH thanks you! lol,.I love your floors...
    Hope to have you stop by my site and say hello.
    You rock.

  21. Hang em high! I think this works very well... both shades and drapes! Looks like you have another weekend project... moving all of your shades up!

    Beautiful floors... BTW!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}

  22. Looking good! Isn't it funny how little changes make such a big difference? Love the new floors too! So many fun changes at the TDC house : )

  23. I like your look with the bamboo shades. About them not going all the way to the bottom...remember that phrase "measure twice, cut once"? Well although there's no cutting with these, yup..ya still gotta measure to make sure you don't mount them too high if you want full length coverage. But even though they don't fully cover, they look so nice mounted higher on the outside. You might be able to affix a sort of "bottom header" to them to cover the gap...maybe by hand sewing some fabric on or even using some sort of strong glue.

  24. Love your blog! Can I ask where you got your curtains? The ones that used to be in your dining room? Love them!

  25. They look great Sarah. I love drapes mounted up high that way...really extends the window and gives even more light into the room. :)

  26. awesome!!! im looking to doing some blinds too!! what a great idea to include small panels of drapes at the side!

  27. Love how the bamboo shades add so much texture to the room! Very pretty! I'm new to blogging, I just linked to a post of yours for an upcoming post of mine. I hope it worked :)

  28. The room looks gorgeous and I love the blinds!

  29. I like it a lot. We try to do anything that will make our ceilings look higher. This would certainly do the trick. Thanks for the great idea!!!

  30. i luv how the room is and your floors are making me really really *REALLY* want wood floors thru-out, and that's saying alot with me. seriously i've aways been a carpet gal, but i just feel in luv with your floors!
    Michelle @

  31. this is a GEORGEOUS transformation!!

  32. WOW! Moving the bamboo blinds up at the same level of the curtain rods just makes the world of a difference. Just fabulous!! You inspire me!

    Blessings, Eva.

    thisprayer (at) aol (dot) com

  33. It looks great. I really love the transformation that was made by adding the bamboo shades.

  34. Ambient lighting provides illumination for the whole room. When choosing ambient lighting, you may want to think about installing a dimmer adaptability.

  35. Love it! I can't believe that used to be your family room! I feel the saem way about our kitchen renovation that's goin on now. I want to use the bamboo shades on our french doors in our kitchen, but they're metal doors. Have you ever installed these on metal? WE have plantation shutters throughout the house, but the doors are nekked! I'm just worried because they're metal that there's no solution. Any thoughts?

  36. curious where you got your couch :)


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