I’m puzzling through window treatments at the moment. Window treatments is such a funny and stuffy term, but useful, too, covering the range of shutters and curtains and blinds and shades and other things that a person might decide to use to cover up a window. Why cover a window at all, I’ve often asked, but my older and wiser, now-parent-to-three-young-children self, recognizes the practical considerations of privacy and insulation and, perhaps most pressing of all, getting kids to sleep at times when the sun might suggest it’s more fun to be doing otherwise.
The windows in this apartment are huge and I’m eternally grateful, but the sheer size of them has somewhat complicated the simple and cost effective solutions I’ve used in the past.
In our kids’ room in particular, I’m after something that’s easy to open and shut, relatively good at blocking the light from the daylight and street lamps, free of hazardous cords, and not too much of a pain to keep clean. I’m back to unicorn hunting, in other words, and pinning my hopes on finding something before we hit the summer solstice.
If I can help it, I’d love to avoid vinyl and find instead something that’s relatively gentle on both the environment and my bank account. And while I’d love to make something myself, even a DIY enthusiast has to know her limits, especially when she still hasn’t found the time to finish painting the place.
On my mind lately are simple roller shades of the kind championed by my friend and former colleague, Christine. Something that tucks out of sight and is easy to open and close without cords has real appeal these days. Roman shades are also a possibility, and easier to find without vinyl, but harder to find at a truly frugal price point.
I’m continuing my hunt, but in the meantime, here are some examples of the window treatments I’ve embraced in the past, in case they’re helpful for you or me as the sleuthing continues:
+ In my first three apartments, I nailed string to the window frames and tucked lengths of unhemmed white tablecloths found in thrift stores to cover the bottom halves of windows.
+ To help young kids get to sleep in our last apartment, I made a super simple doubled-over Linen Blackout Curtain and hung it from an iron rod and two hardware store pipe brackets.
+ In the main room, I spent years refusing to take a measurement and hanging simple white curtains from wire until I finally made very special curtains that could be removed entirely by day and hung up again by night. A mildly laborious but welcome solution for an apartment that didn’t get a ton of light.
+ On the French doors in this apartment we have a bit of a stop-gap solution in the form of a flat sheet turned into four roll-up shades, and on the windows in our back rooms, for now there’s a drop cloth cut in two and crudely sewn pockets for tension rods and good enough has been good enough in a room where nobody sleeps.
How about you? Tell me all about your genius solutions. I’m all ears and eyes.