Monday, December 15, 2008

Audience Participation

This is my front window. It still has the metal mini-blinds that were there the day I bought the house. Based on PO photos, they are at least 11 years old. They may have looked fine with the room when the walls were painted cream. They do not look so good with the walls painted gold.

When I first moved in I had the same mini-blinds in the kitchen, dining room, casement windows on the side of the living room and my front door.

In the kitchen I replaced them with white & green cotton cafe curtains. In the dining room, I put up vintage lace. On the casement windows, I used moss green sheers. And on the front door, I had a vintage striped canvas shade made.

I've ignored the front mini-blinds until now. But, they are really starting to bug me (note the bent blinds where the PO's dog looked out the window). I have a few ides of what to do with the window, but want to make sure I don't overlook any options.

If this was your window, what would you use to replace the mini-blinds?

A few details if they help: I need some privacy from the high straffic sidewalk out front. The window gets a lot of sun. Room colors are - gold paint & chair, moss green couch, deep red chair, and navy blue accents....all brought together in an oriental rug. There is an unstained oak floor, walnut stained baseboard, room divider, crown and doors. Hardware is oil rubber bronze. The cream lampshade can go.


NV said...

I'm a fan of shutters. They add an extra architectural touch in addition to being just incredibly functional!

Garden Monkey said...

I'd head over to the MN Historical Society or Bungalow club library collection and see what they were doing at the time your place was built. That's what I've been doing with my place. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it looks too much like a grandma house, sometimes it's waaaaay to expensive. I guess that's how it goes.
I'm partial to wide slat wood blinds... they look a little like shutters when they are down, but you can open them and keep them out of the way. (probably not a 1920's style option though)
Good luck, can't wait to see what you end up with!

Anonymous said...

I'm really into floor-length drapes, and as far as I can tell, they'd fit w/20s style, if that's what you're going for.

We've got some big windows in front that I've covered with floor-length drapes lined with thermal insulation (you can buy it at any fabric store, and I think it makes the windows much less drafty in winter). I think it's pretty difficult to see in during the daytime, so we usually leave the drapes open then and just close them at night. If you're really concerned about privacy, though, you could always add sheers behind them.

(And I'd vote for you using a red, navy, or even chocolate brown fabric for the curtains - maybe velvety? or something else that looks heavy).

meditechguru said...

my research on Bungalows indicated that linen curtains were the norm with drapes providing a second layer. Since frugality was key, they material should be 1 to 1.5 times wider than the window. That will give a very flat look but they can also be stitched with custom embroidery that would match the interior decor.

Anonymous said...

My vote follows homeinthecities .... and I'm particular to the heavy choc. brown color or something that would look good with a gold toned sheer to give some light protection and privacy. Its really amazing to me how much sheers block out while still letting things feel open.

Karen said...
Here are two nice places to get ideas for curtains/shades. I kinda like the panels in red on the second link and they have some really sweet ones here
And I have gotten very good deals at JCPenny on shades and curtains

Carol said...

We have wood shutters from Smith & Noble. They are cafe-style, so our divided light upper windows aren't covered. We don't have a large picture window, though. It would be a shame to hide your beautiful woodwork behind drapes. What about roman shades that have a top-down feature?

Stephanie said...

Like Karen, I was going to recommend taking a look at Anne Wallace's site. If you can sew, you can duplicate much of what's there fairly inexpensively, because bungalow window coverings were all about simplicity.

Dianne Ayers also has a site worth checking out for inspiration, if you're looking for something bungalow-y:

If you're looking for a more modern window treatment, as weird as it sounds, you might want to check They will have a lot of junk, but if you're patient and don't mind scrolling through a few pages of grandma curtains,, they often have some really nice velvet and silk drapes too.

Di said...

A friend of mine has a bungalow with linen-type fabric cellular shades. They can be opened from the top or the bottom of the window, which allows you light but maintains privacy. I found something similar on levolor's site ( It's picture #3.

Another option that I like is linen roman shades, like the ones at

I'm still using our paper shades that we bought as an emergency privacy preserver a few years ago. Window treatments are expensive!

Kathy from NJ said...

For some reason neither you nor the house strike me as a formal-drapes-to-the-floor type of person/house. I googled bungalow window treatments and shades win for authenticity. I do like those top down shades (had in my kitchen).

Sally said...

Bungahigh aspires to have wide slat wood blinds to match the original woodwork.

However, due to budget constraints and attempting to maintain focus on more "needed" items (i.e. a bathroom sink!) we have resorted to a shabby blue Mexican zarape blanket purchased over a decade ago in TJ. ;)

StuccoHouse said...

Thank you all for the good advice.

NV - Interestingly, I have shutters on the windows surrounding my front door. There may have been shutters all around at one time.

Garden Monkey - I did stop over at the library on Marshall in St. Paul this past summer. They have the Twin Cities Bungalow Club collection of books...which is a nice resource for questions like this. I also have all of the Powell books at home. I'm pretty much of a purist...and because of that sometime price is no object :-). You are of like minds with me on wood slat blinds.

Homeinthecities - They do have some really lovely drapes out there now. ....and I think they would go perfectly with my couch and other furniture. Here is what I have discovered about myself this past couple of years. The darker colors currently in my living room depress me. Odd as it may sound. It's sad really, because I love all of those jewel colors & lush fabrics. My last house was very bright and couch was white & light blue stripe, walls light yellow w/ vintage painted white trim. I think heavy drapes may play into my little problem. I'm not sure if I have posted many picture of my upstairs, but I had to make a conscious decision to lighten thing up up there. Whats a girl to do?

Meditechguru - I like linen & I sew :-) My shades upstairs are linen. Food for thought.

Anon - I was also surprised at how much privacy & light control sheers provide. I did use them on the windows on the end of the same room. Originally thought I might have to add something on top of them, but never did. Who knows, maybe my neighbor can see me laying on the couch watching tv, but I can't see out.

Karen - Thanks for the links. I did take a look at CC when I was hunting down lace curtains for my dining room, but didn't think about them for the living room. Ann Wallace also has some great designs. JCP made my upstairs shades...and I was very happy with them.

Carol - Top down would be a great idea. That way, I could still get the light w/o the world out walking their dogs looking in. You are very close to my original idea of what I'd do with the window...assuming S&N still have the samples I have. The thing that drives me crazy about them is that once you are on their list, you get a catalog & email a day for the rest of your life. Wonder if I could order under a pseudonym and have them drop it off on the corner :-)

Stephanie - Thanks for the links. I never thought of Overstock....never have ordered from them.

Di - I had cellular shade in my previous house. Forgot about them. I did like them. The more I think about top down, the more I like that idea. It easy just to keep what you have when there are other more important things to spend money on, no?

Kathy - You have been reading my blog for a long time and have a pretty good idea of me/my house :-) My last house was 1920's colonial revival inspired....and my decor was a little more formal & much lighter. This house is much more heavy & less formal by nature. Which makes for an odd dilemma...that's not necessarily "me." I have been trying to add purist vintage aspects that aren't necessarily "bungalow."

Sally - Thanks for the chuckle. I do have a Mexican zarape that I bought on the beach in Cancun years ago....and it may even look better than the metal shades there now :-)

I'll keep you posted as I decide which route to take. Thanks a ton for all of the good ideas!

Becky said...

Because I love the framing around my windows and wanted it to show, I bought 3/4" metal piping at the hardware store which comes in 10' lengths that were cut down for me to my specifications. This was a few years go but it was incredibly cheap at the time. Primed, painted and with 3/4" rubber end caps, they fit nicely inside my window frames. I've mostly used small curtain rings that have the little clamps that hold up the curtain. Likely couldn't hold really heavy curtains but this has worked well for me and I've got the same set up in every window of my house. The curtains easily open and close and I have tailored them to fit completely within the window frame. I have bought some awesome material off of ebay for curtains [though probably lucked out with that as I usually need to see the curtains/material in the room to know that I like them]. Have done a mixture of Target and JCPenneys curtains [trying out many before finding the ones I felt fit the room] which mostly just requires cutting the bottoms to fit and hemming, material from Joanne's fabrics [calicos when on sale or some of the big bolt fabric for furniture/drapes]. They'll cut a sliver of sample fabric for you to try it out at home. Have even had success with sheets that I found on sale, at Saver's, or garage sales. I love fabric, like the texture and color it can add to a room. I'm a big fan of vintagy florals and do well with Waverly fabrics when I can find them for a good price.
- Becky

Blog Widget by LinkWithin