Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kitchen: In for a window treat(ment)

After all the major updates in our kitchen, followed by painting some baseboard and door frame (read about it here) and adding vintage style open shelving (described here and here and here), it was time to tackle another project on our to-do-list for this room in our home.

While I love having a backyard view from my sink, seeing the ratty old mini blinds every morning just didn't brighten my day, nor did it brighten our kitchen. It just had to go. And fast.

[Before: Meh ... miniblinds]

I'd been patiently waiting for another sale at Calico Corners to snatch up a piece of that adorable "Dahlia" fabric (I talked about my fabric shopping woes here) but again, no luck. They didn't have it in stock and ordering it would take another 7-10 business day.

I'm patient, but not that patient.

So I browsed beautiful fabrics for about an hour, petted some lovely Ikats here, fondled some delicious Matelasse there, and then came across this pretty little number:

[What lovely leaves - Robert Allen Collection]

White linen with a scattering of leaves featuring colors that would work well to pull my yellow and white kitchen and my turquoise and white dining room together. Sold!

At home I pulled up my favorite "Miniblind to Roman Shade" tutorial up from the "Little Green Notebook" and got cracking. It worked great so if you feel crafty and need some easy-breezy window treatments check it out here: Miniblind to Roman Shade Tutorial

Following the instructions I cut out the thin strings that allow the miniblinds to tilt, careful not to cut the main string for the up and down mechanism.

[In Progress: Chop Chop!]

Our house cat "Boots" took off with one of the strings, and after she was done playing catch with it for a while she returned to keep a watchful eye on me to see if I'd create another toy for her during my project.

[In Progress: Extra string removed and ready to tackle step 2]

After that, I removed all but 5 slats and re-attached the bottom slat again before laying the shade skeleton on my fabric.

[In Progress: Fabric cut to size and ready to be attached]

I trimmed my fabric - one yard turned out to be the exact amount of fabric I needed for this project and then started glueing the hems. I usually -never- use any of those hemming tapes and glues. Sewing a straight seam through a sewing machine is easy and comes with the guarantee that IT.WILL.STAY.PUT. Something I can't necessarily say about some tapes I have used in the past.

I consider this a test: if it stays, great. It would have been much more difficult to run this through the sewing machine (but not impossible - just quite pin-ful to make sure the fabric doesn't move). If it doesn't, oh well, then I'll have to sew it after all.

[In-Progress: Looking good!]

So far this project had been surprisingly easy and it progressed swimmingly. Hanging the miniblind turned Roman shade back up, turned out to be a bit tricky and required me to drill a new hole into ancient pine but after just a few more minutes my kitchen window looked much improved!

[After: What a "window" treat!]

What a change! Now I really need to take care of the window trim.
And just for kicks and giggles, here's my "Honey Do" list for the kitchen as of today:

- rip out old cabinets
- rip out linoleum
- repair heart pine floors
- refinish heart pine floors
- re-plumb kitchen
- update electrical wiring
- hang new drywall
- finish new drywall
- prep, prime and paint walls
- repair base molding and add quarter rounds
- prep, prime and paint ceiling
- install ceiling fan
- install kitchen cabinets
- install appliances
- install cabinet hardware
- prep, prime and paint base molding
- prep, prime and paint trim around doorway to breezeway
- create open shelving with brackets and boards
- create/ add window treatment
- add a chalk board somewhere
- prep, prime and paint window trim
- finish trimming out the cabinet above the fridge

Optional/Possible future projects:
- update lighting*
- create built-in breakfast nook *
- add small round pedestal table*
- install back splash*
- add crown molding


  1. What a clever idea to convert an ugly miniblind into a pretty, cloth Roman shade. I'll definitely need to bookmark this one. Thanks!

  2. Beautiful Fabric! Looks so much better.

  3. Shasha,
    isn't it? Thank God for the internet and those clever crafty people :o)

  4. Julia,

    thank you! It was really time: it couldn't get any uglier, could it? I loved how easy it was to convert the miniblind. I can't wait to make more :o)

  5. What is the name of the Robert Allen fabric? I have not been able to find it online.