The Cool House: blinds
Showing posts with label blinds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blinds. Show all posts

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crewel Intentions

We officially missed deadline #3 on the master bathroom - in case you were keeping score, deadline #1 was Valentine's Day; #2 The Guy's birthday. The last, ultimate, had-to-be-done-by date was March 12 when a party of friends and family arrived from Europe and filled The Cool House to capacity. A fully, functioning bathroom was all I needed to keep me sane, but alas, the renovation gods had other ideas. Still, we pressed on positively and the design gods, or more specifically, the Awesome Designer, smiled. She waved her wand and worked a lot of magic on the guest bedroom.

Roman blinds and a bolster covered in Robert Allen crewel work cotton and wool fabric - Unity Rings in Confetti. The fabric has a little arts & crafts vibe mixed with a little retro and a great colorway for this house - another uniquely modern find.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Climbing the walls

Lots going on, some things I want to make into a special post, others are barely worthy of a tweet let alone a line on this blog but for the moment here's a quick update:
We have granite pavers as an apron outside the garage, we do not have asphalt meeting that because the sealant places close for the winter. Check back mid-March for after photos, one "during" photo here.
The electricians returned to patch the hole in the wall. Apparently they are not carpenters so normally they'd just leave a big hole! Good to know that in advance because I would just have left the old outlet there. Also, where I come from this is known as being bloody lazy! The white cable down the outside of the house was "temporary" as one guy had run out of black and they knew they'd be back in the New Year to work on the master bath! This might have worked as an excuse had I not agreed with the other guy that there were three possible ways to do this:
a) pop off the baseboard, run the cable, tap back the moldings.
b) run a new cable in the wall from basement to the new outlet
c) run the cable up from the old outlet, through the void space and down the other wall.
The electrician favored option c but couldn't fit self into void so decided not to bother with a or b but to go outside and DRILL HOLES IN MY REDWOOD SIDING. This is the easiest fix and is known where I come from as being an idle bugger; this is also the reason we don't let Verizon anywhere near out house. I think they understand now that no one touches my redwood siding, OK? And surprise, they decided option a was the best way to remedy the situation. I guess I'll be paying for their time twice though...
New extension brackets for the wood blinds in the master bedroom have been mailed and these guys are really sorry...
We have the big blue sectional and rug in place... but you'll have to wait for Friday for the big reveal. Until then: sneak peek
The tree is still outside...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shady shopping

Is it my imagination or has it suddenly got a whole lot easier to find clean, modern soft furnishings in the US? Three or four years ago I had terrible trouble trying to find something sleek to keep the early morning sun out of my eyes before I'd had my daily infusion of caffeine. I even made Steven carry two 6' roller blinds from Habitat in London, England back to New York because I couldn't find anything here. Customs at JFK sarkily informed him that they did sell blinds in NY and, while that was true, at that time they were all vinyl or frilly. Now, though, I have a ton of resources to look at, from relatively cheap to astronomical.
I don't actually need any new blinds or shades at the moment but if I did I would definitely check out this modern roller blind at The Shade Store. I always have a hard time picking upholstery and fabric on line because the colours can't be accurately displayed but the great thing for me is that I can visit their showroom at The Conran Shop in Manhattan and see the merchandise close up. Some of the things that Conran sells are pretty expensive, although I've had quite a few bargains there over the years, but the wood blinds seem to be slightly cheaper than the one I bought for the downstairs bath, and the designer hardware seems reasonable too.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

At last, the end of the Window Saga

At last, at last, the roman shade for my office arrived though not without one last drama. I got a call from a neighbor to say she had my shade: the Fedex guy (not the usual Fedex lady who can read an address label, knows what's what and more importantly, who's who), had left a package outside her house, and luckily she's a nice lady and also luckily it had my phone number on it as well as my name. She phoned my rather than phoning Fedex to come pick it up and deliver it correctly 'cos goodness knows how long that would have taken. Anyway, I jumped in my car and drove to pick it up, and eureka: it fits, it works, it is the correct shade. Hurrah.
And I got to meet and chat with a new neighbor so thanks Yvette, Fedex and smithandnoble.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bye bye blind

The nice UPS man has just been to pick up the roman shade that smithandnoble sent out without a locking mechanism, the one they sent to replace the first one without a locking mechanism. The customer service rep assures me that they have identified the problem and I will be getting a new working shade without further delay. We shall see. So far nine blinds sent out, six returned for one defect or another. It all adds up to a lot of wasted materials, labour, shipping and MY TIME and PATIENCE.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Does smithandnoble read my blog entry or is it just coincidence? I checked my email just after I posted the last piece and weirdly enough there was an email from them saying the missing shade will be her tomorrow (FedExed no less)!
I hope it's the right blind, with a locking mechanism, and no pins, threads or wobbly bits on the seams. As the rod is already up I should be able to just slot it in place when it arrives.
Can't wait, I'll post a pic when it does, in the meantime a daylight photo of the den with the shades up.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Done den

Steve's finger has almost healed, although he hasn't had time yet to get the stitches out and I'm beginning to worry that he's grown permanently attached to them. What are the consequences of leaving them in forever?
It's President's Day, and that means he works from home instead of going to the office, so betwwen calls and emails and presentation writing he decided he could spare an hour to put up the curtain rods. We actually set the kitchen timer for fifty minutes to ensure he wouldn't miss his four o'clock conference call.
I'll take what I can get so I laid all the tools out, charged up the drill and did the measuring so all he had to was drill the holes.
Here's the result, and this is what it looked like when we moved in eighteen months ago.

I'm still cheesed off with smithandnoble for several reasons. The quality of the product versus price is dreadful: The seams are not hemmed, simply pressed and unsurprisingly there are threads hanging off the raw selvage; the edges aren't straight and the bottom rod that weights the fabric keeps sliding out. Their customer service sucks almost as bad as the product. I still haven't heard when I will get a replacment blind for the replacement blind for my office. My rule of thumb for an acceptable job is always: Could I have done it better myself? On this project Steven could have done a better job. Rats.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

the old window dressing

the old window dressing
Originally uploaded by modernemama.
July 2004: this is what the windows looked like when we moved in, all vinyl, all over. The windows were single hung, 6'x4'1" and the heat transference was tremendous. Now we're snug and the decor is improving too.
I love my house more every day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

what next?

I sometimes get freaked about the things we are doing to this house. My mantra when we were in contract to buy it and thinking about all the things that needed to be done was: Do no harm. Every so often, I second guess a decision we have made, usually about paint colour, and think: Am I making a terrible mistake and hurting the house? Then I come across photos from when we moved in, and I'm reassured. We are doing more good than harm.
The old kitchen has 70s decor and needs updating but it is so functional: all the cabinets have roll out drawers, the upper cabinets have roll out plate racks. Either side of the island there are: pull out chopping boards, one for meat, one for bread; a pull out toaster; can opener and electrical sockets. I can't even imagine how much it's going to cost to get this quality today

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The shade saga

suntanned never cease to amaze me with their customer"service". Despite their promise to ring back with a detailed instructions re the replacement of the non-locking blind I heard nothing for eight days. Then this evening while I was sorting through the credit card offers I will never take up, flyers from supermarkets I never use and coupons for $10 of sealcoat for the driveway, in short the sort of junk that passes for mail these days, there was a knock on the kitchen window.
And there in the cold stood the hunky UPS guy. It is Valentine's Day so I was kind of hoping for a decent prezzie. No such luck. He had been detailed to pick up something form a company I had never heard of, but turned out to be the manufacturer of smithandnoble blinds. As I wasn't expecting a pick up, he had to wait in 24" of snow while I found the blind, put it in its box and taped it up. Then he stuck on the return label and exclaimed "look at that, they send it out FedEx and pick it up UPS!"
I'm betting they take the blind, stick its locking mechanism on it and return it to me  via UPS. What are the odds. These blinds were ordered in October to be in place by Thanksgiving. Well they missed that deadline, Xmas and New Year, Velentine's too. We are shooting for Easter now or 6 months after they were ordered. Unbe*******lieveable.
Anyway, here are the various transformations my office has gone through, and eventually I hope to post a photo of the blind that should go in here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Window dressing

The roman shades saga continues: On Monday last week I received the replacement roman shades from smithandnoble. After the last experience I knew I had to get them up as quickly as possible to see that they were in perfect condition, so I rushed out and bought four poles to hang them from. (The reason I had ordered from smithandnoble was they offered a ring top option so they could be hung from a metal rod and would be sleek and modern, rather than bulky and fussy.
I sped back home with the selected black curtain poles and spent a good hour drilling holes in the wall to put them up. I thought I'd try the one in my study first and then do the den where there are three windows and I hoped Steve would take over with the drill. (It's man's work, you know). The blind looked ok coming out of the box, and on the pole there were no funny marks or pins left in the material, so far so good.
Then I tried to lock the blind closed, and I pulled one way and then the other, then I checked the back and guess what? They had left off the locking mechanism. I could not believe it! I phoned them immediately and they promised a new blind, which they would confirm by phone within 48 hours, leaving a detailed voicemail if I wasn't home. Really?
I'm still waiting for that phonecall, people, and FYI, four defective blinds out of eight is a really bad average.
So this blind is one of those that will go in the den (and yes they are all ok, I checked). That won't be for a couple of weeks as an accident with a bagel has left Steve with four stitches in his left index finger and I'm too mad to tackle any window dressing right now.