Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Roman Blind Comment

I wanted to share this comment from "Anonymous. " First I'm amazed and honored that anyone would take the time to write such a thoughtful comment. Most comments I see on blogs are very supportive which is great. We all need a few cheerleaders behind us. I had wondered what I would do if I ever got a negative comment and I decided I would always publish whatever comments I got (unless they were vulgar) This isn't by any means a negative comment but it's a very honest one. It's obvious from the comment that "Anonymous" has read "most" of my posts in detail. I'll respond after you've all had a chance to read:

Anonymous said...
"Roman Blind Options...or Not?"

Maybe not?

And when you say "or Not?" I'm not sure if you mean that you're committed to roman blinds, but not necessarily to one of those fabrics, or if you mean that you're not necessarily committed to roman blinds at all.

You have exquisite taste, and anything you choose will be great.

But I'm suggesting that you reconsider using shutters. More specifically, one set of shutters for the top half of each window and a second set for the bottom half.

Some arguments against roman blinds and for shutters:

1. If your windows are easily visible from the outside, then the cords on the back of the roman blinds also would be easily visible from the outside.

Frankly, I think that those cords are unattractive, especially with an older house.

Granted, this isn't much of a problem when the blinds are up, but it does become a problem when the blinds are lowered. (Even when lowered only part way.)

Your house has a small setback from the street, so the backs of the blinds (the side of the blinds facing the outside) would be easy to see from the street. (By the way, I think that small setbacks are one of the charms of many older neighborhoods.)

Also, you've talked of adding a porch to the front of your house. (A great idea, especially because your house probably had a front porch originally.) If you do that, you may be sitting on your beautiful porch only inches from the back of the roman blinds inside.

In my mind, interior shutters look good from the outside, especially for an older house.

2. With roman blinds, you can't close the bottom half of the windows and keep the top half open.

When your windows are close to the street, as yours are, there may be times when you want privacy, but you also want to admit light.

With shutters, you can close those on the bottom half for privacy and keep the top half open for at least a partial view and for light.

3. With roman blinds that are made from a patterned fabric, it would be difficult to redecorate later without replacing the blinds.

With shutters, you could redecorate and keep the shutters.

4. Shutters work with almost any decor.

They work in a casual setting. (As seen in many of Kelly McGuill's interiors.) They work in a more formal setting. They work in a contemporary interior. (As seen in many interiors by the contemporary architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen.)

5. They fade into the background to let your furniture, artwork, and mirrors shine.

(And I'm so excited to see the round mirror that you plan to purchase!)

If you did decide to use shutters, they could be the same color of white as the woodwork, or they could be stained to match the wood floor.

A side note. In an earlier post, you mentioned the possibility of making the first floor windows bigger. (Or, more specifically, taller.)

If I remember correctly, I believe that you said that you probably won't do this. But if there's any possibility that you may make the windows larger, then you probably wouldn't want to spend a large amount on getting window coverings now that would have to be replaced when the windows are enlarged.

Again, I'm sure that whatever you decide to do with the windows will look wonderful.

By the way, so happy to see that you got the table!

And sorry for such a long comment!

Okay, Let me respond.

I'm not so sure that I mind the look of the cords in the back but now you've got me paranoid. I can recall walking around places like Beacon Hill, where the million-dollar townhouses are right on the sidewalk, and seeing the back sides of some pretty fantastic balloon shades. I do admit to having a little OCD when it comes to such things as whatever portion of a window treatment that's visible from the street being white. And all blinds should be raised or lowered to the same level. But I don't think the strings ever bothered me....until now.

I did consider shutters--Kelly McGuills windows all had no window treatments or shutters--but I have three cats who rule the house and I didn't think they would let me get away with it. They have to keep track of all squirrels and all times. They also like to check up on noises they hear outside at night. I'll talk to them about it but I've learned not to cross them because they always win. I have to pick my battles.

You are also correct that it was my intention of lowering the front windows to the floor when I add the porch. It's a detail I quite like on Greek Revival homes. I had thought that if I do lower the windows to the floor, I would add shutters to the lower part. This would give me privacy and still allow the cats to see out from the back of the chair or a table in front of the window. I'm reconsidering the choice to lower those windows because it's pretty clear from the trim on the interior, they are now the way they have always been. It's also very costly to recreate the trim and I really need to find places to control costs. My dream kitchen awaits.

So, I thank you "Anonynous" for all of your thoughtful feedback and the time you took to comment. Stop by anytime to challenge my thinking. I really don't mind.


  1. To both - perfectly worded. I have the worst case of OCD ever with details and I don't think I would have thought twice about the cord issue - until now.
    And after thinking about it, I don't think there is an issue. You know, you can cover the backs of the shades with the same fabric.
    Another option: there are some incredibly beautiful pull down shades. You can cover these in any fabric and the bottoms can straight, scalloped etc. There would be no cords with this option. :)
    I think having shutters with cats would be an ongoing battle of the wits!
    Steve, when I read the first sentence I thought this was going to be about my comment saying that I wasn't wild about any of the fabrics! After following your every post, I have no doubt whatever fabrics you use, the room will be "handsomely divine."


  2. Very thoughtful post. Hmm, never considered the cords. Even still, I don't think the cords would bother me. I do like the shutter idea. But I also like simple white sheers in the living room to let in the light. Of course, I have absolutely no decorating skill whatsoever, so please don't listen to me.

    I actually liked the velvet curves.

  3. So, I considered the cords, but I never considered the cats!

    We also had three cats years ago, and I know how important their happiness is.

    Also, interesting to hear that your windows probably always were the size they are now. I agree. Save your money for the kitchen.

  4. Ok, In past homes I've had roman shades and shutters.

    The cord issue? My cords coordinated with the lining so they barely showed at all. I loved those shades. They were tailored and yet added a softness that the windows needed.

    Shutters? I really hated dusting them. Talk about OCD. Also, after a while I started looking at them like prison bars. Seriously, they began to bug me and they were so costly I knew they were never coming down.

    My vote is for the shades. A fraction of the cost and no dusting!