The Family Room Windows: A Work in Progress

WM pink and gray Rev3

Roman Shade, curtain bookcase

Who’s ready for some janky?! Awesome. I have just the thing; you’ll love it.

I’m particular about curtains. I like them thick and lined, not skimpy or wimpy. I also like them double hung with sheers to filter the light during the day. I want to be able to see out to the street but still protect our furniture and pictures from the glare of the setting sun. (Also, it’s blinding come sunset.) Unfortunately, our plaster walls can’t support the weight of what I like. Every few months the rods pull out from the walls, forcing us to take everything down, patch, and reinstall. There is a reason why we can’t use anchors, but for the life of me I can’t remember. I do know that behind the paneling in the family room is the brick and mortar of the exterior facade. Whatever the reason, no anchors.

Roman Shade, pulled 1

Roman Shade, pulled, 2

We’ve been trying to hold out for shutters, but the rods started pulling out again. Shutters can’t happen right now, so we had to do a cheap temporary fix–something I swore we wouldn’t do again. Let’s agree that vowing to never do something is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.

Roman Collage

We ended up buying bamboo Roman shades from The Home Depot, but because our windows are so very wide, we had to buy three and put them together like a puzzle. It’s not ideal, and the side shades add to the jankiness by being longer than the center shade, but it’s the best we can do for now.

Roman Shade, open

Roman Shade, drawn

We’re going to put white curtains (stationary) on either side of the window to add fullness and texture to the room. That should go far in masking (1) that there are three shades instead of one and (2) they are improperly installed since I believe Roman shades are supposed to hang inside the window casings. Also, I think it looks nice. John and Sherry did the same thing in their first house (eighth picture down) and I always liked the look. And even though the shades aren’t our first pick, I admit they do a fantastic job filtering the light. They are much better than sheers, and as you can see in the pictures, I still have a clear and pretty view of the street, which is handy when the boys want to play football on the front lawn.

I don’t like posting incomplete projects, but oh well. Progress, not perfection.

*Apparently there is a bug with the latest version of WordPress that fails to recognize embeded codes for videos, link-ups, etc. So, if you do not see the WMP link up option in this post, just know that I will reinsert it first thing in the morning. Website cursed, I tell you!


This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.


Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

  • Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
  • Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
  • No links to giveaways, please.
  • Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.
  • //////////////////////////////////

18 Responses to “The Family Room Windows: A Work in Progress”
  1. katie. says:

    Did you know you can take off the extra slats on the bottom of the long blinds? We’ve done it before with blinds like these and it makes all the difference! I can’t remember exactly how you do it, but I bet you can find it on YouTube or some fantastic DIY blog… (also, they look great!)

  2. We put very similar shades in our living room, and I really like them. As you’ve pointed out, good functionality. And I didn’t know there was any other way to post but in-progress! :-)

  3. Susan G says:

    I like the texture they add to the room. :) Since we live in an old house with less than squared off windows, we would have to hang them outside the frame. I’ve been thinking of using some of these so now I’m going to HD to look.

  4. Val says:

    Your family room seems to be slowly turning into my den’s doppleganger…I have the white Ektorp sectional and these exact blinds. I like them. We’ve had them for two years and they’ve done well. Ours weren’t a perfect fit for our window either, but once we got curtains up it was no big deal.

    How are you liking the Ektorp? We’re saving up for a new slip-cover. In theory, the bleach-able white seemed like a good idea. But in practice, it is always dirty and too big for my washing machine.

  5. Rachel Rayray Cruz says:

    It looks lovely! I have dark wooden shades for all the same reasons and while I LOVE interior shutters, they don’t allow for you to see out while getting a bit of light diffusion and the wooden Roman shades too. Plus they add an earthy organic element to the room that just feels good. If you do need more cost effective window treatments, I have found that the online retailer blinds galore is fantastic! Great products and the price is 1/2-1/3 of prices anywhete else. I recommend their own brand very highly. Also JcPenny has been a wonderful resource for us as well. Love WMP!
    By the way, what grey is on your walls? I’ll be trying Amazing grey by SW but might like to compare to yours….


  6. Angela Eaton says:

    I think the blinds are a nice option and they look good, but like you I prefer curtains. I believe there is still curtain hope for you yet! If your walls are lathe and plaster (not sure how old your house is), then there are studs lurking behind them somewhere. Look carefully at your baseboards and crown mouldings to find the nails…chances are they nailed them into studs when they were installed, otherwise they would be pulling away from the wall by now. You can also measure in 16 inch increments from your wall outlet and see if you find a stud close to where you would screw in the rod. I can tell by your picture that the screws you are using to hang your rod are way too short and probably the ones that came with the rod=totally useless. I use 1.5″ drywall screws when going into a stud and they anchor like a dream. If the wall behind your paneling is brick/mortar then that is super-cinchy…use an anchor. If you need help, let me know. Maybe along with Emily, that can be our lunch date. :)

  7. Laughing Abi says:

    Just discovered your blog today – LOVE IT! Intrigued and intimidated by your project. Thinking seriously about jumping in. Seems like everything on my list starts with the word “finish”. Maybe that’s a sign I NEED to jump in. Hopefully I’ll have something to link up soon. Until then, I’ll be reading!


  8. Laughing Abi says:

    Me again. I did it! I linked up baby! Got to thinking about your friends parents and what people would find if they started cleaning out my house today. Reminded me of pulling out all the random coffee mugs a while back and finding a way to make them both useful and beautiful. Thanks for your inspiration.


  9. Karen F says:

    Before I got to the end of the post, I was actually going to say that it looks very YHL-ish (a good thing in my book – I love them!) With the panels on the sides, I think the shades will be great! We dropped a ton of money on custom blinds from smith + noble; this was before I discovered YHL – they look nice, but in retrospect, I wish I did the same thing you did (bamboo shades and panels). More cost effective, looks nice, and just as functional.

  10. AimeeWrites says:

    I love it. We did the same in our living room, inspired by John & Sherry, although I used stripe drapes instead of white. I looks great. Like Sherry says, it’s like mascara for your windows.

  11. Erin says:

    Our family room has curtains on our big picture window, but our other window is bare. Le sigh. I’m a curtains girl, too, but my hubby insists on having the drapes pulled all the time, so I’m considering shades, too. If only they weren’t so expensive!

    The blinds look really nice. Hopefully you will like them. :)

    Sometimes when finding a stud isn’t easy, you can screw your curtain rod holders into the window casing – not so good for the “high and wide” windows, but you at least won’t have them pulling out from the wall.

  12. Trish D says:

    Have you tried mounting your curtain rod to the ceiling? I had a friend who had some wall issues, and ended up getting some heavy duty hooks and then popping the rod into those. Just something to ponder – and the shades look great!

  13. My mom has the same problem with her walls–I’ve no idea what the deal is. Thanks for sharing your in progress project. It’s still encouraging and motivating–as always!

  14. May says:

    Just popped over to see what was new with you. I didn’t think you were doing Wm. Morris this year and I have missed it so much. It just isn’t the same plugging along all alone! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  15. So I’m going to do is lift your EuroVue Shutter up to
    the nearest 1/8″ and the blind is fitted blackout roller blinds mounted up above the window frame. In a desert climate, letting cool air in at night will save AC costs.

  16. Wow, this website design is great? Is it a theme?

    Been looking for a new design and absolute love yours.
    Would love to know if it’s available to buy.

  17. If a conservatory has angled windows, roller blinds will do the job
    of eliminating sunlight. We painted the outside, it reflects most of the
    sunny weather and let light into your conservatory. Mounted on the inside of your roller blinds window opening and a finished
    touch to your home. In all practicality, blackout blinds
    can provide it too.

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.