The windows in the front room of our flat are huge. They let in loads of light and were one of the biggest selling points about the flat when we bought it. BUT there are two problems with having such big windows. 1) The room is south facing, meaning that when the sun is out it looks glorious but the heat soon becomes unbearable – like living in a giant greenhouse. 2) We live on the first floor and without blinds, everyone from the street can see straight in to the room.
The other problem is that only one window currently opens, and that opens from the top down, meaning that having curtains or regular blinds would prevent us from being able to open the window. We needed a solution that would allow us to open the window, let light in, protect us from heat and stop people from being able to look in at us from the street.
Our first solution was this:
I have to admit, I had no part in the clever solution we now have in place. P can take 100% credit for the idea and execution. When I say ‘we’, I really mean ‘he’. But I was there watching and drinking my cup of tea, so that counts, right?
First of all,we secured large picture D rings to the top corner of each window. Then, we screwed in bronze cleats (think a very small version of the thing you use to secure a boat to a jetty using ropes) to either side of each window, approximately in the middle vertically. These two together were the basis for the pulley system we created.
We cut the rods so that they were the length of the blind, completely covered by the fabric. Then we created small holes just underneath the rod on each side of the blind. A piece of 3.5m long nylon cord was fed through the hole and secured with a tight knot.
Next, the cord was strung up through the picture rings and pulled down to the cleats. We can now pull the nylon cord to raise the blind, or give it slack to lower it. When it reaches the height we want to set it at, the cord gets wound around the cleat to secure it in place. The length of the blind can then be adjusted at the bottom, by rolling it up or down, making sure that the window is covered no matter what height you set it at.
In total, we probably spent just under £80 on the blinds, curtain rods, cord and fixings. Once the materials were bought this project took about two hours from start to finish. Considering that the quote we had had for bottom up blinds was almost £600 for these three windows, I would call that a massive win.
Update 21/10/12 – Week in, week out, this is one of the most read posts on this blog, but very few people comment on it. I would love to know who you are… Hello stranger! Who are you? Have you found this useful? What project are you working on? How’s it going? Leave us a note and say hello