New Blinds!

Yes, we’ve come to the point in my life where getting new blinds for the house is a Big Accomplishment. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d reach this point until I was past retirement age, but time does funny things to you, and our old curtains were getting long in the tooth. Plus, I had no idea just how complex it would be getting new blinds.

For one thing, there are about a gazillion different types of blinds you can go with. Blinds, rollers, shades, curtains, and more. And what about color? What about design? What about fabric or material? For a man who likes committing to any one thing about as much as he likes going to the dentist, that’s way too many choices. And even once you’ve made your choice, there are a thousand different places to buy the dang things. Which is the best place to get them?

Look, folks. I’m a librarian. I like straightforward research questions with straightforward answers. “What are the best blinds for me to purchase” seems like the first, but it doesn’t have anything like the second. That said, I still gave it the old college try. It helped that Denisa made the choice with me.

In the end, we went with double-celled, light-blocking cellular shades, and we bought them from cellularwindowshades.com. Why did we make those choices? We liked the fact that these shades add some good insulation to your windows. We liked the company because they had straightforward videos describing how to measure and install the shades, and explanations about what to look for in a good shade. It also helped that they were doing 50% off for the holidays. (They’re still doing 40% off, and no, I’m not being paid at all for this endorsement. I just liked their shades.)

Unfortunately, I discovered that even once you’ve decided on which shades to get and where to get them, actually ordering them is a pain and a half. It took a whole day of my vacation, running around with a tape measure to double and then triple check sizing. If I screwed this up, it would be on me. There were false starts, where we thought we could get one kind of shade, but discovered we couldn’t (our windows aren’t level enough). There were misunderstandings about what dimensions they needed exactly. There were existential crises where I had to figure out what kind of draw string mechanism was best. (For the record, we went with the rather stupidly-named “smoothy cord loop” option, and I’m happy with the decision.)

After all of that, it still cost over $2,000 to get 16 shades for our house, and we didn’t even get all the windows covered. (We’re waiting on construction changes for some of the others. One day, kitchen. One day!)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the blinds came on Saturday, and I discovered it’s one thing to order the blinds. It’s another to install them. By the end, I was a blind installing machine, but it took a day to get there, and a fair bit of on-the-job learning. It also took a long time to take off the old curtains. (Anyone need some triple-layer, insulated, blackout curtains? One side of some of them are sun bleached, but the other side is pretty solid, and they still do a great job darkening and insulating a room. They’d come with all the hardware as well. Just saying . . .)

The good news is that all the blinds are up, and we’re all very happy with them. Plus, if I ever need a side job, I could probably become a “window blind consultant and installer.” So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

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