The big reveal of our latest One Room Challenge project went up last week! We took on the front and back entryways, along with the second and third floor hallways. The wallpaper was still in progress as of last Wednesday and it was finished up on Friday, so now we just have the repair and renovation of our back stairs to deal with. Old houses sometimes throw you a little off schedule with their fun ‘surprises’ (in this case a major plumbing leak that had us ripping open the wall all throughout that stairwell).
I’ll be delving into a few aspects of our project in more detail over the next few weeks, starting today with our window treatments from The Shade Store, one of the official One Room Challenge sponsors. They provided a shopping credit that covered the cost of shades for my ORC design.
I needed shades for five windows: one in the front entryway at the bottom of the stairs and another at the top, one at the end of the second floor hall, and another two at the top and bottom of the back stairs. All five windows had lace curtains when we moved in, and while they were period-appropriate for a Victorian house, they were not exactly my style. I left a couple of them up for privacy and I removed the rest, leaving several windows bare.
The pink wallpaper was one of my earliest design decisions, and it’s the element I looked to when deciding everything else. Paint colors, flooring, and window treatments were all chosen with that wallpaper color and pattern in mind, and the pink linen I ended up going with was not my first instinct! Below, you can see some of the other contenders alongside one of the actual shades.
I thought about stripes. I love stripes! The trim was going white though, with black doors. I figured I already had all the contrast I needed there, so that ruled out black and white stripes and I wasn’t so keen on any other versions. Black shades were also out, in part because of the black doors and in part because I wanted to let light stream through the fabric. Polka dots were another option I had considered pretty seriously. I had actually mentioned that I would be using them when I showed the design plan in week 2, but I changed my mind when I went to place my order. Polka dots are very cute, but I had kind of filled my cute quotient. What I needed was a solid supporting fabric, not another star element.
White is too stark in my house. Even the white paint we chose for the wood trim on the second and third floors is not a super bright white if you look at it in isolation. Ivory works, but that pink linen is subtle enough to read almost as a neutral, and it just looked better than ivory against everything else. If I were making choices for resale, I would have gone with ivory, beige, or taupe, but this isn’t for resale. This is for keeps, for us. Pink it is. (And since this often comes up, yes, my husband was on board with the color too.)
I knew I wanted roman shades (as opposed to a roller shade or curtains), but there were several types to choose from. I liked the relaxed roman and tulip shades because they were feminine and pretty, but the flat roman shades seemed a better balance to all of the other feminine details and colors we were already using. And again, the window treatments are playing the supporting actor role here, not the lead.
There were also several control types to choose from — how would the shade be raised and lowered? There was a continuous loop or cord lock option, but I liked the idea of going with the invisible cordless option. No ball chain or cord to attach to the window frame, and the shades operate with a gentle pull (there is a hidden pull ring sewn in). They arrived about two weeks after I had placed my order — right when all of the final details were falling into place and my workload was at its busiest. I was concerned that they would take a lot of time to install that frankly, I didn’t have right then, but they were super easy! Two screws, that’s it. Insert them into the header of your shade, hold it up and eyeball the placement, mark with a pencil, drill holes, then put the shade up and tighten the screws. Done. You can also arrange for professional installation, but seriously, you can do this.
I wasn’t a fan of the lace curtains that came with the house and I had gotten used to the bare windows, but now that our windows have proper shades, everything feels more polished. So happy with them. They play off of the wallpaper nicely, and they look great against the oak woodwork on the first floor too.