Shocking, Surprising, Shady – another weekend project done…

Woo Hoo!  Another weekend project off the To Do List!

Shades have been installed and…

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2 more LEDs have replaced incandescent flood lights at our house.

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Less than a month ago (the day of my “weekend project” idea), I ordered up the honeycomb shades for 11 of our windows that have been shadeless for 2-15 years.  What you say – in a high pitched voice?  15 years?!  Yes – I answer with my head slightly bowed in shame – 15 years – remember – I am a bit of a procrastinator.  Well – no more.  It’s done after 15 years.  The dining room has shades.  It is shocking, surprising and shady in there.

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I want to put in a plug for honeycomb shades here.  I believe I mentioned previously that I think honeycomb shades get a bad rap.  I think honeycomb shades are often considered the ugly duckling and least decorative of all the window treatments.  I don’t agree.  I think the honeycomb shade is perfect for windows with great window trim detail that begs to be out there.  We have great window trim and we want to keep our trim out there to be seen and enjoyed.

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I like that the shades are minimal and pretty much un-noticeable when open.

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I like that they are cordless.  Cordless is important in our household so the cat, Hanna, doesn’t get entangled.  She really can’t be trusted to not get into trouble when we aren’t home.  Quite frankly, she can’t be trusted when we are at home either.

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I like that the color and pattern are neutral – it looks good during the day and at night.  I like the linear pattern created when the shade is closed.  It is interesting in a subtle way.  I might even call it borderline architectural.  I like subtle and architectural – so these are perfect for my design sensibilities.  Ha ha – I don’t know why I said sensibilities.  I don’t really have any sensibilities.

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Tad’s favorite feature is that these shades provide some energy efficiency in keeping the cold from intruding during the cold winter nights and shielding out the heat during the hot summer afternoons.  Finally, we both like that these shades are easy to install – once you figure out how the brackets work.  The brackets were a bit intimidating at first…

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The process is pretty easy:

1. Measure your inside window dimensions – with a tape measure.  Be detail oriented here – it matters.  I believe they recommend measuring at the top, the bottom, and the middle to make sure the measurements are all the same.  If the measurements are not all the same, go with the smallest measurement for the best fit.

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2.  Write your measurements down.

3.  Measure your inside window dimensions again. Remember the old saying “Measure twice, cut once”?  This is seriously true here because a mismeasurement is quite costly – these things aren’t cheap.  This is obviously the same picture as above, but I am presenting it again for affect.  Measure twice people.

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4.  Order em up.  If they send you an email confirmation of your order, check your measurements again just to be safe.  Seriously. This seems like overkill, but it isn’t.  You won’t be sorry.

Ready to Install:

1.  Mark your pilot holes.

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2.  Drill your pilot holes.

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3.  Line up the bracket.  Secure the bracket with the provided screw.  The bracket has a sliding hole so it is pretty easy to line the brackets up in a straight line.

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4.  Click the shade into the brackets.

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5.  It’s done.

So, the only tangent (as in sudden digression) to this “easy weekend” project is that 3 of the shades are over the stairs to the basement.  Tad had to rig up a platform over the stairs so we could use our handy step stool to reach the top of the windows.

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It was nerve wracking – for me – not so much for Tad and Hanna.  It is about a 9 foot drop to the bottom.  I think it is something that is more difficult to watch than to do?

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Since we didn’t want to have to rig up the platform again anytime in the near future, we opted to change out the lightbulbs above the stairs to LEDs as well. We hope to not have to replace the shades and/or bulbs for a few decades – at least…

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As you will recall,  I talked about the retro fit type LED for recessed fixtures when we were replacing flood lights in our kitchen with LEDs.  In the kitchen, we had 5 inch fixtures so the less expensive LEDs look and work great.

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In the sunroom/over the stairs, we have 6 inch recessed fixtures so the inexpensive LED doesn’t look as good.

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We decided to give the retro fit LED with trim included a try.  Tad did some basic research and decided that this was the best price for lumen output.

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 It was a good choice.  It looks nice – clean, smooth – and it is plenty bright.

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Who knew that just putting a few little projects on a list would actually help get some stuff done around here.

This is a lesson for those of you that don’t believe in lists :)