Let There Be (More) Light

Now that the floor is done in the living room, it’s time to trim everything out and put the room back together.

This is a photo of what the room looked like about a year ago:

Note: A lot of things have changed since we snapped that pic, and we’re looking forward to adding some more current photos to the Our House tab on our Home page soon!

See how those blinds we got at Bed, Bath & Beyonce a few years ago were mounted inside the window frame in the photo above? Welllll, I’ve been itchin’ to hang ‘em up a little higher since….oh….I don’t know…the day after we hung them up a few years ago. But since that sounded about as fun as a kick in the shin, I just kept putting it off, and putting it off. Then finally, a few weeks ago, I just decided to get it over with. Barefoot and determined, I crawled up there on the back of the couch and fought with those blinds and my power tool for the better part of an hour mounted them to the wall above the windows…

And wouldn’t ya know it- exposing that top row of glass made the room so much brighter! It’s basically it’s like we added another half a window if you count up the panes. (There’s 6 more of those suckers showing now!)

I got another burst of energy yesterday, and decided to complete the obstacle illusion. (Sorry, I heard a guy say it that way one time, and I’ve been sayin’ it that way ever since! Ha!) I used a piece of scrap wood to make it look like the windows are actually taller than they really are, and so it doesn’t just look like two blinds mounted to the wall anymore…

(Pay no attention to the footprint mark and rough edges…all that stuff sanded right off with the help of my handy dandy sanding block.)

First, I painted the piece of wood the same color white as the rest of the window trim, (just regular ol’, off-the-shelf, white paint in semi gloss from Home Depot that we had laying around the house) and while the paint was drying, I climbed back up on the couch and took down the blind on the right…

I ended up having to remove that little silver bracket mounted to the wall up there too.

After that, I used a hammer to coax the piece of wood into place behind the blind on the left so that it lined up with the window trim running vertically down the wall between the two windows. Then I filled in the crack between them with non-cracking, paintable white caulk, touched everything up with a little more white paint, and voila- taller looking windows!

Total cost: $0! And my secret’s safe with you, right?

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow, Great job! I especially love the fact the you pretty much used what you already had to make such a big difference in the room! This is definitely a great post that a lot of of us could easily implement in the home. Thanks!

  2. says

    That is awesome and just in time. I have some of those blinds to put up on a double window and want to give the room some height. Thanks for the awesome idea!

  3. says

    Discovered your cool blog from a fellow Facebook pager whose house we photographed for the new magazine Fresh Cottage. LOVE IT and the work you & your husband do together. Great idea (if you have the room) to hang the blinds higher than the window to let in more light (a big MUST in the light-starved Pacific Northwest where we’re located.) We have a lot of window & door clients, BTW. Which window company did you use when you added the second double hung? Check out our blog @ http://www.blackstoneedge.com/blog to see a FEW of the images of Portland, Oregon’s 2011 Street of Dreams house – Con Amore and Philip’s “Tales From The Road” series, which is a comic report of our tales while on the road.

  4. Gabbie says

    This is pretty clever. I like the way my bamboo shades look but I don’t like that I can’t retract them all the way to the top of the window. If they were hung higher, then then could be pulled all the way up. Sneaky!

  5. says

    we recently purchased new curtain panels for each lving room window but didn’t want to open and close morning/night. I got them 96′ so they hung right under the crown molding and then measured and ordered wood blinds so they were the right length when closed….we hung those right under the curtain rod making the windows appear so much taller. When the blinds are up I can leave them down just to the top of the window so I get all the light and the windows still appear tall. Now the panels stay where they are framing the window and the blinds go up and down morning/night. That was a clever trick you used.

  6. Carolyn says

    You are brilliant my dear! I have been staring at my windows, wondering what to do.I know we wanted match=stick blind, but my view is so incredible, I didn’t want to hide it.Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
    Hugs to you both,
    Carolyn

  7. Jessica says

    I love your living room! Forgive me since I’m kind of new to your blog but I’m blessed/cursed with an abundance of paneling in my new house and I absolutely LOVE how you’ve used it to your advantage. What color is on your walls???

  8. says

    Layla,
    It took me a minute to figure that little sliver of wood out. Kind- a- like not getting the joke and laughing anyway. But a few scrolls back and fourth and i got it:) I do the same things with my windows when I can. Trying to convince the hubby I’m not nuts is the hardest part. Now I can show him this post and say, “See it’s perfectly normal, Layla does it.”

  9. says

    love it!! have been looking at my bedroom windows that are exactly like your living room windows and thinking….WWLD? The extra piece will really finish off the window and make it look finished!! I did your mirrored closet doors in my bedroom and I LOVE them!! Check them out in your free time–right…free time???what’s that?!
    http://midwestcottageandfinds.blogspot.com/2011/08/master-bedroom-mirrored-closet-door.html
    thanks for all you do to keep us all doing!!
    chris

  10. Cheryl says

    I have loved this room and the colors since seeing it in the Sept. 2010 Cottages and Bungalows. I loaned that magazine to a friend who “misplaced” it. Since I needed your room as an inspiration I ordered another issue online.
    In the past year my room has been evolving using your color scheme.
    I have just recently ordered a sofa similar in color to yours. I already have the Pottery Barn blue pillows like yours (love the reversible sides) and hope to find others to complete the look. You may be updating your room but thanks for sharing your original.

  11. Bethanie says

    Dang girl…you’re so stinkin smart!! :0) Dont you just love it when a plan comes together?! I’ll admit, I wasnt sure where you were going with the trim, and when I scrolled up and down a time or two it was like a light bulb went off!!

  12. says

    I LOVE it–I absolutely love natural light–what a great way to let more in. :) (And really love that bowl on the coffee table!)
    ~Gini

  13. Holly says

    Love it! I’ve been wanting to do this in my living room for awhile now (the curtains are hung so high they look a little weird) but was afraid it’d look goofy. Thanks for the push, I’ll be doing this now!

  14. says

    I’ve been wanting to do the same thing in our bedroom, but haven’t dared engage in a fight with my power tools (or my husband who would say he hung them right the first time…cute thing!). But at least I tackled some floor to ceiling bookshelves recently! No power tools required!

    Xo,
    Linsey

  15. Lora says

    I am so excited that you have posted something about your own house projects again! I have missed seeing the interior of your home!

  16. says

    Layla,

    Where did you get these blinds? I really want to do this kind in our living room and having a hard time finding the right color. Love your idea of hanging them higher. Thank you for all your inspiration. I love The Lettered Cottage.

    Danielle

  17. Gena says

  18. kathy says

    A painting question–I have a medicine cabinet (inexpensive) that I would like to paint black from white…….it is made from melamine and I was wondering what you would recommend–spray or brush–and should I use a primer as well.

    Thanks so much,
    Kathy

  19. says

    Your living room looks great! I am wanting to go with a more neutral rug in mine and I was wondering where you found yours? It looks like a nice flat weave. Is it soft? Oh and also, your front door. Did you refinish it? I would love to replicate that type of finish. Mine is stained a funky tone right now. Thanks :)

  20. Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick says

    Love it!! I’ve been thinking of doing the same! Did you just use the same hardware? I think I’m making this much harder than it needs to be. ;)

  21. Lindsay says

    Love this idea. I also like your curtains. I never thought finding the perfect white curtains would be so hard. Where are yours from?

  22. patty says

    Where did you get the beadboard or paneling for the wall? We want to do floor to ceiling beadboard in our family room and really like the unique spacing of the grooves on the wall. Love your site!! Thanks!!

  23. Krystal Catino says

    Hi! Just came across your blog form pininterest. LOVE your sofa and chair, wherever did you get them from??

  24. says

    What a timely post for me (even though I’m reading it long after you originally posted it!). A few months ago we hung bamboo blinds in one set of windows. I LOVE the look, however, it has really darkened up the space. Our house tends to be on the darker side anyhow b.c of great shade trees. Anyhow, I’m lifting my blinds above the window now!!! And I feel confident in purchasing blinds for a few more spaces! Thanks for sharing your secret!!!

  25. leigha says

    Great idea! For anyone looking to try, we use a single bamboo outdoor “porch” shade, so that we didn’t have the split in between the windows, and it was cheaper ($30?). Also, Ikea sells 108′ white back-tab panels for only $5!

  26. says

    I want to live in your house, it is gorgeous. If my pinterest was working at my job then your house would be pinned all over my boards! I love the posts, thanks for posting this stuff for simple people like me to try to accomplish… in my dreams.

  27. Jill says

    Layla, Love this idea, but I was wondering where you got your blinds. I have been looking for those for my boys room. And, are they expensive? Thanks,
    Jill

  28. says

    I love this and would love to change out our window treatments so they don’t look like high waters. But here’s my question: our home is an 1860 Victorian with thick (beautiful) original woodwork and trim in the downstairs and the trim around the windows(esp at the top)sticks out. I’m not sure I want to hide all that beautiful woodwork but I would love to have longer drapes/curtains, hanging them just underneath the ceiling trim. Any ideas? Id really appreciate any advice you might have. I’ve asked the same question of other bloggers before and never gotten a response.

    • Layla says

      Hi Sarah!

      Can you email me a photo at LaylaPalmer (at) aol (dot) com? I’d love to see what you’re workin’ with over there! :-D

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