Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Window Shutters: When your blinds just wont cut it

I hate blinds. I especially hated them when I was a kid. In my parents old house we had Venetian Blinds, which are the skinny metal blinds that were probably popular in the 80s and 90s. I think I hated them for a number of reasons.

Photo by David Chung
First of all, as a teen, the cool thing to do is to sleep till noon in the summer and on weekends. Blinds do not keep enough light out of the room to sleep until noon. You need to have curtains if you want to keep a substantial amount of light out. I'm sure there is a logical reason, that I have yet to discover, why a person would want both curtains and blinds. In my mind they serve the same purpose, why have both. Since my parents made the choice for blinds, which are not effective at light blocking, I didn't like them.

Another reason I don't like blinds, is because of the amount of dust they collect, and the difficulty to clean them. When I was a child I cleaned my blinds when I would get in trouble. I was a bit odd that way. I didn't clean them as a punishment, I cleaned them out of guilt. I would get in trouble from doing something that I knew was wrong, and I would just feel so guilty, that I would go to my room and clean my blinds(and other parts of my room). Now, looking back, I wonder if I was subconsciously trying to get back into my parents good books. As a result, I don't like blinds now, probably because I associate them with getting in trouble.

Photo By David Chung
Finally, I don't like blinds, because they are hard to use. I moved to a new place when I was about 16. I was not a weak 16 year old girl, I was unusually tough. However, the first time I tried to open my blinds, I actually couldn't do it. I had to have my brother come into my room, and pull on the cord as hard has he could,  just to open my blinds. I don't know if they were stuck, or the inside parts were rusty, but never the less, I could not open them. There are many other frustrating time I have had with broken blinds, such as when you pull on the sting only one side goes up(which is why I cant open the blinds in my room right now), or you  try to lower them and everything is too tangled to figure out what happened, and other annoying things.

As a result, when I moved into another room in my parents house, I immediately took down the blinds, and started to look for a solution  One day shortly after, my Mom came home with four random shutters from an antique store.  We decided they would be my new window coverings. To be honest most of this was not completely my project, but my dad's, because I cant use the table saw.
Photo by David Chung

What I did:

I started by giving the shutters a bit of character. I sanded the corners and some of the slats to give it a bit more of a worn look. I painted the blue one because it was red originally, but I didn't need to paint the others because they matched the colours of my room.

My dad had to build a frame around my window to hang the shutters on, because the window didn't have a frame to start with. I painted and sanded parts of that as well so that it matched the shutters.

We put small hinges between the two shutters so that they would fold in half. Then, we put larger hinges onto the shutters and the frame, so that the shutters would open off the window. 

The project was not particularly complicated in the end, it just took some time trying to figure out which direction to put the hinges on, so that it would open properly. 
Photo by David Chung