Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Big Blackout!

Some changes have occurred in the master bedroom recently. The one thing I did that made the biggest difference in the room was to change out the bedding to a lighter color palette for the summer, but I'll talk more about that in an upcoming post. We're going to talk about the big blackout today.

One of the things we like most about the new house is all the light streaming through the windows every day. More brightness is usually welcomed during our long winters, and we enjoy the sunshine and beautiful blue skies any time of year. We haven't had any window coverings. . . and that's how I wanted it to stay. We're surrounded by woods, so privacy isn't an issue. We both love seeing the sky filled with stars or the moonlight coming through the windows after we turn out the lights at night, and to wake up in the morning with an immediate view of our trees makes us smile. But, I finally caved - gave up - gave in - surrendered to some window coverings.

Actually, you have caught occasional glimpses of some temporary window coverings in our master bedroom in the last year. We would be going along - traveling happily through life - enjoying our light-filled days - and a killer migraine would suddenly attack me - complete with extreme sensitivity to light - and put me right down in bed. My darling husband would rush to my rescue and hastily tack (or staple!) some curtains from our former bedroom to the top edge of our window trim as I was writhing in pain on the bed. It was never pretty, but it did the job of blocking the light. Fast forward a couple months. I would be having a great headache-free day, and I would decide that I was absolutely sick of looking at those tacked-up curtains. Down they would come. Fast forward a week or two. Along comes another killer migraine, and my poor husband is left rushing about trying to darken the bedroom for me again. Rinse and repeat! Well, this cycle was starting to get old. I knew I had to do something more permanent.

The thought of having to pound holes in our master bedroom window frames, window trim, or into the pine planks on our walls almost made me sick. I'm not kidding. Putting holes in our wood - agonizing! But we couldn't continue living with that up-and-down migrating curtain situation. I considered my options. Vertical blinds were out. I got over those in the 90's. Horizontal blinds were also out. Does anyone enjoy cleaning them? How about matchstick blinds lined with blackout fabric? Nope. Too much wood on wood. Roman shades? Nada. I thought about blackout roller shades - not the white plastic kind - but nice custom roller shades. I even sent for some free samples, measured our bedroom windows and priced them out. Ugghh. If I spent that kind of money, my frugal self would feel too guilty to ever change them. I'd be pushin' 100 - still living with the same shades - by then in complete shreds on my windows. Drapery panels seemed to be the most reasonable solution, but still. . . those holes in our wood! So, I considered tension rods. That would work on the windows in back of our nightstands, but the large triple window was too long for a tension rod. When that fact hit me right between the eyes, I finally admitted defeat and said "yes" to curtain rods.

After I surrendered and thought more about drapery panels, I found myself getting sort of enthusiastic about the idea. After all, if I shopped wisely, I could justify having one set of draperies for summer and a different set for winter! Now we're talkin'! This was all happening about the time we had to make the trip to Marquette to get Steve's golf cart fixed. Do you know what Marquette has that the Keweenaw doesn't have? Stores! OK, we do have stores here, but Marquette has more stores! Wouldn't hurt to look around while we were there, right? 

If you remember, we first went to Menards after we dropped off Steve's golf cart that day. They were having a sale on Redi Shades (free after rebate), and I wanted to get one for the large triple window in the dining area. I don't want to put holes in or around that window either, but the light coming through that window while we're eating dinner is blinding - for about 6-8 weeks every year. An adhesive Redi Shade (white accordion-style paper) seemed like a good solution for this year. When I take it down, a little Goo Gone will remove any remaining residue from the adhesive. Since they were free after the rebate, I picked up a couple. Then, just for kicks, I checked out their drapery panels. Even though I've spent many, many hours of my life in Menards (Bay City, Saginaw & Marquette), I've always skipped that aisle. Guess what I found?

Blackout drapery panels.

In charcoal gray! Fist bump!

On sale for $12.99 per panel! Another fist bump!

Our next stop that day was Kohl's. They had the same drapery panels at $74.99/pair. Same brand and everything! Did you get that? 4 drapery panels at Kohl's would have been $149.98. The EXACT same panels came to $51.96 at Menards. Bump that fist one more time! I love a good deal.

Menards even had the curtain rods I needed - the kind without finials. They wrap around to prevent the light from coming around the side of the curtain. These rods are round in oil-rubbed bronze and substantial enough that a center support isn't needed on the large window. 

Why did I want gray?

I changed our bedding for the summer, and these drapery panels coordinate with that. I've carefully cropped these photos so the bedding won't be revealed - not just yet. Look for that post in the coming week.

There is one other thing I will show you today. See that lamp in the next photo?

I've had that lamp since the early 90's and the shade needed to be replaced. I'm ashamed to say it was never a great shade - pleated plastic - a little yellowed with age - even had a tiny crack in it that I made sure was facing the back. Anyway, I finally got around to replacing it when Shopko in Calumet had a 50% off sale back in April.

The new shade is fabric and pure white. Much better.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

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