Monday, September 7, 2015

New Shades for the Dining Room

 You may recall a post I did about window coverings when we renovated our mudroom last spring. I requested several natural fiber shade samples from Smith & Noble, and my husband and I narrowed down the choices to two: Shikoku Black and Lhasa Cocoa. One evening after supper, I was showing my mother-in-law the samples as we sat at the dinner table. It was then that I realized how great the Shikoku Black shades would look in the dining room -- a room that hasn't had any window coverings the entire 17 years we've lived in the house. Rather than spend the money on shades for the mudroom (we'll get some less expensive ones down the road), I changed direction and decided we should invest in some shades for the dining room.

As is typical, I delayed ordering the shades for a few months. Then I received a postcard in the mail from S&N about a "buy two, get one free" special they were offering through August. The timing was perfect. The dining room has three windows, all about the same size (though in an old house, nothing is uniform), so one window covering would be free. 

I assisted my husband in measuring each window (I held the tape measure and carefully recorded each measurement), then went online to place the order. I decided to go with the cordless natural woven flat shades in Shikoku Black. Our custom order arrived sooner than anticipated, which is always a nice surprise, and my husband hung them that very night -- which was an even more wonderful surprise (I think he wanted to get them done before Labor Day weekend so he wouldn't have the task hanging over him). 

They look beautiful -- simple and tailored. I like the cordless feature and they're easy to use. Since this is a room we don't need privacy in, I know I won't be raising and lowering them a bunch. A coworker friend who used to be in marketing at a window coverings company warned me that over time cordless shades can begin to wear down and malfunction if used frequently. I had already placed the order, but I'm not too concerned since these shades will mostly remain at the same height.



Before I go, I wanted to show you a close up of this gorgeous orchid plant I bought at Whole Foods! At $12.99, it was a much better deal than fresh cut flowers. The orchids should last a good while. I bought a different colored flower for the living room. I haven't had luck getting any of my orchids to rebloom, so I end up buying new ones. If anyone has any tips for getting orchids to bloom, please share.


  1. They look beautiful! I always enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for that.

    1. Thank you! I'm so glad to have you as a reader. I appreciate your comment.

  2. Beautiful. Your room looks so serene.

  3. They are beautiful! I also love unencumbered windows, but these do add that little "je ne sais quoi" to the room. Well chosen.

    That certainly is a beautiful orchid. I couldn't have resisted either. I always re-pot my orchids after they are done blooming, and they re-bloom year after year. I also fertilize every time I water them, which in the summer is every 2 weeks, and in the winter once a week using a very weak orchid fertilizer mix. You might have to move it to a window ledge with indirect light when it stops blooming. Mine are all in a north-facing window that gets very little sun, but still plenty of light. Cold nights also help blooms form, and I've noticed that my orchids that have a bit of charcoal in their potting mix gave me the best blooms ever this year. Hope that helps you a bit!

    1. Thank you, Ann, for the compliment and the orchid advice! Great tips. The dining room is a north-facing room, so I will try putting them in the window once the blooms are gone. The woman who works in the flower dept at Whole Foods suggested not moving them once they are situated. She also said they do best when given little attention, as opposed to too much. It seems that everyone has different advice, which makes orchid growing even more complicated.

  4. The blinds are beautiful, Claudia. I especially like the color you chose. They highlight your antique cabinet quite well. Whatever you're doing with the orchid is working! All the best to you. Jane

  5. The black shades look great with your persimmon walls, Claudia! My mother and neighbor have had success with orchids reblooming and they are both neglectful gardeners. They just put them away in hidden spot and rarely care for them. I have tried this method with no results as it is hard for me to ignore a plant!


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