Oh lordy. I hate to hear people get the short end of the stick when it comes to new-builds… Why are so many service providers in the home industry so troublesome? It’s a good thing we’ve got Glen Peloso on Design Dilemma detail because he’s nothing if not a bleeding heart. Glen will sit and listen, and listen, and empathize with whatever your home woes may be, and his response to Jill’s blackout blinds dilemma today, is no exception.
Personally, this exactly what I would do…
From Jill: “We need some help with blackout blinds.
We are in a new home which was a show home. Levelor roller blinds were already present throughout the house. The master bedroom faces west and is very bright so the weave-type Levelor roller blind was a poor design choice to start with. The builder recommended we use the same designer for blackout blinds. The designer recommended cellular blinds be installed behind the roller blinds. Instead, the installer insisted on installing them in front of the roller blinds.
There are several problems:
1. The cellular blinds were not measured correctly and are short on each side. (When I started to look, all the blinds in the house are measured ‘short’ -some more than an inch).
2. Not only does it look bad but they are not exactly blackout with a huge gap on either side (see photos.)
The designer has refused to even come and look at what the installer had done and has told us to sort it out ourselves — at our cost! I had another designer look at the problem and she suggested we put one huge vinyl blind over top of the cellular and roller blinds, then put a fabric valence at the top to hide the vinyl blind.
I had wondered if the cellular blinds were installed properly, ie behind the roller blind, if they would work better, but no matter what we do the current blinds they are not wide enough. Would a simple roller vinyl blind behind the weave roller blind have worked better? Could you recommendation a solution? I didn’t get any help speaking with Levelor’s Customer Service.
Glen suggest: Hey Jill,
I can hear your frustration and am sad to hear you’re not getting much satisfaction from either your designer or Levelor. I suppose if ‘blame’ was to be assigned, it would be with the person that was responsible for the site measure and providing the dimensions to the manufacture. The gap does seem unreasonable to me but without a paper trail it is difficult to say for certain.
All blinds have to have a bit of space on either side to allow for the rolling mechanism to function. But an inch — which is what it looks like to me — is certainly not reasonable!
I guess you have to decide between the cost of fixing the problem and the “wake-up call” you get due to the faulty blinds.
I don’t think there’s much you can do with the existing blinds that would make a significant difference. Covering the whole window with a third layer of blind as per the other designer’s suggestion, sounds like a last resort, and totally cumbersome.
If I were you, I’d make the best of this and think aesthetically as much as practically:
- I suggest that you use drapery with a blackout lining (the kind used in hotel application) to flank the windows, with the “stack” of the drapery (stack is where they sit when they are fully opened) covering the outside edge of the existing windows.
- Use an exposed wooden or metal rod that spans the whole distance of both windows with perhaps an exposed ring on the rod (if the window is very tall, they can be hard to close – not sure how tall these windows are from the pics.)
- Hang the rod in the middle of the space between the top of the frame and the ceiling – when they are closed, the centre opening will sit between the two windows so there will be no light bleed. I also think this will dress up the windows in the space and you can ask to have a couple of throw cushions made for the bed to tie the fabric style and colour into the rest of the room.
I hope this helps you and sincerely hope that your design experiences are better from here on out!
Have any of you ever installed blackout blinds? What did you do?