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It’s December, but I was determined to not let our back patio slip away before the end of this year! This ‘room’ in our home has seen a massive transformation over the course of the last 6-7 months, so much so, that we sometimes forget about the monstrous deck that used to (barely) hang on our home! As a quick recap, the old deck used to serve as a back exit to the first floor apartment, the second floor apartment and, at the time, it was the only way to gain access to the attic. Over the last three years, we’ve slowly converted the two apartments into a single-unit dwelling, and this past spring, we added an indoor access ladder to our attic from our second floor landing.

We think all of that is so important to the story of this back patio. When we first toured this house (along with several other couples – it was a group showing, making the stakes feel that much higher!), we kept thinking, Okay, this is a big project, but we got this. We can do this. And then we were shown the backyard, and all the eyes grew wide. That can’t be safe!, someone (we?) said. I can’t bring myself to share those photos in this big progress post, so be sure to take a look here. Oof.

It’s important because we were so sure it would be another several years before we could get even consider our backyard makeover. It was more than just a makeover. To us, this house felt like a division of two projects: renovate the inside of the house (one), renovate the backyard (two). But this past spring, we looked at each other and said, What if this is the year? What if we just do it? 

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As one renovation ends, we immediately begin saving for the next. To be honest, we rarely have a budget in mind. We write a list of the must-haves and like-to-haves, we gather quotes, and we consider the pros and cons of hiring versus DIY. (And sometimes, when we’re being kind, we cut ourselves a break.) In this case, we hired out a lot of the work that could bring us to a fair starting point – the demolition and rebuild of our deck, new siding and prepping for the pavers – but we also DIYed quite a bit, too. From laying the pavers to building a table, trellises and 37-feet of planter boxes, we had a busy, rewarding summer! It was fun hard work, and I mean that truly. (Every last project is linked at the end of this post!)

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The fireplace makeover was one of our most anticipated projects for the yard, and we were thrilled with the results – that is, until one wacky weather day this past fall. Above, you can see that it’s getting a little rusty around the base, which we were hoping to avoid with a good paint job and keeping the fireplace protected over the winter. It’s not a huge deal, but still a deal nonetheless. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

One warm night, we tucked ourselves into bed, and the next morning, we woke up to an unexpected chill. In the course of one evening, the weather dropped a good forty degrees, but by noon, it had warmed back up to a perfect, 70s-and-sunny-day. That same afternoon, we noticed that the paint finish had cracked! We were (really) bummed, but since then, the weather has yo-yoed and the cracking has stayed at bay. We think that our method could absolutely work in less moody weather areas, but I’ve since updated the original post with our experience. That said, we’ve both agreed that our best bet would be to give it a professional powder coated finish over the winter. The DIY route was worth a shot, and if we weren’t being overly particular, we could probably let it be. Does anyone have a Chicagoland recommendation for good powder coating?

It was a bummer, but it didn’t mess with the functionality! The fireplace kept us warm well into late November; we even cozied up to it on Thanksgiving Day with hot cider and wool blankets!

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Another area we love is our built-in bench between a long row of planters. It wasn’t in our initial plans, and on a whim, we decided to throw it in as a cost saving measure. By doing so, we had that much less soil, gravel and plants to purchase, but it ended up surprising us as the sweetest little touch to the back patio. Adding a box-edge cushion and installing this cobalt gooseneck above was the icing on the cake! It’s a great two-seater, but let’s be real, it’s mostly CC’s seat.

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We were a little nervous planting our garden in the fall, despite hearing from so many that it’s actually a great time to do so! Luckily, the variety we chose seemed quite happy, and like most of the country, Chicago stayed relatively warm for weeks longer than is typical, receiving an extended summer and fall. Despite this, in the final hour, one of our rhododendrons took a drastic change for the worse, and we replaced it with a small azalea bush:

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When we first began discussing deck plans, we figured we’d design a large walk-out with room for a dining table and our grill, but our plans slowly evolved to nix the original idea altogether! Instead, we landed on a wide open staircase, one that would allow for the most effortless indoor to outdoor flow. Rather than contain ourselves to a deck and save only a small sliver of yard, we think that this configuration says, Come outside! Come!

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When I was rounding up ‘before’ photos, it was tough to decide what was the actual before. Is it when we still had a 3-story deck? Or is it post-demolition, pre-pavers and staircase and planters? I’m including a mix, below. The first photo shares the view from that old, scary deck, whereas the other views were taken after it had come down. Let’s go!

VIEW FROM KITCHEN | BEFORE AND AFTER

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VIEW FROM GARAGE | BEFORE AND AFTER

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VIEW FROM SIDEWALK | BEFORE AND AFTER

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But! The patio isn’t finished just yet! In the spring, we have a list that we ran out of time to do this year. We’d like to swap those white chairs out completely for something more slim, and our wicker chairs will move to the heads of the table. Cozy seating will take their place at the fireplace, and landscape lighting is going to be a high priority. We have a few ideas to incorporate outdoor storage (for things such as citronella candles and outdoor pillows), and we’d like to add a sleek-but-not-too-modern awning above the kitchen sliding doors.

Since taking these photos, we’ve thrown covers over the table and chairs, and we’re saying goodbye-for-now to outdoor gatherings. It’s been real, patio!

SOURCE LIST

Pavers: Lowe’s | DIY Table | White stacking chairs | DIY Trellises | Wicker chairs | Black and white striped cushions | Bench cushion | Cobalt gooseneck light | Black farmhouse light | DIY Planters | Ottoman | Outdoor speakers | Sliding kitchen door | Staircase paint and stain: Extra White railings, Flagstone opaque stain by Sherwin Williams

Click on any thumbnail below to take you to any of our patio projects:

  • kara - December 9, 2016 - 9:06 AM

    this looks so great, and is so inspiring to the rest of us postage-stamp-yard-urban dwellers:) also, your deck – and the little space to either side of the door – called out to me for a clothesline! Growing up in vancouver (or maybe it was just the 80s?), everyone had one off their back deck, connected to the garage or to a pole in your yard. i never see any like that in chicago, which is kind of weird!ReplyCancel

    • kara - December 9, 2016 - 9:15 AM

      a quick pinterest search reveals that clotheslines are not at all cool! all the photos were from kinda trashy looking yards, or part of the before photos…so weird, when it’s so environmentally friendly and frugal and just really fun and satisfying to do. the kind i was picturing was the pulley kind so you stand in one place (your deck) while you hang up your laundry. like so: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/207095282843938796/

      ok, stepping off the clothesline soapbox. yard looks great :)ReplyCancel

      • Kim - December 9, 2016 - 9:17 AM

        Thank you, Kara! My grandma had a clothesline in the backyard when I was really young, but I don’t remember it as I was growing up… now that you mention it, I wonder what happened to it?! I love the idea, but it doesn’t make much sense for us since our laundry is on the second floor! I always think of outdoor clothesline in cute European cities, running between the gangways of the apartment buildings. That thought makes me happy.ReplyCancel

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christmas-decor-ideas-01

When we decorate for the holidays, we keep it relatively simple. One year, as my mother-in-law was handing me a decor-related gift, she joked, Kim, I know you don’t like a lot of ‘stuff,’ but I think you’ll like this! That surprised me, because I never really considered myself a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination – and for…
  • Ann - December 7, 2016 - 9:12 AM

    Your home looks simply beautiful . I wish I could see it in person!ReplyCancel

  • Allison - December 7, 2016 - 9:49 AM

    love it! everything looks wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • KLP - December 7, 2016 - 10:26 AM

    I spy a new coffee table! Details, please! I’ve considered going coffee table free (like you guys did), so I’m interested to hear what brought you back around.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 7, 2016 - 10:49 AM

      It was nice not having a table for a while – so much room to streeeetch! – but it wasn’t meant to be permanent. We just needed to get something smaller, and in this case, round! It was a fun DIY, and we’ll definitely share the details in an upcoming post!ReplyCancel

  • Brynne - December 7, 2016 - 8:17 PM

    Absolutely lovely! I adore your new tree!ReplyCancel

  • Sammy Baker - December 8, 2016 - 7:11 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information.ReplyCancel

  • AmyLynn - December 8, 2016 - 4:10 PM

    So pretty!! I love it! :) Happy Holidays Friends!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 8, 2016 - 4:31 PM

      We miss you! Hope your first Christmas in the new home is the BEST.ReplyCancel

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deck-paint-03

Earlier this summer, we tore down a massive, scary and unsafe 3-story deck on the back of our home. It was replaced with an extra wide set of pressure-treated wood stairs, which has been everything we hoped it would be – a warm welcome to the backyard, inside to outside flow and, maybe our favorite…
  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - December 5, 2016 - 9:15 AM

    What a difference! And I couldn’t agree with you more on how important it is to value your time. Even thought we are almost always doing some project on our house, there are tedious projects that can be hired out and everyone is so much happier for it.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - December 5, 2016 - 9:33 AM

    This looks great! It is amazing the transformation you guys have made in your backyard over the past year. It looks so inviting!ReplyCancel

  • Kristen - December 5, 2016 - 11:48 AM

    It is important to think about your time and what’s important to you. Your deck looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - December 5, 2016 - 1:04 PM

    Looks FANTASTIC!!!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - December 6, 2016 - 2:43 PM

    We just hired out some masonry and roof work on our garage and even though it wasn’t cheap, it is so nice to have something done in a few days that I’ve been procrastinating forever!

    We unfortunately used a contractor that our neighbor selected (it’s a shared garage) and it’s been a frustrating process. At least I know better for next time ;).ReplyCancel

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butcher-block-counter-installation-18

We’re still talking about the laundry room, but we’re in the home stretch! After installing our cabinets, we could move on to the countertop, which we actually started working on over the summer. But in Chicago, with nice weather comes outdoor projects, and so the countertop took a back burner while we laid pavers, built…
  • Stacy G. - December 1, 2016 - 6:49 AM

    It looks great! Great tip about drilling the wood into the circle to keep it from sagging and changing the cut. Also, I still think that wallpaper is so cute too.

    We used Waterlox on the wood top of the center island in our kitchen. It is quite shiny. I bought the Waterlox satin sheen product (https://www.waterlox.com/products-item/waterlox-original-satin-tung-oil-wood-floor-finish) to go over the original finish and reduce the shine. I got lazy, and I did not end up using it since our center island took five coats and the instructions said it would take weeks to cure fully. I may add it next summer, but I have gotten used to the shine, and like you, It has grown on me.

    We have only been in our new kitchen for around four months, but with regular daily use, the island top still looks brand new. Waterlox is amazing.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 8:55 AM

      Great tip about the satin finish! We also looked into the satin finish, but wished it was a 2-in-1 like the sealer we used. We may end up adding a satin coat down the road if it really bothers us, but as every day passes, we like it more and more.ReplyCancel

    • Sam - December 2, 2016 - 12:27 PM

      I used butcher block counters in my kitchen remodel last year and I really struggled with finding a product that was durable but also looked natural. I really didn’t like the idea of a shinny finish.

      I ended up using this product called Bona Nuturale and absolutely love how it turned out. Totally matte finish – it looks almost soft no shine at all. Over a year later the counters still look great even around the sink where there is a lot of water.

      Here’s a link to what I did!

      https://weboughtahouse.squarespace.com/theblog/2015/7/21/how-to-protect-your-butcher-block-counter-tops-and-still-get-a-natural-lookReplyCancel

      • Kim - December 2, 2016 - 12:32 PM

        Sam – that countertop is stunning! LOVE, love, love that matte finish. Thank you for sharing that product!ReplyCancel

    • Cindy - December 3, 2016 - 3:53 PM

      I have used Waterlox twice and have been really happy with the durability and upkeep. It’s a very forgiving and sturdy product.

      Like you, I wasn’t super happy with the shine and thought I would use the Satin finish on the second project. HUGE mistake. It is extremely unforgiving, the exact opposite of the original product. Even though we followed the directions exactly, we ended up with the worst brush marks we’ve ever produced. We ended up sanding down the entire countertop and starting over with the original. Customer service was very unsympathetic (although they did send us some free product…)

      Unless you spray on the Satin finish, my advice is to stay away. Like you say, we can learn to love the shine.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - December 5, 2016 - 9:07 AM

        WOW. So good to know! Thank you so much for that feedback, Cindy!ReplyCancel

  • Cully - December 1, 2016 - 12:01 PM

    We just installed our Kitchen counter Butcher block and used waterlox as well. We sand our counters down to 220 grit then laid down 3 coats of waterlox with 24hrs of dry time in between. Instead of sanding between every coat we just sanded after the 3rd with 320 grit just to smooth the surface, then put down 2 more layers for 5 layers total. At first we were a bit worried by the shine but, even after a couple of weeks, we feel the shine is both growing on us as well as dulling a bit.

    Aside from that we love how the waterlox has brought out the grain of the wood as well as the color it gave the wood. we’re still babying our counter since we’re still within the 30-90 day complete curing time, but we’re happy with choosing to go with wood and we’re loving the way it has turned out. now we can’t wait to get our backsplash up and have our kitchen nearly finished.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 12:08 PM

      Hi, Cully!

      Isn’t it funny how we all seem to let the shine ‘grow on us’? There’s just something about Waterlox, I guess. Did you stain your butcher block at all, or did you keep it natural? If it wasn’t for our all white cabinets, we would have considered the natural look.ReplyCancel

  • Julie Marquez - December 1, 2016 - 12:50 PM

    That turned out really pretty. Is the sink going to be undermount? Do you think that butcher block would hold up well in a kitchen?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 1:13 PM

      It will be undermount. And yes, I think if treated properly, butcher block is great for a kitchen! We have it on our island: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2015/09/02/kitchen-done/ReplyCancel

    • Ryan - December 1, 2016 - 4:01 PM

      I’m using a similar hard wax oil product to seal my wood counter tops in the kitchen and will have an undermount sink (hopefully we get it installed soon!).

      I’ve read a lot about wood countertops and undermount sinks and most recommendations for the best result say to put a few extra coats of finish around the cutout and refresh as needed. The finish may wear more around the sink. Just like sealing a natural stone counter, wood counters require yearly or every-other year maintenance to keep them looking good. One the section we have installed already, I haven’t done any maintenance coats and you can tell. It’s our main prep area and the counter is dull where we wipe it down a lot. But I know that all i need to do is clean the counter and add another coat to make it look good again.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 4:09 PM

        Such good advice, thank you, Ryan! We’ll have to keep that in mind as this little sink gets use over the years.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cuckoo4Design - December 1, 2016 - 5:15 PM

    Love your extra helping paws and glad you were able to remedy the sink situation. It looks so good.ReplyCancel

  • marie - December 1, 2016 - 9:21 PM

    I saw the pic on FB and thought “oh cool! they came up with a built-in laundry hamper” lol. love the dogs supervising pic and terrific results as always.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 2, 2016 - 9:34 AM

      Ha! Now that would be something! Perhaps if we had a TON of counter space, that would have been a pretty cool option though!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - December 4, 2016 - 10:48 PM

    I love how this turned out! I was wondering what happened to the vintage sink with built-in shelf you had bought?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 5, 2016 - 9:09 AM

      Oh, don’t remind me! We LOVED that sink, but we couldn’t make it work into the plans without sacrificing cabinet space, and we REALLY wanted the hidden storage. We ended up listing it on Craigslist for the same price we bought it, and it went to the sweetest couple who were renovating their old home. They were so thrilled, so we felt good about the decision in the end.ReplyCancel

  • Becky - December 7, 2016 - 3:35 PM

    I’ve never heard of Waterlox, do you mind explaining why you chose this finish as opposed to the zillion other choices out there/ways you’ve finished wood previously? I always love standing on the shoulders of giants when it comes to picking new products :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 7, 2016 - 4:54 PM

      Hi Becky! You probably know we’re the biggest fans of Polycrylic for a water-based poly that won’t yellow, but in this case, we needed something that would stand up to lots of water because of our sink. Waterlox penetrates the wood AND protects, and it can be reapplied year after year, if needed. There’s a little more info here: https://www.waterlox.com/what-is-waterlox

      I first head of it from Julia (at Chris Loves Julia), and I also saw Dana (at House Tweaking) use it on the stand for her bathtub. Those two ladies know what they’re doing, so I took their advice and ran with it!ReplyCancel

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bali-blinds-solar-04

This post is in partnership with Bali Blinds. Soon after moving into this house, we had to replace both of our large picture windows – one in the first floor living room, one in the second floor studio. It was scary and costly at the time, but due to the poor condition they were in, it was ultimately worth…
  • Amy - November 29, 2016 - 5:24 AM

    Your blinds look great! I would love to have the solar blinds in my dining room. I have a large picture window that I hate to cover up with a heavy blind. Unfortunately, the houses behind us sit a bit higher than our home so we literally live in a fishbowl.ReplyCancel

  • Beatriz - November 29, 2016 - 5:29 AM

    These blinds look great! Our home is in desperate need of window dressing. These cordless blinds would would be perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Speyers - November 29, 2016 - 6:16 AM

    We have a large picture window in our l Bing room and the blinds just broke. Would love love to get something motorized!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - November 29, 2016 - 6:19 AM

    Oh, I’ve been wanting to replace the blinds I inherited when I bought my house 4 years ago (that the previous owner’s cat liked to chew on!), but blinds are just so expensive! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Fingers crossed!ReplyCancel

  • Tami - November 29, 2016 - 6:21 AM

    Hi Kim. I live in the western burbs of Chicago and happened upon your awesome blog! Love the look of the new blinds paired with the white curtain panels! Did you buy the curtains with the trim or did you add the trim yourself? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 8:49 AM

      Those curtains are also from Bali! They have a lot of options to customize curtains, too! I wrote all about them right here: http://blog.baliblinds.com/curtains-to-revitalize-your-space/ReplyCancel

      • Tami - December 2, 2016 - 6:59 AM

        Thanks! I love everything about your house. We recently painted the stairs leading to our 2nd floor bedroom and found your post on your hallway stairs very helpful.ReplyCancel

  • Tanya - November 29, 2016 - 6:59 AM

    Our blinds have been breaking on every window. I can tell they were all purchased at the same time by the previous owner. Having a toddler, I don’t want cords around, but I don’t like open windows at night. I’m excited for these options that will blend with our current decor.ReplyCancel

  • ellen ross - November 29, 2016 - 7:06 AM

    I would totally be ecstatic to win and be able to put these in our living room!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - November 29, 2016 - 7:06 AM

    How fancy! Love the way these look.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick - November 29, 2016 - 7:37 AM

    We’re in the process of adding solar shades to nearly every room in our home, so this couldn’t be more timely! We added them to our bedroom in a textured weave and couldn’t love them more! We also went with cords and although I can handle it for one window, cordless is a must in our living spaces!ReplyCancel

  • Missy G. - November 29, 2016 - 7:49 AM

    We need new blinds in our front TV room. Ours have been broken for years now, so it is always dark in there. Such a shame, too, because it would get the perfect amount light for weekend morning reading.ReplyCancel

  • Teresa P - November 29, 2016 - 8:00 AM

    Love the look of the shades!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie B - November 29, 2016 - 8:07 AM

    I hadn’t heard of solar blinds before. Thanks for the info!ReplyCancel

  • amy c - November 29, 2016 - 8:20 AM

    Right now, our house mostly has faux wood blinds with cords in an off white color. We also have a few vinyl blinds. I would love to change all our blinds to faux wood in white without cords.ReplyCancel

  • Leah Prevost - November 29, 2016 - 8:30 AM

    I’ve been trying to decide for over a year what to do in my south facing living room. I basically have a wall of windows and that room always feels 20 degrees warmer than the rest of the house, no bueno for someone who runs hot like me! I think solar shades are the answer!ReplyCancel

  • alex - November 29, 2016 - 8:33 AM

    This would be huge. I’ve never been a blinds person, but recently, I’ve noticed a guy across the alley just, um, kinda staring into our bedroom? We have the annoying fake wood slats right now, which are a mess to get up and down every day. There are downright dreamy!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - November 29, 2016 - 8:41 AM

    I’ve been pondering new bedroom shades forever — I bought what I thought was a neutral set a few years back out of desperation and I’ve hated them ever since! Will have to check these out — I definitely like the remote feature!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - November 29, 2016 - 8:45 AM

    I have those honeycomb shades on my crappy windows for insulation purposes, but I really like the clean look and see-through capability of the solar shades. I usually hide my honeycomb shades with sheers so it serves the same purpose, but I imagine that would be a problem if I had dogs.ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - November 29, 2016 - 8:45 AM

    My daughters room needs blinds and a valance.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - November 29, 2016 - 8:48 AM

    We’re in the slow (surprisingly expensive!) process of replacing the cheap contractor blinds throughout the house. I’ve got my eye on some Roman shades for the stairwell and kitchen! As much as our cats love the cords, I’m glad to go cordless for sure.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 8:52 AM

      Needing to replace all the blinds throughout the home IS an expensive process, especially when taking the time to choose quality. It’s always a smart decision for the long haul, though – and Roman shades are SO dreamy. We love peppering that style in wherever we can!ReplyCancel

  • Laura C - November 29, 2016 - 8:52 AM

    Love these – they would be perfect for our big bedroom window.ReplyCancel

  • Christy Griffin - November 29, 2016 - 8:58 AM

    Love the functionality of these. I bet the solar would be great for me in AZ.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - November 29, 2016 - 9:18 AM

    I am sure our neighbors would appreciate us acquiring some blinds. We have windows that reach up to the top of our 9.5′ ceilings and a cordless option hasn’t hasn’t seemed possible. Thank you for sharing the remote. It is a real possibility now.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Kirby - November 29, 2016 - 9:20 AM

    We have standard blinds on *most* of our windows. We’d love to upgrade to a light white either honeycomb or roman shade for style points. Some of our windows still have no covering, which we’d like to rectify!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - November 29, 2016 - 9:32 AM

    Love these shades. Thinking of going this direction in my house.ReplyCancel

  • krissy - November 29, 2016 - 9:32 AM

    i grew up in the cooooooooountry and am used to no window coverings, but my husband, who just moved into my childhood home, HATES bare windows. This would be such a great start to outfitting some of our windows to his liking.ReplyCancel

  • Karen M - November 29, 2016 - 9:33 AM

    I’d use my blinds in the living and perhaps on my sliding glass door… Would it work there?ReplyCancel

  • Emilia Ventura - November 29, 2016 - 9:35 AM

    I need new shades in my living room townhouse. Right now I have cheap ones and they are killing the whole look of my house modern/contemporary home style!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Der - November 29, 2016 - 9:41 AM

    Window treatments!!! So hard in a new place–yours look (and function!) perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • Roxie - November 29, 2016 - 9:44 AM

    Love the simplicity of these blinds! We have one huge floor to ceiling window in our main room that could use a sheer “blind” when the afternoon sun hits!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - November 29, 2016 - 9:44 AM

    In our small 1100 sq ft home, we have 18 windows! Only 6 are shaded because I have yet to find shades I love for every space. Our dining nook faces right out to the street and would be the perfect space for Bali Blinds! I love how clean they look and the cordless feature is amazing!!

    -CourtneyReplyCancel

  • Jane lim - November 29, 2016 - 9:45 AM

    These shades would be perfect for our living room. We have tons of windows without shadesReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Smith - November 29, 2016 - 9:46 AM

    We’re replacing all of our south facing windows and could use new blinds for them, too!ReplyCancel

  • Julia - November 29, 2016 - 9:51 AM

    My sunroom could definitely use some shades!ReplyCancel

  • Arielle - November 29, 2016 - 9:54 AM

    I’ve been eyeing new shades for all of the common areas in our house, but they are so expensive! Would love this option for our house.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer walters - November 29, 2016 - 9:54 AM

    We’ve loved in our house for over a year now without window treatments. All of the choices are so overwhelming and costly. I love the look of your shades.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - November 29, 2016 - 9:56 AM

    These look great! I’ve been trying to choose window treatments in our new house for over a year now and these are a wonderful option.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - November 29, 2016 - 10:03 AM

    We have two large windows in the nursery I am working on right now for our girl due in February, these would be so perfect in there!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren S - November 29, 2016 - 10:15 AM

    Renovating our upstairs including the master bedroom, office and hopefully future nursery. Would love blinds in any of those rooms!ReplyCancel

  • LaurenB - November 29, 2016 - 10:15 AM

    YES! These look awesome. We are building a house right now, and will need blinds EVERYWHERE! We have a toddler and a dog, so a cordless option is perfect for us.ReplyCancel

  • Jacki - November 29, 2016 - 10:28 AM

    I have been looking at Bali blinds for our master bedroom. One of the dogs as slowly destroyed the mini blinds we currently have :(.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - November 29, 2016 - 10:42 AM

    We have a window in our entry that cannot be reached. Would love motorized blinds to filter the light (and heat).ReplyCancel

  • Nathan - November 29, 2016 - 10:46 AM

    We could use some Bali Blinds in our master bath and basement. Both areas are dark with the current wood blinds. These motorized ones would be perfect for light and privacy!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - November 29, 2016 - 10:48 AM

    This is great! We just bought our house in August and our living room would benefit from some decent window treatments. The curtains that came with the house are not a good permanent solution.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - November 29, 2016 - 11:41 AM

    Definitely could use some new blinds in our kitchen which we are currently making over!ReplyCancel

  • Cait - November 29, 2016 - 11:43 AM

    Your blinds look great! We’ve been wanting to add blinds to our library’s corner window. The long side of the window is 108″ long, so we’re having trouble deciding the best way to handle that. Freckles also has a tendency to alert us to any dogs who pass by, like Jack.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - November 29, 2016 - 11:44 AM

    This is great! I have 3 windows in my tiny master bedroom that I have a hard time accessing (limited space around a queen bed in an old 4-square home) – these Bali blinds would let me open the blinds in the morning to let the sunshine in, but still keep them closed at night to keep out the city lights (and stop my dog from barking at all the shadows in our backyard!)ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - November 29, 2016 - 11:47 AM

    LOVE your new shades!ReplyCancel

  • Bridget P. - November 29, 2016 - 11:47 AM

    these would be perfect for our master bedroomReplyCancel

  • Emily R - November 29, 2016 - 11:54 AM

    We have a baby on the way and remote controlled cordless blinds would be an amazing blinds solution. And so cool that you can order these through Lowes!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 12:02 PM

      If you go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, they also have huge swatch books so you can see and feel the options in person! It’s awesome. Congrats on the baby on the way!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Holloway - November 29, 2016 - 12:11 PM

    I would love to get some cordless blinds for my daughters room, I love the safety feature.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey G - November 29, 2016 - 12:14 PM

    I need blinds in my bedroom. Maybe then I can sleep til 6:30 instead of 5!!ReplyCancel

  • Toni - November 29, 2016 - 12:18 PM

    Would love some Bali Blinds for my family room picture window!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - November 29, 2016 - 12:23 PM

    Blinds look great!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - November 29, 2016 - 12:27 PM

    I LOVE the battery option! We have upper windows in our open two story living room that need blinds badly. I’ve only seen the plug in option for motorized blinds which won’t work for us, so the battery pack option is awesome! I’m definitely looking into these!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 2:03 PM

      Gotta love cords free EVERYTHING! The batteries are rechargeable, too. :DReplyCancel

  • Nr - November 29, 2016 - 12:29 PM

    That’s awesome! I’ve been looking for cordless shades, and this is perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - November 29, 2016 - 12:34 PM

    Oh…this would be PERFECT for our large windows in our living room!ReplyCancel

  • susan - November 29, 2016 - 1:03 PM

    This is a great give-away; thank you! I have a cat that chews and snarls the cords, so no blinds in my windows. These cordless ones would be great EVERYWHERE! yay!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - November 29, 2016 - 1:12 PM

    Oh – this would be awesome for our new addition. We’ve got a gigantic wall of windows to cover, and I definitely want to do motorized shades.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy Stewart - November 29, 2016 - 1:14 PM

    The blinds look great! When we moved into our place (4.5 years ago) we only bought blinds for the front living room windows. We literally have nothing in any other room in the house, not even our bedroom!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - November 29, 2016 - 1:18 PM

    We recently purchased a home and completely renovated it, including new windows everywhere! Cordless shades have me thinking about them on our huge bay windows or the French doors! And also a great for our cats!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 2:05 PM

      No joke – our cat Maddie used to LOVE batting around the cords! It drove us ca-razy.ReplyCancel

  • Paloma - November 29, 2016 - 1:24 PM

    My boyfriend and I just bought our very first home and we have absolutely nothing for any of our windows. We have an open kitchen that goes into our living room that brings in a lot of light. Unfortunately, all of our windows are visible to our neighbors and outside. I would love to have light seep into our home and open up our small living room without anyone being able to see inside. After reading your guys post, it seems like these blinds do exactly that! It would be extremely hard for us to afford them other than this awesome giveaway! (NYC tax is insane) lol Thank you for such great content! Cant wait to see what you guys do next! Thank youReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 2:04 PM

      Yup, these blinds fit all of your criteria! Thank you for the kind words.ReplyCancel

  • Breck - November 29, 2016 - 1:32 PM

    Ahhh, this post is so timely! My husband and I are closing on a duplex TODAY and, just like our last house, there isn’t a single shade or curtain in the entire place. We used another online blinds company last time, but I wasn’t thrilled with the customer service and am looking for other options for our new place.

    Perhaps this is elsewhere in the comment section, but could you share the type of strong foam tape and the process you used to apply them (how many, etc.)? We drilled last time, but I’m not super into the idea of drilling into the pristine moulding of our 108 year old house!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 29, 2016 - 2:03 PM

      Congrats on the new home!

      We used some 3M foam tape that we had on hand. Sadly, we don’t have the packaging so I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but I do remember that it was double sided, with a foam-like center. We had to use a couple of pieces per battery pack.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - November 29, 2016 - 1:57 PM

    The blinds look great! We just moved into a new house that could use blinds for almost every window.ReplyCancel

  • Elif - November 29, 2016 - 2:26 PM

    Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - November 29, 2016 - 2:34 PM

    To win this would be so amazing. We’ve been living in our new house for over a year now and every room but one has crappy curtains thumbtacked to the top of the window frame until we find blinds that we both love and can afford. So much harder than I thought it would be to get both of those things in one product and I’m so tired of living like I’m in a bad college apartment, especially when our family and friends visit!ReplyCancel

  • Olivia - November 29, 2016 - 2:36 PM

    What a wonderful giveaway! Would love to add these blinds to the master bedroom.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - November 29, 2016 - 3:09 PM

    We need new blinds! All fingers and toes crossed. : ) Thank you for the fun giveaway. I so love seeing all the care you put into your gorgeous home.ReplyCancel

  • Emily s - November 29, 2016 - 3:15 PM

    I need some shade in my living room!ReplyCancel

  • Laurie Marcey - November 29, 2016 - 3:37 PM

    This is a dream give away! I have 3 individual windows in my master bedroom that stay closed all the time because it’s such a pain to individually open and close all 3 every day. I was just telling my husband there has to be a better way!ReplyCancel

  • Janelle - November 29, 2016 - 3:51 PM

    So awesome! We could really use some new blinds in our front room. Thanks for the opportunity!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Arroyo - November 29, 2016 - 4:02 PM

    These blinds would be amazing in my sunroom. As a first-time homeowner, winning this giveaways would be fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Angie - November 29, 2016 - 4:09 PM

    So awesome! I would love to do these blinds in my living room!ReplyCancel

  • kelly - November 29, 2016 - 4:14 PM

    we live in new orleans and one side of our house (4 rooms!) is south facing and i’ve gotten sooooo tired of opening and closing shades all day that they often now (unfortunately) stay closed almost all of the time because of the sun. these automated shades would be HUGE for the efficiency of our home! fingers crossed!!ReplyCancel

  • Anna J - November 29, 2016 - 4:16 PM

    Remote control blinds?!…INCREDIBLE. Would loveeee these for my dining room windows that face a very close neighboring house.ReplyCancel

  • Rust - November 29, 2016 - 4:24 PM

    My bedroom is where I would most like to have new window treatments.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin H. - November 29, 2016 - 4:35 PM

    My boyfriend and I just bought our first house 6 months ago and since it was a new build we only have the cheap paper blinds that we bought to get us through. We have yet to put any nice blinds up so I’d love to get some blinds for the master bedroom and bath!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Kristina - November 29, 2016 - 4:38 PM

    My husband and I bought our 1935 condo a year ago and have been slowly making it ours. Every single window (18 not counting the one in the shower) still has the cheap-o off-white vinyl blinds with crazy long cords, and with a new cat and a baby on the way, replacing them is creeping higher on our to-do list. This giveaway would be fantastic to help us do that!!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Allmen - November 29, 2016 - 4:50 PM

    My living room windows are feeling jealous!ReplyCancel

  • karen pellegrini - November 29, 2016 - 4:50 PM

    My 15 y.o. daughter’s room is so much colder than the rest of the house. I think some insulating roman shades would be great for warmth, and look great, too!ReplyCancel

  • Jon - November 29, 2016 - 4:59 PM

    Amazing! With my 2 year old acting like tarzan most days, it’d be great for him not to swing on the blind cords anymore!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - November 29, 2016 - 5:05 PM

    I wonder if Lowes offers installation. You are both do handy, a word never used to describe us.ReplyCancel

  • jan - November 29, 2016 - 5:28 PM

    This would be perfect in my daughters roomReplyCancel

  • Jana - November 29, 2016 - 5:45 PM

    These look so nice and I love that they’re battery powered. I’ve needed new blinds for about 8 years now, so I really appreciate this info.ReplyCancel

  • Dee Johnson - November 29, 2016 - 5:54 PM

    I love these blinds! So nice! I could use a little extra shade in my living room.ReplyCancel

  • christina purvis - November 29, 2016 - 8:00 PM

    We are building our house so we need new blinds on every window. These blinds would be perfect for our new home!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - November 29, 2016 - 8:10 PM

    Oh man, those would look amazing and be so helpful in our huge front window…where my dogs hang out waiting to bark at the mailman :/ReplyCancel

  • Nicolette - November 29, 2016 - 8:11 PM

    I need this so bad! We have two giant windows opposite the tv that casts a terrible glare making it impossible to watch tv! Right now we have cheap IKEA curtains thrown on tension rods *cringe*ReplyCancel

  • Jaime Steele - November 29, 2016 - 8:17 PM

    I have 25 windows in my house and all of them are oversized!! So getting blinds on them all is going to be quite the feat! I’ve been dying to go cordless as well!
    Ps- I love your designs & have pinned your projects numerous times!ReplyCancel

  • Nate - November 29, 2016 - 8:35 PM

    I would use this in our master where we rarely open the long blinds because of the hassle.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Arnold - November 29, 2016 - 8:51 PM

    I shocked by how much I like these!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - November 29, 2016 - 9:11 PM

    I could use a little extra shade in my bedroom.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Livingston - November 29, 2016 - 9:16 PM

    I love our neighbors’ roman blackout shades but I love the idea of seeing our green space while staying private!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha - November 29, 2016 - 9:39 PM

    I’d love to put one of these blinds in our master bedroom.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - November 29, 2016 - 10:26 PM

    We’ve got a big picture window in our living room and the current shutters have fallen victim to the dog “protecting” us from the mailman. New and dog proof would be great!ReplyCancel

  • Dee - November 30, 2016 - 1:09 AM

    We are in the process of buying our first home. We have to figure out how to deal with the way light hits the front room throughout the day, and this seems like the perfect solution!ReplyCancel

  • Kesha - November 30, 2016 - 3:42 AM

    I love these blinds. They are so functional and convenient. I would love to have some in my sunroom! They would be perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - November 30, 2016 - 5:17 AM

    I would love some shade in our bedroom the morning glare as the sun rises is brutal!ReplyCancel

  • Alison - November 30, 2016 - 11:24 AM

    Perfect timing. We’re redoing our bedroom and a friend just suggested new blinds for the window. I’ve been shopping around and haven’t been able to decide. thanks for the review.ReplyCancel

  • Ananda - November 30, 2016 - 11:42 AM

    I’ve been wanting to replace the mini blinds in our guest bedroom ever since we bought this house 3 years ago!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - November 30, 2016 - 12:00 PM

    We need blinds in the living room and kitchen. The kitchen window has nothing right now and would be hard to get to with a transitional corded blind so motorized would be the key. The living room has curtains and corded blind but the sofa butts up against the windows making by it less than ideal. We have been in the house for less than two years so it’s a work in progress. Maybe I should just update my Christmas list,eh? :)ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - November 30, 2016 - 12:57 PM

    We just closed on our first house and move in this weekend. I was drawn to the house because of the beautiful natural light and large windows but of course it didn’t come with window coverings. This would be a dream!ReplyCancel

  • shannon - November 30, 2016 - 1:45 PM

    wannnnt blinds like these!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Flasche - November 30, 2016 - 3:22 PM

    Love your articles and the blinds are wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • Liz - November 30, 2016 - 3:52 PM

    Crazy coincidence… I am looking to put motorized shades in our master!!! These would be perfect there!

    On that note… if we do go with a motorized shade, it would have to be externally mounted; we have an older home and there isn’t enough space to mount them internally. Any thoughts or suggestions? Initially I wanted them to be internally mounted. Can I get away with just the shade externally mounted? or do I need to try to cover it with curtains? I like the clean and simple look you have in your master….

    Thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - November 30, 2016 - 3:57 PM

      I’m almost positive that ANY of these styles can be an outside mount. Definitely give their customer service a call to clarify, but if you choose outside mount, they’ll likely provide you with a different type of bracket to contain the shade and the motor!ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - November 30, 2016 - 4:53 PM

    OMG this would be WONDERFUL to have over my kitchen sink!!! It faces WEST and in the afternoons the kitchen is really unusable due to the sun shining directly in your face! Its literally blinding. The window set up is tricky/awkward for adding off the shelf blinds so this would help tremendously! Great giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • Marn - November 30, 2016 - 4:53 PM

    Thank you for blogging about these remote controlled blinds. I did not know that they existed! I have a clere story window that currently has mini-blinds on it, and the blinds have been there since we built the house about 35 years ago! To open these blinds, I must carefully walk out on a 2 x 4 wooden beam while below me is a stairway. This has gotten to be quite a feat and SCARY! I would definitely replace these blinds if I were the lucky winner! xoxoReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 8:52 AM

      Marn! That’s terrifying!ReplyCancel

  • Jo - November 30, 2016 - 4:53 PM

    Love your new blinds. Our 3 dogs constantly drive us crazy with barking at any passerby. We need to research a good blind option to help.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Lynn - November 30, 2016 - 5:15 PM

    Looks great as always! We have several windows in need of redressing …. one of these days you guys should come on up and take a peek and let us know what you think! ;) We’ll take you out on the town. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly Matlack - November 30, 2016 - 9:03 PM

    I could use blinds throughout my house. These are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Susan C - November 30, 2016 - 9:22 PM

    We have a tall two-story high living room with large windows going up to the high ceiling. The sun is bleaching my wood floors even, along with my fabrics. Due to the height of the windows and inaccessibility, motorized shades are the way to go. Your post is perfectly timed for me. We got stumped on how to power the blinds though. We don’t want to cut into the sheetrock to hardwire and there are no outlets. So battery or solar powered were our options. Does Bali offer solar powered? I’m thinking the battery option would be problematic once again due to the 20′ high window tops. Love your blog!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 8:50 AM

      Hi, Susan! The blinds in our bedroom are solar powered, but I’m not seeing that as an option anymore. I know they’ve been working on changes for their motorized systems to provide the best possible product. That said, I think it doesn’t hurt to call their customer service and ask about a solar option! I agree that may be your best bet as well. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - November 30, 2016 - 10:30 PM

    I, well actually my parents, could use a bit of shade in their new cabin! They are still working on the interior finishes, but are starting to look at window coverings. Winning this giveaway would be so awesome for them!ReplyCancel

  • Brittney Romanson - December 1, 2016 - 9:49 AM

    I have been pining over Bali blinds ever since you posted about them in the dining room and bedroom. Which, funny enough, are EXACTLY the two places I would be wanted to put them in. Traditional blinds get so dirty and just take away from the personality of the house. Given student loans and working in public service, I’ve been DIY-ing everything so I can have my funky little home, not just a house I come back to. This give away would make me cry tears of Bali Blind joy!

    Thank you so much for all of the inspiration you give with your blog!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 1, 2016 - 10:04 AM

      So sweet, thank you, Brittney!ReplyCancel

  • Elle Mann - December 1, 2016 - 9:56 AM

    These would be awesome for the windows downstairs!ReplyCancel

  • Emily K - December 1, 2016 - 10:20 AM

    Would love these for our master bedroom! We’re currently in the process of redoing it and are still deciding on the window coverings.ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - December 1, 2016 - 10:45 AM

    Would so love something like this for my french doors! I’ve been looking for something light filtering but not totally opaque, and it’s been hard to find nice options. I think these would be perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Elisabeth - December 1, 2016 - 12:32 PM

    I’m buying my first home and would love love love to have some of these Bali blinds!!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - December 1, 2016 - 5:47 PM

    I have solar shades in the bedroom to provide a little extra privacy while still allowing us to see outside. I just moved our television and now I need to find a solution for the windows flanking the fireplace that are directly behind it. Enough light comes through them to cause a glare but curtains seem bulky since they’re above the built-in bookshelves.ReplyCancel

  • Kent Way - December 1, 2016 - 6:58 PM

    We desperately need a room darkening shade in our bedroom– our neighbors across the street have a security light that blinks off and on throughout the night! We have horizontal windows that make curtains look very heavy. Shades would be great!ReplyCancel

  • paula s - December 1, 2016 - 10:53 PM

    My blinds are a mess! We moved in our home and had to do other things so bought cheap blinds. I have taken them down and tried to repair clean with nothing helping. I would love to have new nice blinds in my living roomReplyCancel

  • Tanja - December 2, 2016 - 2:11 AM

    I need blinds for pretty much every room in our house… I need to dive into Bali blinds website.ReplyCancel

  • Ali - December 2, 2016 - 8:43 AM

    My living room the sun really shines through the windows.This would help and the Bali Blinds are appealing to decorate with your’s looks great.ReplyCancel

  • Sierra - December 3, 2016 - 9:13 AM

    Since seeing your post, I am looking into getting some Bali solar blinds for our master. Where are the valances in your master from? They look great!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 3, 2016 - 10:55 AM

      Our bedroom blinds are the tailored roman shades, and they don’t need a valance! It keeps the whole look super clean. You won’t be disappointed.

      If you’re referencing the solar shades in this post, we just got the medium valance that was recommended for our width/length.ReplyCancel

      • Sierra Trentham - December 3, 2016 - 10:02 PM

        Ok, I see! I was thinking that your master blinds were the same solar shades in your other rooms with a faux roman valance over them. Thanks for the info, Kim. All of your window treatments look awesome!ReplyCancel

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