Shading the Kitchen

When we moved into our house one of the things I absolutely loved were the french doors to the back yard. Having the glass panels let it so much wonderful light, and I love looking outside at all the birds and trees. Well, we moved into our house in December. December is generally a nice cool month in Florida. Fast forward 5 months to summer and my opinion quickly changed. Most people in the southern states know that non-covered windows in the summer equals massive heat! Blinds and curtains are almost a necessity in order to keep your electric bill from bankrupting you. I don’t think our french doors would have been a problem if they weren’t facing west, and weren’t in the kitchen. Sun sets in the West, dinner is cooked in the evening… both of those situations make for one HOT kitchen and dining room at night. Seriously, I purposefully don’t use the oven because it gets boiling hot with the sun streaming in the doors and my over-the-sink window.

I love natural light. I love the sun. I love seeing outdoors. However, I don’t love sweating while cooking. I don’t even like it. Not one bit. Which is why I have been searching for a solution.

My first idea was to buy the french door window blinds. They have the kind that lock on top of your window so that you have blinds INSIDE the glass attachment (examples here). I wanted them, badly. We went to a few home improvement stores and found that they are around $120 per window. Yikes, that is more than I was wanting to spend. I have quite a few house projects I’m wanting to complete and I wasn’t on board with draining most of my home improvement budget on one project.

Solution number two was to get wood blinds and put them over the  glass part of the door (for examples click here). Our friends the Cooks and the Coleys have this type and I really like them. They would be cheaper than the in-glass attachment, and still allow me to let light in when I want.

The project was a go. We went to the store and priced them, measured our doors so we could pick them up and then we hit a big snag. Our doors are metal. Have you ever tried drilling into metal? Well I can tell you that we didn’t even try. My affordable, attractive, and ‘simple’ solution was a bust.

I decided it was time to take this challenge into my own DIY hands. I did some blog and google searching and found my own homemade solution, and instead of explaining it I’m just going to show you a before and after picture. Everyone loves pictures, it’s a much better visual (and you won’t have to read anymore boring blinds talk, score!)


Dining Room Before


Dining Room After


I am LOVING the results. It is seriously so much cooler in the house today than it was yesterday. Plus, now I don’t worry about walking around in my undies and someone seeing me. Silly thing to worry about?! Heck no it isn’t, especially when you don’t have a privacy fence up (yet) !!

Also, I saved SO much cash on this project. I got the fabric with a 40% off coupon, and the magnetic curtain rods were only $12 each. Leftover project money means I get to move onto another project, yay!! Plus, we had the added bonus of not having to drill into the doors!

It took me about 2 hours to get the curtains made, and it may seem silly, but I love that the magnetic rods give me the option to do this:

and this

Will I ever move the curtains up or down like that? I have no idea, but if Sarah wants to stare outside, she can, or if I want to see Stephen while he’s outside grilling, I can. Heck, I can even remove them completely from the door and put them back on later.

It’s funny how I can think back and remember how totally bummed I was when my first two idea’s couldn’t work. I’m sure glad they didn’t because I like this solution A LOT more.

I’m looking forward to how much cooler our kitchen and dining room are going to be. Maybe I’ll start using the oven again! I know Stephen will be really excited about that ;)


5 Thoughts on “Shading the Kitchen

  1. Nicole McKenzie on June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am said:

    Love it!!! And I totally understand, I wouldn’t want any squirrels or birds looking in at me in my undies either ;)

  2. You are the DIY queen! I’m so proud to have such a talented seamstress for a friend. Way to make life a bit more cool and colorful!

  3. Mary on June 2, 2011 at 10:19 am said:

    Great idea — looks beautiful! And, I’m willing to venture a guess that, once sweet little Sarah starts crawling around and pulling herself up to things, that’s going to be a GREAT solution to her pulling on the curtains! Just move them up and she can play at the window and watch the world outside! Good idea . . . I may steal it once I get my French doors installed! :)

  4. Mom R on June 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm said:

    Love the look! Makes me wish my French doors weren’t wood :)

  5. Matt on June 2, 2011 at 8:14 pm said:

    I dig

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