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Create The Look of Shutters with Wooden Blinds with Tapes

{Ad-Review} Products gifted in an unpaid collaboration. All opinions are honest, as always.

I *think* our lounge may finally be finished! Our living room has been through quite a few iterations since we moved in five and a half years ago, and thanks to a collaboration with online blind experts Make My Blinds, it’s all come together. Read on to find out how our beautifully simple wooden blinds with tapes create the look of shutters.

Our bay window is finally finished, thanks to our white wooden blinds.

How The Lounge Looked Before We Moved In

Before I show you the new blinds, I’m going to take you back to the 90s. Or maybe even the 80s. I’m not sure. This is what we started with. These are the estate agent’s photos – once the furniture went, we discovered the true state of the carpets.

When we first moved in, we stripped the whole room: wallpaper, rank carpet, horrid lights, grim curtains and net curtains that smelled of dog, chip board doors with brown plastic handles, and, ahem, ‘decorative’ black beams and artex ceiling.

How We’ve Improved Our Lounge

I like to think our lounge is barely recognisable from those photos. In fact when I look back I wonder how we saw past the decor!

My brother-in-law took a chainsaw to the beams on day one. We got the ceiling boarded up and skimmed. We stripped the wallpaper and painted, and I also painted the brick fireplace and gas fire. The carpets were replaced with oak-effect ‘wooden’ planks, we had lovely new column radiators installed, and we put up long grey curtains. Over the years, we’ve added furniture (and occasionally taken it away again) and decided on pictures and other decorative items. But the bay window has never quite looked right. If you look very closely, you may notice that the voile curtain wasn’t hemmed – I just hacked it off with a pair of scissors, not even very evenly!

Earlier this year, I improved the window with static-cling frosted window film, which you can read about here. I really like it, and think it’s 100% better than the voile curtains. But my husband wasn’t keen, as you can’t see out at all. So when Make My Blinds got in touch, to offer us blinds to review, I jumped at the chance! I hoped they’d offer the perfect amount of privacy and light, and was wowed by how many choices they have.

Choosing Our New Wooden Blinds with Tapes

The Make My Blinds website is really easy to navigate, and you can easily order free samples of a selection of blind colours and types. They do so many kinds of blinds: Roman, Venetian, Vertical, Roller, Perfect Fit and Wooden. PHEW!

Because I love the look of shutters, I knew I wanted wooden blinds with tapes, so that cut down the choice to begin with. Then I needed to choose between wooden blinds and faux wooden blinds. Real wood was the only choice for us, as it’s more sustainable. I chose wide 50mm slats instead of the standard 35mm slats to give more of a shutter-like feel.

You can order free samples, so I ordered a selection, as they have several shades of white. I remember from wedding dress shopping how much of a nightmare it can be to match whites, so I highly recommend ordering samples, as it made it so much easier.

Samples and blind measuring guides from Make My Blinds
Free samples from MakeMyBlinds.

If your windows are old (as ours are) they may well have yellowed slightly, so bright white blinds, could make them look even more yellow. I did toy with going for grey blinds, but decided white would never go out of style. We went for Real Wood Bliss White and the colour is perfect.

Measuring for Our Wooden Blinds

I wasn’t looking froward to measuring for our blinds, as it’s not my strong point. Many’s the time I’ve had to return things because I made a slight error. It’s definitely a two-person job. I’d also recommend not doing this on an empty stomach, or when you’re tired, to avoid hanger-related arguments!

Our sample pack came with some measuring guides and there are also some really helpful videos showing you how to use them on Make My Blinds’ website. Do watch them, it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to do it. When you have your measurements just type them into the website and order. Our blinds came quickly and were well packaged for protection. And thankfully our measurements were correct, phew!

Installing Our Wooden Blinds with Tapes

Now comes the bump in the road. The blinds come with instructions that say they need to be installed by someone who is competent at DIY. Were we up to the challenge? Yes, after a few false starts!

The blinds don’t come with screws, as you need to buy the correct ones for your surface. I got a few packs of plaster board rawl plugs, as when we knocked the surface above the window it definitely sounded hollow. We didn’t want to mount them by screwing them into the window frame as the window handles would catch.

Ryan started with the centre blind, which went up really easily. We just measured, and marked the points to drill in. Ryan put up the bracket next to the centre blind for the right blind, which again was fine. You have to get them as close to each other as possible.

Corner brackets for blinds
For a bay window, blind brackets need to be really close together.

Then the problems started. It turns out we have some kind of steel beam running across the front of the window, which proved impossible to drill in to. Ryan thought of screwing in a block of wood to the window frame to create space for the handle. He then screwed the bracket in to that. It’s not perfect, as the level is slightly off, but once we got the blind up, with the front panel on, you can’t really see it. We had to do that the other side as well.

Because of a few large holes that Ryan drilled into the ceiling, I had to repaint. Of course, we don’t have any of the original paint left, so I decided to paint it the same pink as we have behind our sofa.

50mm white wooden blinds close up
I painted the inner part of the window pink.

Our Finished Wooden Blinds with Tapes

So the wooden blinds are up and I think they look great. You can of course have them pulled up, or let all the way down. We will be keeping ours down, to give the look of shutters.

I do think that when you get blinds for a bay window that you should get some kind of end caps for the top rails, as they look kind of unfinished. I do think this is a shame, and we will probably try and make something ourselves.

Ends of white wooden blinds

The blinds come with safety fasteners for the cords, which are essential, especially if you have kids. The other set of cords adjust the slats, to let light in, or shut it out.

Our Finished Wooden Blinds from Outside

The wooden blinds look smart from the outside, and give total privacy when closed. When they are open, they give more of a filtered look, which gives some privacy.

About Make My Blinds

Make My Blinds was founded in 2015, and their mission is to make buying blinds online as simple as possible. I think they live up to that – our experience of measuring was simple (if a little time consuming!). Fitting would have been simple if it wasn’t for that annoying steel beam. Make My Blinds have a great selection of blinds, I really think there is something for every taste.

They have live chat 7 days a week, so they can answer any questions you have at any stage of the process. The videos they have showing how to measure and fit the blinds are also super helpful, as is the guide that comes with the samples. Make My Blinds also have a great warrenty:

“Make My Blinds is so confident in the workmanship and overall quality on all of our blinds we offer an unrivalled and straightforward 4-year warranty on all purchases. It’s not just the customer service we pride ourselves on, but the choice of components and focus on quality.”

Make My Blinds
Tea tray and books in front of white wooden blinds with tapes

Ordering our wooden blinds with tapes online was much easier than I was expecting, and I think they finish off our lounge so well. I need to decide on whether to take down the curtains now, what do you think?

I love the shadows the blinds create on the wall and floor.

Sofa gifted from DFS, which you can read about here.
Monochrome rug from La Redoute.
Metal TV Cabinet from IKEA.
Industrial mirror from Aldi.

Create the look of shutters on a budget with wooden blinds with tapes

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