Today I did battle with blinds.

Spotlight had one of their semi-regular sales in which blinds were half-price, and I’ve wanted to replace the roller blind in the kitchen pretty much as long as I’ve lived in the house. The one thing that has stopped me is not being able to buy an off-the-shelf blind that would fit my odd-sized window bay, and either being too lazy to cut one to size, or too tight to pay for a custom blind. Spotlight, however, offered a ‘cut to size’ service …

… which they knew nothing about when I went into my local store this morning for my shiny new blinds. I deliberated for a bit, then decided that for $35 I’d get the blind that was slightly too narrow and come up with some stunningly genius idea for filling the 5cm gap on each side.

I had a nice/unpleasant surprise when I took the old blind down: the top of the window bay is plasterboard. This is good because it means NO DRILLING!!! But it’s also not good because I have no idea if plasterboard is strong enough to hold up a 160cm wide blind.

Well, we’re going to find out.

  • Taking the old blind down: 2 minutes.
  • Putting up the fittings for the new blinds: 5 minutes
  • Actually getting the new blinds into the fittings: 1+ hours

Yep, the blinds are meant to slot into the brackets, then you slide a slidy thing over to lock them in place. There were a number of problems encountered during this phase, the most significant being the obstinate refusal of the blinds to fit into the fittings that they were iffing well designed to fit into. Supplementary problems included there being three fittings and my only having the two hands; and the fact that it’s damn turing having to continually lift a 160cm blind over your head while crouching precariously over the kitchen sink.

Eventually I solved the problem by using my pliers to widen the fittings just enough for the blinds to slip comfortably in. Now that I phrase it that way, I perhaps could have tried some form of lubricant …

Anyway, the new kitchen blind looks fantastic and transforms the kitchen in a wholly unexpected way. For the gaps at the side, I cut out some strips from the old roller blind and taped them to the window–far from the ideal (or permanent) solution, but good enough for now.

The moral of the story? A combination of persistence, creative thinking and utter cheapskatery can really pay off sometimes.