a peek inside the fishbowl

09 Nov, 2012

Reno post #49: fun with bedroom blinds!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Home/reno

This is a temporary placeholder for a post I am about to write about our adventure with Home Depot’s window coverings department.

I will say this: we haven’t had window coverings on our big bedroom windows (pictured here) since we moved in, and it now looks like we won’t have them for awhile yet.

Update to come later. :(


So here’s how it aaaalllll went down. Read on.

Our newly renovated home needed new window coverings. We went to Home Depot to buy inexpensive cordless cellular blinds for the two windows (each) in each of the girls’ bedrooms and in the two bathrooms downstairs. A few of these had to be trimmed by Home Depot and we are happy with them.

Since we had saved a few dollars on those window coverings we decided to spend a bit extra on the windows in our bedroom and the large window in the family bathroom (which isn’t a traditional bathroom window because it’s one we reused from elsewhere before an exterior wall was demolished).

We knew that Home Depot was having a big sale, so we waited until then to go in and order our blinds. We knew what we wanted: cordless, room darkening (for the bedroom), and with a top/down mechanism (this means that the blinds can roll up from the bottom or down from the top). We went through the books and looked at all the fabric samples. It goes without saying that the cheaper blinds come in a very limited palette and that the “designer” blinds have a better colour range. (I think this is a total ripoff, but anyway.)

So we went with Levolor blinds for all four windows (three in the master bedroom, one in the bathroom) and handed over our measurements, which were in centimeters, because you know, we live in a country that uses the metric system.

The lady handed it back to us and firmly suggested we go home and remeasure. Inches were required here. At this point Mark was getting testy. He asked why she couldn’t convert centimetres to inches. She pointed to where 179 centimetres falls on her measuring tape and said it wouldn’t be accurate if she did it. Okay then. And then we waited another 30 minutes or so while she rushed around to each department trying to get a print out of our order. It was a long night at Home Depot for all.

So we went home and remeasured. My thinking was that if we were going to buy expensive custom blinds the measurements better be precise.

I didn’t have time to rush right back (the Home Depot is a 30 minute drive from our home) so within a couple of days I returned with imperial measurements in hand. The lady we were dealing with wasn’t there, so I spoke to someone else. She took one look at the paperwork and expressed some surprise. Apparently some things were input incorrectly. She had to enter everything into the system all over again.

“Oh,” she said. “And the price is going to be different.”
“Uh, higher or lower?” Because it was kinda going to kill me if it was higher. Our four blinds were going to cost us as much as a new TV or mattress would have…. purchases we are now postponing.

The revised order turned out to be about $100 lower. Fine. New printout. Order is placed. I go home.

I was happy to receive a phone call from Home Depot yesterday, informing me that our blinds were in. Yay! Blinds! Our neighbours would surely be happy not to see me in my loungewear and Mark would finally stop complaining about living in An Actual Fishbowl.

I drove out there – 60 minutes in the car there and back – and lugged them in the house.

I was out with Sarah later one when I got the text from Mark. I’m including our entire short conversation here for your amusement:

Uh oh

There is no additional text after Mark’s last one at the bottom there. I was too stunned to write anything. So I just went home to face the music, the sad sad beige music. And that’s when I realized that it wasn’t a joke, it was real life, bashing me in the head with 175 cm long window blinds that were NOT Whisper White.

Fast forward to this morning, when once again I awkwardly lugged the box into the car, dropped the seat down, and drove the 30 minutes to Home Depot. I parked, grabbed a cart, and lay the box across it, hoping to navigate Safely And Without Incident to the customer service desk.

I was determined not to cry – from anger and frustration and helplessness and the expense and just for feeling like I want all of this to be OVER ALREADY – but I could not prevent the tears from welling up as the box slid off the cart and crashed on to the pavement, right in the middle of the parking lot right next to the special entrance for the contractors… several of whom were sitting in their dusty pickups, watching this lady mouth unmistakable cuss words as she picked up the pieces and replaced them clumsily in her mangled box.

I wheeled my sorry self to the customer service fellow, who remembered me from the day before. With pity in his eyes he told me to bring my blinds to the decor desk, which I did. There I was greeted by a sympathetic lady who immediately reached for the Levolor books we spent so much time pouring over on that other long night. At first I thought that she was preparing to prove that the mistake was mine. I steeled myself for a prepared speech about how custom blinds can never ever be returned, but she quickly agreed that they were closer to Sand than anything else and had to be go back.

So back they went. She said someone would call me when they came in and she set me up with temporary blinds, free of charge. We went through the checkout and I walked into the cool morning air, tears welling up again, thinking ahead to the time I will have to come back here once again, and load them in the car once again, and bring them home once again. They better be right next time.

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7 Responses to "Reno post #49: fun with bedroom blinds!"

1 | binki

November 9th, 2012 at 9:42 am


Just make some…no? Buy some cheap rods and discount fabric. Nothing easier to sew than basic curtains.

2 | Deanne

November 9th, 2012 at 4:30 pm


What a pain in the you know what. Hugs! At least your husband noticed, I can honestly say mine would not. I’m glad they acknowledged their error, something no one seems to do these days, and gave you the temporary blinds. Hang in there, it will get done.

We got our blinds at Blinds To Go. I was so impressed with the woman we dealt with that I refused to speak with anyone else at the store. She had the perfect combination of style and attention to detail. We also hired one of their staff, for very minimal cost really, who came out and measured all the windows and installed everything when it was ready. That way if there were any screw-ups, the onus was on the company, not us to replace.

3 | wendy

November 10th, 2012 at 1:25 am


I think the next give away should be a getaway for YOU:-)
Somewhere with no Home depots in sight or anything to do with renovating.
You WiLL look back at all of this one day and laugh.

4 | Stephanie

November 11th, 2012 at 1:06 pm


That’s super unfortunate. We have had great service and luck with Home Depot. At our old house we got roll-up blinds and everything went well (Barrhaven location). At our new house we opted for california shutters and Home Depot’s decor person came to our house, measured, and an installer came to put them in. All went really well (Kanata location). I’m sorry your experience wasn’t the same!

5 | Nikki

November 20th, 2012 at 11:21 pm


I know I’m a little late commenting on this – I’m catching up – but since this is just the kind of blog post I was looking for a week ago (I know…should have looked here)…I wanted to post and say that I was really pleased with Blinds To Go, too. (Hunt Club/Merivale, just in case there’s more than one location.)

6 | Darn socks, part one >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 21st, 2012 at 2:18 pm


[…] Remember the issue we had with our window treatments? Well, Home Depot got our order wrong for a SECOND time. Mark demanded (and received) a full refund […]

7 | Psychgrad

November 21st, 2012 at 11:50 pm


We ordered our carpet from Home Depot. Although they delivered the correct stuff, I found the process of getting the order into the system insanely long. It was as though it was the first time they had used the system before. Then, after 30 minutes of entering our information, it wouldn’t load and the screen went blank. By this time, the store was closing and we had to return another day.

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  • andrea tomkins: I'm glad you find it restful Bonnie! I didn't on that day. :)
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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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