Living in a White Box: Mini-Blind Madness

Welcome to my blog series, Living in a White Box! This series is all about how to make the most out of your rental home, AKA the “white box.” Many of us who rent cannot make changes like home-owners can, which makes it challenging to put a personal stamp on our space.

Today’s post is all about Mini-Blind Madness. This disease affects those of us who rent homes that come with mini-blinds, those of us who select generic mini-blinds to save money, and those of us who use settle with these blinds because we lack inspiration. Symptoms of Mini-Blind Madness include frustration, boredom, and compulsive usage of mini-blinds for every window of the home.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with mini-blinds. But when you live in a rental, chances are, your home has complimentary blinds on every window… that every other tenant has as well. Even if you just have these standard blinds on every window in a rented house and don’t live in a complex, these blinds can make your space feel boring and stale.

Thankfully, there is a cure. Read along for inspiring methods you can use to treat Mini-Blind Madness plus tutorials on how to rid your home of this disease.

Living in a White Box Mini Blind Madness decorating tips windows curtains blinds rods apartments rentals The Decor Guru

Keeping the mini-blinds up may be a requirement in your lease, but you can still dress up your windows. Check out how Beverly from Flamingo Toes added these colorful, peppy curtains over her existing mini-blinds. (She even has a tutorial on how to make these!)

*TIP: check your lease or talk to your landlord to see if you can only use white curtains. If so, you should be OK hanging colored curtains as long as they’re lined with white.

Instead of hanging curtains, another idea is to add a cornice to the blinds like Bharati from Techie’s DIY Adventures did. She created a cornice from plywood and used a stencil to create a faux Indian inlay pattern.

Faux Indian inlay stenciled cornice by Techie's DIY Adventures tutorial Living in a White Box Mini-Blind Madness decorating tips inspiration renters apartments

If you’re not big on hanging curtains, consider hanging a tie-up valance on your window. Check out this super-easy tutorial for a no-sew burlap and jute shade by Christy at Eleven Magnolia Lane.

For more of a tailored look, you can hang Roman shades on your windows. Barb from The Everyday Home has a great tutorial on how to create a no-sew version….

DIY roman shades no sew by The Everyday Home windows chevron paint tutorial Living in a White Box Mini-Blind Madness decorating tips inspiration renters apartments

…and Sarah from Just the Bee’s Knees has a handy tutorial on how to sew Roman shades with grommet detail at the bottom.

There are some really creative non-traditional window treatments you can use too. If privacy for your windows isn’t much of a concern, you can create these felt curtains via Design*Sponge. (These would also be a cool decoration for a doorway or as a room divider.)

Another DIY window treatment is to string faux capiz shells made from wax paper. Check out these beaded curtains below for inspiration…

… and the tutorial for how to create these realistic yet faux capiz shells from Alexis at Persia Lou.

Not allowed to screw anything into your walls? No problem. You can hang a curtain rod using 3M Command Hooks like so.

If you are allowed to use nails in your walls, you can simply hang your curtains on a row of nails above your window like Becky from Buckets of Burlap. She’s used a piece of wood in which the nails are placed, but it’s the same concept.

windows curtains hung with nails by Buckets of Burlap Living in a White Box Mini-Blind Madness decorating tips inspiration renters apartments

If you can screw holes into your walls, consider some innovative alternatives to a curtain rod. Laura from Olive and Love shows you how to use a branch as a curtain rod and plant hangers as decorative brackets. This makes for a very cheap and earthy look!

DIY curtain rod with branch plant bracket hanger by Olive and Love tutorial Living in a White Box Mini-Blind Madness decorating tips inspiration renters apartments window

Another unique curtain rod can be created by using a steel pipe. Learn how to make this industrial curtain rod with this tutorial by Allison at The Golden Sycamore. This look is perfect for masculine rooms.

Lastly, this method of window decor doesn’t involve any window dressings or blinds but still provides some privacy. Check out how to use contact paper to duplicate an etched glass look in this tutorial from Yvonne at Dress This Nest.

DIY contact paper faux etched frosted glass window by Dress This Nest tutorial Living in a White Box Mini-Blind Madness decorating tips inspiration renters apartments

When it comes to styling our windows, there are so many options that we have no excuse to settle with plain and ordinary. Don’t let Mini-Blind Madness control your home any longer!

Be sure to check out the first part of my Living in a White Box series, White Wall Syndrome, and stay tuned for more to come in this series.

Have you ever had Mini-Blind Madness? How did you overcome it? What’s your favorite method of decorating the windows in your home?
Thanks for visiting! Let’s stay connected!

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34 Comments on Living in a White Box: Mini-Blind Madness

  1. My husband is in the military so we’ve have lived in a bunch of rentals over the years, peppered by a couple of stints of home ownership. We’re currently renting right now and have landlords that have allowed us to repaint as we wish (thank goodness!). But it is still difficult coming up with budget-friendly decor because I don’t want to drop $$$ on something that may not work in our next place (wherever that may be…). White mini blinds are awful but my worst nightmare are vertical blinds. Ahhhhhh. I agree with you – a great set of curtains can really change a room!

    • I never considered that military families could experience these things too; great point! I’m with you on the vertical blinds too… in my last 2 places, I took out each piece and hid them in the closet. Then clipped em back in when I moved. Thanks for commenting!

  2. This is a fantastic post. We moved around a lot when younger and you are so right. I grew to hate mini blinds at the time. You gather a lot of great inspirational ideas. Thanks for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” ,

  3. WOW lots of inspiration here!! We don’t have any mini-blinds, but have huge open windows (aka no coverings). So going to use burlap. It looks easy enough that I might even be able to do it 🙂
    Thanks for posting

  4. Great post! Whether we are in a white box or not, these are terrific ideas for any home! Pinned to my “home” board on Pinterest.

  5. I love this!!! We have moved around and done that crazy apartment white box and you hate to put nails in the walls because then you end up getting charged $10 per nail hole…really it cost them $10 to fill a nail hole!! I will be using the command hooks…great idea!

    Thanks so much for linking up with Wake Up Wednesday!

    Laura @ Mice In The Kitchen

  6. Thanks so much for featuring my Grommet Roman Blinds! So many great ideas here!

  7. Thank u for featuring my Indian Inlay Stenciled wooden Cornice! Thanks for all the amazing inspirations posted here

  8. Thanks for featuring my faux-etching window project!

  9. Thanks for linking up at Wake Up Wednesday – hope you are enjoying the party!

  10. Thanks for featuring my tree branch curtain rod! They’re still holdin’ strong!

  11. I cannot access the $5 DIY Burlap shade link? It says it is a closed blog and I need permission to view??? Help, please?

    • Thanks for letting me know! The link was good when I posted it originally. I replaced that pic/link with another similar project. It’s also no-sew and is a valance, but this could easily be adapted into a complete window shade. 🙂

  12. Thanks for sharing my burlap valances! We’re in military housing and one of the first things I did was remove those horrible mini blinds and replace them with curtains! I shared your post with our Facebook fans.

  13. They all look so lovely, I could not pick any!!!

    The Quiet Mom @ Pastrami French Dip with Bell Peppers and Caramelized Onion (

  14. What a great compilation. We are looking at getting a new house, I will be using some of these tips for sure. Thanks for linking it up to Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  15. So cute!!! Love all of these. This is a great series, I am one of these “white box” renters, and it gets discouraging sometimes!

  16. Love this!! We are living in a “rental” also, it isn’t a white box cause I got to paint whatever I wanted but there are still mini blinds in every window and I’m not about to replace them with expensive window coverings. I’ve fixed a few of them up with some cornice boards but LOVE some of your ideas for the other windows I’ve yet to acknowledge! Thank you for linking up to Making Monday! Pinning and be sure to check back next week, you may be a feature 😉

  17. Carrie From Carrie This Home // 02/20/2014 at 3:42 PM // Reply

    All of these pictures look like they came from model homes–not rentals! It’s so nice to see options out there for renters to help make a place more homey!

  18. You are featured this week at Snickerdoodle Sunday 🙂

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