Window Covering Safety

Today’s post is a little bit of a PSA, but it’s an issue I feel so strongly about that I want as many parents, grandparents, and interior designers as possible to know about it.

A few months ago I was selling a lamp on the local mom list serve. When I invited the woman into my house, she immediately commented on the blinds in my living room. They were old, dark wood blinds with cords running through them and on the sides. She started to tear up, telling me that I should replace them immediately, and I knew she was absolutely right. She said she had a good friend whose three-year-old daughter died instantly in a corded blind accident a few months prior. I have been 100% aware of the dangers of corded blinds since I was pregnant with Oliver, but I just hadn’t mustered up the time and money to replace them until recently. Her story reminded me that I needed to act sooner rather than later. According to statistics released by the CPSC, nearly one child every two weeks dies from strangulation by window blind cords. Retailers are aware of the problem – it was recently reported that IKEA and Target have ceased to sell window coverings with cords. But not all retailers are willing to take a hit to their profits so it is up to us as consumers to make the best decisions for our families.

You would think kids are smart enough to not wrap a cord around their neck or stick their head through the back of a roman shade, but really, they aren’t. Kids do incredibly stupid and unexplainable things sometimes. Just ask my mom – she could go on and on about the horrible things my six siblings and I used to do. Some accidents are bound to happen – for example, they might fall and cut their cheek on the sidewalk, or fall out of a bunk bed, or get their fingers jammed in a doorway, or slam their head into the corner of the coffee table and require a trip to the E.R. for stitches on their head. Yeah, those situations suck and of course you don’t want them to happen, but the kid will eventually heal and live. There are some accidents, however, that a child cannot recover from, and two that are highly deadly are drowning in water and strangling in a window cord. The latter, however, is not as widely known about.

In a lot of cases, kids climb on top of a piece of furniture, start playing with a cord, then slip and fall. Strangling on a cord makes for a chillingly silent death, so a caregiver could even be in the next room and not know that it was occurring. A child loses consciousness within seconds and death occurs in less than one minute. It is reported that children ages 8 months to 7 years have strangled themselves on cords.

The below graphics depict the various ways that children can harm themselves in window cords:

Window Blinds Strangulation

And most chilling of all, this video demonstrates how quickly and silently strangulation can happen, and that older children are vulnerable as well.

The frustrating thing is, a lot of blinds out there are even marketed as “cordless” but they’re not! Retailers can market their product as “cordless” if there is no hanging cord to activate the up/down mechanism, but in fact there could be a cord running through the back of the shade or through the shade itself. This happened to me when I bought what I thought were stylish bamboo blinds from JCPenney (do not buy these!). They were marketed as “a cordless product safe for homes with young children” so I assumed they used a magnet to keep the blinds together when they were pushed up and down. When they arrived, I noticed there was indeed a cord blatantly running through the back of the shade. It even had child safety warning tags all over the box!!

IMG_0161 (1)

Argh!! Shame on you JCPenney. Back to the store they went.

Finally, I purchased these cordless shades from and I’m SO happy with them. Here is the before and after of my window treatments:

the before: very, very bad!

the before: very, very bad!

IMG_1258 (1)

the after: much better!

FullSizeRender (6)

super easy to lift and pull!

The SelectBlinds shades were actually very affordable and high quality. They are completely unobtrusive as you can see from the picture and incredibly easy to use. Just a simple push and pull with a finger raises them up and down. They come in several different colors and you can buy them as light filtering or blackout, which is great for use in different areas of the home. I also added a pair of ivory linen drapes just to frame the windows and add a little layering and vertical interest. Next up is my bedroom!

A lot of resources might tell you to retrofit your blinds with cleats or safety breakaway parts but the reality is that no blind with a cord running through it, whether it be on the pull mechanism, through the cord itself, or on the back of the shade, is safe if you live in a home with children or have children visit your home. The only answer is to install drapes, wood shutters, or completely cordless shades.

I hope this post has encouraged you to go cordless in your own home! For more information, visit Parents for Window Blind Safety.



Spotlight on: Lulie Wallace

I have been a fan of the artist Lulie Wallace ever since discovering her on Instagram last year. I picked up two of her floral prints for my bedroom and I want to carry them around with me everywhere. I just adore the happiness and joie de vivre of her work. I recently discovered that she has her … Read More


Craigslisting Tips and Tricks

After furnishing the majority of my home with vintage and retail brand finds from Craigslist as well as using it as a resource in client projects, I thought I'd share some tips and tricks that I've learned to finding the best stuff for the best deals. 1. Look every day. Yep, every single day. … Read More

buffalo check scalloped slipcovered parsons chair

Lake House Inspiration

Lately I've been helping my mom day and night with projects around my parents' lake house in Wisconsin. Over the next few years we plan on decorating the house, one space at a time. In an effort to keep our vision consistent, I'm pulling together some inspiration images for the house. The vibe is … Read More


At the Lake

  Oliver and I are spending some time together at my family's lake house in Wisconsin right now, and it couldn't be more blissful. Having this uninterrupted and disconnected time with him - time in which I'm not worried about grocery shopping, doing the dishes, checking emails, or running … Read More


Friday Update

Happy Friday friends! Rather than dedicating an entire post to each of my projects I thought I'd quickly sum them up into one. I recently ended my job with my dad's practice which has allowed me to fully delve myself into mommyhood and design work. Here's a little bit of what I've been up to lately … Read More

Robshaw Pillows

John Robshaw Sale

My favorite textile designer John Robshaw is having a 20% off sale until Thursday with code FF15 at checkout. While I'm drooling over absolutely everything on his site from throws to bedding to furniture, here are some of my favorite pillow covers from his site in a rainbow of … Read More


Oliver: 10 Months

My sweet little Oliver will be 10 months old this week and it's true when they say that time flies by so fast. I feel like just yesterday I brought home my bundle from the hospital, and now I have this little sack of potatoes that's babbling and cruising furniture and shoving raspberries into his … Read More

bone inlay inspiration

Beautiful Bone Inlay

After ordering a bone inlay side table for a client recently as well as working on my own inlay DIY project (more to come), I find myself obsessed with all things bone inlay. Reminding me of my travels abroad, I find it to be so delicate, organic and "ethnic-preppy" - just my kind of style. I simply … Read More

2015-05-07 16.21.25

Orange and Aqua

Ever since seeing this Pierre Bonnard painting in Paris, I find myself completely drawn to the color combination of a teal-y, aqua blue and bright, punchy orange. Something about it just makes me so happy! And it looks even crisper when paired with navy and white. I am craving a little orange and … Read More

oriental rug 19

Persian Rugs

Lately I've been busy working on my first full-scale decorating project for a totally fabulous client with a modern loft-style apartment in Wicker Park. We are covering the place in new and vintage Persian and oriental rugs, an element that is somewhat new to my design vocabulary. I didn't realize … Read More


Our trip to France

Last weekend we returned from the most wonderful trip to Paris and the south of France to visit my little sister again who is studying abroad there. We drank so much wine, ate so much ice cream, changed diapers on park benches and on top of tiny cafe toilets, made huge messes in restaurants, rolled … Read More

2015-04-13 11.01.13-2

Busy Busy…

Sorry for being MIA lately. Been a little busy with this one! Hope to get back to blogging next week. Have so much to share! Have a great weekend!   … Read More