Shades with day/night privacy but view preserved - fantasy?!?

June K.January 6, 2014

My DH and I just moved into a new apartment that has nice city views (tree-lined streets with pre-war townhouses). I am planning to get blackout cellulars in the bedrooms, but am at a loss as to what to get for the living/dining space where we have the views. My goals for shades are:

1. give privacy at day & night
2. preserve view during day
3. have some view at night -?!? my guess is this is not possible

I've met with several window treatment professionals and have heard conflicting opinions. One seller said that 10% transparent shades (pleated or cellular) would fill my goals 1 & 2 whereas another seller said anything I can see out of during the day, people will be able to see in to at night. And see not just our moving silhouettes (which I don't mind), but what we're wearing, what we're doing, i.e., zero privacy. I was inclined to believe the second person and give up on view preservation, but then I saw at the link below, cliff_and_joann saying that solar shades accomplish my 1st & 2nd objectives.

Does anyone have a recommendation for shades (preferably cellular) with name of brand/model that will give us both day/night privacy & preserve our daytime views? And that are not outrageously expensive (a la HD Silhouettes)? We have been without window treatments for over a month with many neighbors who can see in to our windows (at night)! I would really appreciate some ideas! Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: What to do with windows with a view?? Please help:)

This post was edited by pnadaroux on Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 20:58

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We installed automatic shade for our sliding doors and love them and price was not outrageous. We have the full view when needed and can still see when down, if want I'll take pic and pull the info.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:31PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

They make cellulars that are half sheer half black out so you can get as much view or privacy as you want...probably sheer for day and black out for night, but your choice....

Here is a link that might be useful: day/night shade

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Here's another...

Here is a link that might be useful: trilight shades

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 9:26

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:42PM
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You can buy $10 temporary shades at Lowes/HD so that you can have some privacy while you are making your decision. I finally had our HD Duettes installed in our guest house after nearly a year with the temporary shades! Better than rushing and making a choice you might regret for many many years.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 12:54AM
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Are you shopping for top-down-bottom-up shades? They would be great to block the bottom of the window, but allow you to see out the top.

I had them in a house on a corner lot, single story, so everyone who stopped at the stop sign looked directly in our front windows. Add sidewalk traffic, and I needed some privacy!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:00AM
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June K.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

sbp59 - do your shades offer nighttime privacy? If so, I'd love the info!

AnnieDeighNaugh - those day/night shades look really nice! I saw this style the other day and the only thing is that when they are pulled up completely, the stack is HUGE. For our windows, the stack would be 6 inches, which is quite alot considering our windows are not that tall!

chispa - we have temp shades in the bedrooms already, but I think I'll have to break down and get some for the living/dining room, too! They are a pain to open and close so I'll probably leave them closed most of the time and miss the view. :(

springroz - top down/bottom up shades are actually our back-up plan! We had these in our last apartment, but they don't quite fit our needs in the new place. It would make sense for us to get TDBU shades only in a fabric that provides nighttime privacy. I would like to keep the shades closed during the day as well because we get ALOT of light (to the point it hurts my eyes), but the fabrics that guarantee us nighttime privacy (light filtering or more opaque) will block our view during the day.

I actually misspoke in my original post - daytime privacy isn't a big issue. Our apartment is several floors up so we have no issue with pedestrians. Most times during the day, people in neighboring buildings can't see in and at other times, even a sheer fabric should be enough. So what I am looking for is a shade that has the transparency to let me see out during the day, but somehow prevents people from seeing in at night. Does this magical fabric exist?!? Acc. to cliff_and_joann in the other post, it does! Does anyone have an example of this??

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 3:30PM
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I checked the thread you linked to and I think what cliff_and_joann are talking about are solar shades, made of vinyl coated polyester. So you could check to see what the solar shades you are considering are made of. But I would still get a sample of the material and do a trial run before ordering them, as I'm sure this sort of thing varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. You would also want to check how much of a view you'd get at night.

Have you investigated the window films that block sun and UV rays? They still allow you to see out. Some provide daytime privacy, but I'm not sure about nighttime privacy. You'd have to check with the manufacturer.

Another option, if you don't want to go the top down bottom up shade route, is to get something else to block the bottom part of the windows at night. Shutters or folding screens that you remove during the day would work.

And mini-blinds might also work. If they are down and the slats are open, you can see out. People can see in, but they can't see in very well, as things will be chopped and distorted by the slats. If you know someone who has mini-blinds, maybe they'd let you see what they look like at night from outside.

I've linked to another thread where one person says the solar shades are not private at night, and someone else suggests using two shades, one behind the other, to get the privacy/sunblocking you need at various times of day.

Here is a link that might be useful: solar shades at night

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 7:18AM
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i don't know of any shade that can both provide daytime light control yet a view as well as nighttime privacy with all one material...
but, there are silhouettes (and competing brands i think...) which provide light control during the day and also a view during the day, but then you can close the inner slats for complete nighttime privacy. you don't need to be raising or lowering the blind at all... i have never had them, but friends have and seemed to like them- they seem to be a good solution if you want something over your windows all the time...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:14AM
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Let's set the scene lol first photo are the large sliders that we wanted to take advantage of the light and view as there is water behind us. We didn't want verticals or separate shades as usually during the day the shade would be up. So...

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:58PM
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This is the shade we chose when down. Love the fact it's power; just push the remote control. You can still see the view in daylight but usually we don't have them down during the day except for occasional morning sun. Yes they also give us privacy and we had the valance built at the top to cover the roller. I want to add some wood trim to this valance so next on the list.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:01PM
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I have 5% white solar shades on my patio doors. My view is preserved during the day. If you get a darker color the view is even more crisp, but I'm very satisfied with how the white still preserves my view. My nighttime view is not preserved.

I have complete privacy during the day when the shades are down. There is limited night time privacy. To describe this further, I live on a lake. at night I can stand in my yard and see into the house when the interior lights are on. But from the lake, which is at a considerable distance, I cannot see in.

I like solar shades because they are not obtrusive when rolled up. I also love the ease of operation with the manual continuos loop chain feature that I have. Unlike sbo59, my header is just slightly bigger than the shade and it is wrapped in the same fabric as the shade.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:58AM
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Edit: I reread original post & my suggestion isn't helpful to OP's window covering needs.

This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, Jan 11, 14 at 2:03

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Check with a commercial contractor as well.
Just to get some input.
What you are looking for is often a request of businesses.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 3:27AM
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June K.

Thank you to everyone for all of your ideas, insights, sharing your own personal experiences and to sbp59 for sharing photos of your own shades. After exploring all the options, I do not believe a shade exists that would provide day view and night privacy and fit my other constraints (e.g., style, price). I plan to either use my back-up option of TDBU light filtering honeycomb or shell out the bucks for a Silhouette type product (depending on how many bucks are involved). If I go with the latter, I will probably opt for a brand less expensive than Hunter Douglas, such as Levelor.

I really do appreciate everyone's help here. I may not have found my fantasy shade, but you all have definitely helped speed up my decision process. Had I not come here for advice, I'd probably be hemming and hawing over this for months! As it stands, I expect to make a decision once I've had both options priced out, so hopefully within a week. Thank you all again!!!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:21PM
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Hi! Any updates! I'm also looking for a magic shade. I am leaning toward the day/night shades that Annie posted above. Does anyone have these?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2015 at 8:23PM
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