Help: Window Treatments That Give Privacy Yet Still Let Light In

lipappyApril 13, 2011

I need some advice. I live in a small single level home with all of my windows on the ground level. I have white 2-inch faux-wood plantation blinds that I really like, except that I always keep them closed. Realizing I'm a bit depressed, I want to be able to open my blinds more to let more natural light in, but then I feel like everybody can see right into my house (and they can). People walk by on the sidewalk and can see right into the living room.

Does anybody have a solution for a window treatment that would let light in, but not let people see in? I'd still like to keep my blinds... is there some kind of gossamer fabric that can be hung between the blind and the window to obscure the view? If so, how could I hang it?

I'm a 36 y.o. single guy btw. I don't know a lot about fabrics, etc. Thanks.

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Someone might have a good fabric suggestion, but wonder if you might consider window film. It allows maximum light and privacy, kind of like having your windows frosted. You could install it only on the lower part of the window, to assure your privacy from passerby line of sight but leave the upper part of the window unfilmed. That way you would have the maximum light and it would allow you to see out, see the sky and have your privacy. There is also reflective film (and roll down shades) that won't allow people to see in during the day. It doesn't work to block the view in at night, but you have your shutters for that. Here's a link to the mirrored kind with some regular film shown below at amazon, but there are lots of brands and styles.

Here is a link that might be useful: privacy window film

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:15AM
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I completely understand where you're coming from since I too suffer from depression.
I think if you just angle your blinds upward, the light will come in and reflect off your ceiling, you'll get the privacy you need and still have light in your home. Another good thing is to get out in the full sun for at least thirty minutes each day. More if you can. If not then I'd recommend using an OTT or full spectrum light. OTT is a brand, I think he invented them, but they're called full spectrum light bulbs. They are best used early in the day by sitting about three feet away from them.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:52AM
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Would you consider replacing them with the blinds that are attached at the bottom and pull upward? You could then have the entire upper portion of your window open to natural light and with the bottom covered, no one can see in.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 3:21PM
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You could hang very sheer curtains over the shutters, and not too much of them (in other words, not a very wide width of them) so that they don't get too full. That is what I'd do because it's an inexpensive way to add to what you already have, and because I think sheer curtains are very pretty. I would have them be floor length, and hung quite high.

There is also a product called Silhouettes. You would use it instead of the shutters. It is like a blind made of heavy fabric, with sheer fabric over it. The blind can be tilted any way you want, also raised and lowered. the sheer fabric makes for privacy while you have the option of closing the blinds, tilting them, raising them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Silhouette blinds

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 3:53PM
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Since you have blinds for complete privacy & dark when needed, I would suggest sheers. They diffuse enough to give you a fair bit of privacy, as long as you aren't hoping the same is true when the world is dark & you have your lights on. Unless traffic is right at your window, this should work.

The only caveat i will add is - buy good quality sheers. There's a world of difference between the $6 per/panel Walmart ones, and the ones you'll find in the $30 - $60 price range. Mine came from Penney's outlet, they're super soft and slinky - not at all like your typical scratchy economy sheer (but I paid about the same price for them).

Older pic, but you'll get the idea:

And on the depression, ditto what others have said - if you have SAD. Get those neurotransmitters going, and help ward off malillumination. You might want to consider changing your interior bulbs to full spectrum (6500K) bulbs, too.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I like sheers also, got mine at Penney's. Ours are never closed, but could be, which gives a sense of privacy but still lets light in. We also have a blind that goes up from the bottom in our bathroom, and that works perfectly. They are available with a remote control. I second what others have said: Don't let yourself feel closed in and suffocated in a house with all the windows shuttered.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:59AM
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You could also mount a solar shade inside your window so that it wouldn't interfere with the shutters. The shades come in a variety of openness factors, but even the loosest weave would keep people from seeing much besides a shadowy form during the day. At night, they are pretty transparent, so you would want to close your shutters. Here's a link to show you a bit about the shades.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solar Shades

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 8:11PM
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Two other possibilities: 1. small cafe curtains possibly on rings for easy opening on a rod that spans the center of the window - probably looks best when there are long curtains flanking the window. Occasionally I even pull my wood blinds all the way up in winter on sunny days with no concern of people seeing in with the short lower curtains providing privacy.

  1. Cheapest/easiest or temporary option: I slide my hand over the bottom slats of my blinds to close only the lower half while the top slats stay fully open. I'm doing this now in my LR as I'm not quite ready to redo this room, but still want that degree of privacy, so I'm making do. Don't know if you can do this on 2" blinds but works easily on my 1" and 1.5" ones. : ) Penny
    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 2:21PM
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