Second Story Foyer Window

anjismithMay 11, 2010

I have a large foyer window (at least 5 feet wide) above the front door. If you stand outside and look through the window, you can see clear through to the upstairs hallway, which makes me feel really weird. I need some privacy but don't want to overdo the window treatment. Husband doesn't want to cover it at all but that is out of the question for me. Film would be extremely difficult to install at that height. I'm thinking a sheer curtain would look really weird just suspended in the air there too. Suggestions?

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We have been living with this set up for 10 years. When we first moved in, we placed wooden Levalor blinds there. The previous blinds matched the other window treatments in the house. Now I just had them taken down, after redoing the foyer stairs, and I am going with nothing. It hasn't bothered me a bit for the past month and I think it looks so much better.

It's a tricky spot. Have you looked around at the neighborhood to see what others are doing?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 5:09AM
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You might think about remote control blinds. You can have them open or closed at the touch of a switch, and there are a variety of colors and styles.

Here is a link that might be useful: remote blinds

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:51AM
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Some windows are just meant to be naked!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 8:14AM
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Some windows, unfortunately, aren't meant to be there at all, imo. This particular window has more people frustrated and scratching their heads than any other window in the house.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:36AM
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OK, I'll dust off my window film suggestion again. No, you wouldn't want to put just plain frosted film on a window in the foyer but there are many different styles and patterns of privacy films these days so perhaps one of them would work. I think what would be ideal would be something that was clear but just "distorted" the view sufficiently for privacy.

I have a huge window over my front door too. Fortunately, it's just the upstairs hall and staircase that shows so I don't care and I've left my window naked save for UV film. I've seen neighbors try various window treatments on those windows and I've never seen any treatment that looked "right".

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:34AM
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Mine is naked, too. It does have UV film on it. Any drapes, shutters or blinds are gonna get really dusty. Realistically, how often will you get a ladder to clean them??

And I am a person that never closes the window coverings on the front of my house - except for my bedroom at night. My son likes to look out and see the stars so he hardly closes his. I don't run around my house naked & when people drive by they just get a tiny glimpse. Maybe just catch me walking down the hall or from room to room. We are also up on a hill so that helps, too.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 4:16PM
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I have 3 very large 2nd story windows directly across the hallway to the bedrooms & bathroom. Definitely, needed privacy at night, not to mention something to help block the street light. I ordered 2" wood blinds - each operate on a remote control - open and close only, not up and down.
The first set of batteries lasted a few years. We clean the dust when we change the batteries and when we get overzealous and clean the inside of those windows:)
We love them and are very happy with them. They are a light taupe, and I painted the trim to match the blinds.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 8:47PM
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I know this would really be an expensive proposition but... I think if it were my house, I'd replace the window with a leaded glass window in a design that incorporated textured glass. That gives a little bit of privacy by making the window opaque while still letting in light. And it eliminates the necessity of covering it with any kind of window treatment which IMO isn't appropriate for that kind of window.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 8:37AM
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Some houses are situated where that window lets people see way more than the homeowner would like. All depends on how close/far away from the street, up/down hill, trees and so on. I have a friend who lives in a very closely built neighborhood with most of the houses having this rather hideous (IMO) window. It IS creepy being able to see people chasing their children for bath time. Some people prefer privacy and this is quite bothersome, some don't care and love it left open to the world. I wouldn't be able to stand it and would have remote control blinds installed. My friend has this for her window and loves it. She has white 2" blinds across the front and they look really nice. If you dust up there 2-4 times a year I don't think they'd get too funky looking. If you have a ladder and nice extension on your vacuum they should be pretty easy to keep clean.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:04AM
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I've got it too. Mine isn't as wide as yours, from the outside it looks just like the other bedroom windows. I finally put film on it last year and it has made such a difference for the heat issue-it was like a chimney in there, it faces the west. I always felt like I was in a fishbowl too, but luckily the former owners planted river birches in the front yard about 11 years ago or so. These things are so big now, that you can't see this window from the street, so the privacy problem is gone.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:11AM
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ROTFLOL! The infamous foyer.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 11:32AM
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I'm in the minority here...I LOVE my foyer window and wouldn't think of covering it. Then again I would love to live in a house made of glass...the more light, the better. I do however, live in a development where the houses are separated by two or more acres, so privacy is not really an issue but if it was, I still don't think I would cover it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Thank you all for your helpful responses. I am sorry for being so rude as to not return and thank you for your help. I realize it has been months, but surprise, the window is STILL uncovered. DH has been promising to take care of it, but that means it will still be uncovered in a year. He thinks he can cover it himself with a ladder, but I've told him repeatedly that will either result in a horrifically ugly tint job, a trip to the ER, or both. We shall see.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:14AM
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I wouldn't suggest doing the film himself. It will be difficult enough installing on a large window plus being high up and inexperience. My suggestion would be a cellular shade, it's light weight, only takes up a couple of inches when opened and you can get and extra long control so you can operate from the floor level or remote control. But the on remotes you will have to go up there every couple of years to change the batteries and they are pricy. Here's a helpful link

Here is a link that might be useful: cellular shades

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 4:35PM
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How about something simple, similar to door curtain panels that are secured top and bottom. Yes, they will get dusty and some cobwebs, but even plain windows will get dusty and cob-webby.

Here is a link that might be useful: Door curtain panels

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 5:39PM
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We cut out a circle of heavy paper, like parchment (non see-thru, but still let light in), then cut a smaller circle out of the middle that fit precisely around a hanging (by a fine wire just about invisible from below) flat, stained glass ornament (about 6" across) meant to hang in a window. Looked great and cost next to nothing!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 5:52PM
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I am reminded of a short mystery story by Dorothy Sayer, The Haunted Policeman. The policeman, hearing someone call "help, police!" looks through the letter slit to find a dead body in the front hall of the house. Of course, it's a picture. Which brings me to my suggestion for the window: a picture of what you want anybody who looks in to see.

Here are a few suggestions, with my tongue in cheek:

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Hah! Lord Peter Wimsey, eh Suero~~~~I love those stories. The Public TV show was fabulous, must see TV in the 70s. Thanks for the reminder. And I think that your pictures-in-the-window is a fabulous "Wimsey-cal" idea!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 7:10PM
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I have the dreaded 2nd story foyer window with NO privacy and I hate it. It has a curved on top to make it even more difficult to solve this privacy issue. I am thinking of a white shutter so we can open and close it. What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 6:16PM
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