Updated: Jun 30
Do you have beautiful large windows with unappealing views and zero privacy? On top of it a curious neighbour? If you could only have your windows completely open and enjoy the fresh air without giving providing free daily "show" for the whole neighbourhood. If that's the case in your home, don't worry, I will provide you with five simple solutions to protect your privacy without blocking the natural light.
But before we dig in, I'll tell you my story.
I am very grateful I don't have any neighbouring buildings facing my windows anymore. Still, before moving to the current flat, I had very much privacy issues in every apartment I lived in. I don't think I mentioned it before, but a few years ago I lived for a solid few months on a coastal side of Croatia, in a town called Pula. I was renting a small apartment with a beautiful tiny Juliet balcony. The condo itself was older and traditional, but, as always, I fall in love with a floor to ceiling glass terrace doors that also functioned as a large window. After a few decorating touches, it quickly became a cosy home I ended up loving so so much.
The only thing that was spoiling the whole view was a building nearby and that same large window suddenly also became a theatre set (at least that's how I felt). I'm sure you know, most of the Mediterranean homes have wooden shutters on the outside. It is to protect from a storm, and it also functions as a natural air conditioner. On a hot day, it lets the fresh air flow through while providing enough shade.
My apartment had one of those too. But I didn't want to block too much of natural light necessarily. So I decided to install two layers of curtains as a backup. They were both white - one of them was sheer and see-through fabric, and the other one was slightly ticker - just enough to give privacy. In that way, I could keep the shutters widely open and still enjoy the sunshine.
I found an old video and thought I would share it with you. I know It's not the best quality, as I filmed with not such a great phone at the time - so please, no judgement. :) P.S. Ignore the part where I'm for some reason fluffing the cover. :)
Studio apartment situated in Pula, Croatia. Video taken by me 🤦♀️
Now that I shared my personal experience, here are a few examples (some mentioned earlier) on how you could brighten up your own views.
Five ways to brighten-up your views and create a privacy shield:
1. Choose the right curtains.
Instead of a tick and dense type of fabric, dress up your windows with lightweight sheer curtains. I would suggest getting brighter colours to maximise the amount of diffused light you can get. Finally, you can open your windows with confidence and enjoy a flow of fresh air.
2. Frosted window film
If you are looking for a cost-effective solution - smart window film is the way to go. Roller blinds are great, but they are not the best choice for the light problem, and also not too aesthetically appealing. Window film is a more sophisticated option. Depending on your views, you could only cover one part of the window.
3. Hanging plants
Not a big fan of curtains? How about creating a natural, green, yet lush curtain all from hanging plants. Install it just a tiny bit higher where the curtain would be. The great one is Pothos! Why? It takes no time to grow, it can survive almost any weather condition, and it has big enough but not too dark leaves to give you some sense of privacy without blocking the natural light.
4. Smart Shutters
I gave you an example of my shutters situation, but you don't necessarily have to add curtains to it to get some privacy. All you need to do is paint your shutters in a brighter colour, I would suggest - egg white, pastel: blue, green or yellow, to get that summery feel, but it's totally up to you. Brighter colours also help with sunlight reflective powers. Once you've done that, open those shutters around 45 degrees upwards, and you will get plenty of natural light.
5. Decorate the window seal.
This particular example is more for those windows that have privacy issues coming from the lower level. Maybe it's a busy street or another building/house across the road, either way just enough not to spoil your views. In that case, you could decorate the window seals with a few sun-loving plants or a decorative candle. Just enough to block whatever you don't fancy seeing. But be careful not to overload your window with too many items. For two reasons - constant dust collecting issue, and if you have windows that open inwards, moving those pieces every time you want to close the windows can become an annoying activity.
If you decide to go for a plant solution, I highly recommend reading these articles on How to choose the best plants for your space or Which plants are the perfect choice for a Juliet balcony.
Let me know in what way will you brighten up your views.
If you are interested in Eco-Friendly or Sustainable home decor, take a look at carefully selected beautiful handmade products that can be easily purchased online. Do you need some interior design inspiration for your home? You might find your perfect style within these Mood Boards.
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