I need magic window blinds
June 2, 2008 7:19 PM   Subscribe

I need window coverings that let in light during the day, but offer privacy at night.

Right now I just have mini-blinds, but people can see into my apartment from both above and below, so cheap blinds offer minimal privacy. Also, I don't want to have to open and close my blinds constantly every day. Is there any magic product that will allow this?
posted by BradNelson to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What about window shades? There are varying levels of thickness.
posted by sugarfish at 7:26 PM on June 2, 2008

What about bottom-up shades or blinds? Random product.
posted by phunniemee at 7:30 PM on June 2, 2008

Rice paper shades. Plenty of light during the day, and at most your neighbors might see silouettes at night.
posted by sarahmelah at 7:53 PM on June 2, 2008

I have the same problem and I found an excellent and inexpensive option - plastic ceiling light covers for florescent lighting. They are opaque and let in the light, yet give me the privacy I want. There are a variety of different patternsand come in different sizes in the hardware store. They run about $5 -$7 a sheet. I also rent, so it's something that I can just recycle when I move out of here. I simply prop them up against the window on the ledge. I don't know how tall your windows are, but for my fairly large living room windows, they are about two feet tall and give me the privacy I need for 3/4 of the height of the window, leaving 1/4 of the window bare to let even more sunlight in.
posted by HeyAllie at 8:00 PM on June 2, 2008

If you have a couple hundred bucks to spend, you could get motorized blinds.
posted by acoutu at 8:10 PM on June 2, 2008

Best answer: We had the same problem in our bedroom. We bought a film that sticks to the window, and makes a regular window pane look like frosted glass. Totally opaque, but no loss of light (which sounds like a paradox, but it works). I can't remember the name of the product, but it was about $20, and we just bought it at Lowe's.
posted by molybdenum at 8:15 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I used a frosting spray when I had the same problem (although I used it on 2nd floor balcony doors so I can't tell you how well it provides privacy if someone wants to get right up next to it and try to peep). As I recall, it cleaned off pretty easily when I moved.
posted by stefanie at 10:42 PM on June 2, 2008

I like to buy window sheers to put on in addition to the blinds. I twist the blinds open during the day, so the light comes in, and close them at night.
posted by messylissa at 12:54 AM on June 3, 2008

Some kind of pebbled glass? I don't know how much you're willing to spend; replacing the windows is a pretty big step.
posted by eritain at 12:55 AM on June 3, 2008

Best answer: I had a similar window situation when I lived in my first apartment. If you don't particularly need to see out, I found window frosting films to offer privacy while letting in the most light. There is a round up of modern window films here at Design*Sponge, many of those are expensive but could be worth it if you find one you like.

I've been happy with plain frosted films. If the area of window you'd like to cover is small Ikea offers the Amorf Frost film which you can often find among the bathroom goods. For a larger window I've used the plain frosted Gila brand window films that you can find at places like Lowes and Home Depot which molybdenum mentions above. The films are easy to apply, you just need to spray the window with some slightly soapy water and position the film.

I'm also a fan of plain white honeycomb blinds. Levolor has a texture called Driftwood Linen which looks more like actual fabric than many other options. I have this in white over the window where I spend most of my time working and very happy with the amount of light it lets in. (Note: Avoid the top-down corded Levolor blinds, they have an oddly unfinished look. The cordless variety is fine.)
posted by Miss Matheson at 10:18 AM on June 3, 2008

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