• Hometalker
Asked on Feb 11, 2012

Last spring a bought a new front door but haven't had it installed yet. It's the kind with one big panel of plain glass



. I wanted the extra light to come thru the door, BUT I'm a very private person and do NOT want anyone outside to see in unless I want them to. I want a blind, shade, etc., to cover so well that if I'm standing inside the door at night with my inside light on, a person outside will have no idea I'm there. My first idea was to get a blind for the door that I could raise during the day. But at night, someone outside would see movement on the sides of the blind, even if it overlapped the sides of the glass by an inch or so. I think a Roman shade would also allow movement to be seen. Is there anything that would 100% obscure inside movement to a person standing outside at night? Maybe I should just buy a door with a smaller window at the top of the door?
13 answers
  • The latter would work. Also you can purchase plastic films that cover over the glass that makes it much harder to see through the glass from the outside. But in a residential setting that may make it look to commercial. By the look of your doggie photo, if you have one that looks like that. Chain it to the front door on outside, you will not have to worry about anyone looking in or even coming close to the door. lol. Personally i think you should sell the door and install one with a top pane type by itself. As anything else will still allow them to see motion at night.

  • You can install privacy film over the glass which will still let the light in. You can get it at home depot or lowes or contact a window tinting company for it.

  • JP S
    on Feb 13, 2012

    I have a Craftmans style door with windows at the top,any one tall enough could see in,I got some film at Home Depot that sticks with water,it looks like stain glass,I hope to eventually put real stain glass in-I would get a door with no glass,and a storm door for light in the day time.

  • Ricardo B
    on Feb 13, 2012

    Those are hard words to create the magic for which you wish, Louise. Let the light in from outside but no light/image out from the inside... and, it seems you're very concerned about security. First thought; h-m-m, she just needs a solid door with a great peep-hole built into it. That would solve the security issue but that wouldn't solve the outdoor light you desire. How about just shifting your paradigm? Maybe you can invest in having a sky-light built just above the the ceiling/roof area where the front door is. You can get plenty of wonderful sunlight (and moonlight) to enter and you can still have the most secure door to keep the boogey man away!

  • Pedini of Atlanta, LLC
    on Feb 13, 2012

    If you want to use the door for the light purposes but still have privacy, there are several films that can be applied that will give the door a frosted appearance. These can be done yourself but make sure to follow directions so you do not end up with bubbles. These let the light come through but will give you total privacy, you can see shapes behind the glass but no details. We have this on some bathroom doors and they serve the purpose very well. There are an assortment of patterns available too. http://www.decorativefilm.com/ this website has a few cool ones.

  • Louise
    on Feb 13, 2012

    Thanks for your replies. A friend suggested film, but film wouldn't block out movement and someone would still know I was here. I don't want a person outside to have a clue there's anything on the other side of the door. Right now I have a small window at the top of my door and at night I keep it covered with several thicknesses of fabric and it does the trick, but it's very unattractive and the same idea won't work with a much larger pane - or if it did, it would also be really ugly. And Woodbridge, your dog idea would work. :-) In fact, one reason I want the large-panel door is so my large dogs can sit there and look outside during the day. Sadly, this might be a case of not being able to have my cake and eat it, too.

  • Julianna H
    on Feb 28, 2012

    A beautiful interior design element would be a wall of floor to ceiling curtains covering the door at night--no damage to the door itself, and the endless possibilities of color and pattern in the curtains for you to enjoy from the inside!

  • Louise
    on Feb 28, 2012

    Yes, the curtains would work, but that wouldn't fit into the style of my house, and would also be way pricier than I want. I think I might just sell the new, uninstalled door and keep my old one. Can't decide for sure. I think my desire for privacy is going to outweigh the desire for light.

  • Transform-A-Door, Inc.
    on Mar 5, 2012

    If you haven't resolved this yet, the answer is probably to change out the clear glass with a sealed blind between two layers of glass. This is real simple, cost effective and totally private when you want and wide open when you want, or anywhere in between.

  • Louise
    on Mar 6, 2012

    I started to buy a door with the blind inside, but even that allows a person outside to see movement on the sides. :-(

  • J.
    on Nov 21, 2015

    Louise, Take a look at you exterior lighting near the door. Make sure it is bright enough so the person standing outside would have a hard time seeing you even if you are backlit inside. If you are still uncomfortable, consider having a camera mounted outside so you can remotely see who is there and answer (or not) via intercom. Perhaps purchasing some home protection to have close by in the event a visitor decides to enter without waiting for permission. Just because someone can see you are at home does not obligate you to open the door.

  • Louise
    on Nov 21, 2015

    Thanks, but I sold the door last year.

  • Zabitat
    on Feb 16, 2017

    There is a product called ODL Add On Blinds that you can add over your existing door glass. You can see the full product line here: https://www.zabitat.com/u/add-on-blinds
    Please note that the sizes are limited! You can also swap out your existing door glass and replace it with Enclosed Blinds: https://www.zabitat.com/u/enclosed-blinds
    Hope these suggestions are useful! If you need help measuring or qualifying your door, call the Zabitat Customer Service Team. They can ensure that you get the right product for your existing door.
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