Asked on Feb 26, 2015

Window in between rooms

by Schwarzy
We just recently purchased a house with an addition. In our family room in the basement, the previous owner did not remove the exterior window and drywall. Now we're moving in and stuck with the dilemma of what to do. If we remove the window and drywall, we lose light. If we leave the window, we lose privacy for the room on the other side. Any suggestions?
This is the view from in the bedroom looking into the basement family room.
  14 answers
  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Feb 26, 2015
    @schwarzy I take it your goal is to keep the flow of light. You could take the exterior window system out and put in a once piece glass panel, with a blind on one side. I've seen quite a bit in homes with a den/computer/multi-function room. If you want to keep the exterior set of windows in place, sheer treatment (curtains or flat sliding panels) on both the family room and extension side. That would give the illusion of the other side of the window being outside.
  • Christine Spencer Christine Spencer on Feb 26, 2015
    Perfect for barn doors! Close off the existing door to the left with drywall, open up the window to make a large entryway and hang barn doors. Maybe hang a barn door with frosted glass panels to keep both light and privacy.
  • Schwarzy Schwarzy on Feb 26, 2015
    Yes, that window is the only source of outside light to the dark basement family room. But I will also need to provide privacy for a bedroom on the opposite side of the window for two of our daughters. I wish I'd taken a better picture of the scenario.
  • Schwarzy Schwarzy on Feb 26, 2015
    I really want to remove the window and close in the wall. But if I do that, I'm going to have to "create" light within the family room artificially. I was thinking about frosting the windows even and then giving the girls the window as some kind translucent dry erase board or something. But then that won't look appealing on the side of the family room. Unless I just hang sheers over the window in the family room. I think I might be forced to do something like that.
  • Suzanne McEllen Suzanne McEllen on Feb 26, 2015
    @@Schwarzy If you don't want the hassle of demolition right away, frost the glass of the windows. You can by it in spray cans. How much privacy and or light you keep is up to you, by how heavy you frost them. Use a stencil if you want a pattern in it. Or, if you don't want to see the window frames at all, you could stretch some fabric around a 2x4 frame that fits the dimensions of the full window opening. It would then turn an awkward interior window into an art piece.
  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Feb 26, 2015
    @schwarzy seeing how the room is a bedroom, you need the window as a sound barrier. You could still do the sheer on your family room side and something more solid on the bedroom side. Barn doors aren't great for rooms with limited space as they take up potential furniture placement.
  • Schwarzy Schwarzy on Feb 26, 2015
    Yeah, I guess I'm going to have to do a sheer and possibly frosted glass combination for now. We just bought the house and soaked all of our money in to the down payment. Cheap decorating options are all I can consider right now. Just hate that the girls are only going to have one wall to really put furniture up against.
  • Becky Wood Becky Wood on Feb 26, 2015
    Read this: She used clear contact could "paint it" with markers or something and it make it look like stained glass. I saw a show the other day where they were turning a grain silo into a barn...they took old windows, covered each panel with a different color film and hung them up with lights behind them to make it look like they had windows. You could try lights in the window to simulate daylight if you have to cover them up...
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 27, 2015
    For just now, I would add a drapery panel that can be closed at night.
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 28, 2015
    When we added to the front of the house, we left one window in place to increase light in the room that had originally been the front of the house, between the rooms. I have a matching drape on that window and linen type roman shade, matching the other outside window, so it seems like an outside window. It's great, because it lets in light we wouldn't have otherwise. Our window isn't as large as yours width wise, but is quite tall, and we have a daybed under it. I had thought of blocking the lower part of the window with bookshelves so that we had light from the upper part (like a transom), but, it isn't really a privacy issue for us like it is for your girls, so we keep it like it is. Most visitors don't realize it isn't an outside window, unless we point it out. When I change curtains, I buy two sets to keep the look. My husband had thought of removing the window and turning it into a built in bookcase/shelf unit, which might work for you. Shelving can be made from so many things, including recycled wood, that the cost would be nominal. Just a thought. His original plan was to keep the original window dimensions, framing and molding and just make shelves for both sides. Had you thought about drop cloth curtains or sheet curtains on one side?
  • Karen Williams Karen Williams on Aug 11, 2016
    Replace the window with glass block. We did this to prevent our kitchen losing light when we created an new entry. This will also improve security.
  • Sue Ryan Sue Ryan on Sep 01, 2016
    is the other room a bedroom?
  • Schwarzy Schwarzy on Sep 01, 2016
    It was initially. Now it's my office. I've already spray painted the windows with frost and will be adding a tapestry in the near future.