Asked on May 18, 2013

My neighbors see straight into my house

Mordechai Goren
by Mordechai Goren
I live in an apartment building in quite a dense neighborhood. One evening, when looking out my window, I realized I can see every pixel of my neighbors washing machines driers, kitchens and showers if in the wrong side of the house (The photo attached is just an illustration, my camera just caught patches of light)
This means that all those 200 eyes of my neighbors see all my stuff too.
I would like a bit more of privacy, what you recommend I do?
I thought of installing curtains, but this would have some side-effects I might not be happy with (cost, forgetting to draw them and loosing a lot of sun light through out the day)
  18 answers
  • Christi Joyce Christi Joyce on May 18, 2013
    Sheer curtains (also known as sheers) are an option. They let in light, but provide privacy. I've also seen shutters or even blinds that only cover the bottom half of a window--you can see over them, and sunlight can enter unfiltered, but they add privacy from most angles. Happy decorating!
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 18, 2013
    my mother in law has these specialty blinds that are made to let maximum light in but total privacy, I think they are called.cellular but here is one that you can use from bottom up!,8759
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 18, 2013
    Sort of reminds me of when I was living in Manhattan for a short while. I like the Cordless Top Down, Bottom Up That way you are in control of just how much to reveal to the eyes looking through the telescopes at you. Here is the link. I've ordered them for clients. They love them.
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 18, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim OOPS, sorry luv, maybe I gave the same site.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 19, 2013
    This is one of the main reasons why I live where I do. I'm currently sitting on my couch looking out over my deck. Our living room / dinning room has three glass sliding doors and two single "door sized" fixed picture windows. The only houses I can see are about 1 mile away, on the opposite side of the lake. We do have neighbors that are closer, but the trees in our yard provide cover. I make jokes with some of our city friends and the closeness of some of their home. Some of those subdivisions have homes that are only 8 to 12 feet apart. The joke goes a long the line that If you don't like what is on can just turn your head a bit and watch what the neighbor is watching. We do have cellular blinds on many of our windows but really only use then to control glare late in the afternoon, or to block out some of the chill during the winter. I have seen some folks use a spray on "frosting product" that can allow light to enter but also provide privacy. You can apply it in a manner where bands or areas are left clear to be able to look outside.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 19, 2013
    @Sia@South 47th great minds think alike!
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 19, 2013
    @KMS Woodworks are you bragging about such a beautiful place?
  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 19, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim LOL!!! Yea @KMS Woodworks your place sounds like my old one on 10 acres. Loved to run around naked and do everything. Miss it, but it was just getting to be too much work, and Ranch Hands were wanting a "Union" LOLOLOL
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 20, 2013
    @Tanya Peterson Felsheim perhaps just a little...As much as I love my home, I have even more fondness for our small cabin on our ranch in Northern New Mexico. We get 9 months of winter here in Nederland, my lot here is only 1/3 of an acre. Our New Mexico property is 300 miles further south and not tucked up next to the continental divide. The winters down there are much milder, we also have a bit more elbow room. Our property There is just under 42 acres, and the people we bought our land from had a total parcel of 720 acres...( a bit over a square mile) and we are welcome to hike there as well.
  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on May 20, 2013
    Ok @KMS Woodworks as long as you admit it! I never understood why when I was 12 my folks HAD to move out of Portland Oregon to the middle of nowhere in Central Oregon on 10 Acres! From Hippie town in 1973 to Cowboy country which i hadn't ever even heard of their type of dancing and thought they didn't have enough money to wear clothes like normal people! Eventually we moved to southern oregon a little more populated (at the time) but still 10 miles out! NOw they are at least within 3 miles but the only thing they can see from their house on one FLAT acre is an old small airport planes landing, and a service forrest training camp. Now..I live in town..i miss the mornings of not hearing traffic! of being able take a walk for miles and only seeing possibly one other person taking a walk with their animal... But I have worked for 16 years on this property and not sure I could give it up now even for the quiet. Maybe I should have 2 homes like you? One here and one on the coast....hmm...
  • Mordechai Goren Mordechai Goren on May 20, 2013
    Getting back to my questions... @KMS Woodworks your approach is probably the best, but presently I lack the budget for that option (And there actually are some advantages living in the city) @Tanya Peterson Felsheim & @Sia@South 47th Thanks for the advice, I will consider it @Christi Joyce Your solution seem to be probably what I will do. Just a questions: If I put up Sheer Curtains, would it block my view? (My view = My fellow neigbors and the street below, but some times more interesting than my walls)
  • Christi Joyce Christi Joyce on May 20, 2013
    During the day, looking through sheers is like looking through a "haze" or "fog". At night, with the lights on in your apartment, your view will be blocked. The nice thing about sheers is they are relatively inexpensive, and can be pulled aside when you want a full view. Enjoy!
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on May 20, 2013
    a window film that is reflective on the outside would be good. You would lose minimal light and no visibility from your place. Since you won't be concerned with curb appeal, I'd think that should do the trick, yes? They're easy to put up - not totally inexpensive, but probably cheaper than shades or curtains.
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on May 20, 2013
    Sheer curtains only block the view during the day. At night you can see right through them. If you have lamps directly in front of the sheers (turned on, of course) that helps some, but still not much. And they do cut down the light tremendously. :-( (This from a lover of natural light.)
  • LandlightS LandlightS on May 20, 2013
    Mordechai....I would strongly suggest you investigate a privacy film which will allow full view out and no view into your home. I don't think it is very expensive, and although it can be a DIY project, I strongly suggest you have a professional do the work. Good Luck, Shalom, Gary
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on May 23, 2013
    Just saw an fb post from Homestead Self Sufficiency Survival that might interest you. Use food-coloring-tinted Elmer's glue to achieve a sea glass haze quite like the windows in the middle of the picture. I'd suggest: try it on a piece of something smaller first (obviously...) and assuming you must remove it when you move, try washable glue. The nice thing about using tinted glue is that if you get tired of the color, you can change it!!
  • Leigh Rowan Leigh Rowan on Dec 28, 2014
    We've installed window film, it is very easy... not necessarily inexpensive but it can be depending on where it is purchased. They have mirrored and frosted. We have also bought spray cans of frost and used it. Tape and spray the glass, it is just that easy.|dc&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_campaign=Shopping+Campaign&CS_003=10131488&CS_010=%5BProductId%5D&gclid=Cj0KEQiA8f6kBRCGhMPFtev8p58BEiQAaMLmqbObWOleH5qwxepdIWtUAWmT2BF1ex3rug9wuH25bsUaApGX8P8HAQ Want a little more zip in your windows, about an inch in from the edges, tape a square or any pattern really. You get privacy, but if you need to look out it still give you a way to do so.
  • C Crow C Crow on Sep 26, 2016
    We had the same issue in a family-shared beach house. We applied crystal clear "Gallery Glass" to the windows: no loss of light, quite inexpensive, and can easily be removed. Many ways to apply this (it is like white glue inconsistency and may even be similar), we just used our fingertips moving in small circles. When dry, the finished effect is much like "chip glass." Solved our problem and we are very happy with results! If you don't want complete coverage so you can see out, just apply it in stripes or some other format. Available at craft stores and Amazon.