Living inside a fishbowl is no fun unless you seek attention. For the majority of us, our privacy is important, and we could go to great lengths to make sure we have our personal life in and around our home away from prying eyes. Whether we are watching TV in our living room, having dinner with the family or hosting a BBQ night in the back yard for friends, we want to keep all that to ourselves as much as possible.
Here are some ideas and improvement activities to add privacy to your home or enhance what is already in place.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas
If your garden is rather wide and long, then you could consider adding a retreat in the landscape. In this case, wood fencing encloses with extra wood lattice panels might be all you need to create not only additional privacy but also architectural interest. This is a particularly handy idea if you have a pathway in front of the house. Or you may mount a fence on top of the existing boundary wall or even frame the perimeter with hedges (pleached hornbeams are excellent options for this matter) and have some downtime.
Alternatively, why not plant evergreens or vines along your fence? As for fencing materials, both softwoods and hardwoods will do, with the second being more durable; yet a tad more expensive than the first.
Another option is cinder block walls that will make your home look much better aesthetically and increase your privacy standards at the same time. They comprise an all-round solution and are budget-friendly and practical. Although we cannot say they are attractive, they can be finished/covered to increase their durability and fit the aesthetic of the surrounding buildings with concrete or stucco (if you want a quick and simple facelift).
To give the wall a more unique character, think of vinyl siding, artificial stone or, why not, climbing plants. Just remember to check with your local planning department to see if and what ordinances apply in regards to the placement and height of barriers or walls.
Indoor Privacy Ideas
Adding shades is one of the easiest ways to add privacy to the home. Again, you have plenty of choices here; from shades that are more focused on adding to the aesthetic factor while leaving you almost completely “exposed” to anybody that would love to give a peek to the inside your home while others are more privacy-oriented.
However, you may also go for a middle ground with plantation shutters, which can look as traditional or contemporary as you like. Plus, you can have custom-made solutions that fit your interior décor and personal style perfectly. From elegant café-style and tier-on-tier shutters to chic options that go from floor to ceiling; even faux leather and suede or solid wood. Your possibilities are endless.
Blinds are also a practical solution that can help increase the privacy of a room. You can find a wide range of those, concerning colours, styles, materials, and sizes, from units that darken the room, which can be proven valuable when you want to battle the glare of the sun entering the space, to options that give a visual appeal while allowing the amount of sunlight you wish to shower the room.
3. Privacy Glass
Then comes privacy glass, which is an excellent solution for a bathroom window or other areas in the house that call for improved privacy. Also referred to as switchable glass, it uses electrochromic technology so that it can interchange between an opaque state and transparency.
That adjustable opacity enables it to change from a frosted appearance to clear with the tap of a button, and it also allows you to break down walls that block light and create a larger sense of natural light-flooded space. Of course, it is a much costlier upgrade than all others.
4. Window Tint
Finally, tinting your home windows could also help block neighbours and passers-by to see inside your property. The process involves the application of a film on the window, which is usually installed on the inside surface of the window. The good thing about this option is that it can be applied to almost any type of window, with small exceptions.
You may also have it on the outside surface of the window and ensure the same level of protection from the ravages of the ultraviolet light and the sun (also neighbours that like to keep their noses inside other people’s homes and lives).
Nevertheless, this leaves the window films exposed to the elements and can spangle and crack very quickly; so not a very practical solution. As for the cost, it depends on the window film quality you choose. The better the quality, the more durable the material.
Of course, a combination of the above solutions is possible too. For example, you could install window films and plantation shutters. That way, you also protect your shutters from sunlight exposure and damage over the years. So, what would it be?