A recent poll garnered lots of attention with its shock-appeal question: “Have your neighbors seen you naked?” Before you brush this off as ridiculous, consider the following poll results:
- 97% of adults say they have seen their neighbors at least once in an embarrassing situation through a window (not necessarily naked)
- 33% say the neighbor was naked
- Only 27% of the viewers immediately turned away
- 52% of the Peeping Toms were spotted
This study is from the UK, but with the universal nature of human behavior, it’s pretty safe to assume these numbers would be true anywhere. So, have you witnessed your neighbors in compromising situations or, perhaps, they’ve seen you?
At Budget Blinds®, privacy is a key factor for most people when designing window coverings. While a great outside view is appreciated and even enhanced with custom blinds, shades, shutters and drapes, a view out also means a view in.
Windows to the world
Any uncovered window is an invitation for a look inside. At times, inviting a look is intentional. How many Christmas trees are set up in front windows to be gloriously shared when the tree lights are twinkling? And who can ever forget the leg lamp, front, and center, in the living room window in the classic movie, A Christmas Story?
People do have different attitudes towards privacy, as evidenced by the selfie craze. Even so, a selfie is a proactive choice to be seen or broadcast, it’s not about being observed unknowingly. Some people value privacy more than others and can’t imagine being watched, while others have no problem being a person-of-interest to prying eyes. Regardless of your inclanation, you may want to take stock of your window coverings to see if you actually have the privacy levels you think you do in your home!
Degrees of in-home privacy
It may not be a problem if a family room or kitchen has only limited privacy, but rooms like bedrooms and bathrooms require absolute privacy. Try going outside and peering in through your own windows, daytime, and nighttime, to see how far in someone actually can see. You may be surprised by silhouettes or unexpected transparency when the lights are on inside.
Basically, the lighter or more transparent a fabric or window covering, the less privacy it will provide. That doesn’t mean you can’t have filmy window coverings, it just means you may need a secondary window treatment layer for when privacy is required. For example, a child’s room may have light-weight curtains that are sufficient for daytime, but at night a coordinating blackout roller shade that “disappears” during the day can provide complete privacy and security for the bedroom. Every style of window treatment will afford some level of privacy.
- Blinds and shutters are either open or closed, creating visibility or privacy with their solid structure slat design. Adjusting the louvers can impact the ability to see inside.
- Drapes and curtains come in myriad fabric styles that provide varying levels of light blocking and privacy. Lining options range from light-weight to complete blackout. Drapery panels layered over sheer shades or curtains are a popular window treatment to control light and privacy.
- Window shades that come in natural textures like woven wood inherently have a visibility factor due to the open weave. Liners can be added to many natural shades to provide an extra level of privacy. Or, as in the child’s room example above, shades can be used in conjunction with a separate liner so you still have filtered light and privacy, or complete privacy by lowering the second shade.
- Fabric shades, such as Roman shades, have the option of linings to improve privacy. Cellular and pleated shades can combine two styles into one with light-filtering properties as well as privacy.
- Decorative window film offers privacy, but lighting directly impacts visibility.
The bottom line is that whatever your privacy needs, custom blinds, shutters, shades, and drapes from Budget Blinds will provide the perfect, beautiful solution for every room in your home.
Privacy tips and takeaways
It may seem unnecessary to say, but unless you remember to close your blinds, shades or drapes, they won’t protect your privacy. A good rule of thumb is to close your window coverings when it is dark outside. With the interior lighted and the outside dark, you are basically “on screen” (like in a darkened movie theatre) for any passersby or neighbors. Here are some other little tips:
- Teach children to be aware and only undress when window coverings are closed. (Adults should already know this.)
- Be sure your window coverings are in good working order, covering the windows as intended.
- When home alone, children should cover the windows.
- Pets can interfere by pushing drapes or vertical blinds aside, creating an outside view for themselves and possibly a peek inside.
- Adding Somfy® motorization will enable you to set your window coverings to automatically open and close with timers and sensors to increase home security and privacy.
- And finally, closing your own blinds or curtains may save you from seeing something next door you really don’t want to see!
Your Budget Blinds Style Consultant can help you do a privacy evaluation of your home to ensure that your window coverings are doing everything you need for them to do. Whether you have privacy issues, need increased energy efficiency or want cordless, child-safe window coverings, our innovative ideas and creative designs can transform your home with stylish and trending window fashions. Call 866-879-9730 today to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation and get a jump on the hottest colors and design trends for 2016.