I have a love/hate relationship with architecture and its practitioners. Like members of my previous profession (industrial design), sometimes architects seem to forget that form should always follow function, meaning usability is more important than aesthetics.
There are industries dedicated to quick fixes for home design failures. This is how I nearly became an expert on using frosted privacy film on windows.
When you are coming up the steps to our apartment this is what greets you:
Not Nadia, although she could be there to greet you too, I mean The Aquarium Exhibit: six windows at eye-level, looking into our kitchen and dining room. Don’t they look cool? The only problem? They were see-through.
You see, whoever designed our building had the
brilliant idea to put six square, smallish windows (four of which don’t open) right on the corridor. Anyone coming or going had an unblocked view of our home, much in the way of what Aunt Ilana called a “fishbowl”.
“Give this designer a toaster oven and a farewell applause!”
There is a certain logic to these windows. The dining room (the kitchen in the original design) have no windows to the outside (“give back that toaster oven!”), so the fishbowl provides some light — and if one doesn’t mind an open window to a common area, some ventilation.
A proper solution would have been to have two rows of windows, the lower row of windows that didn’t open, placed at eye level for light to come in; and another row, placed above, that would open for ventilation. After all, last I remember, hot air goes up, so higher windows are better. And not using completely translucent glass would have been the smart choice.
Nevermind the above, the proper solution would have been to design apartments so that every room had windows to the outside, but, oh well (“forget the applause too!”).
Seeing as I like my privacy, thankyouverymuch, I thought of, and searched for ideas to correct this situation. In order to avoid horrifying our neighbors as we traipse around the house in our underwear, I decided I needed windows that would let in light, but keep a modicum of privacy. Every solution I thought involved a lot of work or money. Or both. There had to be a better way…
After some research, a large online order and much crossing of fingers, I finally got a film from Amazon that I should call the Cadillac of window films. It was incredibly easy to install, durable (note: 4 years later they still look as good as the first day!) and imitates textured glass almost to perfection.
Each roll comes with a squeegee to install it, you’ll need a spray bottle full of soapy water, a sharp cutter, metal ruler and measuring tape (seamstress’ measuring tape worked better). The film isn’t adhesive, so you can remove and reposition as many times as needed. Bubbles weren’t a problem either (I had installed adhesive films before, and they never work well), they lie completely flat. It completely fools people unless they touch the window film and notice the rubbery texture.
The Aquarium Exhibit went from pain in the tuckus to cool feature. Check out the other designs available.
Note: Link contain affiliate codes. I will receive a few cents if you buy this product following that link. It doesn’t cost you extra.