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Blinds That Let You See Out But No One Can See In

Updated July 20, 2017

Window treatments can be utilised for many different reasons. Some people use blinds to cool the temperature in a house, lower electrical costs and reduce their carbon footprint. Others use blinds to block out light and darken a room. Still others use window treatments just for design purposes -- to add a touch of colour or style to a room. Sometimes, however, individuals want to be able to look out the window while preventing people from looking into the room. Privacy blinds work as a two-way mirror, turning a home into the safe harbour that it should be.

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What Are Privacy Blinds?

Privacy blinds allow those inside the home to look out the window without obstruction. At the same time, people outdoors cannot see inside. The blinds work even when it is nighttime and the room is lit, revealing only vague shadows.


Privacy blinds are often made of an opaque material. In most cases, they are not made to block out light but, rather, allow sunlight into the home while maintaining privacy. These window treatments come in a variety of styles, including roller shades, liners (or thin, opaque curtains), or routeless slats. Routeless slats, however, block out the light and the view but offer more privacy than traditional blinds, which have holes in the slats that hold the ladder strings.

Where to Use Privacy Blinds

Studies show that natural light not only improves one's mood, it also increases productivity. Because of this benefit of sunlight, many businesses choose to use privacy blinds in office buildings and conference rooms, in order to let in light but prevent passersby from seeing confidential company information.

Privacy blinds would also be ideal in homes that are close together, near sidewalks or car parks, or next to schools or businesses.

How to Use Privacy Blinds

Designers often recommend layering window treatments in order to balance the need for light and privacy. For instance, liners can be used to allow light in while blocking the view into the room. Heavy drapes can be installed over the liners to darken the room completely. Blindsgalore, an online retailer of window treatments, suggests mounting drapery outside the window frame, leaving plenty of overlap. This will prevent gaps at the window's edges where prying eyes might peer.

Top down/bottom up window treatments can be installed mid-window, allowing the blind to be lowered down or pulled up. This option provides greater privacy while still offering access to natural light.

In a pinch, the slats of regular blinds can be tilted up to allow in some light while preventing those on the outside from seeing indoors.

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About the Author

Laurie Esposito Harley is the CEO of Aardvark Writing, a writing and design company founded in 1998. She's written for companies such as Monster, CitiGroup, and IBM. Harley attended Youngstown State University but did not complete her bachelor's degree in professional writing and editing. She is returning to college in June of 2010 to finish her degree.

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