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A couple of years ago, my partner and I bought our first house, an early 20th century fixer-upper bungalow in one of the most historic neighborhoods in our city. Our surroundings are charming and reminiscent of a time where city planning was not yet a thing. You’ll find houses stacked one in front of the other, hidden alleyways, old barns converted into modern garages, and houses designed to squeeze into the tightest of street corners. As a predominantly Italian neighborhood, you’ll also find luscious vegetable gardens bursting with tomatoes in the front yards of many houses.
When it comes to our house though, it really did (and still does) need a lot of work. The rooms were livable upon moving in, but the previous owners had used it purely as a rental, and the property was just not maintained. Luckily, we are both pretty handy people and enjoy DIY projects, which is good because we usually have a running list of reno ideas and minor facelifts always on the docket.
Having never lived in a bungalow before, the lack of privacy has definitely been an adjustment. With most of our windows right at ground level, creating some semblance of seclusion has topped our list of problems to solve in the house. Our bedroom windows look directly onto our neighbor’s raised back porch, and I constantly feared we would become known as the “naked neighbors.” Besides the privacy aspect, I felt like the view out of many of our windows was actually taking away from our beautiful interiors.
I started with traditional window treatments like shutter blinds and curtains. Sure, these products gave us more privacy, and I could change without fear of being accidentally spotted by someone down the street. That said, the blinds and curtains only helped hide the outside view when they were closed. Plus, like most millennials I have developed a minor houseplant infatuation over the past few years, so having lots of natural light is really important to me. Suffice to say, keeping blinds or curtains closed during the day is just not an option. Enter the affordable product that totally changed things for me: window film, perhaps my favorite, simple DIY home improvement we’ve undertaken since moving in.
The first window we covered was the one in our dining room window. It literally changed the vibe and instantly made it feel more sophisticated. Plus, this solution lets in plenty of natural light. I’m happy and my plants are happy, too.
Next, I covered the bottom pane of the single-hung windows in our bedroom and our baby’s nursery as well. I decided to leave the top pane uncovered in these rooms, as the view out of that side of our house is fine, and I was mainly concerned about privacy.
Honestly, I’m thrilled with the results. The best part is that window film is super-affordable, I’m talking less than $15 a roll on Amazon; plus, many options exist, when it comes to the style and pattern you might want on the film. I opted for a simple frosted glass look, but if you are more adventurous than me, you can find lots of printed designs, film that looks like stained glass, and so much more.