This is a post about a family battling the need for privacy in their backyard.
That family would be us!
Before we built a large privacy fence, and before we built our new decks, we used to deal with a clear vision of our neighbor’s pool house. And so did our dogs.
Imagine lots of barking and constant interruptions to our quiet days each and every time the neighbors walked to their pool house during the summer months.
Our solution at the time turned out to be an inexpensive and genius way to protect our privacy.
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A few years ago, when my dogs were just overly excited puppies and everything was interesting to them and everything needed to be barked at to stay far away from their “house”. That included the neighbors every day.
Our neighbors didn’t appreciate it at all!
We assured her that we too did not enjoy the fact that every time they walked their own dog on our side of the property our dogs went berserk!
Updating this popular but older post is a great reminder of how far we have come in our home renovation plans.
As neighbors, we were trying to get along with each other on each side of the property but needed some privacy for our dogs.
At the time we couldn’t afford a full privacy fence.
Some sort of privacy between the two homes and the dog’s view was desperately needed. For my home style, it also needed to be an easy way to provide a modern look over the window panes.
Last year we finally built a privacy fence to block the view of their property, but for a short-term fix, we installed an inexpensive solution to gain privacy for both of us to save our sanity.
And that solution was found in an inexpensive window privacy film product that required just a little bit of effort and time.
Privacy window film is very similar to contact paper and a great way to cover a large window or door. It comes in a variety of styles and finishes that sometimes work better in a room than traditional window treatments.
Beyond providing added privacy, decorative window film also enhances a unique look for a living space.
As far as DIY privacy screen projects go, this one was one of my favorites to tackle and was a great beginner project as well.
For this project you will need:
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Rolls of Window Film (I used a Milky Finish and it took four rolls)
- Window Cleaner and paper towels
- Yard Stick or Tape Measure
- Black Sharpie Marker
To start, I cleaned the glass doors with window cleaner to remove all of the dog nose art and paw smudges and allowed it to dry thoroughly.
For this project, I didn’t want to just cover the glass doors with the window film and call it done. I wanted to somehow create a modern frosted pattern that was both decorative and functional. To design the pattern, I pulled out my drafting board, a t-square, and some grid paper and got to work.
My husband and I both decided we liked a block design in decreasing widths and sizes for the pattern we would install.
The rolls of window film I purchased had a grid on the back that made for easy cutting to the different sizes of my pattern. I highly recommend making sure whatever type you buy has a similar grid. It makes this project so much easier.
When you crave privacy but don’t want to install heavy drapery panels, a DIY window film installation is an inexpensive way to gain privacy from the neighbors.
The block sizes I cut for our project were 18″, 12″. 9″, 6″, and then 3″ for the top.
I used a yardstick and a sharpie to make measurement ticks on the glass to align the placement of the cut film. (Sorry everyone but I was installing this alone and couldn’t hold a camera, the yardstick, and the Sharpie pen all at the same time.)
To apply the window film you first have to spray down the glass with water.
Then peel off the paper back to the film section and place it on the glass using the black tick marks as a guide.
Since the window film stays in place with static cling, it is very easy to move the film around as needed. Once it is in place, spray the film down with water again and use the squeegee to push out bubbles and excess water from underneath the film.
As needed, the larger cutouts of window film are applied to the bottom of the glass doors because that is the visual height of the dogs.
The smaller blocks allowed us to see out and over them, while allowing in the natural light I crave.
Yes, this project was completed a couple of years ago and was a fabulous solution to our privacy problem at the time. These DIY privacy screens using a simple adhesive film were perfect for the look of our modern home.
So are you wondering what our view looks like now, after building an all-weather sunroom two years ago, having a privacy fence installed last year, and now a new backyard deck?
It definitely looks a bit different.
This photo always makes me laugh with all of the layers of fencing in view. Who knew that just a week before we had our privacy fence built that the neighbors would do the same thing?
Too funny. I guess great minds think alike.
But wait? A few months ago, Mother Nature decided to change the view again!
Yes, true to our luck, we had another large tree destroy part of our new privacy fence just a year after it was built. Currently, we are waiting for the fence to be repaired now that our new decks have been built.
We have also removed the older inner fence line and the 3 freestanding panels between the two yards. Or should I say that the large oak tree removed those panels for us?
So our work for a wee bit of privacy in our backyard continues this year. I can’t wait to show you what it looks like by the end of the summer. But that is a story for another time.
In the past though, our solution for privacy by adding in some decorative window film was a great option for us.
Decorative films are so much less expensive than more permanent solutions so they are a perfect alternative for window treatments. I hope it works as well for you too.
1 Corinthians 10:24 ESV “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”