One of the things I love most about my house is the ridiculous amounts of natural light. However, a side effect of that is a lack of privacy. It's hard to feel like people aren't watching you when you've got several big windows facing the street.
The room that made Dan feel the most insecure about being on display was the workout room. When we moved in, it had some horrible vertical blinds. Those survived until we replaced the window with more energy-efficient ones, yet never replaced the blinds. For years, the window had no covering and caused so much debate in our household.
Dan didn't like using the equipment in the workout room because he felt like people could spy on him, especially at night. We talked about hanging curtains to cover the window, but I was concerned that with the treadmill so close to it, the curtains could potentially get sucked up into its mechanism. That left us with some sort of blinds being our only option.
We both agreed that we weren't as concerned with light-blocking as privacy so it wasn't critical to us to block the arched portion of the window. All we really wanted was some way to cover the lower portion of the window. We weighed all the different kinds of blinds we could think of. I didn't want to go back to vertical blinds. We agreed the cats would probably destroy horizontal blinds. I wanted to try a cordless Roman shade, but Dan didn't trust the mechanism, but did like not having to worry about future children hanging themselves on cords.
Dan got so fed up at one point that I told him just to go to Home Depot and get anything that works, preferably cheap, as a temporary solution. If he could find something for under $50 that would solve the problem in the short-term, that was fine by me. He picked some out, brought them home, and quickly discovered how hard it would be to find ones that would work for us.
Because the window is arched, we cannot mount the blinds at the top of the window, on the underside of the window casing. Instead, we needed blinds that mounted on the sides, at the ends of the blinds mechanism. We upped our budget and scoured the internet. However, it is nearly impossible to determine in the details of blinds descriptions how blinds mount. It wasn't a searchable term and most of the time, unless there was a video showing the installation, there was no way to tell. Instead, we got a little fed-up and went back to our local Home Depot. There was no one in the 'Blinds' section to help us, so we basically deconstructed every set of display blinds. Dan walked around and popped the display blinds off their mechanisms to see how they attached. We expect to be able to find a lot of types that side-installed, but we only found one that would work for us. They are Artisan No Tools Light Filtering Cellular Shade by Redi Shade. They mount to the side with adhesive and a spring-loaded plunger. It blew our budget out of the water, but we decided it was worth it to have a good solution.
They are custom-order only and we had to first wait on color samples to arrive in the mail. I wanted white to match the casing of the window to hide them when in the up position, so we went with 'Snow'. Another week later, our blinds showed up and we managed to install them without catastrophe. Trust me, there was a lot of opportunity for it, but we managed. Level and everything.
I love how hidden they are in the up position. You almost have to look for them to notice them.
They still let in a great amount of light, but give us a nice sense of privacy. Our neighbors would have to walk directly up to the house and peer in to see anything now. And that's just creepy.
Since this is one of the cats' favorite views, I like to leave them up a smidge so they can still survey the front yard.
This comparison really shows off how the blinds just disappear into the casing. Yes, they were way more expensive than we wanted, but they are perfect. When we need to pretend we are productive people, we'll order the matching ones for the den.
Seriously, it's like magic. They are invisible or something. I LOVE IT!