Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Dilemma

photo at right via Whitehaven

The lot next door to my house has been sitting empty for a year now. There was a bungalow there that was torn down. A new house is finally starting (a work crew arrived today at 7:30am - it's going to be a difficult summer for my teens who like to sleep late!)

The dilemma I am facing is what to do about privacy in my eating area off of the kitchen? The new house will be built toward the back of the lot, and it is possible that the main living area of the new house will line up with my eating area windows - if so, it will be like sitting in a gold fish bowl. I will know more in the next few weeks when the foundation gets poured and the framing begins, but I like to be proactive and problem solve before the situation is unpleasant for us. We eat so many meals in the eating area/breakfast area off of the kitchen.

photo via Whitehaven

There are four options open to us:
1. Leave the windows bare, they are beautiful and who cares if our neighbors watch us eat?
2. Install woven wood blinds like the ones in my office area (they are not inexpensive though (last estimate I had was $2000 to cover all of the windows and I lose a lot of light).
3. Install cafe curtains on the bottom half of the windows to provide some privacy but keep most of the light (plus I can make these myself - I sew. Probably around $600).
4. Do nothing inside and plant Italian Cypress trees along the property line to provide a green screen. But this option is expensive, I haven't priced the trees, but I'm thinking at least $3000 b/c I need seven trees.

Would love to know what you all think? The windows are just so pretty and the light is so beautiful, but privacy is privacy...


Option 1 - leave the windows as is:

Option 2 - Woven wood blinds like these:

image via Mrs Howard Personal Shopper

image via

Option 3 -Cafe Curtains:

via window blinds

image via Martha Stewart

Option 4 - Italian cypress trees:



  1. Option Number Four, hands down!!!

  2. Inspect the plan in the building permit box to see where the window are. Then, strategic trees, temporary curtains until the trees go in. Dress for dinner in the meantime. You'll see much more of the construction crew than your new neighbors.

  3. We poured over the plans last night. Looks like two of the windows will line up with our eating area, but as Terry said - we will see more of the construction crew than the neighbors. I think I might put up some temporary cafe curtains to block the crew - inexpensive fix.

  4. I think Home Depot or Lowes has those temporary pleated shades that are minimal cost, which might do until trees come in! I can't stand the though of covering up those gorgeous windows. I have your chairs, or at least a version of them :-)

  5. The windows are just so gorgeous and the losing any of that natural light would be wrong. I'm with Capella. I vote for the cypress trees. Not only would it lend privacy, but it would make for an absolutely gorgeous landscape detail.

  6. I agree that the trees would be the best option. In the meantime, white cafe curtains to let in the most light would work just fine. The windows are just too beautiful to cover with shades, blinds, etc.

  7. I like Option 4 - the trees! With the cafe curtains, you lose that long line of the tall windows, and the blinds just cover everything up. Best of luck in making your's a beautiful room!

  8. I agree, go with the trees. Cafe curtains are second choice. Whatever you do, don't do the woven blinds. They totally change the color of the light in the room and you won't like it!

  9. Trees - fall is the best time to plant these. I really, really don't like cafe curtains - they are neither here nor there, and really block the light.

  10. Yes,the option four...go with the trees. For the meantime white cafe curtains to let in the light would work just fine on the bottom half of the windows to provide some airy feeling and looks romantic.white is heavenly indeed.thanks.

  11. I'm clearly in the minority here, but I wouldn't do the trees. To me they'd cut the light too, and with my luck the one in the middle would die! I think the Martha Stewart image is lovely.