Privacy window film can be an inexpensive alternative to shutters and blinds,saving you from the daily ritual of manually opening and closing them, plus they come in dozens of styles and colors to match any decor.
Here are tips from my window film experiences and why buying and even installing a small sample is a wise choice.
In this luxurious bathroom above, the arched window provides several design challenges. Wood shutters although beautiful, would have cost a small fortune and why put in expensive windows like this to cover them up?
Most window covering ideas would require you to step into the tub to open and close them and motorized ones can be costly.
Window privacy film with a decorative scroll pattern is a fabulously frugal choice that lets the light in while keeping the eye focused on the architectural details.
Frosted, etched, or opaque window film as it is sometimes referred to comes in varying levels of privacy, styles and color choices.
Below is a rice paper window film used in the shower of an Asian inspired bathroom and was very easy to install.
Keep in mind that glass privacy film doesn't last forever, expecially if it's getting direct sun for a good portion of the day.
For example, in the south facing bathroom above, the film started turning brown and curling as the bottom around 4 years after it was installed.
And yet in several other places it was used on French doors (see below which are west facing) and those are still in great shape.
It's easy and inexpensive to peel off and replace window privacy film, just make sure to fill your spray water bottle and add a drop of detergent, just as you did to apply the film.
You will also need a flat, smooth plastic tool, similar to the application tool. A plastic spatula can work in a pinch.
Lets say you want to sell your home and one of the agent's suggestions is that you remove some, or all of, the window treatments to let more light in. You're worried about privacy, so what do you do?
A quick and easy solution would be to pick up frosted window film and apply it in no time! You don't always need to cover the whole window either. In this example, the owner went a little more than half way up with window privacy film. It was just enough so the folks next door couldn't see in, but she can still see the greenery of the palm trees through part of the window.
Window films also work great when you buy a new home with bare windows because it gives you time to explore window treatment options, and you don't have to live with those cheap looking paper blinds.
Some window privacy films can look very contemporary and maybe even commercial, so if that’s not your style, look for patterns or designs in the frost that make it work for your decorating theme.
Privacy glass film is also an amazing fix for when you have a less than desireable view. Maybe one of your windows looks out to a brick wall, or parking lot, etc. You'd be surprised at how much more peaceful you will feel when you have that diffused light coming in instead of a depressing sight.
Frosted privacy window film was used on this french door (left) in a young girls bedroom to let light in during the day while the blackout drapes allow for a better nights sleep.
You could go with colors or patterns if you're free from home owners association restrictions.
Artscapes decorative window film has Disney themes like Cars and Tinker Bell or floating clouds.
Older kids may enjoy a modern art inspired stain glass window film, or patterns like cracked ice.
Local stores carry limited sizes and patterns, while there's a much larger selection online , I recommend ordering a sample first and then installing it to be sure.
Check out Emma Jeff's window films. Not only are they U.S.-made and environmentally friendly, the designs and selection are incredible.
A lot of new and replacement window manufacturers are using low e window film or coatings in between the panes of glass to help save money on utilities.
You can add this film to your existing windows to cut down on the heat coming from the sun as well as to protect furniture, carpets and drapes but typically these don't offer privacy. Try opaque window films like Gila's fiberglass pattern for both energy efficieny and privacy.
Compare each manufacturers products for your specific needs and see if they are made for the home installer as some need to be professionally installed.
You betcha! Thinking I was already the expert after two good experiences with static cling window film, I bought adhesive backed, swirled glass window film that totally flopped. Picture Nana's bathroom window circa 1940, frugal ~ but certainly NOT fabulous.
Not only was the adhesive backed much harder to install, the deeply textured pattern made it next to impossible to get all the air bubbles out. It looked OK when I finished but the next day it was bubble city. (Not pretty)
Luckily, the online store I purchased from took back the remainder of the order after a 10% restocking fee, but it was still an $100. mistake.
The look I wanted couldn't be duplicated with window privacy film so it was time to buck up and go for the real thing, leaded glass replacement windows. To see the fabulous outcome, check out window decorating ideas.