Privacy for Downstairs Windows - Replacing Net Curtains

We really must get round to replacing the net curtains in our two reception rooms at the front of our house. As net curtains go, they’re very plain, but we still don’t like them. Whilst the windows aren’t direct onto the street, there’s still a resonable amout of foot traffic goes past the windows that we’d like a bit of privacy from.

So, what’ve you got that works well? One window is ‘flat’ but the other is a square oriel with small sides (40cm?).

Anyone use Magic Screen rollers? How well do they work?

I have the same question, except my problem window is a four panel bay.
The other front windows are all flat & we have vertical blinds in these. They work exceptionally well in that they can be fully open, partially open, with the blinds fully across but in the open position or angled or fully closed.
Having them in a bay is difficult including loosing a lot of the sill area.
Plus vertical blinds are not to everyone’s taste, but we like ‘um.

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How about shutters? We have them in all downstairs windows. They let in light when you want and can also be folded away fully. When closed they almost give a blackout and also a bit of insulation.



Shutters are a good idea. It’s possible to have them over just the lower half of the window too - if the window is divided as in Bruce’s picture.


Shutters are the way to go. My sister-in-law replaced her vertical blinds with them a couple of years ago. She was fed up with dusting her blinds.
Prices vary enormously, by more than 100%. Wood is the heaviest and the most expensive but when they are painted who knows. Just about any shape can be sorted. Slats about 50mm are about right and you can have a vertical rod for adjustment. Looks fussy
All shutters are sourced from China and as they are all made to measure you are into Naim delivery times. Often 3/4 months.
One advantage is no need to close bedroom curtains for privacy unless you want to. If you have narrow sills you may need to reposition the curtain track.
Well worth doing and you banish Mrs Bucket! We have 2 x 7 bays and the taking down net curtains, wahing and ironing them and puting them back up is a recipie for domestic strife. And the dust they retain.
If you have double glazing be sure there are no fixings into the frames as the warranty may be compomised.


Do you think shutters shut out too much light? Do they work for wide windows? Our windows must be at least twice as wide as Bruce’s.

Fitted blinds are not as highend and pricey as fitted shutters.
Although can give more freedom of position. Up during the day and down at night.

I grew up having net curtains everywhere and have a fondness for them. No doubt they will come back in fashion. And, you can take them down to put in the washing machine every now and again to freshen them up.


If they are light coloured when tilted ‘inwards’ they reflect a surprising amount of light into the room.

I bought these a good 5 years ago. Nothing in our house is straight or level but they were pretty easy to fit if you are reasonably handy. Very careful measurement is the key, they were accurately manufactured too.


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We use an opaque vinyl on the lower pane which allows light inbut obscures the view into the room. Have always been pleased, and a lot cheaper than blinds!

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Have a look at Purlfrost window film, lots of patterns and choice. We’ve used them, easy to apply and inexpensive.


That’s the stuff!

Window film is the other option - can make it pretty clear looking out, but mirrored and invisible looking in. Or the slightly matt ones that diffuse the light and make it impossible to see in - the only issue it can look a bit like a bathroom window…

Blinds work but cut quite a lot of light depending on the angle.

Am pretty sure I’ve seen some translucent roller blinds - kid of like net curtain material but on a roller blind - looks more modern and neater, with the same privacy effect.

A final expensive way is to use windows that have the equivalent of the lcd technology in them, which use a controller to vary them from completely clear to completely blacked out. But I think it’s very expensive, and doesn’t give you ongoing privacy.

Or, get a scary face picture that you occasionally pop up into the faces of those peering in - could make a project out of it with a Raspberry Pi + camera to detect eyes, then a motor to spin the scary picture round into view.


I never liked people passing to be able to see in, especially if the lounge has been at the front so have always used net curtains downstairs except where the house has been screened by hedging. Always a balance of privacy vs light throughput, and in our last house with them we found quite an open weave that was still very effective, it was cotton or polyester thread based not nylon and off-white (with a brown decorative thread) which avoided the glow-like effect nylon nets can give.

In our sunroom which doubles as main house entrance for visitors we now have some blinds on the glazed doors and windows to the side of them, which have two different fabrics that you change between by maving a slider at their join up or down. With the sun full on the ‘net’ section they are more translucent than transparent, but you can see enough to know there is someone there, even if not recognise them. If not sunny you can make out more detail. The sun still penetrates as the floor pic shows (Taken with the door blinds fully in ‘net’ position.)

A variety of fabric choices were available, for either section, so can be used as ‘net’ and full blind as we have, or simply two different blind fabrics to suit any other preference.



We use top down bottom up blinds, you can position them however you like and in our front room, we have top down which nicely hides the outside world.


Starnge I was thinking about this very topic yesterday.

Anyone have experience with these ‘one way’ mirror films applied with soapy water?

Some (all?) may be bidirectional with the brightest side being visible at the other side - outside visible in the day from inside, possibly inside from outside at night if no curtains.

Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 18.46.24

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Missed that before posting!

I use IKEA smart blinds, provide good external privacy and reasonable light inside. KADRILJ wireless, battery-operated grey, Roller blind, 80x195 cm - IKEA


Mother in law lives on a corner, dog walkers congregate outside before crossing to the fields opposite. She felt vulnerable, could not manage adjusting blinds so went for film. She was offered three strengths, lightest no effect, darkest cut out too much light. So she has the middle and finds some people standing longer, staring because they can still see through!
As a total contrast, has anyone found when visiting “tourist” villages, how some people have no curtains and lights on so you can see their envy magazine perfect decor?


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