Ever feel like your neighbors are just a little too interested in what’s happening at your place? Maybe they give you that awkward half-smile and wave every single time they pass your front window, or linger watering their garden for hours when you’re outside trying to relax.
Whatever it is, we’ve all had that neighbor. But a big part of feeling happy and secure in your home is having both personal space and privacy. So if you’re over feeling like the neighbors are watching you more closely than they should, check out these easy hacks that will block their view—and give you back a bit of much-needed sanity.
1. Window tints
One of the biggest challenges in protecting your home from busybody neighbors: striking a balance between privacy and light. Plenty of window coverings will give you the privacy you want, but after installing them you might feel like you’re living underground. And that isn’t quite what you’re aiming for, is it?
That’s why installing reflective window tints is such a great solution.
Certain tinted window applications also allow you to easily see out, meaning you can enjoy your neighbor’s puzzled reaction the first time he sees his reflection instead of what’s happening in your living room. Keep in mind that much like any tinted window, these applications work best when it’s brighter outside than inside—so be sure to test them out and decide if you need some extra curtains after sundown.
2. Light-filtering blinds and tapestries
Unlike other blinds that completely cut off natural light, so-called cellular shades maintain most of your incoming sunlight—while also keeping you safe from prying eyes.
“If you get white or light-gray blinds, your natural sunlight will continue to shine through and you won’t feel the need to open them,” says Zoe Hunt, founder and CEO of DIY and home improvement blog Crafted by the Hunts.
Another great solution for keeping the light while blocking the view is to throw a tapestry up on the wall by the window. While this eclectic style might not be for everyone (or for every room), having a tapestry that you like certainly beats out a pair of curtains that you hate.
Since these fabrics are also relatively cheap, they tend to filter in more light than more expensive drapes.
“There is bound to be a decorative cloth that fits anyone’s style,” says Craig Ricks Jr., president of Acadian Windows and Siding. “Use a tapestry or flag instead of a solid curtain to spice the room up and let some natural light through.”
Barring this, you can always opt for the classic sheer white curtains. These give you some privacy without dramatically altering the style of your room. If you’re renting and hesitant about drilling holes in the wall, keep your curtain install simple with adhesive wall hooks and a lightweight rod. Easy to remove, this setup will allow you to change your mind about the curtains a million times and still keep every cent of your security deposit.
f your nosy neighbor problem is more of a backyard thing, then buying a trellis or two might be the way to go.
“Among other benefits, they’re cheap, and act as a framework for flowers and other decorative plants to climb,” Ricks says. “And they can be moved easily if needed, tying in your outdoor space or garden together quite well.”
If waiting for vines to grow isn’t in the cards, consider buying a trellis with smaller openings, or crafting your own decorative fabric fence for even more privacy. Place your trellis directly between your favorite outdoor chair and your neighbors for the ultimate outdoor privacy screen.
4. Potted plants
If you have the option of planting hedges, then do so by all means. But for the rest of us…
“If you can’t plant a hedge, buy some potted bushes,” says Brian Davis, a real estate author.
Small potted trees or bamboo make for great natural fencing that will block out nosy neighbors without raising suspicion. Unlike building a great big fence between you (which is tempting, we know), potted plants just seem like a decor upgrade.
“These provide a sense of greenery and privacy,” Davis says.
And the best part about potted plants? You can take them with you when you move—along with your peace of mind.