What alternative window treatments are there to standard blinds?
The most common solution is probably to use frosted window film. Brume (brumebasics.co.uk) does a decent range of standard frosted films, as well as textured, coloured and graphic films. Cut-outs add design detail and allow you to peep out.
Tinted and mirror films from Solar Control (solarcontrol.co.uk) are also popular, but be careful with double glazing, as these films can interfere with the solar properties of the unit and cause the glass to crack. Lumisty (solarsheild.co.uk) is another specialised window vinyl that allows you to view through the window from a particular angle, while all other views are frosted.
For a more permanent option, glaze with patterned and textured glass. Pilkington Glass (pilkington.com) has the largest selection of designs. A little more James Bond is electric glass, which can be switched on for clear and off for frosted; go to DR Services
‘Pull-up’ (or ‘bottom up’) roller blinds (rather than the standard pull-down) mean you can control being looked in on without losing the direct light from the sky – handy if your home has street-level windows. Prêt à
Vivre (pretavivre.com) and Eclectics (eclectics.co.uk) both supply them.
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Venetian and vertical blinds are also nifty tools and can come in semi-translucent materials that don’t block out all the light. See Silent Gliss’s Vertical Waves, below (silentgliss.co.uk). With shutters, you can have acrylic panels incorporated into the frames -Draks (draksonline.co.uk) does this as a bespoke service – and Parma Lilac (parmalilac.com) makes made-to-measure solid Perspex shutters.