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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Windows Security and Privacy

No this is not a post about the OS but about literally Windows Security and Privacy. The new place that I moved in to recently has really nice living room windows that look right out onto the street. They let a lot of light in and when the windows are open provide a nice cross ventilation for the entire downstairs. The one issue that I have with them is they are covered with really crappy old blinds. I wouldn't mind the blinds so much if it was a back yard on the other side of them but because it's a public street I don't like it. My feelings about this are probably influenced by the last place I lived, affectionately called The Cave, because there was no view, no windows and only a big steel security door between the downstairs and the street.
Bad Window Coverings
Above is a picture of the windows in the new place. Can you see what I mean? They look pretty bad and if someone wanted to see what was going on in the house at night they could look through all the little gaps.The last thing I need are pinhole camera shots of me in my skivvies eating potato chips on the couch ending up on the Internet without me getting any royalties! Anyway I live in a nice neighborhood but I can't help but feel like someone is looking at me all the time. Paranoia aside I decided that they need to be covered up if not only so I feel better but it's safer and more private. Click below to see my in-progress solution...
I decided that curtains would look even worse than the blinds because I like a cleaner look in my living room. Everyone who has been to 'The Cave' can stop laughing now. Anyway the first thing I thought of was one of those folding privacy room screens like these HERE. I like them but they are expensive and to cover the entire front of the living room I would need at least three. That is way too many and it would look goofy.
My solution is to make screens that fit over the windows out of wood that act like frames to hold a fabric. The fabric I choose was bleached muslin and you can see a great picture of that material HERE. Click on the link and you will see a rectangle of white area against a white background. Amazing...
The frames that I am making are from 11/16" X 7/16" wood trim and I'm joining the corners with brass 'L' brackets:
Corner Bracing For The Privacy Screens

Only one of the three windows actually opens so I am making four screens. Two of the screens will be connected together with hinges so that one screen can swing out when I want to open the window to let air in. The remaining screens will be fixed in place. One advantage to doing this is the screens will create an air pocket that will help insulate the windows.
So far I have all the frames built and I'm adding simple latticing out of the same wood. Check out the exciting action photo below!

Window Coverings With Lattice
It might be a little difficult to see in the picture but trust me they look great. I'm joining the latticing with finishing nails and all the joints, including the corners are glued.
This week I'll prime the wood and lightly sand it then paint them some really neat color. I'm considering attaching the muslin with a staple gun but I'll have to get a feel for how well that will work.

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