If you look out of your window every day and see the next building’s wall or some ugly billboards, be consoled that you are not the only one with this problem—especially if you live in a highly urbanized area.
When you live in tight quarters, you don’t always have the option of a gorgeous view. So, instead of staring at a brick wall, it might be time to get creative and block off the eyesore beyond your window. Here are a few window treatment ideas to help you salvage a window with a terrible view:
1. Use Indoor Plants as an Attractive Distraction
Hang sheer curtains to water down the presence of that ugly view, and make it even less visible by using indoor plants creatively. For example, you might want to hang a few pots of healthy ferns right in front of the window.
With the sheer curtains as their backdrop, the plants will stand out, and the view beyond will fade away. Among the plants that will do well for this purpose are spider plants, English ivy, burro’s tail, philodendrons, and Pothos.
As an alternative, you can also line up a few pots on the floor right in front of the window, or even in the windowsill. Good plant candidates for this are snake plants, Massangeana, and varieties of Dracaena.
Or, if you have a nice, narrow console table, put this against the window (again, with sheer curtains) and place a few pots of Phalaenopsis on top. Who’s going to look at what’s beyond these graceful orchids and their exotic blooms?
2. Hang an Interesting Mobile Over the Window
If you don’t have a green thumb, don’t despair. Instead of plants, hang an attractive macramé mobile against the sheer curtains. Choose a theme for your mobile and make sure it compliments the rest of the décor in the room. For example, if your room is painted in earth tones, you might want to hang something made of raffia with pottery pieces.
If you think mobiles would be out of place in the contemporary ambiance of your pad, think again. There are some chic modern mobiles out there using abstract concepts as their theme, and plenty that you can make yourself.
3. Use Mirrors to Distract and Reflect
Mirrors are great at creating optical illusions and deflecting attention from less desirable sights. If there is sufficient space on the wall beside the window, put a mirror there and angle it so that it reflects a pretty painting, a tapestry, or a plant grouping.
4. Install Stained or Etched Glass
If the window is in a prominent part of the room and if it is generously sized, consider using stained glass to block the outside view. Your stained glass should be precisely sized so that it can fit over or replace the existing glass. This way, you can still open the windows when you need to.
Just remember to choose an eye-catching design with plenty of transparent pieces if the window you are working on is the room’s major source of natural lighting. Make sure you use a temporary stained glass option and follow the proper steps to remove it if you end up moving out.
If you don’t like the stained-glass look, you can use etching to give the window a lovely design, while still letting in some natural light. Note: Etchings on glass windows can be removed with buffing or chemicals, but please get your landlord’s written permission just to be on the safe side.
5. Create an Outdoor Screen
Outdoor screens are an effective way to block out what you would rather not see. If you have an awning over your window, you can hang a large enough screen with some artwork to banish that ugly view.
If there is space beyond your window, create a refreshing screen with a row of slim, tall plants. You might want to plant decorative bamboo in pots for this purpose. Now, with a big enough area, you can even plant some narrow evergreens. Upright junipers and arborvitae just might do the trick for you.
If your space is limited, but you want some greenery to cover the next building’s concrete wall, try a trellis instead. When this trellis has jasmine, clematis, honeysuckle, or wisteria all over it, you will not only have a beautiful screen for privacy; you will also the flowers’ fragrance to help you forget that an ugly wall is close by.
A terrible view does not mean you have confine yourself to heavy drapes; it also doesn’t mean that you have to be miserable every time you look out your window. There are relatively easy ways to treat yourself to a pleasant sight even when your windows are wide open.
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