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Your home is a place of refuge, seclusion, and sanctuary—at least, it was until you caught your neighbor looking into your window. Protection from overly-nosy neighbors and other, more malicious peepers is an important aspect of home and family safety. Here are a few easy ideas you can implement in your home to increase your privacy and safety.

Window Tints

Tints are good option for homeowners that want to increase privacy without decreasing light. Some tints darken the window from the outside to dissuade passers-by from becoming peeping Toms. Others “frost” the glass to make it translucent, still allowing light to pass through, but not allowing visibility through the glass. You can buy a spray-on frosting agent if you want to try out a DIY project, or replace glass and windows completely with a textured glass.

Window Coverings

Whether you choose curtains, blinds, or shutters, window coverings are an easy to way to ensure privacy from onlookers. Some homeowners don’t like coverings because they can block a lot of light (leading you to a window tint or frost). However, there are many options that keep as much light as possible coming through the window, such as sheer fabrics. Window coverings also add a nice aesthetic appeal to the inside of your home. In addition to the plenty of material options, most blinds and coverings are very customizable to fit any window or style.

Fencing

The best way to create privacy in an outdoor area is with fencing. Many are turned off by the idea of a fence because of the lack of visual appeal, but fencing has come a long way in that department. There are a variety of materials available, from traditional wood paneling, to metal, to stone, and even reclaimed materials. Fencing can either be solid, or it can have cut-out
“windows” or insets to break up the heaviness. An excellent way to soften a tall wooden fence is to replace the upper portion with a trellis or other open design. This method still provides privacy, but makes it more open and inviting. Check with local building codes for acceptable fence height and material restrictions.

Natural Barriers

Trees and shrubbery are an excellent addition, or alternative, to traditional fencing options. Plants soften and add aesthetic appeal to a plain fence and add depth to the area. If you are required to have open fence (such as a metal link or wrought iron fence), plants can add the privacy you desire by blocking views into your yard. You can also add privacy vertically with tall trees such as Italian Cypress. Privet hedges are also a good, dense privacy shrub, as long as you are willing to shear them often to keep them in check.

Canopies

If a neighbor has an imposing second story balcony or window that looks right onto your property, you might want to consider a canopy or trellis. Screening views from above can be difficult, but it is not impossible. A temporary pop-up tent might be a good short-term option for parties and events. For something more permanent, a wooden arbor over your patio is a wonderful way to provide shade and privacy, while still allowing air and light into the area. Fabric canopies are also becoming popular over eating and sitting areas. These canopies are pulled taut over an area and secured into posts or walls, providing and interesting architectural addition and a pleasant shaded area.

Water Features

Privacy isn’t all visual—you might want some sound privacy too. Whether attempting to drown out the neighbor’s chit chat or the nearby road noise, a water feature is an excellent way to mask unwanted noise. It also works the other way, too—your neighbors won’t be able to eavesdrop on your conversations either! A simple fountain will work wonderfully, or install an entire running pond and stream system. A little running water will do just the trick.

Making your home more private, both indoors and out, isn’t difficult. From adding some drapes to planting a hedge, there is an option for every homeowner and family.

Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert. Leslie enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house. She spends time finding quality companies like Lynx Fence to help make her home into a personal, private sanctuary.

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