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Five shades of privacy

Dilemma: your bathroom comes complete with an awesome view, but you don’t really want to flash your neighbours. Helen Raine comes to rescue.

My bathroom has the most wonderful view, down a long green hill to the distant sea. The shower is right in the window and it would be perfect to stand under the water looking out at the choppy ocean under an ever-changing sky. There’s just one small problem. It would probably give the neighbour a heart attack; his house is right behind ours.

Consequently, the blinds are down most of the time and the glories of the vista totally obscured. But I’ve discovered, it doesn’t have to be that way. If the smallest room in your house is also a room with a view, there are a wide range of window screens, film and blinds on the market that will let you admire the great outdoors without attracting any unwanted admirers yourself.

Shade one: vista grey will see you now

The Vista Silver Grey Magic Screen roller blind is top of the class when it comes to intelligent window dressing. The fabric has a unique weave that allows people inside to see out, but not vice versa. In other words, you can gaze at the view without being gazed at yourself. It’s a gift for those of us with over-looked windows.

The light grey colour blends well with pretty much any décor and the blind is also virtually waterproof; perfect for the bathroom. They don’t advertise delivery to Malta, but you might be able to sweet-talk them or get it shipped to a friend who lives overseas. A metre square costs €65 – you can specify your size online on www.blinds-2go.co.uk.

Shade two: the Eclisse-tasy

The manufacturers of the Eclisse Blind, www.davidinteriors.com, describe it as, “a revolutionary shade that allows you to maintain your view while protecting your privacy”. It’s similar to a roller blind, but instead of having one layer of fabric pulled up and down, the Eclisse has one continuous layer doubled over itself. This means that you can determine the shade in the room, while maintaining your privacy by adjusting the control to allow more or less light in. The blinds also protect your furnishings from Malta’s fierce sun.

Shade three: daytime, night-time

www.windowfilm.co.uk have raised the bar on window films with their High Reflective Silver Window Film for Daytime Privacy. During daylight hours, the film will give the external side of your glass a mirrored, reflective appearance, preventing vision through the glass. It works on the balance of light, with the side of the film that is subject to the brighter light providing a mirrored effect to stop people from seeing through. You can still see out and natural daylight can pass through easily, meaning that the room won’t feel dark. Once night falls, you’ll need a blind however, as having the light on inside the room will negate the effect of the film.

As well as daytime privacy, the film provides other benefits including acting as a sunblock to prevent fading of carpets and furniture. The price depends on the size of your window, with 0.5m x 10m costing around €78. The company has a video to help you install the product.

Shade four: Apex blind(fold)

The website portelliandbrincat. com.mt offer the innovative Silhouette Blind which, they say, “closes the divide between Venetian blinds and curtains”. Fabric vanes are suspended between two sheer fabric facings for complete light control and privacy. The shadings can be opened for a soft view, closed for complete privacy or tilted for flexible light control.

The company also makes the Apex window blind. It has oversized 50mm pleats that give it an edgy modern look. There is minimal stack height when the blind is open and when closed, the blind controls the amount of light admitted, depending on your choice of fabric. The Apex also helps to keep out the sun in summer and provides extra insulation in winter. Visit one of their six shops for prices and additional product ranges.

Shade five: safe word - frosted

Unless you’re on the ground floor, you might only need to cover the lower half of your bathroom window to maintain your privacy. www.aliexpress.com offer a huge selection of frosted films, from icy white to stained-glass style or artistic designs that will add to your décor while keeping peepers out. The top half of your window will be all view.

A three-metre lot with a basic flower design costs from €9, plus €8.40 shipping to Malta from China. Since their site seems to have used Google translate, you’ll also get a good laugh out of the product descriptions.

If you’ll pay more for comprehensible English, try www.lightinthebox.com. Their urban future inspired Classic Cobblestones Pattern window film costs from €34.99 for 0.45m x 5m or try the Dreamy Dandelions Gone With Winds from €19.99. Shipping is free.

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