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Monday, May 21, 2007

Answer Monday: Open but Private

Today's question was posted while I was away, so I apologize for taking so long to get back with an answer for you on this. The question is: "I love opening windows and doors in the summer as well but I live off a busy major street and I have great big windows in the living/dining area but it faces the street and I hate opening it up for the entire world to see inside. Even if it were a one way screen I don't like seeing people walking and driving in front of my window every second either ... any suggestions on how to open the space up? "

This can be a fairly tough dilemma and one faced by a lot of people whose major rooms open up to a public area. I think one of the best solutions is to try and create a buffer outside, like a small hedge or some planting, perhaps even a small fountain if there is room. The goal here is two fold, the first is to create a view for you, other than the street, and the second is to create a privacy screen from the street that doesn't force you to limit your view.

If at all possible, a small water feature will do wonders by really creating a sense of luxury, as well as the sound of the trickling water will really buffer you from a lot of the noise and clutter from the street.

If a planting buffer is not possible for you then perhaps shutters would be a good solution. I personally, am not a big shutter fan, but they will certainly do the trick of filtering the outside for you. Exterior shutters can really be a nice architectural element to, that really will add some richness to your home.