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Stained Glass Window To Block View of Close Neighbor

Stained Glass Window To Block View of Close Neighbor

I’ve moved to a neighborhood built at the turn of the 20th Century — houses built from about 1880 – 1920′s and protected by an Historic Preservation District.  Many of these homes, including mine, have windows that look into a neighbor’s house.  The house I moved from (3 blocks away) and the one I moved into both have windows that are 7′ to 15′ from the neighbor’s windows.  Plus the windows are aligned so we would be part of each other’s daily lives if we didn’t block the views.  The quickest and cheapest solution is often drapery and curtains which help ensure privacy but also often block light and a sense of space.    Below are some strategies I’ve used to block a view.  I would love to hear about ways you’ve successfully blocked a view while retaining daylight and airiness. 

I’m a glass artist so I’ve very successfully used art glass windows to block the view of too close neighbors.  [See above and below].  In both cases, though, skylights, windows or doors just around the corner on an adjacent plane banish any feelings of claustrophobia that come from not being able to see out.

Art Glass Windows Block View of Too Close Neighbor

Art Glass Windows Block View of Too Close Neighbor

In southern California, where I lived for several years, the dense semi-tropical vegetation could successfully block a close neighbor and still allow light and privacy — houses were also often 1 story which made it easier.  But in much of the country, it’s harder to block views with vegetation without also blocking light and a sense of space.  In the dining room, we used a mix of deciduous and evergreen shrubs to block the view of the alley 7 feet away. 

Vegetation Blocks the View of the Alley

Vegetation Blocks the View of the Alley

In the home, below, we created a patio bounded by a pergola with foliage inside and outside the pergola to create privacy from a busy street.  In one particular place we also hung stained glass panels.  This strategy, of course, only works if you have a lot of space to work with.  But when you do, it’s a great way to keep eyes focused away from your windows and to create a greater sense of space and separation from the world. 

Using a Garden Room to Create Privacy & Block Views

Using a Garden Room to Create Privacy & Block Views

Stained Glass Garden Panel to Block a View

Stained Glass Garden Panel to Block a View

So tell me about your ideas.  I would love to include your ideas and images in a future article.  You can’t yet upload images but I’ll definitely get in touch with you if you tell me you have images and tell you how to get them to me.

All images courtesy of Braitman Design/Build

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About the Author

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I'm the owner and principal of Braitman Design/Build. We remodel older homes within the urban and close-in suburban areas of Washington, DC. In addition to our full service Design/Build Practice We welcome small design projects and small home improvement projects. And consult with homeowners across the country who want to design and manage the remodeling process themselves. Finally, my work is informed by my experience as an exhibiting sculptor and designer. I truly work at the intersection of art, architecture and design. Please see for yourself the extraordinary result when architecture, design and art are seamless parts of the whole. Please also visit my sculpture website: www.jackiebraitman.com

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