My budget privacy window shade solution

Well hello there friends.  Gosh its been so long I almost feel a little awkward calling on you.  I’ve been enjoying my summer vacation and not doing a bit of decorating at my own house.  It’s been fabulous.

With summer heat in full force, I have really been enjoying my window shades more than ever.  I love flexibility with shades: full privacy, full light, and mostly a mix of both.  For clients with any kind of a budget, I usually spec tops-down woven wood shades.  I like that woven wood shades provide a natural texture to a room.  They can be lined to provide full black-out privacy, or left alone, they filter light and provide ample privacy.  As for tops down- its essential for me to have light in a room and not feel like you are in a fishbowl (ie prying eyes from outside.)  I HATE when beautiful rooms have there shades closed all the time!  I’m a creature of light and enjoy the sunshine in my life.


half down woven wood shade solution design manifest

{Shades half-way down in my dining area}

In my bedroom, I spent the bucks to get proper tops-down shades, but I have many more windows on my first floor, so I wanted to find a less expensive solution.  So I bought $20 woven wood roll-up shades from Lowes and my team helped me create an easy privacy system.  Instead of the typical installation method- hanging the shades from the top of the window- we made a rail that fits within the window jamb and two brackets that allow me to adjust the height of the shades.  During the day I typically hang the shades at half height, allowing the most sun to shine in.  In the evening I will raise the shades to 2/3 height which conceals my head from the outside.

half down shades window rail and brackets

The brackets are screwed into my window jambs, but do not interfere in anyway with opening of the windows.  The rail is quite easy to move or take off completely.  The rail has a screw on the bottom that fits into a hole on the top of the brackets.  I just pop it out and move it as I please!

custom window rail bracket design manifest

I didn’t opt to put a bracket all the way at the top, but I totally could have.  I just didn’t feel it was necessary.  The current flexibility I have is so great.

woven wood shades half down design manifest

shades at one-half height

shades at two-thirds height

I’ll end with this: Don’t underestimate the power that shades/light have in your room!  Natural lighting is so key for creating atmosphere in a room. And please, for the love of God, ditch those ugly plastic blinds.  Your windows deserve better.

Buy my shades HERE

  1. monika

    Agh, I have plastic blinds. They came with the house and I’ve been meaning to do something… and did on some of the windows but there are a few left with the plastic things…. and they are hideous. I’ve been shamed into buying these and getting rid of the plastic and promise to do so this weekend. It’s true: my windows and I deserve better. Thank you!

  2. This is seriously BRILLIANT! I might have to steal this idea for our new house!

  3. Excellent post. This is such a genius idea, I have an issue with shading/lighting in my room and this would solve it. Thank you so much!

  4. Felicia

    This is amazing! I have a big window just like yours and I understand the pain that you go through in regards to privacy. I love the idea you came up with, totally stealing it!

  5. Sabrina

    Awesome. AWESOME. I’m doing this in my bedroom. I initially wanted to copy your real to-down bottom up shades, but the price is not worth it for a rental. This option is perfect.

  6. Stealing! Such an amazing idea!

  7. Angeline

    Love this, too! Great work & thanks for sharing this great tip!

  8. Rachelle

    Omg you are a genius!!! This is a brilliant idea

  9. Leah

    great solution! i love woven shades.

  10. Elisa

    I’m the exact same way with light and privacy. These are brilliant and super easy.

  11. Ashley

    A freaking genius solution!

  12. Mary

    This is genius! I have to show this to my husband.
    You are so smart!

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