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windows

i have privacy issues. even though i lived in apartments for several years, i just never got used to the whole livingthisclose to other people (aside from the ones sharing my abode, of course).

in my parents' house, the kitchen window looked out into the street. the living room window looked out into the street. the dining room window looked out into the backyard. the den windows looked out at a fence (only a few scant feet from the window, but still, it was our fence). upstairs, from my bedroom window i had a nice view of the roof of the house next door. (not having next door neighbors with a second story spoiled me. never really thought about privacy until one december when i heard talking outside my window while i was changing my clothes. yes, my neighbors were resting on their roof after putting up their christmas lights.) my parents' bedroom window overlooked the neighbors' backyard, but as far as i can remember, the only time i ever looked out of that window was when the neighbors-across-the-street were having some mild troubles. (their roof was on fire.)

one of the first things i must do when i move into a new place is put up curtains. if it's an apartment and blinds already exist, cool, i don't have the need to replace those, but if there isn't anything there... i'm taking measurements and then i'm off to target or something like that.

when i moved here to my house, i suddenly had crystal-clear views into my neighbors' houses, views obstructed only by the charming (but a pain to paint) muntins that seem to be fairly standard on windows of old houses. i had ideas about the curtains, but i wanted them fairly sheer to keep the rooms from being too dark. hm. such ideas sent me on the craziness-beyond-ugliness-rampage-through-home-depot-and-online that resulted in cloudy blue sky window films on my living room windows, faux stained glass on my library windows, faux watercolors on my bathroom windows, faux rice paper on the windows above the kitchen sink, and a strange textured blue film on the windows on the back door.

since i did all of this myself, it looks pretty crappy in many places. the bathroom is okay because it was the first room i tackled (had to replace the white tapestry vertical blinds -- ugh). the kitchen also looks good because of the texture of the paper. then from that point, you could see i was just racing against time to keep prying next-door eyes from looking inside my house. i cut and cut and cut the window films according to some measurements that i had hastily taken -- not realizing that almost none of the lights in my divided light windows were the same size.

i never say this, but... d'oh!

one day, i promised myself, i'd replace --at the very least -- the cloudy blue skies in my living room. during the summer i took down the curtains in there, so those hideous things have been taunting me. now it looks like their time has finally come. this evening i spent some time taking the blue down one at a time (of course, you think i'd strip them all off at once?) and putting up some sand-textured german translucent contact-paper-esque stuff that i bought on a whim. (one day i'll have to explain that whim.) it's ugly when the lights are on (and i fear what it will look like during the day), but i do still plan to have some sort of sheer window treatment, so that will put a nice gloss over it.

i haven't finished the windows -- i'm waiting to see it in the daylight -- but what's up is a vast improvement over the blue skies (the pieces of which are puffing and peeling away from the window). if i don't like the effect, i might just have to get some more of that rice paper stuff i used in the kitchen. we'll see. i'm trying to reinvent my living room (without buying furniture), so this process is kind of fun. besides, it's nice to work on this without being afraid that someone is watching me though the exposed panes.

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