A decorating dilemma (a.k.a. the post that has nothing to do with poop)

I need help, decorating help. PLEASE. I’m so at a loss and I’m so DONE with this crappy excuse of a solution we’ve come up with.

We have this teeny, tiny, long window next to our door. It used to have these long, 2 inch blinds hanging in them. Problem was the blinds didn’t retract at all. As Kendall started pulling up and then walking, he found great joy in playing in them and hiding behind them while I fought back Mommy Visions of him hanging himself from them while I ran to the bathroom someday.

Seriously. Window blinds cause much anxiety in me ever since reading the tragic stories on this website. <<Very sad.

Scott was not cool with leaving nothing covering the window at night. For a while we just took the blinds down during the day and replaced at night, but that got tedious and annoying. Then I had this brilliant idea to get a rolling shade cut to size. It looks… like shit. It doesn’t roll right, it’s torn. Hate. It.

So please tell me what else I can do for this window.

Here are my requirements:

1. Not TOO expensive.

2. Can be crafty, and I do have a sewing machine on which I can sew a straight line, but not much more.

3. Must not be any sort of strangulation hazard, no cords hanging down.

4. Must be able to retract to let light in in some way.

5. Must be easy to peek around or see through the window to get a look at who’s outside while still providing privacy at night.

And while you’re at it, if you have any ideas what to do with this window on our back door, I’d love to hear them, too.

Pretty much the same requirements with this one, except it’s not as important that I can remove it to see through it or around it since the window is right next to it. If it makes any difference, you can see the back door from the front door. It’s a straight shot down the hall and across the house.

And… GO!

Kendall is rapidly approaching 23 months and DAMN YOU MARCH for being so speedy.

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


  1. Hmmm…this is a tough one!

    I was at first thinking for both the window and back door that you could use some sort of stick-on window covering to make it look opaque/frosted. It’s really easy to cut down to size and it looks good as long as it’s installed properly, plus it would let in lots of light. But if you need to see out of the front window it won’t work…

    Maybe make a panel out of sheer (but heavy) material so that it lets it light, Kendall can’t rip it down, and you can still move it to the side to peek out the window?

  2. Somebody (3M?) makes clingy vinyl like paper that you can cut & put on. They have different types, but they make them so light can still come through. I don’t know what to do about your issue of being able to see through it, tho. Have you thought about a peep hole in the door?

    Hope that helps!

  3. I know you said not too expensive. But if you ever decide you need to replace the back door, they have these doors that look like the one you have, but they have blinds inside two panes of glass. This is great as it doesn’t get dusty and it is not a hanging hazard. They use a little slide bar to open/close.

  4. Window clings! Totally easy and cheap solution. You can find some cool stuff on etsy.com and at lowes. Cut to fit and call it done. As for needing to see out the top, either get an interesting shape that you can see around or sew a short blind that you can move out of your way. Good luck!

  5. Have you seen the doors (like your back door) with the blinds built into the window? When we bought our house, we kept seeing doors like this but much to our dismay, our builder did not use these particular doors. On a trip to Lowes, we found an “insert” that you can purchase that converts your door into a door with built in blinds. It’s a perfect solution for us – our 2 year old can’t play with the blinds or get tangled in them, yet we have privacy at night!

    Not sure about the skinny window….how about a mini roman shade that you could pull up during the day but drop at night. You could always tie up the cords so the little one couldn’t reach it.

  6. We have a door like your back door with the big glass pane – we bought a cheap bamboo shade (lets light in, but gives privacy – plus is retracts) at target. Not sure about your side window – check out Home Depot, I believe they had some solutions for those types of windows.

  7. re: back door… I think this is similar to what we have on ours and I really like it:
    http://tinyurl.com/ycqpnh3 If it is the same thing, the blinds are inside the frame and you either raise/lower them or tilt them using these slidy-things on the sides. Looks nice and integrates well into the door.

    No idea about the narrow front window though. I’d probably just leave it open or put a large plant in front of it.

    • LOL. A plant. You are so cute 🙂

      If I could keep a plant alive and if I was certain Kendall wouldn’t want to play Tarzan in it, I just might.

  8. We have a very, very similar window next to our door. My grandmother (who owned the house before us) used the stick-on frosty stuff to cover all but 1 “square” of the window. It’s mostly covered, lets in light, and we can see out. Maybe it would work for you?

  9. thenextmartha on

    You can have roller shades cut to any size you want. Have this done at hardware store (they do it on spot) then go to fabric store and get lightweight fabric that you like. Use spray adhesive on drawn shade. attach cut fabric to side that faces in. You can leave shade up during day and at night pull it down. No cords and Voila.

    • That was my original idea, and the thing we have up right now is a rolling shade, but it’s just not working for that window. It’s too long and narrow and the shade rolls away from the sides.

      I do think I’ll do something like that for the shade we put in Kendall’s room, though.

  10. thenextmartha on

    Your back door looks like it has a mirror on it so I’m confused. Is it a window that looks like a mirror?

  11. I would suggest:

    A. The contact film

    B. Cordless cellular shades (http://www.lowes.com/pd_56223-978-LCECLF3607205D_4294856887_4294937087?productId=3035563&pl=1&currentURL=/pl_Blinds%2Band%2BShades_4294856887_4294937087_?rpp=60)

    Both let in light and keep away the harm of cords. The cellular shades are going to be way more, but also allow more privacy. If you want to go fancy, you can get the room darkening one that also has the light allowing option as a pull down. Good luck!!

  12. I was going to suggest the window film that so many other people mentioned for your sidelight, but I’m thinking your child might enjoy trying to peel it off. I think the cordless cellular shades that Megyn suggested are your best bet, both for looks and safety. I agree with you, those cord strangulation accidents are scary stuff.

  13. for the long front window, i’d make a sheer panel that stretches from top to bottom and has a small rod on each end. you can pick a darker colored sheer, but i’ve always gone with white. lets in light but difficult for peepy eyes to see through. moves easily enough to see out of too. if you can’t tell, i love sheer curtains 🙂

    for the back door, the window clingy stuff that everyone’s suggested sounds pretty cool.

  14. I like Michelle’s solution–but I think it would look best on your front door if you main front door also had a large window opening. But since it is a solid front door, I think the gathered sheers might look odd and out of place just on the sidelight windows. So clearly I’ve been of no help since I’ve put nothing new on the table, and my recommended solution would be to buy a new front door that has a large pane of glass in it, then put sheers on both the window and the door. this is why i have trouble sticking to a budget.

  15. Instead of contact film on the little window by the front door, what about using the etching/frosting stuff they sell at Hobby Lobby?

    You could design a pattern to go on each pane of glass, then line it off with masking tape, then put the stuff on it, let it sit, wipe it off, peel the tape, VOILA!

    Also, I have a design in mind that I think would be clean and classy but I have no idea how I’d get said idea to you because I’d have to draw it in paint, save it as a jpeg, turn it into a website, then link you to it. So if you have any other ideas on how I can get this design to you, let me know.

    But, I do have an idea. And it’s easy.

    As for the back door, a roman shade? Or a sheer panel curtain with a velcro-release tie back for the center that you could squish during the day and release at night (or you could etch the back door with the same design I’ve got in mind for the front windows).

    • The same day that Kendall climbed out of his crib we ran to Home Depot and bought a roller shade for his room. It wasn’t that expensive, maybe $15? We put the blinds up in the attic and will replace when we sell.

  16. I agree for the back door with the blinds that are enclosed in the glass/plastic. No cords, easy clean up for handprints, nose prints, etc.

    For the front door? No idea. We did the frosted clings that came from Lowe’s, but I didn’t need to see out the window. We have a peephole in our door. I think a sheer panel would be good. But to be honest, I think those are tacky. Maybe if you did what thenextmartha suggested and picked out some funky fabric to make into a shade?

  17. I had the same problem with the windows beside my door. I also didn’t want to damage the wood in any way, so here is what I found:


    They have spring-loaded curtain rods in ANY size you need and custom make your curtains for not much more than the pre-made price. And they were on my doorstep about 48 hours after I ordered.

    Good luck!

  18. Not cheap, but the best looking solution for the front door is plantation shutters and install a peep hole in the door.

  19. Urban Cowgirl on

    What about some really classy (the expensive kind) glass adhesive that makes the window look sort-of mottled – like in a bathroom. You’d still get lots of light and be able to see general shapes but no detail so ppl. outside wouldn’t see detail, either.

  20. You can get decorative privacy film. You can cut it to size and if you don’t like it, it’s always removable. But it’s permanent enough that it won’t come off daily and find yourself constantly reapplying. Ok as I read through, others have also suggested something similar with contact paper.

    We have the blinds between the glass. But it’s not that simple. You will need to pay for an entirely new door.

  21. I have NO solution for the front door. But we have a similar back door & this is what we have:


    Plus, JCP always runs great sales. & it’s easy to pop up during the day to let in light & then roll down at night. We added a hook to wrap the cord around up top so Harrison won’t be able to play with it.

    They do make them in custom sizes, which may work for your front door! Good luck!

  22. I haven’t read through all the comments yet, but you can buy a kit to frost the windows with a film that’s removable if you ever want to take it off in the future. Or you can get a full-on etching kit that’s permanent. Either way light will shine through.

    If you want a true window covering try cutting and hemming a piece of fabric to fit the space with rod pockets at the top and bottom. Thread tension rods through both pockets and secure tightly at the top and bottom. If you use a sheer the light will still come through and provide privacy at night.

  23. Wow. Ask and you shall receive! Thanks so much for all the ideas!

    I would really, really like to replace both the doors sometime this year and will definitely look to get a back door with the blinds built into the window. Love that idea!

    As for the front window, I’ve played with the frosted glass idea, but the problem is Kendall likes to look out that window to see the kids playing on the street or watch for daddy to come home, and he wouldn’t be able to do that if it was all covered.

    I’m sort of toying with the idea of having a decorative vinyl pattern cut to size for the window (sure I can find someone on Etsy). I just need to think of a pattern that allows enough privacy, while still giving us spaces to see out of. Or, I might just do the sheers thing with the spring rods. That might be the easiest/cheapest solution for now.

    Thank you so much!

  24. I’ve got the spring loaded rods/curtains that the first poster showed. Drew’s yanked them down a couple of times, but not enought to be totally annoying. I like them, you can see out ok, but you can’t see in.

  25. I’ve got the spring loaded rods/curtains that the first poster showed. Drew’s yanked them down a couple of times, but not enough to be totally annoying. I like them, you can see out ok, but you can’t see in.

  26. I have the same window, we got a honeycomb blind to go there. We got it from JCPenny and it had to be custom made, it was $80.

  27. Jill, I have an awesome fix for this…..I’ll call you tomorrow and explain….too much to type on my iPhone and short on time. Been wanting to chat for awhile anyways!!!

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.