What to do if you do not want everybody to look inside your house, but at the same time don't want to block your own view? And you don't want to create a blank window with lace curtaining or shades, but make a artistic statement with your window? Or, in my case, want to use your window as a showcase for your art-shop, but still preserve the homely feel?
Well, I thought of this solution. Cover the window with blinds, and cut out an opening in the middle for a see-through showcase. Although everybody can look inside the house, their attention is distracted by what they see in the showcase, and the showcase itself.
Step 1: A Simple Start
I used 6 mm MDF and cut out two boards of 15 x 45 cm and two more 15 x 43,2 cm. The first two for sides, the smaller ones for top and bottom. With wood glue and small nails I constructed a square cupboard.
Step 2: The Sides
When you cut an opening in the shades the blinds will not stay in place. So I needed to design a solution for that problem. The blinds are 25 mm wide, the opening between them 20 mm. The shade is constructed on three rope ladders. The two at the sides stay intact. The middle one will be cut.
To support the blinds that are cut off, I made two strips of MDF 45 X 10 cm, and made 5 cm slots like a comb with a jigsaw every two cm.Note that the top and bottom one should be 1,5 cm from the rim, to allow the blinds that are not cut, just below and above the cupboard, to pass neatly and stay straight. If done correctly there are 22 slots.
Step 3: Top and Bottom
On the top and bottom board I glued a piece of hardwood batten 6 mm thick, 5 cm wide and 46,8 cm long. I could have done this with MDF too, but to prevent bending I thought the hardwood would be better. By adding these strips the rim of he cupboard will be 12 mm on the inside , and stay 6 mm when viewed from outside. The thickness is also needed to hide the connection with the uncut blind just below and above the cupboard.
If this is all done it is time to paint the cupboard in the right color. Advisable is the same color as the window frame or the color of the shades
Step 4: Cut the Blinds
Determine the middle of the shade and draw a thin marker-line 22,5 cm to the left and right on 22 blinds. Note there is a support wire running over the middle. The opening should be at eye-level. There are special scissors available for cutting aluminium blinds. Ask your local hardware store. When all 22 are cut it looks like a mess, but don't panic. Cut the central rope ladder, but make sure there is enough length to knot the ends together.
Step 5: Place in Position
I drilled four holes in the top of the cupboard to allow a steel cable to run through. In the space between glass and blinds it is attached with a ring screw to the window frame. The other end on the inside is attached to the wall above the window with a ring screw and turnbuckle to adjust the height of the cupboard when necessary.To secure the loops in the steel cable I used the inside of some wire connectors. You could use regular cable clamps. Make sure the cupboard allows the blind just above it to remain straight and gently to flow over the top.
Step 6: Slot the Blinds in the Sides
Because aluminium blind are slightly rounded, they lock themselves in place in the slots of the MDF. Now you can see if your slots are correctly placed and the height of the cupboard is OK. The blinds should be horizontal and all openings between them regular.
Step 7: Prevent the Lower Blinds From Bending
As there is no more support for the lower blinds in the middle the blinds will bend down. So you will have to connect the blind directly running under the cupboard with the cupboard itself. I first made a support by drilling a hole in the hardwood batten and inserted a piece of wire on left and right side. I soon discovered that some support in the middle was needed. So I bent a piece of wire into a bracket and screwed that in the middle.
Step 8: Epilog
the materials and tools used:
MDF 2x 15x45, 2x 15x43,2, 2 x 10x45 all 9 mm
2 pieces of batten 4,4x 46,8, 9 mm thick
4 ring screws
steel cable 1,5 mm
4 wire connectors or cable clamps
20 mm nails
a small piece of wire 1,2mm
I have got many compliments on the look from outside. Surprisingly enough people stood staring at the object in the showcase and did not notice me standing 1 meter away on the inside. The showcase gets a lot of attention from the whole neighborhood.
On the down side: The blinds can not be adjusted anymore, they have to stay horizontal. And the cleaning of the window takes a bit more effort than before. But I am very satisfied with the result. I hope you enjoyed it too.