Natural light from a window is not only beneficial for your health, it also offers a great deal of ambiance to your living room. But when you want to watch TV or sleep, it can make you feel uncomfortable. While curtains may be the first solution in blocking light from windows, they’re not your only option. No matter how thick a curtain or drape is, it cannot effectively block out light 100%. This type of window covering also prevents warm air from escaping, which can make your room hot and uncomfortable. So how can you block light from windows without curtains? Take a look at the following alternatives that are cheaper and more efficient in preventing light from entering your room.
Add Window Tint Film
One solution is to apply a tint film to the inside of the windows. The tint film allows light to pass through but prevents glare and reduces intensity. It also minimizes heat and keeps the room cooler. This is an economical way of blocking out light without changing your existing window treatment. However, the main drawback of window tint film is that it doesn’t ensure complete darkness. There is also the problem of removing the tint film from the window. These films aren’t designed to be easily removed and replaced so they’re only a good solution for those who want to use them as a permanent fixture.
Install an Awning
An awning is a series of canvas sheets that you can hang on the exterior part of your windows. Awnings effectively prevent natural light from entering through the glass. They also work well for doorways.
Use Blackout Liners
Adding blackout liners to your existing curtains will guarantee to block 100% of sunlight. Once you close the curtain, the blackout liners do an effective job of preventing light from coming in. These liners also minimize heat by absorbing the sun’s UV rays. Another option to blackout liners is the thermally insulated liners that work just as well for blocking out light, noise, and heat. These are highly recommended for cold winters to prevent heat loss from the room.
Cover the Windows with Cardboard
Have you considered covering the glass with cardboard? This is by far the cheapest option of blocking out light as you can find cardboard in most stores and supermarkets. Other alternatives include corrugated board stands placed on your window. Just like the blackout liners, cardboard shields your eyes from sunlight and keeps out the cold. Even if you already have a liner or something similar on the window but you want an additional cover, a cut-out piece of cardboard can create a blackout room.
Hang Cordless Blackout Shades
These blackout shades come in two colors: black on the outer part and silver on the other. The silver part offers shelter from UV rays as it faces the window. To clean these shades, simply soak a cloth or sponge in water and wipe gently. The shades can easily open and close and provide a clutter-free look for your room.
Get A Mesh Liner
A mesh liner may not keep your room completely dark, but it does offer some airflow, unlike traditional curtains. Mesh liners are cheap to buy and any DIYer can install them. These fabrics work as a semi-blackout mesh that can be placed between two window covers.
How to use a mesh liner? Start by cutting the mesh fabric into the desired pieces before fixing them to your existing curtains. Make sure the height of the window is equal to the mesh liner.
Cover the Window with Aluminum Foil
There are many benefits to placing aluminum foil on windows. Aside from blocking out light, you will also reduce your utility costs as the foil keeps the warmth in. To protect the foil from damage, it’s advisable to glue the sheets using painter’s tape. This window covering option is inexpensive and does a great job of reflecting sunlight while offering plenty of privacy.
Velcro Strips for Preventing Light through Curtain
If you already have drapes or other window coverings but want to completely block out light, use small velcro strips. Add these to your window covering and the wall on both sides of the window. This will still allow you to open the curtains and let light in whenever you want.
Use Your Surplus Pillows
If you have some extra pillows on your bed, lay them against the curtain to prevent light from entering. Make sure each pillow is at the bottom of the drape and touching each other for complete blackout.
Opt for Interior Shutters
Wooden and metal shutters are available in a wide range of colors, designs, and sizes. Installing these shutters on the entire window for a classic look – and a more attractive alternative to standard curtains. You can use interior shutters on the lower half of the window so as not to block the view completely. Wall-mounted shutters can open flat against the wall and make a versatile option.
There are also creative ways to cover your windows depending on your own personal taste. For example, hang rows of door beads or shells on strings or wood and secure them over the window. The beads or shells obstruct the view from the outside and filter light. Another creative option is to place a tri-fold panel between the top of the window and the panel to allow some light in the room.
Other creative ways to block out light from your windows include installing carved wood or metal screens in front of the window. You can even put your art collection on display by using it as a window covering. Your treasures can serve two purposes and act as a focal point. It is best to lean your artwork against the window rather than hang them. Alternatively, you may use one large canvas piece or photo frame.
Consider roller blinds
A good alternative to curtains is to install a set of roller blinds made from wood, bamboo, or vinyl. Blinds are a great way of quickly blocking out the light and they don’t require as much cleaning as curtains. Blinds offer plenty of privacy and are easy to use. While there are many different types of blinds you can choose from, consider installing cordless roller blinds as the cord can wear out over time. All you need to do is clean the blinds from time to time.
Stick Window Clings
Attractive window clings allow you to transform your windows while preventing light from entering the room. Clings look similar to stained or frosted glass with repeating patterns. You can choose from a variety of cling styles to match your interior and change the mood inside the room. And the best thing about clings is you can change them as you see fit with the changing seasons or as part of your home’s remodeling project.
Everyone likes greenery so what better way to use hanging plants than in front of your windows. Not only will plants improve indoor air quality, they also make an excellent option to block out light and make the space more inviting. No matter which types of plants you choose to hang from your windows, from ivy and geraniums, to pansies and spider plants, you are sure to add a pinch of privacy to your windows. Even if you don’t want to care for real plants, there are always artificial ones that will add color to your space.
Other Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Darken a Room
Turn Off the Lights
Artificial lights in the room can sometimes be a nuisance, especially when you want to watch a movie. Turn off the extra lights to save energy and the environment. Use night lights or decorative lamps as alternatives instead.
Add Decorative Objects
To dim your room, install some shelves across the window and place your books, trinkets, and even plants on them. This will increase your home’s storage space while blocking out light. If you have a large windowsill, consider adding ornaments. They will certainly turn heads and prevent natural light from entering.
Don’t Forget the Door Bottoms
Light doesn’t just enter through windows. It can also seep through the cracks in the door bottoms. Block off the bottom of the doors to stop light from coming through the cracks. You can find draft stoppers for under doors in most DIY or hardware stores.
There is no denying the challenge of achieving total darkness in a room while maintaining airflow. In fact, the darker you try to make your room, the less air will enter in the process. However, with a little creativity and some inexpensive window covering materials, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. By trying some of the recommended methods I mentioned in this article, as well as a little effort and planning on your part, you will be able to enjoy your living or sleeping space in complete darkness and privacy.