Okay, okay... please hear me out before you start throwing tomatoes at me! I KNOW that sheer curtains are about as cool as lace doilies (although even those are making a comeback in some unexpected places), but just listen for a second.
We live in an apartment complex in the city. Our apartment is actually quite private compared to some of the others, but our big front living room window faces another building and a sidewalk. It's not the best set-up for people who don't enjoy putting on shows for the neighbors.
I've noticed that most of the residents of our complex opt for simply keeping their blinds closed all the time, but it makes us both sink into the depths of SAD just thinking about blocking out all of that wonderful light. So, I noticed that our Korean neighbors were doing something that I also remember being popular in Moldovan homes (although I think in Moldova it's more for the bugs than for privacy, since most people have neither air conditioning or screens on their windows): sheer curtains.
I realized that I couldn't see in through our neighbors' sheer curtains, but I knew from being in Moldovan homes that inside their apartment, they were enjoying beautiful, bright, diffused light. This picture is actually of our window with our new sheer curtains, not our neighbors' window... come on, I'm not that creepy. Also, how do you like our bird feeder? The birds go CRAZY over it and it's really fun to watch.
And you know what? It really doesn't look bad from the inside, either. I love the way they diffuse the light and make the whole place seem brighter and happier. I just hung them from a cheap tension rod set inside the window frame. I'm telling you, it's simple and wonderful.
As an added bonus, if you like to take pictures, this will now become your favorite spot in the whole house because the diffused light is AWESOME for portraits. Did I mention that they diffuse the light? Because I love that.
Of course, once the sun goes down you still have to close the blinds.
So, my dear friends, if you live in a place where privacy is an issue, I offer you this simple, inexpensive, and wonderful solution: sheer curtains. You can thank me later when you're not getting treated for SAD.