As much as I lack a sense of privacy, having completely exposed windows in our office wasn’t ideal. We do some top secret styling stuff here, so having Lookie loos peeping in and reporting back to the New York Times could really take down our business. As you may remember, we recently added some window film to our living room and bedroom windows at my house that helps protect against UV rays and helps keep rooms cooler when it is warmer. But for our studio we had a slightly different issue to address. We needed to add some privacy and a pop of color to our rather drab floor to ceiling windows. This is how they (and the studio) looked a few years ago when we did our studio tour. We loved all the natural light, but weren’t such big fans of the lack of privacy.
Remember when I did this to the Ban.do windows? Well. we loved the look of that but it didn’t provide privacy really so I basically just knocked myself off and did a version of that mixing camera gels with privacy film. We used DIY Gila privacy window films to solve that very problem. Gila is an extremely easy-to-install DIY product that can be purchased at your local home improvement store or online and comes in a range of patterns and functions to suit any style or application. The film is removable, affordable, decorative, and offers heat and glare control which made it a good fit for our studio space.
Here is what you’ll need:
Window Film: We went with 6 different designs from Gila as we wanted the windows to have an artistic boho studio type vibe, but they have styles to appeal to every taste and style of room.
Water Solution in a Spray Bottle: Mix together 1/2 capful of baby shampoo per quart of water. You will use this solution to adhere the film to the windows.
Straight Edge or Ruler: Depending on the size of your window, the longer the ruler or straight edge the easier the cuts are to keep clean.
Cutting Mat: This is not required, but it made it a lot easier for us to cut as we used the built in rulers on the mat to cut everything down to size.
Exacto Knife: You could use scissors but a sharp exacto knife will keep everything clean and straight.
Prep Your Glass and Pick Out Your Patterns: You will want to start by prepping your windows. A good cleaning with a glass cleaner and making sure any debris or gunk on the windows is cleared off will help everything to adhere and stick better to the glass. Once your windows are prepared the fun part comes selecting your patterns. We went with these six patterns – Winter Morning, Waterfall, Ice Chip, Crackled Glass, Misted, and Crystal (which was our personal favorite). There is something kinda ’80’s party girl’ about that one.
Measure Your Windows: Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure each window. Our studio windows are quite old (therefore not so square) so we individually measured each window pane to ensure that the window film would fit snug and go edge-to-edge on the window.
Cut Window Film To Size: Once you have measured your window, roll the film out and then begin cutting it down to size. A simple few cuts will do the trick. Quick Tip: press firmly on the first cut to ensure that you cut through the film entirely and will not have to make another pass at it. This will help to make sure you keep your edges clean and straight.
Peel the Plastic Backing Off the Film: The best way to get the plastic backing off the paper (unless you have tiny perfect doll hands with sharp little fingernails) is to use two pieces of tape and place them in the corners of the film facing each other. Press them together firmly on the film and then slowly pull them apart. Each piece of tape will grab a corner of the film and pull it away from backing making it ready for your windows.
Wet the Windows: using your spray bottle generously wet the window with a few sprits of water to prep it for the film.
Apply the Film and Adjust: once your window is wet and you have peeled the backing off, you are ready to stick your film to the window. The film itself is not sticky, but the water will adhere it to the window which makes it VERY forgiving in the application process. If you do not get the alignment correct the first time then you can just peel it off and try again.
Secure and Press the Film: once you have the alignment correct you will want to press out any air bubbles and extra water to secure the film to the window. You can wrap a credit card (or a Disney Annual Pass in our case) with a paper towel and use it as a small squeegee to get out air bubbles and the excess water. The paper towel will soak up the extra water as you press near the edges.
Sit back and enjoy your new privacy and glammed up windows. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate the new found privacy as well as the fun patterns that these films have brought into the entry of our studio space. We ended up buying a few camera light gels in pinks, yellows, and oranges from our local camera store to mix in with the Gila film to add a bit more color into the space. The application process is the same and the gels could even be added on top of the window film if you want both pattern and color.
There I am, Writing this post in my new happy little corner of the studio.
Not only do the windows now look and make the studio happy on the inside but the passerby’s have something nice to look at as well.
I DIG it. We needed privacy and got it. It’s great for glass doors that lead to street view, bathroom windows, etc, anywhere that you want those looky-looks to look elsewhere. Plus it makes simple windows look like a party. Get your Gila here and get that party started.
**Styled and DIY by Brady Tolbert for EHD, Art Directed by Me, Photography by Tessa Neustadt
***This post was in partnership with Gila but all words, ideas and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support the blog, which allow us to bring original content to you everyday.