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5 Simple Tricks to Make Your Apartment Feel More Private

An airy living room with plants and a sectional couch.

One of the issues that most apartment dwellers face is privacy. These renter-friendly tips will help you create a more private living space when you live in an apartment.

It can be unsettling to know that strangers can look into your space if you forget to close the curtains. And while it can be fun to spy on your neighbors sometimes (let’s be honest), no one wants the reverse to happen. Fortunately, with a little creativity and some affordable products, you can make your apartment more private and secure.

Put Up Window Clings

Rainbow colored window clings on a window and sheer frosted window clings.

Windows allow natural light to enter your apartment, which is something most people can’t live without. Unfortunately, they’re quite literally a window into your life and you might not like that anyone walking by can glance into your space. Instead of closing your curtains or blinds all day, put up some strategically made window clings.

These rainbow clings create a beautiful mosaic pattern on the glass and let in a surprising amount of light that casts a beautiful rainbow effect inside.

This semi-private option wouldn’t be ideal for a bathroom, but effectively stops people from seeing directly into your home. If you’re not crazy about the rainbow effect or mosaic pattern, this frosted window film is a plain and sleek design. It blocks out more light than the other version, but you can use it to only block out sections of a window that leave you the most vulnerable.

Frosted Window Film

Add these to your windows to let light in but keep things private.

Decorate with Plants

A woman looking out a window covered in plants.

There are a lot of reasons to add plants to your apartment. They brighten up any room, improve air quality, and can even help you sleep better. Another use for bringing nature indoors is to block prying eyes by setting them up in key locations.

If you have a window you’d like to cover up a little bit, scoot your desk or a small table underneath it and set up several plants so that they block some of the glass. Tall options like snake plants and large flower bouquets work best. (You’ll have to replace a bouquet fairly often, but it’s a great excuse to buy yourself fresh flowers every week.) Large leafy plants like ferns or palms also work by covering a large area. A few well-tended majesty palms and monsteras will not only make your apartment feel more private but it’ll feel like a jungle, too!

If you want to cover a tall sliding door but don’t want to lug a tree inside, set up a variety of small potted plants on this 3-tier flower stand. There is a lot of room for creativity here. Experiment with different plant stands and arrangements until you find something that works well for your living situation.

Metal 3-Tier Hanging Plant Stand

Plants offer a surprising amount of privacy and the light that filters through them is pretty.

Place Your Furniture Strategically

A private room with floor cushions and a folding screen.
New Africa/Shutterstock

Simply changing around your furniture can make you feel more comfortable inside. Adjust your furniture so that you’re not sitting directly in the line of sight with another window, the parking lot, or a main walkway when the drapes are open. If you have a small apartment and only so much room to move things around, focus on the seat that you use the most and try to make that angle work to your advantage.

If your favorite spot to lounge always seems to put you in someone’s line of sight, swap out your tall chair with a floor cushion. It will put you lower to the ground and less likely to keep awkwardly making eye contact with strangers.

Square Seat Cushion

You'd be surprised how private the floor is.

You can also create sight breaks with furniture additions like a divider screen or an open bookshelf to keep light filtering through the room.

Portable Room Separating Divider

A folding partition is a classic privacy enhancer.

Hang Better Curtains

A metal bracket installed on top of a curtain rod and a gray pair of curtains hanging in a window.
NONO Bracket Company/NICETOWN

Do all apartment complexes get their curtains from the same warehouse that only sells threadbare fabric that’s never quite big enough or vertical blinds that never quite line up right? If your curtain rod can be removed, update your set to curtains that are long, wide, and opaque enough to make you invisible to the outside world. These blackout curtains come in a variety of sizes and colors to choose from.

Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains

If you're hanging curtains, might as well make them blackout curtains for extra privacy, good sleep, and cozy movie time.

If you can’t change out the set your apartment came with, check out these no-nail drape brackets. They can be installed over existing vertical blind rails without screws or nails, so there’s no damage done. Once they’re put up, you can hang your own curtain rod and curtains over the existing ones.

NONO Bracket

These clever curtain brackets are perfect for renters.

Put Up a Security Camera

An outdoor security camera with a solar panel to charge the battery.

If you’re concerned about people hovering near your door or looking into your home, consider putting up a security camera in the places you don’t want people to linger. Even if it’s not connected to anything, people will move on quickly if they see it.

You can actually turn it on to make yourself feel safer, especially if you live alone. This model from Reolink works over Wi-Fi, includes both a drill-mounted base and a handy no-drill strap to secure it to things like a railing or light fixture, and the bundled solar panel means you don’t have to worry about power cords or swapping batteries.

Reolink Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

People don't like being on camera so put this camera up to keep areas outside your home clear.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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