Hide Ugly View

How to hide an ugly view by making it beautiful

When our house was built I imagine the back of it looked over gardens, or at least fields, but since then progress has left its mark and behind our house is an office block. It is very bland, well maintained, not very inspiring and some would even describe it as ugly. This is only an issue because our main bedroom window is at the back of the house and therefore looks straight out at the office, and more importantly their car park (it’s the only window in the house with this view). Whilst the office workers are sat at their desks we are walking round the bedroom half dressed, it is not very private or pretty.

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We had a few options to:

  1. Destroy the view – get the building behind us demolished? or block up the window (impractical and stupid)
  2. Screen the view – grow an enormous tree? investigate architectural screening, costly and we are quite high up
  3. Ignore the view – close the curtains? put up net curtains or blinds
  4. Transform the view  – by making the windows show a different view?  – BINGO!

In our previous house we had transformed the view by using window film (Brume have a great selection we used the Whitby design in our kitchen in the last house). This is a great product and you can get loads of different designs. However, our windows were leaded so we would have had to cut the film into lots of tiny squares which I didn’t fancy. Also this was the master bedroom we wanted something beautiful.

Our leaded glass obscured the view a little, but we decided to transform the view by changing the window for a full stained glass window. Thankfully we knew a man for the job. Gerry has been busy re leading and encapsulating our other windows. Taking the stained glass window downstairs as inspiration, we used cathedral glass to create a new window.

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Part way through the process you can see the stained glass and the leaded glass, plus clear glass at the end, the difference is dramatic. (the blankets are there as the windows were missing some of the beading so there were draughty holes)

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It is very hard to photograph the stained glass, but believe me not only does it hide the view, it has made the room even more beautiful. It has enabled us to hide an ugly view whilst creating a beautiful feature that never existed before. Oh and we have kept the original windows so they will be re-used somewhere else in the house (probably the garden room!)

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4 Comments

  • Thanks Joe. We’re really happy with it and it was a bit of a Eureka moment when we thought of it. In terms of cost, the windows (throughout the house) have proved to be our single biggest cost – even at Leeds prices!

    • Hi Alison,
      We already were using someone to do our stained glass in the other rooms, which needed releading and cleaning. This window is roughly 3m by 2m. We decided to go for a mixture of new cathedral glass (name of opaque coloured glass) and large handmade roundels (I remember him saying at the time these were nearly £10 each!). The windows were then leaded, and then encapsulated (sandwiched between) toughened safety glass on one side and k glass on the other (these all increase the cost). We also had new joinery made for the two opening casement windows as these had been replaced at one point and rotted badly so were not original casements. The total bill for creation, joinery, glass and installation was £3800 which is both a lot of money but also amazing value. We now can’t see the view, our windows are rot free, they are double glazed so warmer and draught free and also safer both if anybody leaned against them or if anyone tried to smash them. Contact a local stained glass person I would search for stained glass window repair and then your area. Good luck a cheaper solution if you have plain glass already is window film which we used to great effect at our old house but it wouldn’t work in this situation.

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