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An unbelievably simple Ikea Hack that will cool your living room – DIY Privacy Door Screen



 Thanks to the scorching hot weather, our apartment is like a furnace. In actuality, our extremely warm and stuffy place is exacerbated by the fact that the front door is closed all the time. You might wonder why we did not improve the air circulation by letting the front door open. Well, let me try to be as graphical in my explanation as possible……
This is where we are 90% of the time…


This the location of our front door…
..and our front door opens directly out to the common corridor which is shared with our neighbors.


Like 90% of the HDB flats, our apartment do not have much of entryway as the living room starts right at the door. To make things worse, the front door opens right out to the common corridor and is shared by 5 other families.


You see, we fall to this category of people who feels that home is where we can look ugly and enjoy it. Thus we chose to keep our door closed since I do not want to scare our neighbors silly without my makeup and my vain partner, who is understandably half clothed most of the time (due to the insanely hot weather), dreads the thought of wrecking his crisp smart image with his “uncle” look. However, we both acknowledge that it is high time to rethink our “closed door policy” and seek for ways to preserve our privacy and modesty while keeping our front door open.



Quest for the “Ideal” Solution Begins..

We had quite a fair bit of discussion and finally reach the following consensus; the solution to the problem at hand must fit the following criteria:
1. Cheap and affordable, less than $50;
2. Easy to install and remove;
3. Easy to clean and maintain and;
4. Take up minimal footprint, non-intrusive and blends in our surroundings.


Option 1 (Fold-able room partition) or Option 2 (Hanging room partition)

Google proved to be of great help and our search leads us to the following options:


1. Fold-able room partition
Image from styleshouse


Fold-able room partitions have been used for centuries, can act as a room divider, privacy screen, window covering or merely just a decorative element.


2. Hanging room partition
Image from busyboo


Similar to the foldable room partitions, these are hung from the ceiling as room divider or privacy screen. These are actually similar to the ones which fellow blogger Pandagirl had installed for her place.


Unfortunately, the fold-able room partition is way out of our budget and takes up considerable floor space. In addition although the hanging room partition is more affordable, it is pretty “intrusive” as it has to be installed quite a distance from the door and cannot be rolled up and tucked away when not in use.


On to the next alternative!



Option 3 – Privacy screens for the door grille

3. DIY privacy screens for the door grille


After scouring the internet for other options, we decided to DIY instead. The idea is simple and straightforward; to install panels of light weight perforated sheets directly onto the door grille instead. In this way, there will be more privacy and yet allowing light and breeze to pass through at the same time.
We immediately sat down to work and managed to make an online order for plastic perforated sheets at less than $15 in total. As these are soft plastic, they are easily cut into panels and mounted directly onto the door grille using heavy duty double sided tapes. In less than 2 hours, our first DIY privacy screens are complete!






ikea-privacy-door-screen-8  ikea-privacy-door-screen-7


However, we were dismayed to find out later that the plastic panels could not stay in place and warped badly. In addition, they do not provide much “coverage” at night!


Image from diy




Image from

Chosen Option – DIY Privacy Door Screen

We refused to concede defect and before long, we were back to the drawing board again. Hence, we decided to take a stroll at the Ikea Tampines store to seek more DIY inspirations. As a matter of fact, Ikea was where we stumbled upon FÖNSTERVIVA panel curtain, which is used as a layered window solution to divide rooms or to cover open storage solutions.
Images from Ikea Singapore
After some analysis, we decided to give it a try since the panel curtain with the rails costs less than $40, looks relatively simple to install and easy to maintain.  There are 3 colors to choose from; dark grey, beige and green. In the end we chose dark grey to compliment our “orh lu-lu” (aka dark colored) door and grille.


Installation Process 


 The entire installation took less than an hour and the best part?!


No drilling was involved! 
First, the aluminum holder was mounted onto the door frame with the use of 3M heavy duty double sided tape.




Prior mounting the panel curtain onto this aluminium holder, the degree of coverage had to be determined. We decided to go for the “door-frame-to-floor” look and as the panel curtain was much longer than our door, it had to be cut shorter.




The ends of the panel curtain were subsequently finished with flat metal trimmings, held together by more double sided tapes.






The excess panel curtain was then layered in the middle in order to increase the density and coverage.




The completed panel curtain was then subsequently slid into the aluminum holder and held firmly in place with metal screws. Lastly, we also slipped on 2 plastic loops at the sides to hold the panel curtain in place once it has been rolled up.








Here it how our DIY Privacy Door Screen looks like during the day……


This is what our neighbours will see during the day…




This is what we will see when we look out of our apartment during the day…




…..and at night.


This is what our neighbours will see at night…




This is what we will see when we look out of our apartment at night…




Here is how our DIY privacy door screen looks like when it is rolled up; neat and non-intrusive!




How has the DIY Privacy Door Screen fared so far?


Well, ever since this simple Ikea hack is in place, we have been leaving our door open. Hence, we do not have to put up with stale, stagnant air anymore and our living room is indeed much cooler now!



My thoughts


The secret to life hacks is simply just a little bit of thinking out of the box; breaking the ground rules and exploring the limitations of the system or product.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and do share your Ikea hacks with us too! 🙂


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