Oh, you want to see the leaves on the trees and sleep in? It's possible.
Venetian blinds were once a hallmark of high society in America when they arrived Stateside by way of Venice—by way of the Persian Empire—in the mid–18th century. But these days, the slatted window coverings are often overlooked in favor of more opulent (think: Roman shades) or even more minimalist (think: roller shades) options. Which is a shame, really, because they're highly effective at filtering and blocking out light, letting in the view—and also extremely discreet. "They look nice and serve a purpose, but they aren’t the first thing you notice in the room," says Olivia Rae James Suárez, a Charleston-based photographer who used them in her many-windowed living room and admits that one of the biggest draws is just how practical they are. Tug on the string and they disappear right into the window frame itself (especially if it's the same color); let them down, and the light will cast those telltale stripes across the floor and furniture; give the pull a twist, and your neighbors won't be able to see in while you watch a little Netflix.