Translucent polycarbonate panels, like those you might find in a greenhouse, make an appearance in a few of the houses and retreats featured in my upcoming small-houses book.
It's an affordable material and often easy to work with since some incarnations can be cut with a knife. But mostly, it admits dreamy, diffuse light and partially obscures views to provide a hint of privacy and a touch of mystery.
The opportunity to juxtapose translucency and transparency, as in the greenhouse photo above, allows for a focused framed view within a filtered daylight surround. When back lit, it softly extends hazy views. When front lit, it subtly masks views and piques curiosity. It's a popular choice for interior applications and on outbuildings. Plus, it's available in a variety of colors to cast a warm or cool glow. I'm considering translucent panels for our garage doors.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast