Blinds are a great invention for keeping your home life private, but blocking out the sun doesn't exactly make your living room feel homey. Reader Andy has a great solution: keep the top half of your blinds open with paper clips.
I live on the second floor. To preserve my privacy, I keep my blinds closed enough to prevent others from looking in to my window (it faces a road), but that doesn't leave me enough light in the morning to help wake me up. By paper clipping every other row starting at the top of the blinds, I increase the amount of light that comes in while maintaining my privacy, since no one can see anything but my ceiling through the top rows of the blinds.