Something like this could look nice in your living room. They sell shades like these in Home Depor, Lowe's, Target. IKEA has great simple white panels that still give you that airy look, but the blinds would give you privacy when you want it.
Great tip! They mounted the blinds higher on the window. Then used a little board between to make the middle trim appear to go all the way up and therefore the window looks taller. When totally open the whole window is open and all the light comes in. (This pic is before the little faux trim piece is added, click to see the blog) Excellent idea!