How to Cover Sliding Doors or French Doors

Dear Design Diva,

I moved into a home with sliding doors out to a deck. The previous owner put vertical blinds up, but I hate how they look. We have neighbors behind us that could see in if we took them down, so leaving the window bare isn’t an option. We do plan on using this doorway, so whatever we get has to be easy to open so our family can get in and out. Should I stick with the vertical blinds or is there another window treatment out there that is both functional and attractive?

Dierdre on Deck

Dear DD,

We have something in common. I hate vertical blinds, too! Thankfully, there are many other ways you can get privacy. Here are some of them:

The first option is probably the most affordable, because it is simply two bamboo shades hung next to each other. You can pull them both up above head height for easy entry and exit, or you can keep one side down and one side up.

shades, bamboo, window treatment, sliding glass door

Bamboo Shades

There is a new product that is made from woven organic material or woven with wood (or a combination of both) that moves along a track like vertical blinds, but it much nicer to look at. The one below is a loose weave and allows a lot of natural light in even when it is closed.

shades, bamboo, window treatment, sliding glass door

Natural Ripple Fold

The treatment below is the same product, but using the woven wood, so it is far more opaque. This one was ordered with an optional decorative valance.

shades, bamboo, window treatment, sliding glass door

Woven Wood Ripple Fold

Another product that slides open and closed on a track is the sliding panel treatment. Below you see it woven from natural grasses. Just like the previous product, you can get it in woven wood, woven grasses, and more!

shades, bamboo, window treatment, sliding glass door

Sliding Panels

Here is a sliding panel that is made with textiles rather than the organic material. Available in different colors and levels of sheerness, this works well in modern or traditional interiors. With its similarity to the Shoji screen, it also suits an Asian theme perfectly.

decorative hardware, drapes, drapery, curtain

Sliding Panels

The key to window treatments for sliding doors or french doors is the ease with which they open and close. If you want a fabric treatment, like a curtain, be sure to hang the fabric from rings, which will glide open and closed easily.

decorative hardware, drapes, drapery, curtain

Flat Panel with Metal Rings and Rod

Grommet top drapes will also slide open and closed easily, and can be made from a wide range of fabrics.

decorative hardware, drapes, drapery, curtain

Grommet Top Drape

These sheers offer privacy while letting natural light filter in. They are easy to open and close since they are hung on a metal rod with rings.

decorative hardware, drapes, drapery, curtain

Sheers with Metal Rods and Rings

If you really love the look of wood rods, you could hang fabric from one with wood rings, but they are a little more challenging for opening and closing. Wax on the wood rod makes the rings glide more easily, but they still don’t slide as easily as metal rings on a metal rod.

decorative hardware, drapes, drapery, curtain

Drapes with Wood Rod and Rings

So now you see that you are not stuck with vertical blinds. There are lots of options available to you, so select one that best suits your lifestyle and your decor.

Thanks for writing!

The Design Diva


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Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design.

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About dadsjfjkldsfjksdkjf

Interior Designer Extraordinaire, Internationally Published Writer, Radio Personality, Social Media Enthusiast, Lifelong Learner

Posted on July 31, 2011, in Curtains, Draperies, Window Treatments and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hi… After looking at this page I enjoy it very much and I appreciate you to your effort.

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