Blog Archives

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

 

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers.

If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

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.

Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

 

Window Valance Ideas

Dear Design Diva,

I want to put some kind of fabric at my windows, but I don’t know whether I should do curtains or a valance or something else. I want it to look nice, but I have young children and I’m afraid they’ll get long drapery panels dirty. I also don’t want to spend too much.  Any suggestions?

Window Weary

Dear WW,

Your idea for fabric at the windows is a great one. It will add color, warmth, and style to your room. I like valances for homes with kids and/or pets because dirty hands and shedding fur won’t  bother them. The largest cost in custom window treatments is the fabric, so valances end up being quite affordable, too. There are so many styles to choose from, and with all the fabric available, your options are endless. Here is a gallery of styles to get you started:

If you like what you’ve read, please share it with your friends and followers.

If you have a decorating question, please leave a comment below or email us at askthedesigndiva@gmail.com.

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.

Follow on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/thedesigndiva.

Curtains or Drapes – Which is it?

Window Treatments, Drapery, Valance

Window Treatment

 

Dear Design Diva,

I am decorating my new home and I am thoroughly confused when it comes to my windows. Why do some people say I need window treatments, others say I need curtains, and still others say I need drapes! What is the difference?

Window Challenged

Dear WD,

I guess it would seem confusing to an amateur decorator, but any interior designer worth her fee is sure to know the differences. “Window treatments” is the broad term used to refer to anything you use to cover or accent your windows. This includes curtains, blinds, drapes, shades, cornice boards, valances, wood blinds, or plantation shutters.

curtains, valance

Curtains with Valance

A curtain or curtain panel is a length of fabric that has a rod-pocket along the top which gets gathered on the rod informally. It is usually unlined, and can be either floor length, to the window sill, or  a half-window height referred to as “cafe curtains”, often seen in kitchens and bathrooms.

Curtains are usually a more casual option, and are great for summer when you want a light, breezy look at the windows. You can also find outdoor curtains that are made from durable, weather resistant fabrics and are popular for privacy and softness around decking, arbors, and gazebos.

A drape, or drapery panel is a length of fabric that has an attached lining and buckram at the top for stiffened pleats. The pleats can be various styles, such as pinch-pleat, goblet, inverted, or cartridge pleat. Draperies are hung with hooks on either traverse rods or rods with rings.

Drapes, Skirted Drapes

Drapes with Accent Banding on Top and Bottom

Drapes are usually reserved for more formal or traditional decors. Drapery fabrics are usually more expensive than those used for curtains, and the labor to construct them is higher, and the hardware is more expensive, so the entire project will end up costing you more.

I hope I have cleared up your confusion. Thanks for writing!

The Design Diva

If you or anyone you know has a question for The Design Diva, either enter it as a comment below or send an email to: askthedesigndivca@gmail.com.

Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design. Follow her on Twitter @thedesigndiva.