Which Window Treatment Ideas Work Best for Sliding Glass Doors?

I am not a fan of the vertical blinds that you slide, but I do need some fun and current suggestions for two sets of sliding doors in my new home. One set of doors is oversized. --iVillager mcdonhe


Sliding glass doors are practical and functional, but often they're a big source of heat loss, not to mention unattractive. Whether you have multiple sliding doors or just one leading to the back yard or patio, be careful not to allow this feature to lead to disheveled decor.

There are two main considerations when outfitting sliding doors with window treatments. First, how much traffic does the door cause? Second, how much light do you want to get through the window?

In addition, working with sliding glass doors demands a sense of proportion. Some rooms do well using the portal as a focal point, while others are thrown off balance if they already have a major design feature, such as a fireplace or a cathedral ceiling. If the door grabs a lot of attention, try to play it up with one of these window decorating ideas:

  • An elegant solution is to hide the glass behind a shoji screen, a Japanese wood and rice-paper screen. If you're willing to devote a little more time and effort to the project, you could have sliding shoji doors mounted on your sliding glass ones. This gives you the look of shoji on the inside and the practicality of glass on the outside. Another option would be to create your own screen out of semi-translucent fabrics stretched over a wooden frame. The resulting look is a cross between quilting and stained glass.
  • For a subtle-yet-updated look, consider Vertiglide shades; they move horizontally along a sideways track. 
  • If you don't mind unfiltered light and privacy is not an issue, treat your glass doors like a window and simply throw a swag over the top. Or, try indoor shutters for an oversized, whimsical look.
  • If your door doesn't get much traffic, you have lots of leeway. One fabulous option is to create sliding door curtains by hanging shades at varying levels for interest while creating a mosaic look. Try suspending one or two sets of blinds from the framework above the door.
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