Straight up, vertical blinds remain the most popular, practical choice for covering sliding glass and patio doors. Unlike the ugly, utilitarian look of the ghosts of verticals past, today’s products come in a variety of materials — PVC, fabric, real and faux wood — and in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns to accommodate almost any taste or style. To get the look you want, consider:
Proximity to other window treatments — What’s on your other windows? If you have cellular shades, match them with fabric cellular vertical blinds. Wood blinds? Go for faux or wood vertical vanes. Introduce a vertical treatment with a complementary pattern to simple, solid-color rollers. Drapes can also be layered with verticals as accents to really to really tie a room together.
Vane size/width — Go smaller for a more traditional look, larger/wider for a more contemporary treatment.
Light and privacy control — Vane size again a factor here when tilted open, but also think about choice of material, depending on how much light and privacy you want when closed. Solid materials such as plastic PVC and wood will naturally block more light. Fabric vertical vanes such as cellular vertical products, provide more flexible light control with choices between light filtering and blackout options.
Configuration (stack) — Standard vertical blinds draw or open to the left or right. The side where the vanes “stack” when drawn completely open is usually on the opposite side of the window from the door or window opening. Split-stack verticals openfrom the center and are drawn to each side, leaving a stack of vanes on both sides. For large openings where doors open from both sides, or for a really unique look, some verticals may stack in the center, leaving the sides open. The width/depth of the stack — and how much it may obstruct your view — varies, depending on the material the vanes are made of and their size.
Operation — Typically, a wand tilt in conjunction with a continuous cord loop is used to manually open and close vanes, and to draw verticals open and closed. Motorized options also are becoming increasingly popular for operating verticals and other glass door window treatments.
Door function — How much the door is used and how it opens and closes — on sliding track, inside out/outside in, European-style tilt and fold/slide, etc. — are important factors in deciding on a vertical, or any, treatment. Outside mounted verticals are easy to get and keep out of the way of doors in high-traffic areas.
As they saying goes, though, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so there are many more choices than traditional vertical blinds to dress your doors with. Today you can find a treatment to match any style or decor. Check out some of these other ideas.
Hang sliding or traditional bi- or tri-fold shutters (if you have the extra room you’ll need in front of door to accommodate width when folded open) on patio doors for a classic plantation-style look
Change direction with roller shades that open and close from top down to bottom up instead of side to side.
Reduce annoying glare and diminish harmful UV rays with interior solar shades in various openness factors on your doors.
For a classy designer look, go with updated wide panel track verticals that stack neatly on top of each other when open.
An easy solution for coordinating windows and doors in a room, energy efficient cellular shades add insulation and style to your interiors.
Classic curtains and designer drapes are another traditional covering for sliding doors that never goes out of style. Layer them with a product above to frame your doors and add more light control and privacy.