Covering a the glass in a door is perhaps the most challenging of decorating dilemmas, because not only are you covering a window, but it’s a moving window; a window that swings, slides, folds or stacks and likely (not always) opens into the room. And not only does it move, but you need to move through it. Doors are a challenge, but you actually have many options.
You have probably chosen to install – or buy a home with – lots of window surface because you want to let in the light, enjoy the view, or blend indoors and out-of-doors. Some of us prefer to leave our glass doors as bare as the day they were installed…..and that’s okay, unless you need privacy, or to control heat gain/loss or the amount of light entering your home. Just about everyone needs to address at least one of those concerns.
No matter what type of glass door you have, there are now a lot more solutions to choose from than we used to be able to offer. Here are the options we suggest for each type of door.
Glass Panel Doors This simple single panel door to the outside, or even between rooms, has many treatment options depending primarily on how close it is installed to a side wall. If there’s no wall clearance issue, then blinds, cellular shades, roller shades, roman shades, shutters, decorative screens, window films and sheers can all be installed on the door without impeding operation. The various types of blinds, shutters and shades offer full privacy and control light. Cellular shades, and sheers gathered between two café or sash rods (which fit tight to the door surface), are a good option for moderate privacy and letting in soft light.
Sliding Doors Sliders are the easiest to cover because you don’t have to be concerned about allowing for the movement of the door. Keep it simple or layer-it-up with vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, cellular shades, Roman shades, sliding panels, window films, draperies, sheers and valances, all of which can be installed far enough from the glass to allow for movement of the sliding door panel. Shutters and decorative screens are two other, more unique options. These will need to be installed far enough from the sliding door to allow for its operation. They can also slide on tracks to allow you to see the view or let in the sun when you wish and close them when you need privacy or to block the sun. Go with drapes for warmth, sliding panels for a clean and modern look, and sheers for privacy with filtered light.
French Doors These double doors are one of the most popular types of glass doors. If yours swing into the room, your choices are the same as for a single glass panel door with the treatment mounted directly to the doors using café or sash rods. It’s common to add draperies to these to control cold-weather drafts and add color, softness, pattern or texture to your room. They will need to stack-back beyond the door opening and can either be stationary or full enough to draw across the doors. If your doors open out, you can also consider sliding panels that stack back beyond the door opening. French doors between rooms may also need a covering for privacy, such as sheers, frosted film, blinds, shades, shutters or drapes.
Some of the more unusual door styles are treated much like those above. Here are our suggestions for dealing with a few of these.
Bi-Fold Glass Doors The wonderful thing about bi-folds is that they give you a wider opening to the out-of-doors, blending interior and exterior living spaces. In fact, many of these doors fill an entire wall, corner to corner and floor to ceiling, literally becoming a wall of your room that opens. So, they can also let in too much sunlight, be drafty in cold climates, and present a privacy issue. If you want to add treatments for either esthetic or practical purposes, your best options include sheer panels, draperies, sliding panels, or vertical blinds that stack back beyond the window opening. Sliding shutters or decorative panels may be another option, as long as your doors hinge to the outside (some hinge inward) and the panels won’t impede operation of the doors. This door is all about opening the room to the outside, so make sure your treatments don’t impede the flow of traffic, block the view, or get blown about by the wind on a breezy day. You can use sliding shutters and decorative panels to diminish stronger breezes and to keep pets and wildlife outside without shutting the doors. If you don’t have room above the door opening, drapery rods and tracks for blinds, sliding panels, shutters and decorative panels can be installed on the ceiling.
Stacking Sliders These are a new hybrid of the sliding glass door which allows multiple panels to stack back to the width of one panel (or a little more), again blending interior and exterior with a wider opening. They also give you multiple treatment options, similar to the sliding door. Your sliding panels, sheers, drapes and vertical blinds can be installed as with a traditional sliding glass door. If you have room, stacking them beyond the door opening is best so you don’t block that beautiful view! Sliding shutters or decorative panels can also be installed inside, allowing room for the door panels to slide unimpeded. If you want a clean, simple look and all you need is privacy and/or light control, go with one of the many window film options, such as frosted or patterned.
Glass Panel Dutch Doors Dutch doors are not as common, but there are also updated versions of this cottage-style door on the market today. Many of these have not only a glass upper panel, some have glass both top and bottom – a combination of the Dutch and single glass panel door – which you may want to cover for privacy or light control. Like a glass panel door, think blinds, roman shades, roller shades, window films, decorative panels, shutters or sheers with both top and bottom rods installed on the door. Even if your door opens against a wall, you can likely do a valance, sheer or curtain by using a café or sash rod.
Call us today at 814-432-5463 or 814-677-4500 to discuss your glass door treatment needs. We will help you pick the solution to suit your style, your needs and your budget.