Blinds for French Doors, Sliding Doors, & Patio Entryways

Advice on Window Treatments for Patio Doors

When exploring window treatment options for your patio or balcony doors, you will likely weigh your options in light of the unique way your doors relate to the room and the space outside. Many people want to maximize light and so will choose sheer fabrics that bring in the most sunlight. Some people will actually want to reduce sunlight and heat because the glare is too strong during certain parts of the day. These individuals will opt for shades or drapes with blackout materials (or high opacities). If you are just beginning to research options or you’ve narrowed down your selection but want more opinions, this article is designed to help you find the product you are looking for.

What to Consider for French Doors

Sheer Materials to Enjoy the Sunlight

Ah, French doors. Originally designed to bring even more light into homes where window light was insufficient, they are a feature that most homeowners want to keep as unobstructed as possible to enjoy the view outside. To bring in the most light, sheer curtains or sheer panels will work best.

sheer drapes letting in light with open back door

Cellular Shades for Stopping Cold Air

If your French doors are on the back of the house and they face westward, windward, or in the direction of a lake, they may be letting in the cold. If you are concerned about maintaining good insulation, nothing beats cellular shades for trapping air from coming in or going out.

French doors with cellular shades

Custom Blinds or Door Shutters For Achieving Greater Light Control

To maintain the most light control, you may want to try out plantation shutters or custom blinds. Plantation shutters can be tilted more or less shut to let in as much light as desired throughout the day. Blinds offer the same functionality but aren’t always the best choice for doors. If poorly matched, they can stick out and rattle awkwardly with the movement of the door. If you opt for blinds, make sure the blinds are as flush against the door as possible. A smaller slat (something closer to mini-blinds) is recommended.

French patio doors with shutters

What Options to Consider for Sliding Glass Doors

Experience the Soft Glow of Sheer Vertical or Horizontal Shades

There are few better options for letting in the glow of the sun compared with sheer vertical or sheer horizontal shades. They provide the ability to maintain privacy (in the daytime) without sacrificing the view of the outdoors. For nighttime privacy, we recommend looking into blackout shades, opaque drapes, or blinds. If you are interested in layering, some sheer products can pair well with solid fabrics for the best of both worlds.

Panel Track Blinds and Shades Convey Modern Elegance

Of all the options available, panel track blinds are one of the most popular for sliding glass doors. Most people are familiar with vertical blinds, which are made up of slats a few inches wide. But panel track blinds are much larger and are usually 1.5 to 2 feet wide. Some consider them a luxury alternative to your typical vertical blind system found on doors of this type.

grey panel track shades over sliding glass doors

Vertical Cellular Shades Maximize Energy Efficiency

If you want to maximize the energy efficiency of your sliding glass doors, then vertical cellular shades are going to be one of the best options to choose from. Although this tends to be one of their biggest selling points, many people also prefer them for their sleek, modern design. Nowadays, they are also available in a wide range of colors to accentuate any décor or design scheme.

What About Balcony Doors?

If light control and privacy are a priority for you, consider full-door shutters. These are a great option for a bedroom balcony because they are easy to close and easy to clean. If elegance and open views are your goal, you may want to explore double layered curtains with a sheer layer and a blackout curtain layer. This will allow for soft light to enter when desired and for blocking out all light (and ensuring total privacy) at other times.

balcony doors with dark curtains

The Challenge of Bi-Fold Patio Doors

The options for hanging blinds on bi-fold doors is sometimes limited to a few blinds options offered by the manufacturer that are custom designed to hang in the window space.

If you do not want to be limited to these, there are a couple alternatives to consider. One alternative to the manufacturer’s blinds would be hanging a single motorized roller screen that would descend across the full space. Another alternative would be drapes that could be hung on either side of the door and pulled across to shut out light. Because these doors are often installed in a unique manner, it’s probably best to discuss your options with one of our design professionals!

bi-fold patio doors with drapes on either side and a rail above the doors

The Glaring Omission: Basic Vertical Blinds

Some people are perfectly happy with standard vertical blinds in a white or off-white color. While we have nothing against this option, we didn’t highlight it because we believe there are better options that can beautify the back windows or patio doors in your home. We recommend exploring all the options above just to be sure you aren’t missing out on a worthwhile investment. But if this is the best choice for you, we can help install these as well.

vertical blinds with back patio doors

Contact Us to Learn More About Blinds, Shades, & Shutters for Patio Doors

Choosing the right blinds, shades, or shutters for your patio doors (be they French doors, sliding glass doors, or bi-fold patio entryways) ensures that you will enjoy the living space around them for years to come. For advice and insights into the best products on the market or to have somebody come visit your home, give our design team at Bloomin’ Blinds a call today.

pink drapes and gray Roman shades in a kitchen with a sliding glass door