Interior Design: Window Treatment Ideas For Glass Sliding Doors

Coming up with the right window treatment for your glass sliding doors is not as hard as you think. Here's some ideas.

Sliding glass doors have a special appeal to many people. By visually allowing the outside to connect with the interior, sliding glass doors can make a room more versatile. If one wants a cozy feel, then close off the doors. Should the mood be for something more expansive, simply reveal the expanse of glass.

Unfortunately, designing a window treatment for sliding glass doors is a task that intimidates many people. They may resort to a quick fix, such as sheer panels hanging the glass area. Other people may choose to go with that old home design standby of the eighties - the vertical blind. While both alternatives are serviceable, and can be enhanced with additional window dressing, they are not the only alternatives.

When choosing a window treatment for sliding glass doors, consider the weight, texture, and color of the overall treatment. A heavy or multilayered treatment may visually shrink a room to a sense of being a small low cave. On the other hand, a treatment that is too light or bland for the space may only succeed in adversely affecting any other inviting aspects of the room.

If the space is small and simplicity appears to be the best option, consider having the clear glass frosted. The frosting provides privacy while still allowing natural light to enter the room. To soften the starkness of the doors in the evening, consider sheer panels, or perhaps even simple light muslin panels that pick up one of the lighter colors in the room's d├ęcor. For apartment dwellers, adhesive panels can be purchased that mimic the frosting technique. Be aware that while these adhesive panels can be removed later, cleaning the residue of adhesive off the glass will take some time and dedication. In addition, the panels will yellow and deteriorate over time, especially in a humid environment.

If the ability to see clearly out the glass is very important, the use of a Roman shade may be the ideal solution. The gathered look of the shade, when retracted during the day, will add the feel of a valance across the expanse of the doors. In the evening, the gathers will give the room a sense of coziness as well as adding visual interest.

Bringing a touch of the outside to the indoors can be achieved by using shutters on each side of the glass. The shutters would need to be the same height as the glass area. To create visual interest above the doors, consider hanging elements that work with the color or the grain of the shutters. Some examples would be interesting pieces of driftwood, small artwork or framed pictures, a collection of small mirrors, or a series of tiles. Another idea for softening the area above the doors while still using the shutters on each side would be the addition of hanging baskets of greenery. If there is a desire to cover the glass in the evenings, use a subdued solid or very subtle pattern for the material. A bold pattern or bright color used in conjunction with the shutters and a collection along the top of the space could easily take the area from being pleasantly busy to cluttered.

Should one prefer the look and ease of vertical blinds, they can be dressed by simply adding a swag, a cornice board, or a decorative shelf above the glass. Drapery panels can also be used to frame the doors, creating a splash of color in the area. In lieu of drapes, rectangular pieces of artwork could be used to frame the glass space.

Stenciling is another way to add drama to the area around sliding glass doors. This is particularly true if the interior space is an efficiency apartment or any small room. While stencils can be purchased from any craft store, the key to making the space unique to the occupant comes in developing an original concept for the stencil pattern. For persons who are too timid to try making an original stencil, try selecting several stencils from a local craft store and mix and match the sections until the pattern is both appealing and appropriate for the person who occupies the space.

Before actually applying the stencil to the wall, test the pattern on a board or some other medium. This allows you to make any slight shifts in your pattern in advance, as well as experiment with the color scheme you want to use for the actual stenciling. Once you like the combination of color and design, approach your wall. Keep in mind, a stencil pattern that looks great going left to right will not necessarily have the same effect going top to bottom. If your plan is to stencil the wall on each side of your glass doors as well as over the area, consider making two stencil patterns, one for the area above and a different one for the sides.

Creating a look that is right for your space can be an exciting task. Don't be afraid to try something that is a little outside your comfort zone. The results are often original and very attractive. And if the end result is not what you thought it would be, don't worry. You can always try something new.

© High Speed Ventures 2011