Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

Options for a Sliding Glass Door Dilemma

A reader asked for my help with a challenge regarding her stained wood, 12 foot sliding glass doors.

She felt torn between wanting the beauty of the door to show and wanting privacy at night. Drapes weren’t an option for her because she just didn’t like them, and she didn’t want the door covered up during the day.

While you may not have the exact same situation of wanting to allow light to flow through such a large stained glass sliding door, many homeowners who have regular sliding doors want to allow natural light and a beautiful view into the room most of the time, while requiring privacy at other times. Here are a few ways to tackle that dilemma.

Glass Door Treatment Options:

sliding-glass-doorPlantation shutters. Because this style of shutter stacks beyond the glass door on either side, it creates a frame for your door and keeps it and the view visible when the shutters are open. Plantation shutters have louvers of varying widths; you should select the appropriate width for your sized door (i.e., the 12 foot door would work well with the widest slats). However, keep in mind that since they’ll be stacking on either side of the door, the width of the slats you choose depend on how much tolerance your room has for the protrusion of the stacked shutters. Part of the beauty of plantation shutters is that even when you have them closed over the doors, you can adjust the louvers to let in varying amounts of light or to give you complete privacy.

Paneled Shoji Screen. This screen has a very Asian influence and lends itself well to a contemporary room. Shoji screens also stack on either side of the glass door, and their flat panels don’t protrude as far into the room as plantation shutters. With either plantation shutters or Shoji screens, you don’t have to have them stacked evenly on either side of your door; it’s perfectly fine to stack more on one side than the other.

Luminette shades or Silhouette blinds. These are both soft glass door treatments that you can see through, yet they can be adjusted for complete privacy. The Luminette draws to the side like a drapery and the Silhouette rolls up like a shade. As with the Plantation shutter, I recommend the largest vane size (suitable for your particular door size) for the most open feeling when the treatment is over the door.

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