Window Treatments for Patio Doors

If you have patio doors—especially glass ones like French Doors or sliding doors—chances are you probably have considered the best way to treat them.

Unless you like sunlight always spilling into your home unimpeded, and a total lack of privacy at night, it’s important to have some sort of window treatment that allows you the possibility of covering the patio door. Here are a few of the options you might consider for patio door treatments.

Whatever you choose, make sure that the look of your home plays into your choice, so that the window treatment you choose is both functional and pleasing.

window treatments for patio doors

Horizontal Blinds

This option is pretty standard around the home. Horizontal blinds are generally easy to install and can be purchased at a variety of hardware stores.

They can be operated with a simple pulley system to be lowered and raised, and a wand on one side of the ensemble will shift the blinds different directions, which allows you to darken the room and add a dimension of privacy to your home’s inner space.

This option is probably the most functional and cost effective, but some drawbacks include a lack of heat efficiency and a pretty standard look. While horizontal blinds come in a variety of colors, the shape and layout is pretty standard, offering little when it comes to making a strong design-related impression.

Also, if you have kids or pets that like to jump up by the window, horizontal blinds can easily break and get ripped up, giving you home a certain trashy look that you’re probably wanting to avoid.

Finally, because the blinds draw up when you open them this option only makes sense if there is space above the door, like a transom window…otherwise you’d be bumping your head every time you came in and out of your home.

One way to deal with the design and durability problem is to go with wooden horizontal shades, which are obviously more expensive, but look much better, are more durable, and offer better energy efficiency.


This option provides a classic look that has really stood the test of time in a wide variety of climates, and within a wide variety of housing styles.

From white gossamer curtains blowing in a Mediterranean breeze, to thick velvet curtains keeping out the winter cold, drapery is a great and versatile option for window treatments, and one that possesses a pretty decent energy efficiency factor, if you select the right material.

One potential drawback with the curtain option is accessibility. It can be a real hassle to have to pull back the curtains to access the door, and if you don’t have some sort of hook in the wall to hold them back, or they’re not set up to be drawn open.

You’ll always have to be pulling them aside every time you want to go in or out, feeling like you’re about to step onto a stage.

Of course, this problem can be resolved by having a professional install the curtains. They’ll also be able to set them up in such a way that will compliment the appearance of your home, rather than looking like a crass add-on.

A Professional team can add features like a valance curtain (to hide the rod), complex and pleasing arrangements, a pulley system that can facilitate opening and closing them, and a variety of quality material, colors, and designs.


There once was a time when shutters were actually a functional feature of the home, allowing windows to be opened for air circulation, while shutters could remain closed to keep out sunlight.

This feature, of course, was most common in warmer countries, but shutters have appeared on home styles from colder climates as well, because of the privacy they offer, along with the possibility for use in warmer spring and summer weather.

But with the advent of HVAC, air condition, centralized heating, shutters are not necessarily a functional component of the home anymore. In fact, they’ve become somewhat of an exclusively aesthetic piece, bolted on to the exterior of the home and totally unusable, much to the chagrin of purists.

However, you can get shutters installed in the interior of your home, and they can make for a particularly pleasing way of treating your patio doors. Door-sized shutters provide a unique look to the room, and much like their window counterparts, can be closed in hot weather.

While the glass door remains open, allowing fresh air to enter, while keeping out sunlight, and creating an almost Mediterranean or tropical vibe in your home’s decor, depending on what color the shutters are.

Shutters are a particularly great solution for those who like the privacy afforded by blinds, but are looking for something more unique and possessive of a character that can play into the decor of the room, mixing and matching with the surrounding materials and colors.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds possess many of the same features as their horizontal cousins, but the blinds tend to be much wider. They can be drawn open and closed, and a rod will similarly twist them into position of offering shade or sunlight.

But unlike horizontal blinds, vertical blinds make a little more sense when it comes to patio doors, because they can be drawn to the side, meaning that you don’t need space above the door in order to install them.

Vertical blinds can arguably also carry a classier look than their horizontal cousins, which are pretty standard and tend to look like a mass-produced afterthought addition to your home.

Vertical blinds, seeming to hover between blind and curtain status as they do, are perhaps a more natural way of treating a glazed space like a French or sliding patio door.

Textured Blinds

Textured blinds are most likely going to be horizontal. They could be made of bamboo or synthetic materials, but they tend to offer a natural and unique look that’s not curated by the normative plastic, prefabricated horizontal blind unit you tend to find most commonly.

Textured blinds could also offer a greater degree of transparency than solid blinds, which may be desirable for you. Otherwise, they could offer a pattern or texture like honeycombs, which could provide better energy efficiency for your home than the simple slats of the average horizontal blinds unit.

If your interior decor is naturally-themed, or carries exotic hints, perhaps like those of Oriental decorating, textured blinds could really enhance the look and feel of your internal space.

Window Panels

Window panels are just solid pieces of material that become like another wall of your living space. They arguably have their origin in Oriental design, like in Japanese homes where sliding panels were used as doors, walls, and ways to segment the living space on demand.

Window panels usually have to be installed by a company, because there are a lot of nuts and bolts to installing them along the track. But once their in, they offer a great solution for shade and privacy that stretches from floor to ceiling, providing both a great look and seamless integration into the design of your home.

window panels on a patio door

Replace Your Patio Door

Feldco offers sliding or French patio doors which are energy efficient, durable, dependable, and affordable. They can come with built-in blinds with many styles and colors to choose from. Plenty of hardware options for extra security.

Window and Door magazine named Feldco America’s number one window and door company so speak with a Feldco representative and get your free quote today.


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