Sliding glass doors are a popular way to let natural light flood into a living room. But the expansive swaths of bare glass can also make the space feel exposed. The right curtains for your sliding doors can provide privacy while still allowing light to filter in. Curtains introduce color, texture and personality to otherwise plain doors. With some thoughtful selection, you can choose window treatments that entirely transform the look and feel of your living room.
In this post, we’ll explore the curtain options that create a cohesive, stylish look for your sliding doors. Follow along for tips on choosing fabrics, proportions, functionality and design. With the right curtains, your sliding glass doors can transition from boring to beautiful.
Choosing the Right Curtain Style
The first step is selecting a curtain style tailored to your goals. Here are some of the most popular curtain types for sliding glass doors:
Popular Curtain Styles for Sliding Doors
Drapes: Floor-length, pleated drapes create an elegant, formal look. They excel at blocking light and insulating. But their fullness can overwhelm a small space.
Tab curtains: These curtains hang in tabs, providing privacy while allowing you to easily adjust how much light filters through. A casual, laidback style.
Shades: Offer precise light control. Roller shades disappear into a holder when open. Roman shades gather into folds when raised. Both maintain visibility outside.
Blinds: Very functional and come in many materials. However, horizontal slats don’t provide much insulation. Vertical blinds can be tilted open or closed.
Other Considerations for Curtain Style
Also factor in your living room’s decor style, privacy needs, budget and more when selecting curtains. Here are some key considerations:
- Modern or minimalist spaces suit sleek, simple curtains in neutral hues.
- Traditional or bohemian rooms can handle bold prints, rich fabrics and dramatic shapes.
- Sheer and semi-sheer fabrics diffuse light beautifully while obscuring views.
- Blackout curtains prevent fading and give full coverage when closed.
- Cost often correlates with curtain fullness and quality of construction.
Think about your lifestyle and design taste, and how different curtains can complement your living room. The right style balances aesthetics, privacy and your budget.
Fabrics and Textures
Fabric selection impacts the look, feel and function of your curtains. Consider which fabrics best suit your goals.
Sheer fabrics allow some visibility while diffusing light. Linen or cotton sheers with subtle patterns work in many spaces. For total blackout, choose opaque fabrics like felt, velour or canvas. These completely block light when closed. Patterned or textured fabrics add visual pop. But skip highly textured fabrics if you’ll frequently open and close the curtains.
Delicate silks and chiffons snag easily on door tracks. Instead, select cotton, linen, velvet, or textured polyester. Curtain headings with rod pockets, rather than grommets or tabs, further reduce snagging.
Adding Visual Interest
Inject personality into your sliding door curtains through creative fabrics. Try colorblocking sheers with strips of blackout fabric. Introduce metallic sheen with satin or faux silk. Seek out unique textures like embroidered lace, chenille or velvet flocking for tactile intrigue.
The right fabric choices can take basic curtains up a notch. Don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with captivating materials.
Length and Proportions
Hanging curtains of the correct length finishes the look and enhances functionality. Follow these guidelines to nail the proportions.
Common Curtain Lengths
Floor length: These puddle elegantly on the floor for a dramatic statement.
Puddling: Curtains nearly but not quite touching the floor, for casual volume.
Sill length: Just hits the bottom window sill for light control without bulk.
Cafe length: Rises to just above the door track, avoiding getting caught when opening.
Getting the Length Right
Measure carefully, leaving several extra inches for optimal floor clearance. Taller curtains draw the eye up, creating the illusion of loftier ceilings. But do leave a gap between the floor and curtain bottoms to allow the doors to open without snagging. For safety, cafe length is best for young kids.
Extending Curtain Rods
Mount your curtain rod well past the actual width of the doors. This makes the curtains appear built-in for a custom look. It also pulls the eye to the full expanse of the wall, making the room feel more expansive. Shoot for rods that extend 12-24 inches beyond the door frame on each side.
Functionality and Installation
Sliding glass doors get heavy use, so plan functionality into your curtains. Follow these tips for smooth operation.
Making Curtains More Functional
Choose tightly woven, easily washable fabrics to handle wear and tear. Insulated blackout curtains add comfort by preventing drafts. Cordless curtains glide open and shut with a light push. Or splurge on motorized curtains for push-button control.
Avoiding Snags During Installation
Layer a separate sheer curtain over the main curtains to maintain views and privacy. Hang with rings or clips, not a full rod pocket. Avoid ornate finials if the curtain hardware mounts too closely to the track.
High quality rods with ball-bearing glides facilitate slick curtain motion. Take exact measurements and choose appropriate fullness so the curtains hang straight with no pulling or sagging.
Design and Coordination
Tie everything together by coordinating your new sliding door curtains with the rest of the living room.
Choose curtain colors that complement your walls and furnishings. Contrast white sheers with bold sofa hues. Or pick up couch accents colors for curtains that seamlessly blend in.
Patterns and Textures
Echo pillow fabrics with matching window treatments. Or make the curtains a focal point with vibrant patterns. Contrast the sofa’s smooth velvet with nubby linen sheers for textural harmony.
Creating a Cohesive Look
Make the curtains appear built-in by extending the rod fully past the doors. Layer in valances and swags to visually unite the walls. Incorporate artwork colors into the curtains for a polished designer touch.
A thoughtful, coordinated approach makes your curtains feel like they were designed just for that room. Follow the tips above, and your sliding glass doors can set the scene for a showstopping living room.
The right sliding door curtains have a transformative effect on a living room. They provide privacy, insulation and beauty to plain glass panes. With strategic selection, you can balance aesthetics and functionality. Choose an appropriate style, length, fabric and color scheme. Follow the guidelines above for window treatments that complement your decor and lifestyle.
Don’t settle for lackluster sliding doors that fade into the background. Your curtains offer the perfect vehicle for infusing personality and polish. Aim for window treatments as captivating as the rest of your living room. Then sit back and enjoy the view once those bare panes give way to curtains with picture-perfect style.