Finding the right curtains for your patio doors can be difficult, since window treatments for your patio need to serve multiple purposes. They should be easy to manoeuvre, in order to allow easy exit and entry; they should also be able to let light, sunshine and attractive views in while also being able to provide privacy. Consider tracking installation above your patio doors, as this will allow curtains to be moved back and forth with little effort. If you find this tracking unattractive, try hiding it behind a cornice that blends with the rest of the room.
The classic choice for covering patio doors is curtain panels, as these can be drawn or opened as the mood strikes you. Almost any type of fabric can be used for indoor patio curtains, as long as it will not be adversely affected by extended sun exposure. For outdoor patio curtains, choose a fabric that is durable, machine-washable and weatherproofed. Light colours, such as white, are favoured for patio doors because they contribute a casual, summery feel.
Patio doors may also be treated with portieres. A portière consists of a single, heavy curtain panel that is hung over a patio door and then secured with a sash. Such window treatments help frame beautiful views, and can also be untied at night in order to ensure privacy. Portieres complement small patio doors, especially when they lead to private garden patios. Hang your portière so that it completely covers the patio door opening, and use a double-sided, weighty fabric such as velour or velvet. Use simple, rich colours, rather than patterns, as these will distract from the view.
Other Types of Curtains
If your patio is private, or privacy is not a concern, employ window treatments for your patio doors that are more decorative than functional. Try stringing diaphanous or lacy curtains on a tension rod across your patio doors, or covering sliding patio doors with sheer panels. You can also cinch curtains in their centre with decorative sashes, or leave windows entirely bare, except for an ornamental valance.
Drapes can be a good choice for French doors, since they complement the formality of this sort of patio door. If your patio doors are French doors, try hanging your curtains high up, near the ceiling, as this will keep them from interfering with the movement of the doors. You can also hide drapes with a cornice (preferably one which matches the trim and moulding of the rest of the room). Long, pooling drapes add romance to French patio doors. Try using luxurious fabrics for your patio drapes, such as damask, raw linen or raw silk.
You may find that using a combination of different types of window treatments will work best for your patio door. Consider using light, natural-fibre pull-down blinds for your patio doors, as these are easy to install and will let in plenty of light during the day. In tandem with these, you can install tracked drapes, which you will be able to draw together at night for privacy purposes.