Front door window treatment ideas

Written by meg campbell
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Front door window treatment ideas
Finding the ideal front door window treatment can present a design challenge. (White wooden front door image by Nicola Gavin from

The ideal front door window treatment offers a blend of privacy and light filtration. Some treatments, such as Roman shades, cover the window while in use and expose it when open. Other treatments, such as sash curtains, affix to the window. The door's style will often help homeowners decide which window treatment looks best. In some cases, installing a stained glass panel is more preferable than mounting a window treatment and its accompanying hardware on the door.

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Sash Curtains

Sash curtains mount at both the top and bottom of the window. Small rod pockets sewn into the fabric form gathers once the curtains are on the rod. Sash curtains are a common design choice for door window treatments, especially if there are two narrow windows on either side of the door, called sidelights; sash curtains work especially well on sidelights. Any type of fabric can form a sash curtain, but sheer fabric is most common, as it preserves as much light as possible while achieving some privacy. Cinching the middle of a sash curtain with a tie creates an "hourglass sash."

Louvered Shutters

Louvered wooden shutters are an attractive option for less ornate front doors. Shutters come in many configurations, and are hinge-mounted on the inside edge of the window frame. A pair of bifold shutters accordion fold into the open position, but opening them fully is unnecessary since the louvre will allow light in or block it out. A single wide-slatted louvered shutter is a more modern look for smaller windows, such as those on doors. Shutters can be painted or stained to match the door, which results in a more cohesive overall look than that of fabric window treatments.

Roman Shades

Roman shades come in a multitude of variations, depending on fabric choice and rigging. The classic Roman shade folds into a stack as the homeowner raises it. When lowered, the shade simply appears as a piece of flat fabric. Roman shades can be placed either inside or outside the window frame, but they must be "sash-mounted," or attached at the bottom of the window frame, to prevent them from swinging out from the door. The shade can rise in even, straight folds or rigged to rise through the centre, causing the folds to fall into a fan shape. Another distinct look for a Roman shade is to inset the rigging just a few inches from the outside edges so that when it's raised, the sides fall into small fans.

Mini Blinds

Horizontal mini blinds are a traditional choice for windows of all kinds because it's easy to mount fabric treatments over them. In the case of a door window, a short valance adds visual interest without hindering the door. As with Roman shades, the bottom of the blinds must have an attachment point to the window frame or they'll swing when the door opens or closes. Most mini blinds mount outside the window on a door, but if the window has enough depth, they can be set inside the frame. Tab-top, pleated, balloon, cloud and rod-pocket valances are just a few of the many valance styles that would fit over mini blinds on a door window.

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