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What is an alternative to vertical blinds for patio doors?

Updated April 17, 2017

Vertical blinds are a common window dressing for patio doors. There are other options out there, though. Some coverings attach to the door itself, like those for hinged doors that swing open. For sliding doors, coverings are usually mounted on the wall above the doors. Some door coverings are more or less appropriate for homes with children or pets, so their durability and functionality should match the lifestyle of the homeowner.

Plantation Shutters

This heavy look is typically reserved for windows, but plantation shutters are also available for hinged patio doors. The shutters attach to the door, around the window area. Plantation shutter style panels are made for sliding doors. When the door is being used, simply slide the panel to the side. A plantation shutter is a thick horizontal blind, and although it opens and closes to allow light in and out, it never "disappears" when it is open and cannot be raised or lowered. Some installers of plantation door shutters will custom cut the shutter to fit a specific door and around the door handle.

Top Down/Bottom Up Shades

Lightweight solid shades that raise and lower from both the top and the bottom are modern and convenient. They are especially useful for patio doors that get considerable sunshine. The shades can be adjusted to cover only the spot where the sun in shining in while still allowing for outdoor views. Most top down/bottom up shades are honeycomb style. They are ideal for hinged doors only. The shades can be white or light-coloured to brighten a room, or dark for maximum shading. The shades are also ideal for windows surrounding the patio doors for a cohesive look.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are versatile in design because they can be purchased or custom made in a wide variety of fabrics or materials. When they are lowered over the window, they function as a shade, while when raised, they function as valances. Roman shades made of wood or reed can give a room a natural or tropical look. Roman shades are typically for hinged doors, although some styles can be mounted above sliding patio doors.

Horizontal Blinds

Horizontal blinds can be installed on hinged doors, and are often an inexpensive option. The higher the quality of the horizontal blinds, the more they cost. Blinds come in different colours and can be textured or wood. Curtains, drapes, valances or other window dressings can be used with horizontal blinds because the blinds have minimal decorative appearance.

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About the Author

Laura Rico has been a journalist for more than five years in Michigan and California. She began her career as a staff writer at two community newspapers before accepting an assistant editor position in Northern California. She currently works as a page designer/copy editor and freelance writer in Holland, Mich.