11 Sliding Glass Door Covering Ideas

sliding doors and curtains

Life Created for Living with Lolo

When it comes to selecting curtains for sliding doors in your home, what are the most important factors to keep in mind when it comes to both style and function? We spoke with designers to address everything you need to know when shopping for curtains to cover your sliding doors and also share some design tips when it comes to choosing a color. Keep reading and be inspired.

Meet the Expert

  • 01 of 12

    Pick Window Treatments That Operate Like the Door

    sliding glass doors

    Don Herbert Photo for Lagnappe Custom Interiors

    Sheer window treatments make it easy to enjoy the sun that streams through into this formal dining room designed by Lagnappe Custom Interiors. And when it comes to a window treatment's functionality, Lagnappe's Tiffany Cassidy weighs in with a few key pointers.

    “We always recommend a window treatment that operates the same way your door does," the designer says. "With sliders, you will want something that moves side to side, not up and down."

    She offers a few pointers when it comes to sizing specifically. "Have curtains configured so that they stack on the side of the stationary glass panel," Cassidy suggests. "If the space on the wall allows, the window covering should push back and be able to get all of the way off the glass."

    Continue to 2 of 12 below.
  • 02 of 12

    It's OK to Go Shorter in Length

    sliding door curtains

    Interior Impressions

    When it comes to window treatment length, keep lifestyle top of mind, Cassidy urges.

    “It is okay to size them a little short," she comments. "This is a door where lots of dirty shoes will come and go, so especially if it’s a high traffic zone, you may want to be sure your window covering material is up off the floor just a touch—I like about a half-inch of clearance.”

    Continue to 3 of 12 below.
  • 03 of 12

    But, Go Tall With Brackets

    sliding door curtains

    Lance Gerber for Joshua Smith

    That said, when it comes to choosing where to hang your curtains, you want to think high up. When in doubt, go tall with your brackets.

    "Hanging window treatments higher is always recommended as it makes your window seem a little larger and gives the room some height," Cassidy comments.

    Continue to 4 of 12 below.
  • 04 of 12

    Don't Mount Hardware Directly to a Sliding Door

    curtains in bedroom

    Jeanne Canto for Calimia Home

    When installing curtains, hardware can be hung from the wall or the ceiling. "It is important to be aware of the door’s projecting hardware," designer Cathy Purple Cherry says. "That will inform the distance you need to mount the curtain away from the wall in order to keep the curtain from catching on the door handle."

    Adds designer Tara Miller, "You don't want to mount anything to a sliding glass door, as it could inhibit the slide feature."

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Make Sure to Maximize Functionality

    sliding doors

    Jane Beiles for Georgia Zikas

    Off-white curtains are ideal for a classic, elegant space, bringing functionality without overwhelming the decor.

    "The beauty of a sliding glass door is in its functionality, so you want any sort of window treatment you give a sliding glass door to maximize its functionality, not reduce it," designer Georgia Zikas says. "Depending on the location of the door in your house, you may decide to skip the coverings and perhaps add some valances for a completed look."

    That said, nothing is wrong with curtains if need be. "If privacy is a must, you can't go wrong with a beautiful set of drapes that easily pull away to allow access to the door," Zikas adds.

    Continue to 6 of 12 below.
  • 06 of 12

    Consider Curtains on One Side of the Door

    sliding doors and curtains

    Jodie Johnson Photography

    By no means do curtains need to be on both sides of your sliding doors. One panel covering the door not in use is a great way to add function and privacy.

    "We tend to gravitate toward a single, very long panel drape that can be situated at the tail end of the door," designer Nina Grauer of Dekay & Tate says of her work. "This way, it can remain out of the way when you're using the door on a daily basis, but then easily pulled over when you want a bit more privacy."

    Continue to 7 of 12 below.
  • 07 of 12

    Prioritze Privacy Needs

    bedroom curtains

    Lance Gerber for Michelle Boudreau

    The thickness of the curtains you choose all depends on the purpose they'll need to serve in your home. In a bedroom, for example, privacy is key, whereas in a living space, it is less of a concern.

    "If the doors lead to a private patio or yard, a set of sheers would allow plenty of light to come in," designer Angela Amore of Spacejoy comments. "If privacy is needed, a set of layered sheers or blackout curtains would be the best option."

    Continue to 8 of 12 below.
  • 08 of 12

    Be Mindful of Shade Height

    sliding door curtains

    Life Created for Living with Lolo

    Functionality should be taken into account at all times, designer Veronica Ferro reiterates. "If you would like to install a roman or roller shade that will have an inside mount, be sure to evaluate the height of your door to ensure no one will hit their head on the hanging shade," she explains

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Look to the Ceiling

    sliding door curtains

    Life Created for Living with Lolo

    What are some things to keep in mind when it comes to selecting a curtain color for your sliding doors? We're here to walk you through a few options, including painted ceilings, which are all the rage in the design world at the moment.

    If you choose to paint the ceiling a hue that differs from the paint or wallpaper color used on the other four walls of the room, this can present a unique opportunity when it comes to curtains. Why not choose a curtain design that coordinates with your ceiling perfectly? This room proves that this design move is a major winner.

    Continue to 10 of 12 below.
  • 10 of 12

    Play Off Your Furniture

    sliding door curtains

    Life Created for Living with Lolo

    You can also look directly to the furnishings in a room and take inspiration from those pieces when selecting a curtain color. A soft gray looks nice and elegant in this contemporary kitchen space, complementing the gold accents present beautifully.

    Continue to 11 of 12 below.
  • 11 of 12

    Contrast a Bit

    sliding door curtains

    Life Created for Living with Lolo

    A bit of contrast doesn't hurt either, though, if you're craving more of a variety of colors in your space. This bedroom features luxe gray curtains while still incorporating plenty of gold, blue, and black.

    Continue to 12 of 12 below.
  • 12 of 12

    Or Camouflage Things

    sliding door curtains

    Leslee Mitchell for JL Design

    Lastly, some people will choose to pick curtains that perfectly match their wall color. This can help curtains better blend into a space and fade into the background a bit, as opposed to making a bold style statement of their own. Shades of white are popular for this reason.