How to Stylize Your Patio Doors: A Complete Guide to Window Treatments for Patio Doors

From welcoming in refreshing breezes and providing attractive views of your home’s natural surroundings to complementing a room’s design style and elevating its ambiance, high-quality patio doors do much more than offer convenient egress.

Abundant natural light is also one of the beautiful benefits of glass patio doors. And while sunlight gleaming into a room adds warmth and charm, it’s not always ideal—especially at certain times of day.

The good news? Window treatments aren’t just for windows. Whether you’re stylizing sliding glass doors or French patio doors, you’ve got many options when it comes to window treatments that offer privacy and relief from bright sun without detracting from the aesthetics of your living space.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at several popular window treatment options for patio doors, along with highlighting key considerations when choosing the best window treatments for your space.

Window Treatment Options for Patio Doors

Different window treatments for patio doors serve different functional and aesthetic purposes. Here, we’ll overview five common ways to stylize your patio doors with window treatments for privacy, light control, energy efficiency, and ambiance.

1. Sliding Curtains and Drapes

A timeless choice for window treatments, curtains and drapes come in an endless arrow of fabrics, patterns, and colors. As such, they’re highly versatile and customizable. Depending on your preferences and existing design scheme, curtains and drapes are an easy and affordable way to enhance the overall aesthetics of the room.

Here’s a look at how sliding curtains and drapes perform across several key factors:

  • Light Control

Depending on the fabric and lining, sliding glass doors with curtains can offer varying degrees of light control. If you’re looking to block out light completely, go with a blackout curtain, which blocks all light while also offering excellent thermal control.

  • Privacy

Alone or when combined with sheers or blinds, curtains provide optimal privacy.

  • Maintenance

Maintenance requirements for curtains and drapes depend on their material type. Some fabrics require regular cleaning and maintenance while others are appealingly low-maintenance.

2. Blinds

A practical and versatile option for patio doors, blinds come in horizontal or vertical styles and can be made for your choice of materials, such as wood, metal, or fabric. Depending on the material and style chosen, blinds can complement many interior design styles ranging from classic and traditional to modern and minimalist.

Here’s a look at how blinds perform across several key factors:

  • Light Control

Blinds offer precise light control, allowing you to easily adjust the slats to a precise angle depending on your needs and desires at any given moment.

  • Privacy

While blinds do provide privacy when closed, some types of blinds leave very small gaps. This can be a concern if you’re looking for complete darkness or privacy.

  • Maintenance

Blinds are relatively easy to use, maintain, and clean. However, they do have a tendency to accumulate dust, which makes routine cleanings a must.

3. Shades

Made of a continuous swath of fabric that unrolls, unstacks, or unfolds, shades are a “soft” window treatment type. Beloved for their unobtrusive impact and clean, contemporary look, shades come in a range of styles, including roller, Roman, and cellular.

Here’s a look at how shades perform across several key factors:

  • Light Control

Cellular shades offer premier insulation and light control, while Roman shades offer a softer, more muted look. Shades are also available in blackout fabrics for absolute darkness.

  • Privacy

Depending on the fabric and style, patio door shades offer varying degrees of privacy.

  • Convenience and Space Savings

Shades are a good choice for sliding and folding doors because their design doesn’t interfere with patio door operation. Furthermore, some shades can be motorized, which is especially convenient for hard-to-reach areas.

4. Shutters

Comprising a rigid vertical support frame and horizontal rails or “louvers,” shutters are known for their classic and elegant appearance. They are available in various materials, including wood, vinyl, composite, and aluminum.

Here’s a look at how shutters perform across several key factors:

  • Aesthetics

Shutters add a touch of sophistication and charm to any room. While they can be configured for all types of patio doors, they are a wonderful complement to French doors.

  • Durability

Durable high-quality shutters are designed to withstand daily use over the years.

  • Light Control

Louvered shutters allow precise control of light for optimal comfort, privacy, and energy savings.

  • Installation

Because shutter installation can be more intensive, professional installation may be necessary.

5. Sheer and Semi-Sheer Treatments

Sheer curtains, sheer blinds, and other sheer and semi-sheer treatments are ideal for homeowners seeking light diffusion while still maintaining a sense of airy openness.

Here’s a look at how sheer and semi-sheers perform across several key factors:

  • Light Diffusion

Sheer treatments create a gentle and inviting ambiance by softening incoming light.

  • Privacy

While they provide some daytime privacy, sheer treatments may not offer sufficient privacy at night. Nor will they completely block out light, sound, or heat gain and loss.

  • Aesthetics

Sheer treatments can complement a variety of interior styles. They can also be combined with other window covering types to increase functionality across aspects like privacy and light control.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Window Treatments for Your Patio Doors

To make an informed decision when choosing between window treatments for your patio doors, consider the following:

Style and Aesthetics

What are your interior design style and personal preferences? Your chosen window treatments should enhance the overall look of the space. For example, curtains or drapes add a touch of elegance, while blinds or shades provide a more modern appearance. Additionally, many types of window treatments can be customized for a tailored look.

Privacy and Light Control

How much privacy and light control do you need? This varies based on the room’s function and your daily activities. For example, bedrooms may require blackout options, while light-filtering treatments may be more appropriate for living areas.

Energy Efficiency

Cellular shades, curtains with thermal linings, and other treatments that provide insulation can help control heating and cooling costs.

Maintenance and Durability

Is minimal care and maintenance a must? If so, low-maintenance options like blinds and shutters may be a must. If your patio doors are in a high-traffic area, durability is also a paramount consideration.

Operation and Functionality

How will window treatments function in terms of your daily life and activities? For frequently used patio doors, opt for window treatments that won’t hinder door operation. For another level of convenience, consider motorized options.


In addition to cost of the purchase, be sure to factor in installation costs when shopping for window treatments for your patio doors. Keep in mind that while some options may be more expensive upfront, they can save you money in the long run through energy savings and a longer life.

While patio doors are excellent stand-alone elements in a home, window treatments like blinds on sliding glass doors and other sliding glass door coverings can add both functionality and flare to any space. They can also be combined with each other, as well as with other solutions—such as a screen for patio sliding doors to let in fresh air while keeping out everything from insects to pollen.

After considering the type of patio doors you have, your style preferences, and the functional requirements of your space, use this guide to make an informed decision about the best window treatments for your patio doors.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get news, updates, and solutions from CGI.


DetailsOn purchases made with your Home Design credit card April 1, 2022 – May 31, 2022. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional purchase is not paid in full 18 months.

A $29 account activation fee may apply.  Monthly payments are required equal to 2.5% of the highest balance of this promo purchase.

*No interest will be charged on the promo purchase if you pay it off, in full, within the promo period. If you do not, interest will be charged on the promo purchase from the purchase date. Monthly payments are required equal to 2.5% of the highest balance applicable to this promo purchase until paid in full. These payments will be rounded up to the next whole dollar and may be higher than the payments that would be required if this purchase was a non-promo purchase. Required monthly payments may or may not pay off the promo purchase by the end of the promo period. Regular account terms apply to non-promo purchases and, after promo period ends, to the remaining promo balance, except that the fixed monthly payment will continue to be required until the promotion is paid in full. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 26.99%. Minimum interest charge is $2. One-time account activation fee of $29 charged at time of first purchase. Existing cardholders: See your credit card agreement terms. Subject to credit approval.