CHALLENGE: I hope you can
help. I have a client with a large, 12-foot Andersen sliding glass
door in her family room. It has two stationary doors and, in the
center, two doors that open. My problem is that she would like privacy
in the evening without losing any of the beauty the door provides
with its view during the day.
The door molding and framing is stained wood, and the entire room
has the feeling of a ski lodge in its décor. There is a natural
stained wood floor and the furnishings are somewhat contemporary
The sliding door is off-center in the room. There is approximately
12 inches of wall space on one side of the door and 30 inches on
the other side. I had thought of designing sliding shoji screens
or some sort of by-pass door, but I had been advised that they either
would be too heavy or they would stick out too far from the door.
What can I tell my client?
SOLUTION: Your client’s
home sounds beautiful! Keep that view, and your client will always
appreciate it and thank you for your design. Here are some ways
you can treat the door and not interfere with the view it provides
during the day.
The first suggestion would be to tint the windows, if they are not
tinted already. Privacy tinting will give your client a full view
from the inside, but the room will remain private from the outside.
Another alternative would be a soft, pleated shade such as a Duette®
Vertiglide, which operates horizontally, or one of the “hybrid”
products that combine the functionality of a vertical blind with
a softness of sheer fabric. Many of these products offer a small
stackback—that is, when fully opened the product stacks to
only about three to six inches leaving the rest of the view open.
Multiple pleated shades on a single headrail could also work. Operated
vertically, these treatments also offer a small stackback and could
open all the way above the door to allow the door to swing or slide
open without interference.
Yet another suggestion would be sliding fabric panels. These panels
hang from a multi-track headrail that will allow the individual
panels to slide into any position and “stack” one on top
of the other completely off to one side, leaving the rest of the
window area open.
Judging by your measurements, it sounds as if you have an appropriate
amount of space to mount shades, blinds or other product so as not
to interfere with the door’s wood molding.
Your suggestion of the shoji screen is also a good idea. Also consider
sliding and bi-pass shutter panels. But you will want to check with
the manufacturers first to make sure you allow for the amount of
space needed to open these treatments. These suggestions might not
maintain the full view the client wants during the daytime.
These are suggestions that would assist you in planning your window
treatment ideas. Always sketch out the ideas to show your client
a visual of how the window will look before she invests your time
and effort and her money in a new idea. Remember, a picture is worth
a thousand words!
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written
by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions
we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions
Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question
you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and
commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member
at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in
numerous books and publications.