CHALLENGE: I recently had 3
1/2-inch shutters installed throughout my home. I love them. My
walls are a wonderful warm sandy beige color, and the shutters blend
in well with the walls, as I specified.
In my family room I have sliding shutter panels on the sliding patio
doors. I have found that this is a great solution for treating a
sliding door; the functional capabilities of the sliding shutter
panels are great. But I am hoping you can offer a solution for some
type of fabric treatment to use above the doors. I assume this is
possible, but I am not sure how this will look. Please offer your
expertise, as you seem to always give great suggestions.
SOLUTION: Thank you for the kind
words. It is always great to hear from the readers of the magazine.
Shutters add such a wonderful personality to a homeís interior.
Two great advantages to shutters are that they are energy-efficient
and increase the value of the home. Yet I often get questions about
the need to add color or texture in a room once the shutters are
installed, and how best to go about it. This is usually the case
when a neutral color palette is used throughout the space. We need
that little extra finishing touch to complete the room.
There are several possibilities for you to use above your patio
sliding doors. A pinch-pleated valance, swag valance or cornice
valance would all be excellent choices, but there also are several
considerations you need to keep in mind.
The first consideration is the size of louvers you have chosen.
With a 3 1/2-inch louver, you need to make sure that you have included
a fabric and window treatment style that will handle the large scale
of the louvers. If there are about 12 inches or more of space above
the top of the door to the ceiling, I would start the valance treatment
at the ceiling. The depth is important in keeping with the scale
of the window, shutter and overall appearance. You donít want
the depth of your window treatment to be too short.
The fabric choice is also important. It should be a fabric that
cannot be seen through. A medium-weight fabric would work well.
The treatment should be about three-times fullness. As to the scale
of the fabric design, this will depend on your style throughout
As to the fabrication and installation of the valance treatment,
keep in mind that the returns need to be long enough for the valance
to protrude out from the wall far enough that there will be enough
clearance along the top of the shutter frame. This way there will
be no interference when the shutter is opened or closed. A professional
drapery workroom will offer additional suggestions and will give
a detailed final measure to assure that your treatment will install
It is worth the added cost to have the final measure verified, rather
than trying to figure it out on your own. A drapery workroom in
your area will also be able to offer design expertise for your particular
situation. The valance treatment will offer the final touch to your
Editorís 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
Sharon 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.