Custom Curtains for a Patio Door

Updated: May 31

How to style custom window curtains for a sliding glass door.


Combining a door and a window can save space, add light and function to a room. These are a few of the reasons so many homes have sliding glass doors, also known as patio doors. Styling curtains for sliding glass doors can feel like a challenge. To make it easier, try to think of them as big windows. They let in a lot of natural light, and easily open to allow fresh air into your home. All of these benefits also mean a lack of privacy, or sometimes, too much light, which can be overwhelming at certain times of the day. The glare on a TV or the need for an afternoon nap are a few reasons to add curtains.

Curtains add the ability to control the amount of light in the room and they also add visual interest. Choosing curtains that are the right length and style can be overwhelming. There are three things to know to help make the decision.


Width and Length

A standard size patio door is 72 inches wide and 80 inches tall. Be sure to take the time to measure yours. Select a curtain rod that will cover the width of the window plus extra inches on each side. Because this is a doorway, it is nice to have at least 4 inches on each side if that is possible. The height of the curtain rod placement will depend on the room, space, and your preference. The recommended minimum is 3 inches above the frame. Placing the rod higher will look more dramatic but be mindful as it may cause problems when opening and closing the curtains. The curtains should stop at the floor or ½ inch above the floor.


Top Treatment Styling

Grommet styling will allow the curtain panels to slide back and forth on the curtain rod. This is a straightforward solution to be able to open and close the curtains as needed. A rod pocket or back tab panel with clip rings will also slide nicely. You can buy clip rings to match the finish of the rod. For a more traditional look, choose a pinch pleat panel. Using clip rings with this style allows the ease of opening and closing.

Panel Style

The final consideration is how many panels to use; one or two. One extra wide panel will open to one side. This works well if you have limited space on one side of the sliding glass door. Two panels will allow you to frame the window when the curtains are open. This creates a symmetry that will give your room a balanced look.



In this photo, there are two room darkener window panels, color denim, styled with grommets.



In this photo, there are two textured velvet rod pocket window panels, color muted clay, hung on clip rings.



In this photo there is one cotton canvas window panel with pinch pleats, color natural, styled with clip rings.

At the drape, we customize every curtain to meet your needs. We will work with you to decide the perfect width and length for your windows in your home. To get started, order your free swatches today.