Double sliding doors can improve access, but only if your family doesn't have to struggle or fuss with the curtains or drapery. Curtains block drafts, visually warm a room and can be less troublesome than blinds in such an application, especially for young children. Decipher which drapery style is right for you, how to hang your window treatment, and what accessory makes using your doors easier.
1. Wide Open Spaces
Hang curtains wide on sliding doors, if you plan to open or stack back panels on both sides. This way, the fabric is out of the way for natural light and access. On each side, allow at least 12 inches for stack-back fullness, depending on drapery thickness and pleating width. Measure for stacked drapery from the edge of the glass to the mounting hardware where the curtains stop, not to the ends of the finials. Long curtain rods require one or more evenly spaced center brackets to keep them from sagging. Preferably, install the curtain-rod mounts in wall studs for durability, or use wall anchors. To stretch the room’s height, hang the curtains high.
2. Taking Your Entry’s Side
Although dual sliding doors open from either side, chances are you use one side more often, maybe because of furniture layout or door placement, such as one installed near a wall. Stack back your curtains to the unused side; mount your curtain rod farther out on this side, if possible.
3. Skip Troublesome Tiebacks
Fabric- or tassel-style tiebacks are fine when you don’t have to deal with them too often. But for frequent access to either side of your sliding doors, use hook-type, child-friendlier tiebacks, instead. With metal or wooden hooks holding back the fabric panels, you -- and your kids -- are less likely to catch the fabric in the doors. Mount tiebacks in line with the rod’s outer brackets above.
4. It’s What’s on Top That Counts
Likely, one of the most important choices you have to make is curtain style: Sliding-door drapery should slide open easily. Curtains with pocket-style tops that slip onto a rod are a poor choice. These tend to “grab” the rod, and sometimes need to be fussed with to open. Look to tab-top or grommet-type curtains that you can pull open or push out of the way with ease, whether you're going out or coming in.
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