If you’re a follower of interior design blogs or magazines — or if you have friends who are — you’ve probably heard a lot about panel-track blinds. They’re one of the “It” window treatments in interior design, and for good reason. These days, developers are building more and more modern-style homes, apartments, and condos, and that means one thing: sliding glass doors and their beautiful, expansive windows.
The problem with giant windows, of course, is how to cover them. You want the view, but you don’t necessarily want the general public to be able to see into your home at all times.
It used to be that people would use vertical blinds for sliding glass doors, because they could easily be pushed aside, and the louvers can be angled for light distribution. But, vertical blinds (especially those of the past) tended to move all over the place, make a bunch of noise, and look unsightly since they were made of PVC. Though manufacturers have made huge strides in vinyl technologies, there’s really no comparison between loose, swaying vinyl louvers and the sheer amount of styles and textures that panel-track blinds offer.
A Primer: How Sliding Panel-Track Blinds Work
Essentially, panel-track blinds are hung from a track system. The panels themselves are made of fabric, woven wood, or solar screen materials, and you can slide them out to cover the window in full or hide them away to enjoy the view.
Sometimes, sliding blinds are used in combination with other window treatments. They can provide added protection over solar shades, which are opaque in the daylight, but not at night. Just slide your panels across the window in the evening to keep your privacy intact.
A Cheat Sheet: Why Interior Designers Love Them
- Because the panels themselves come in so many different varieties, it’s easy to match your panel décor to existing window treatments on smaller windows. This gives the room a much more streamlined look.
- The panels hang flat, rather than involving swinging louvers, which gives the room a more sophisticated feel.
- Panels are easy to clean—just dust them! No need to remove and wipe down each louver individually.
- Indecisive? Like to change your décor often? You can easily change your panels, according to season or new room décor. This means you can choose heavier, more insulating panels in the winter to reduce heat loss, and sunny sheers in the spring to let in the light.
- Panel-track blinds come in an assortment of fabrics, so you can choose the transparency of your fabric to match the amount light you want in the room. Semi-sheers are a popular pick because they diffuse the view and bathe the room in soft, flattering light.
Ready to take the leap and try panel-track blinds on your sliding glass doors? Take a quick trip to Strickland’s Wilmington-area showroom to discuss your panel fabric needs with an expert.