Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to Mistreat Sliding Glass Doors

Since finding my new leather sofa on Craigslist I've been on a mission to spruce up our basement family room space. I debated the color scheme for a while (wasn't sure if the tan/red thing was a little too pottery barn ten years ago) but ultimately decided I really like the energy of red in a family room and I wanted to reuse the drapery panels, so I deceded to stick with it!

This wall in our basement has a big stone fireplace in the center with a small window on the right side of the fireplace and a sliding glass door on the left side of the fireplace.

Here's how it looked last week:

and the big sliding glass door on the left side of the fireplace:

I learned the three panel trick to hiding sliding glass doors from the Christopher Lowell show "Interior Motives" years ago. Remember that one?! I actually found an old VHS tape with highlights from the show in our last move. Hilarious!! I watched it again recently and though it was obviously very dated, but there were actually some good ideas to use! I love that hanging a third panel in the center here covers the ugly metal framing.

The view through these windows is not the greatest since the backyard is a bit of a wasteland right now, but we have a plan to clean it up. Both windows look out to the area under our deck. The smaller window has a direct view of the side of our shed, so I prefer to block that view entirely (hence the blind).

I bought the tan drapery panels at Ross for 6.99/panel a few years ago (but I think these panels were originally sold at Walmart). I had four panels to work with from our last house, so three of them were hanging on the sliding door and one on the smaller window. I added the red dragonfly band (the fabric was free to me via freecycle) at the top shortly after we moved to this house.

I thought the panels would look better raised up higher on the wall, so I pulled everything down and raised the rod up high.

Then, after a visit to my new favorite place, debois textiles (insanely awesome and cheap fabrics!) I added this new band of red fabric to the tops of the panels (just wasn't feelin' the dragonflies anymore) and rehung them.

I liked the drama of having them up high, but I felt there was a bit too much space between the top of the sliding door and the curtain rod and I didn't like seeing the metal framing at the top of the sliding door, so I used some extra burlap I had leftover from skirting my craft table to mistreat the top of the door. It's just a long piece of burlap (I joined two shorter pieces and the seam is hidden behind the center panel) trimmed in grosgrain ribbon and thumb-tacked in place! The bottom of the burlap panel just clears the top of the sliding door and it extends to several inches above the door.

I love that I now don't see any of the ugly door (I would love to replace it with nice french doors, but that just isn't in the budget!).

I also cheated and cut off 1/3 of the width from two of the panels and stitched those sections together to make an extra panel for the smaller window. Oh, and I already had the blind. I purchased it at Joann's on clearance for about $5. It was slightly too narrow, so I trimmed it in more red grosgrain, and after I moved the curtain rod up, I hung the blind up at the same level as the burlap panel on the other window. Luckily it was long enough to do that.

Since I reused everything, the only money I spent on this redo was $10 for 2 yards of the new red fabric ("Bangalore" by Duralee).
What do you think? Better, right?

I'm super excited that I'll be guest posting at Serenity Now on Wednesday. I'll be showing a tutorial for recreating these $75 Ballard pillows using materials I had on hand! Make sure and stop by to check it out!



  1. It looks great! I love how you used what you had and made it work for you. I have been doing that a lot lately!

  2. Can't wait for your guest post tomorrow -- love those pillows!

  3. Love those colors. I agree that a bit of red adds a nice touch in a home.

  4. I had never seen the third panel trick - but I'm going to use it very soon :)

    Looks good!

  5. SO cute. I love those curtains. And the burlap panel on top of the sliding door looks great! Can't wait to see the pillows.


  6. Great job! I will definitely go to Amanda's tomorrow to see your tute on those awesome Ballard's pillow.

  7. It looks wonderful! I will have to remember your three panel trick for sliding doors.

    I'll look for your guest post at Amanda's. You come up with the best projects!

  8. Looks good!
    Here's a thought for if you want more light in the other corner. Maybe you could decorate the outside of the shed in a pretty way - Treat it as a blank wall. Hang some interesting or decorative things on the side...whatever. Then maybe you wouldn't mind looking out so much. I don't know if that would work in your situation, but that came to mind so thought I'd share.

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  10. What an ingenious way to remedy the problem, Pam! How is it now? Have you already bought a new sliding glass door? Sliding doors are prime choices for people who wish to maximize the space they have in their house since they are designed to operate even within a small area. Good luck in future home improvement projects! :)

    Francis Lucas @ Dial One Windows

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