Many people are at a loss with how to do window treatments on doors, especially when a lever handle is involved and it is in a high traffic area.
Lets look at some common window treatment solutions for these doors. Our in- home sales division (in OK and KS) has put all these products on doors for customers, so the basis for this blog is our experience.
Wood blinds- Many blind manufacturers solution is to do a cut out of the blind slats around the handle, thus preventing the slats hitting the handle when they are opened and closed. The drawbacks of this solution, is that is does not offer as much privacy as many homeowners desire and clearance is still an issue when raising or lowering the blind. Another option is to order a very small slat so that the blind fits behind the handle. This can be a good solution, but small size slats are only offered in certain product lines, so your options are a bit more limited. Also, if you want the larger slats for other windows in the room, it breaks the flow a bit.
Fabric Shade- These would include roman shades of fabric or grass, cellular shades, or any type of woven product. Pro’s are that these are very lightweight, if you like the idea of rasing your blind completely every day,this may work for you. Many times the shade lays very close to the glass, and fits behind the handle with ease. The drawback is that when they are down, they tend to bang around and swing with the open and closing of the door. To prevent that, most companies offer hold down brackets that hold the blind in place at the bottom of the door. If you want the brackets you are left with two options- undoing the bracket every time you want to raise or lower the shade. Or, ordering a shade that operates “top-down”, meaning you can lower it from to top down to the bottom to see out the window. Keep in mind that a top down product will have strings that run through the blind and are visible when the shade is in the open (or lowered) position.
Kirtz plantation shutters on french doors can be a great option. The shutter is housed in a frame that gives enough projection for the louvers to pivot. (2 1/2″, 3 1/2″ and 4 1/2″, consider 2 1/2 if you have wood blinds on the other windows) The frame wraps around the shutter on four sides so that it can be secured top, sides and bottom. This means no swinging back and forth as the door opens and closes. Inside the frame the plantation shutter mounts on hinges, so you still can access the glass for cleaning and such. If you have a lever handle, we do what is called a radius cutout around the handle with a solid area behind it. This makes certain that you have complete privacy whether the louvers are open or closed.
Something to keep in mind; if your doors are double and one is fixed and the operable door opens back onto the fixed door, applying a window treatment of any kind will affect how far the door will open back. The degree to which it will be affected will vary from one door manufacturer to another, and from one window treatment to another. An experienced window covering salesperson should be able to address any concerns you may have and discuss this on the front end. Many times with shutters, we can make a few adjustments to insure the door opens to the greatest degree possible. However, if it is not addressed on the front end, little can be done. Just another reason to allow your window covering sales person plenty of time to identify and address all possible concerns with your custom shutter order!