(for Lynette)
I love rooms with french doors.  There is something fresh and appealing about a room filled with open-pane doors, a welcoming to the outdoors and the wonderful light-filled rooms they create.  I love photos of rooms with rows of french doors, like the one above - lovely views - open and unobstructed.  You can see the green of the gardens beyond, the flowers, the sunshine...  the neighbors.

Brooke Gianetti
It looks wonderful, and I wish I could do it... I really, really do.  I'm afraid that I would get just a teensy bit freaked out as soon as Mr. Sun went down and that lovely view turned into inky black night and I started to wonder what might be out there looking in at me.....

like, maybe the neighbors....

So, how do you do that without destroying the beautiful view?  How do you add privacy to french doors and sliders?

Plantation shutters -
still popular, these work best on french doors - they are a little awkward on sliders
Carolina Window Coverings
you have to close the louvre and then slide it,
and there is always an obstruction to your view.
 -they are not my favorite choice -
I like the look on windows, but they look bulky to me on doors
Blinds are another option.  Fabric bifold blinds are insulated, can be slightly opaque or completely light blocking - handy for the bedroom.  They are narrow and less bulky when they are raised.  Some can be raised from the bottom or lowered from the top - great for letting in the light and some view while still preserving privacy.  They need to be mounted directly onto the door.
Not something that will work with sliders, though.

Wood or Faux Wood blinds are another possibility. 
They tend to rattle when you open and close the door and are bulkier when raised, but they
mimic the look of costlier plantation shutters at a fraction of the cost.
On a sliding door, they need to be mounted above the door, and a valance or cornice box would be needed to hide the top of the blinds.
Curtain Channel
On a door, keep the silhouette less bulky by keeping the blinds to no more than 1" deep.

My Design Secrets
and avoid this look by keeping the blind the same color as the door - white with white -
wood tone with wood tone...

Vertical blinds - the hanging slatted kind.  Well you can use them if you like them.
I personally hate them, so I'm not going to address the ugly things.
I included this type of verticle blind for your information, but I personally

Trend Sliding Doors
works the same as the duette style blinds, only on a vertical track.
I mispoke.  I don't actually hate them - I think they work fine in a contemporary loft
or office space.. they just look awful here trying to blend in with the Tuscan look.

Now we're talking...
functional, attractive and
actually adds to the decor by bringing in pattern,
texture and color


My Design Secrets
The roman shade blends with all decorating styles
with just a change of fabric
on the door for french doors
over the door for sliders

The Drapery Shop

I also like the casual, cozy feel of the rolled matchstick blinds in this photo.
Trend Sliding Doors
Matchstick blinds stay neutral while adding texture.  They are an inexpensive, yet attractive option.
I love the look of matchstick blinds flanked by curtains.

Renewal Windows
These folding lanai style shutters are a more accessible alternative
to sliding plantation shutters. I would choose these over the bulky sliders because
they leave the windows unobstructed when not in use.
 The easiest and most attractive solution is curtains.
The fabric softens the windows, brings color and texture into the room
raises the ceiling height by drawing your eye upward
and can be as sheer or as opaque as is desired.
The Assistant

A simple or decorative rod across the top and extending to the sides, if possible
along with curtain panels wide enough to cover the doors when closed.
The Assistant
they should have a little puddle at the bottom

Encore Decor Atlanta
if you have other windows in the room, match their fabric and look

The Assistant
where ceilings and moldings allow, hang your curtains high to maximize the height of the room

Trend Sliding Doors
if your windows face early morning or late afternoon sun,
a combination of curtains and shades can keep your carpets from fading
and allow television watching or sleeping in...

My Design Secrets
curtains are like the jewelry in a room
the room can look fine without them,
but when you add that softening touch of fabric to those hard window panes
a little magic happens... its that finishing touch you get when you add
just the right jewelry to your outfit... it looks complete

Trend Sliding Doors
adding a valance to the area will hide blind mechanisms and hardware when not in use.

Which solution would you choose?

Some questions, and some answers.....


Hi I just saw your blog and was wondering if you could give some advice.  My kitchen has cream cabinets which I really like and rosewood granite that I'm not fond of at all.   We also have stainless steel appliances and lightish hardwood floors.  I think the orange in the granite is clashing with the stainless. Do u have any ideas for a backsplash that could possibly diffuse all the orange?  Or maybe an idea for paint color?  Any advice will be appreciated as I am definitely challenged when it comes to design. I know what I like but I can't put it together lol.   If interested I can send you a pic. Thank you Cheryl

Don't you just hate it when perfectly nice kitchen components quarrel?   Rosewood granite has a lot of rosy red and orange tones to it.  If you aren't a fan, it can be difficult to live with.
Focus on bringing out the neutral stone colors in the granite.  A travertine backsplash will focus on the beige and tan tones. Avoid green/blue tones with this, as it will make the orange/reds in the granite stand out.   I would concentrate on warm neutrals, whether it be backsplash or paint.  Grays, even with a blue undertone, may be neutral enough to calm it a little, and there is gray in the granite.
The Stone Company
your creamy white cabinets may be making the granite stand out a little, so bringing in more earthy colors may help tone it down

Floor n Kitchen
 notice how the darker wood tones in this kitchen take the focus off of the granite

The Stone Company
the neutral travertine backsplash adds another element to the mix and
takes some of the focus from the granite

The Stone Company

The Stone Company
good luck!

Hi Claudine,
I just bought my first home with my husband! We had the awesome task of removing a lot wallpaper. Now, it's time to pick a paint color and we're going back and forth on what grey to paint the open floor plan of the foyer/sitting room/dining room. I chose Dolphin Fin by Behr. I'm still not completely sold on the color. I want a grey that will open up the rooms, since they are small. I also want a grey that will match darker woods, a couch that will be a quarry grey, and two floral chairs that have white, grey and black in the pattern. Do you think Dolphin fin works, or would another color work better?
Chair fabric

Quarry Grey sofa

Existing space

I will attach pictures of the rooms, the couch and floral pattern for the chairs.
Thank you, Tania Quinn

Tania,  congratulations on your first home!  Out of curiosity,  I used Sherwin Williams' Chip-It feature to pick colors out of your fabric. 
Now it is up to you to see if it is true to color - I cannot trust the color accuracy of computer monitors - that's why I usually give you more than one color option. 

You chose Behr's Dolphin Fin and that is a better color than what came up with the Chip-It feature.
I like that it is more grey and has more light to it.

Dolphin Fin/Behr
It blends nicely with your furniture and fabric (based on computer monitor accuracy - again you are the best judge of color accuracy.)

Dolphin Fin/Behr
 Here are a few other colors you may want to sample in your rooms and see next to your fabric and furni

Ocean Pearl/Behr

Koala Bear/Behr

Harbour Beige/Behr
Favorite Paint Colors Blog
It is best to choose 2-3 colors to sample on your walls - and a couple of intensities, because color can really change from the paint chip to how it looks in your room.  I would make sure you paint your trim from the oak to a fresh white, which will look lovely against the gray tones.

I love your site, but really could not find an answer to my question. I love the blue, brown color combination. I am painting my master bedroom and am in a color warfare. I have a pale green bathroom with a black vanity. I have dark mahogany furniture,

should I go with a light blue or gray wall?
 Well..... the site works best when you ask a question first... LOL!.   A gray with a blue undertone can work nicely with a pale green. 
Blue, Gray, Green
 I don't know if the pale green is olive, mint, citrus, apple or sage green, but blue usually pairs nicely with all of those shades.  I think the gray would almost need a blue tone to it, or it would be a little drab with the green.  I would want the master bedroom and the master bath to have the same color palette.  If your walls are pale green, pull in some blue towels and accessories in the same tone that you use in the bedroom.  By the same token, pull in some greens from the bathroom to the bedroom.   
and a few black accents (bathroom vanity).  all of these colors will go well with your dark wood furniture.

Sea Salt/Sherwin Williams
alternatively, you can go a little bolder on the walls if you like stronger colors

The Decorologist
The Decorologist

The Decorologist
 the color of blue or blue gray you use is determined largely by the color green you already have in your master bathroom.  If you still can't come to a decision on this, and would like to send me a photo of your rooms, I will be better able to recommend an actual wall color.   Good Luck!


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