We all love the contemporary look of a glass extension, the convenience of bi-fold doors or the luxury of French doors, but we can’t deny that the British weather can often make having expansive walls of glass a bit of a love/hate situation. One minute the sunlight in streaming though making your home feel like a greenhouse, the next the hail is hammering against your windows.
1. Opt for roller blinds for kitchen doors
Turn your doors into a focal point by choosing individual blinds for each panel. Roller blinds are a great choice, especially for kitchens as they are super slimline and are available in moisture-resistant, wipeable fabrics. Roller blinds are also easy to cut to size if you have narrow panes.
Read our buyer's guide to roller blinds to find out everything you need to know.
2. Want a softer look? Choose Roman blinds
Roman blinds have a more relaxed feel and are the perfect compromise between style and practicality, offering both the softness curtains and the efficiency of roller blinds. Again, a Roman blind on each of your doors will look best and provide you with the most flexibility. We love the fresh, crisp, Scandinavian vibe of these Roman blinds from Hillarys, they work so perfectly in this retro-style kitchen.
Find the best Roman (and roller and Venetian) blinds in our buyer's guide.
3. Adjust lighting with a Venetian blind
Venetian blinds, both practical and stylish, are usually made from wood, plastic or metal, which makes them easy to wipe down so they won't harbour dirt or dust. The adjustable slats provide lots of options for privacy and light control, and when not in use, you can pull them up almost out of sight, which is great if you have garden views. These aluminium Venetian blinds in teal cost from £81, Style Studio.
4. Choose blinds that fit within a door frame
Door blinds that fit into the door frame are a sleek and subtle solution – opening fully to reveal almost all of the glass without becoming caught in closing doors or flapping around in a breeze. The ClickFIT range from Blinds2go are made to measure and easily clip into bi-fold doors.
Check out our guide to bi-fold and sliding doors before you buy.
5. Add vertical blinds for a contemporary feel
Often a cost-effective solution as well as a flexible one, vertical door blinds have shaken off their dated office image. Vertical blinds can help draw attention to the grand scale of large windows and patio doors, or make a small window feel taller by drawing the eye upwards – ideal in a small kitchen.
6. Control the temperature with thermal blinds
For an extra cosy vibe, choose blinds that add an additional insulating layer at your window. Duette blinds come in hundreds of different colours and prints and with clever honeycomb cells that actively trap the heat, you can ensure your space stays at a comfortable temperature all year round.
A made to measure Duette blind starts from around £150.
7. Pick motorised blinds for tall doors
A smart solution for doors in frequent use, electric door blinds do away with the need for cords and can be opened at the click of a button.
The new Reflection roller blind range from Luxaflex features subtle patterns and textures, perfect for adding a tactile quality to large rooms. Suitable for humid rooms, it can be wiped clean with a sponge. There’s a wide choice of colours: shown here is Unico Bo; prices start from £89. Luxaflex also offer PowerView: motorised blinds that can be controlled from your phone or tablet.
8. Select sheers that float in the breeze
If glazed doors have a beautiful shape, select the lightest, airiest design possible to keep the frames on show. This linen voile fabric, decorated with butterflies and birds in vivid shades, is ideal. Curtains made from Iyanu Voile in Paprika/Kiwi, 120736, £59 a m, Harlequin.
9. Double up on shutters
In this bay the original solid shutters have been left in place but they don’t allow for varying the shading, so pristine white louvred shutters have been added. For elegance, these have no visible rods to control the louvres and the hinges are hidden.
Full height shutter in Pristine White with 89mm louvres, from £299 per sq m, including fitting, Clement Browne.
Read our buyer's guide to shutters before you invest.
10. vary the light with fabric slats
Invest in blinds with movable solid and sheer panels which can be adjusted in seconds to block out any glare. These Twilight made to measure blinds in white cost from £130 for a W50cm x L60cm size, from Apollo Blinds.
11. Bring in the warmth of natural wood
Shutters are so often painted white, but quality hardwood versions lend themselves beautifully to a stained finish, bringing another element to the room design. These full height Natural Elm shutters, from £299 per sq m, Shutterly Fabulous, have a rich, deep grain.
12. Keep draughts at bay with classic door curtains
The front and back doors are easy places for draughts to sneak in. Stitch a lined curtain, adding interlining for extra warmth, and hang from a pole or portiere rod (try Jim Lawrence), which opens and closes with the door. This curtain is made from Nature Study fabric, £49.50 per m, Vanessa Arbuthnott.
13. Use patterned film to obscure the view
It’s easy to add window film to a glazed door or window. The panels are supplied cut to size; simply peel off the backing, mist the window with a spray bottle, then squeegee the film into place. This design is MissPrint – Chevrons, £31.68 for a W80cm x L60cm size, The Window Film Company.
Find more window film design ideas in our buyer's guide.
14. Fit contemporary panels
Chic and simple panel blinds stack neatly behind one another – they’re the ultimate in minimalist design. We just can’t get enough of these Voile FR LL Brilliant white panel blinds, £138.26 for a W50cm x L230cm panel, from Direct Blinds.
15. Keep it calm with delicate pattern
Lined curtains in a floral pattern are just the thing to bring a touch of romance to a bedroom or trad living room; these are made to order so you can select from several heading options. Made to measure double pleat curtains in Magnolia Grove, Duck Egg, £36 a m, Laura Ashley.
16. Find a solution for Crittall-style doors
Select a bold colour to make a statement against black-framed doors and windows. Tetbury Mustard curtains with triple pleat heading, from £135 for W127cm x L137cm, including fitting, Hillarys.