Ideas/Suggestions needed (shades or curtains?)

I am finally starting to focus on my patio doors and the best(?) method for covering them. I have French doors that open out with window panels on both sides and above the doors. Dimensions are 100” W by 92” H.

I have been researching and I believe I only have two options:

  • curtains that operate from one side because I have a wall on one side of the doors. Cheaper option.
  • two 50” cellular shades. More expensive option.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions because I am conflicted?

The rest of my windows have non-smart blinds at the moment that I eventually want to switch to smart something-something. I just have decided on those either. :slight_smile:

A lot depends on how patient the people in your household are. Seriously.

When you have other curtains or vertical blinds which draw to the side then it is possible to open them only partway and go out through the doors. Which many people will do.

That’s not usually a big deal with curtains, you can just sort of push the bottom part out-of-the-way if you need to.

With shades, some people won’t wait for it to go all the way up before they go through the doors. Just something to be aware of.

It’s a huge deal for vertical blinds because when people don’t open them all the way before going through they tend to get either broken or cracked or flipped so then they won’t open correctly.

Our house has 12 foot windows in the living room and a sliding glass door to the side yard. We got vertical blinds when we first moved in because it was one of the package options and it was probably the worst decision I’ve ever made for the house. :disappointed_relieved: no one opens them all the way and they are continually jamming and now even cracking. That replacing them is going to be very expensive, so we just live with them the way they are. But that was definitely a bad decision.

Rods or Rails

If you get curtains on rods (not rails), there are several curtain movers on the market now and I expect to see more in the future now that people have the idea. Switchbot has one, but there are others. These are going to be the least expensive smart option, I think.

If you have curtains on rails, it’s trickier. Switchbot does have a model for this, but most of the other less expensive ones don’t.


Several smart options for these. Hunter Douglas, Lutron Serena, both are good, both work with smartthings to some extent. I think Graber’s zwave models come in that size, @ZebraBlinds should know. And dooya just added an integration for their motors, but I don’t know what models are included. ( I don’t know whether the IKEA models work with smartthings or not, but they aren’t as wide as you are looking for.)

Drapes offer better insulation then shades, which also means better soundproofing. Not usually enough to make a big difference for most people, but there is a difference. On the other hand, you can do more with automation with shades, especially if you get the kind that can go top down as well as bottom up. But then those are more expensive.

I think people mostly choose based on aesthetics. Curtains become a design focal point in a room and shades are more likely to blend into the wall. But again, some people will notice that difference and some won’t.


Yes, they will.

Drapes, blinds, honeycomb shades: cats will climb them all and scratch them all.

Some people resort to a cat size drape along the bottom just to keep the cats from pulling at the bottom of the blinds. Not just all day long, but all night long when you’re trying to sleep. :scream:

So if you have pets and they have access to the room with the window coverings, just think about what it’s going to sound like at two in the morning when your pet decides they need to look out the window. Just sayin’. :smile_cat:

What country are you in? As the device selection does vary.


A bit late. But 2 cellulars could work. So would rollers (should be a bit cheaper) but larger light gaps on either side.

Something else might be drapery with the new switchbot curtain motor that runs along the rod (disclaimer, no idea how well it works).


Those work surprisingly well for the price. But they are noisy and although there’s a quiet mode, it’s been very slow and still pretty noisy. Battery life depends on how often you use it, likely 3 to 6 months. There’s an available solar panel, but both the curtain mover itself and the solar panel are very visible from the outside. So it’s not something you would put on a street facing window.

I was going to get the SwitchBot device but after I saw some in use at a friend’s house I decided not to because the main windows I would want them on are street facing.

So clever, inexpensive, look well engineered for the price, very easy to install, and have a smartthings integration: but limited battery life and seriously ugly on whichever side you can see them from.

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