Interior DesignOptions News

Summertime: Patio Door Trends Bring the Outdoors Inside

Create a seamless home design that maximizes the setting with these tips


Now that we are heading outdoors again, homeowners are looking to spruce up their patio doors to seamlessly bring the outside into their remodels and new builds. It is that time of year when gateways to our patios and decks become an important link to our lifestyles.

There are so many options – more than ever – when it comes to patio doors. Size used to be a consideration, but now some doors can be built ten feet high and 30 feet wide or more. Creating larger glass patio doors is a hot trend with every manufacturer.

Here are some the considerations when looking to discover the ideal patio door for your project:

Functionality First
Choosing the best patio door option can elevate your patio scene. (Photo courtesy of Weather Shield.)

How would you like your door to function? French door style, slider, bi-fold, multi-slide, glider, etc. Each of these types of patio doors have their benefits and in some cases, especially when remodeling, the way a door functions can be the reason you purchase it for that particular style of home.

For example, in the case of large bi-fold doors, there can be combinations of stationary and bi-fold or just bi-fold doors. These work great for remodeling because they stack within the door frame itself, so it does not require a wall section for storage.

Be sure to check your header and footer situation for your home to see what weight distribution is allowed and to code. Most homes cannot retrofit the weight of larger doors without some sort of structural enhancement, especially if you are on upper floors. Some building codes require more header strength even if the footer weight distribution meets requirements.

How about a multi-slide patio door that opens at either end? One manufacturer has created the ultimate sliding panel system that can be accessed from either side so that both ends of room can be used for entering and exiting.

Look for traditional patio doors that open like French doors and lay all the way back flat against the house for an unobstructed view. For another wide view option consider stationary window panels that extend beyond your deck on either side to create the widest view possible.

I’ve designed spaces with just about every patio door style and I like to use the best style for the ultimate view and to match the architecture of the home. Patio doors have gotten so flexible in style and sizing that they can drive the entire home’s livability.

All Glass all Day

Wouldn’t you like to see as much as possible out your patio door? There is not anything more important than low profile door frames for maximizing the sightlines to the outside. According to one major brand, there is “a consistent trend of less overall square footage in a home, but more glass.”

Another major window manufacturer noted that stiles and rails have gotten thinner driving the demand for contemporary and transitional styles with more glass. Keeping weather out and energy efficiency in has gotten better and better with recent innovations and that’s why large patio doors have become so popular.

Other features I have noticed with all the manufacturers is that they have created doors that are easier to open and close without a lot of physical effort. Patio doors have gotten bigger but they are easier than ever to physically open and close.

Patio doors that emphasize the use of glass and light are perfect for summertime.(Photo courtesy of Weather Shield.)
Hidden Hardware

These days some patio doors can automatically slide open and closed with the push of a button. Some manufacturers keep the door handle itself recessed into the frame so doors can easily stack together.

Various manufacturers also feature low profile and hidden tracks to keep the outside and the inside as seamless as possible. New drainage innovation allows the track to be recessed so that water can be wept away via an internal trench system.

Now homeowners do not have to step on or over the protruding track as in the past. There are more finish options for hardware than ever before.

There are silver options in brushed or polished nickel. There is still white but matte black has become extremely popular along with the matte black frames both inside and out. In general, the overall trend is to design hardware systems that are camouflaged or hidden completely into the door system itself.

Smart Technology

Door hardware and locking mechanisms can be managed by smart apps remotely through the homeowner’s phone for ultimate convenience. These doors can be locked remotely via a smart phone.

Barbara Schmidt is a nationally recognized Interior Designer and Marketing Expert creating authentic storytelling about spaces, places and trends. For more information, please visit