French doors allow an incredible amount of natural light into a room when they are open or not covered by window treatments. Newer types of these doors have energy-efficient glass panes and a locking point of three to five areas to keep the outside air from entering between the two doors when they are closed. On warm summer days, you can leave the doors open to have easy access to your outdoor entertaining areas, such as a deck or porch. There are also screen door systems that allow you to let some fresh air into your home and keep the bugs outside at bay. The opening system of swinging doors allows you to take bulky items in and out of the doors easily because of the size of the opening.
Why Use Window Treatments on French Doors?
Homeowners use window treatments on exterior French doors for the same reasons they use them on their windows. Although interior French doors are often not covered to leave a feeling of grandeur when moving from one space to another and swinging open the doors.
French doors are beautiful as exterior doors, but the expansive amount of glass in them can give you a lot of glare, sunshine and heat in the summertime. You may also want privacy, depending on if any neighbors can see inside your fabulous doors too. Adding window coverings of any sort can give you privacy, energy efficiency, eliminate heat gain and glare and give you a lovely area for the eye to rest while in that space. Dressing exterior doors are also seen from the outside too. If you have interior French doors on a bedroom or office area, you will most likely want them covered as well for privacy reasons.
Special Considerations for Dressing French Doors
Dressing your French doors can be a bit tricky as they have a few features that need to be taken into consideration when choosing window treatments. When choosing your products keep in mind that your window treatments will need to pass behind a door handle or lever type handle on each of the two doors. French doors also typically have beveled trim that is raised around the glass panes so you may need spacer blocks or projection brackets. You also need to make certain on how much outside mounting surface is available on the top of each door to make certain the mounting hardware for your window treatment of choice will fit. Another great tool for dressing French doors is to have hold-down brackets to keep the window coverings from swinging, banging, or making noise when you open and close the doors.
Best 6 Window Treatment Ideas for French Doors to Consider
Even though you have some considerations in dressing your French doors, you still have a vast amount of treatments from which to choose.
#1. Roman Shades
If you want a high-end and sumptuous covering that will emphasize and frame your French doors then the Roman shades are your perfect choice. Roman shades are made of fabric, which gives you the most types of thicknesses, patterns and colors from which to choose. High-quality thicker fabrics can provide room darkening and energy efficiency, while thinner fabrics, such as lacy patterns can provide you with a delicate and beautiful covering in French doors that don't get a lot of sunlight. If you love a light and beautiful fabric but your doors do get a lot of sunlight, you can choose a custom liner to make the best of both worlds. You can also choose from a rolled style or a flat style Roman shade.
#2. Cellular Shades
Cellular shades are a great choice for French doors. They are lightweight and pretty flat in their design so they don't protrude far out from the frame and will easily fit behind the door handles or levers. Cellular shades are also great for more narrow windows in a home too as they provide one of the best energy-efficient window dressings. There is a wide variety of colors and styles to complement your home's style. You can also have custom cellular shades on French doors in the popular top-down bottom-up style. This allows you to open the top half or bottom half of each of the doors while leaving the other half covered for a unique appearance.
#3. Aluminum Blinds
Aluminum blinds or mini blinds are durable, flexible, and dent resistant, making them an excellent choice for French doors that get a lot of traffic through them. They include a shallow headrail depth so they don't protrude outward as far as some other choices. This also allows them to fit easily behind the door levers or handles. You get great light control too because you can not only open or close them to the height you want, but you can also tilt the vanes to whatever position you like for privacy and light control.
#4. Solar and Roller Shades
Solar shades and roller shades are a great addition to French doors to add some color and texture to your home. You can choose from a wide variety of opacity levels in solar, light filtering, or blackout shades as well as thousands of types and colors of fabric roller shades. In a sunny area on French doors, these types of shades will block harmful UV rays and reduce the heat to help your home stay cooler. They work very well with French doors because they don't have seams on the rear side that can be seen from the outside.
#5. Door Panels
Door panels are a type of drapery that fits over the glass windows of French doors to provide privacy while not impeding the usability of them. The panels have a rod pocket at both the top and bottom of the door that is mounted onto the door with the drapery fabric drawn tight. You can choose from thicker and more luxurious fabrics or sheer fabrics that allow filtered light in your home. Often, homeowners choose this style of dressing with a tie to gather the door panels in the center so they have a custom appearance. Note that this type of window treatment isn't really made to be opened and closed, but remains intact at all times.
#6. Drapery Panels
Drapery panels give you access to literally thousands of choices of fabrics, colors and patterns. The drapery rod is hung high on the wall above the doors and it extends several inches beyond the doorframe on each side while the drapery panels hang to the floor. This mounting allows you to open the drapery panels completely so that they do not impede the functionality of the doors. The best solution is to choose drapery panels with large rings at the top that slide easily back and forth on the drapery rod. In this type of window covering, you can choose from a large variety of beautifully styled drapery rods that will show between the large rings.
As you can see, you have a huge variety of custom window treatments for your French doors in many styles to suit your decor and blend in seamlessly with any home. No matter which style you choose, you have a large array of colors and textures to add style and glamour or a subtle appearance to your lovely French doors.