French doors are really windows that serve as doors. They can open to both interior rooms and into outdoor spaces, most often patios or garden spaces. Usually set with multiple glass panes, they give a space a hint of elegant femininity. Even walking in or out of a pair of French doors can get people’s attention. Though they don’t need to be overly expensive or difficult to hang, a pair of French doors seem to be made for celebrities or royalty to sweep through.
Because French doors are used so often between rooms in the home and are full of glass, people think of them as somewhat fragile, but that doesn’t have to be true. The glass in a French door can be made to be surprisingly tough. The windows in exterior French doors can be double or even triple paned with insulating gas between them, and they can be locked fairy securely.
French windows can be made of the same type of materials as other doors. This means they can be made of wood supported by frames that keep them from warping. Some French windows have their own sidelights, which can’t be opened. Some are part of a bay.
Some homeowners keep their French doors undressed to let in maximum natural light and to show off their elegance. However, some people want them dressed and this can pose a dilemma. Some people might hang a rod above the pair of doors that’s longer than both of them. They then hang drapes that can be pushed apart and tied back when the doors need to be opened, but the effect might still be awkward. This is especially true if the doors open inward. One solution is to simply hang a rod on the door itself and hang a panel from the rod. In that way, the fabric never has to be moved when the door is opened. This treatment does cut down on the light that can come in through the window panes, so some people install roll-up curtains over their individual French doors.
French doors can be a wonderful, sophisticated edition to an otherwise humdrum room.