French doors invite light and a feeling of openness into any space. They can be installed indoors, creating an elegant transition between rooms, or lead to exterior spaces such as gardens, enclosed porches or decks. Apartments outfitted with French doors can feel warm and sophisticated. Window treatments for French doors can alter their appearance significantly. You can install French doors yourself if you have the skills, or want to learn a new DIY project. A variety of styles are available in home building outlets, specialty shops and vintage building supply depots. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to make French doors a highlight of your home decor.
Interior French doors connect two interior rooms in your home. They both divide the rooms in lieu of a wall and create a feeling of openness. Any woods that are appropriate for interior doors can be used in French doors. Fragile antique and stained glass are options for interior windows. Install a half-circle window in the wall above the French door to add grandeur and additional light-transmitting properties to both rooms. Interior French doors are also handy if you enjoy frequent entertaining. They can be opened to allow a space to flow easily, or closed when you need to create privacy for overnight guests. Air circulates well during hot months when French doors between rooms are open.
Exterior French doors connect an interior room with an exterior space. Exterior French doors can bring lots of light into your home. When you frame them with additional windows, you can create a dramatic wall of windows that provides a room with immense visual appeal. Wood and glass treatments for exterior French doors differ from interior materials choices. Tempered glass is a durable choice for the windows, as they are resistant to weathering and air leakage. Woods like mahogany, Spanish cedar and white oak work well as door frames. Try installing panels of stained glass around French doors to continue a craftsman look, or keep the exterior wall stark and uncurtained for a clean, modern effect. Consider the cost of heating if you are installing exterior French doors in a cold climate. What looks beautiful during summer months can amp up your heating bill during cold weather.
Pocket French doors do not open like traditional doors. Instead, they slide invisibly into your walls. Pocket French doors are an excellent choice when handicap accessibility is required as they are easy to maneuver. They are also chic in tiny apartments where visual clutter is unwanted. On the other end of the spectrum, giant pocket French doors made of heavy wood bring to mind a library or office in a grand historical home. Installing pocket French doors can be considerably more difficult than a standard French door job for a DIYer; consider having a professional do this work if you are uncertain about your skills.
Bifold French Doors fold in pairs. They can be opened and closed using handles on either side of the doors. Closets are the most common application for bifold French doors. Cheap varieties such as those made of plastic are widely available but sometimes come off the hinges and can be a hassle for this reason.
Multifold French doors are the longest French door application. They are often used as room dividers. Multifold French doors are not appropriate for small spaces, but can be great along hallways and in large conference rooms.
Consider whether your French doors open onto a public area such as the street when deciding whether to install window coverings. You may want to choose fabrics or blinds that can transmit light even when they are closed, or you may prefer a treatment that can block out light altogether for complete privacy. Use rod pocket door panels with curtains to cover the interior side of French doors that open onto a balcony or patio. Choose fabrics that appeal to you, enhancing the room's decor. Consider how the doors will look when the fabric is open; bunched up curtains can be romantic, but you may be looking for a more austere effect. In this case, try wooden or metal blinds. Choosing colors and materials for the blinds that contrast with the doors can be an appealing visual counterpoint. Think red metal blinds on whitewashed vintage French doors. Going with the same color and look of the wood in the door frame in the blinds can appear soothing and unified. Blonde wooden blinds on a blonde wood door frame feel contemporary. Don't forget to see how the treatment looks from outside. A cute cotton print of your child's favorite cartoon might look great from inside, but seeing the reverse of this print on your home's exterior may not be what you want. In this case, try lining the curtains so that the cartoons are visible from the bedroom while a solid opaque look is apparent from the curb.
Interior French doors can be covered using the rod pocket door panel method if you want to add dimension to a room, or create an option to increase privacy. Choose fabrics that coordinate with the look of your room. Try sheer curtains for a separation that still transmits light. Red sheers are modern and cheerful against light doors; a geometric print contrasts with a heavily-weathered vintage wooden French door salvaged from an old building. Try inserting rice paper in various colors to create privacy without curtains in a bathroom. Let children cut Valentines and snowflakes to decorate a nursery or classroom. Find double-sided paper with imagery such as polka dots, stripes and maps at craft stores and use it to create a look that is visible from both sides of the window. Attach the paper to the windows using a temporary adhesive or simply cut the paper precisely to slip under the edges of the wood framing the windows and make a snug fit.