French Door Design 101 – A Basic Guide

Interestingly, French doors are also called French windows. In simple terms, French doors come in varying lengths, and comprise of different panels of glass. Most French doors are manufactured in pairs, and come hinged with either an out-swing or in-swing.

It’s worth mentioning that these doors are used as both exterior and interior doors. These doors often link to rooms, like a dining room and adjacent living room. These doors also commonly provide easy access to patios, gardens and balconies.

French Door Basics

Who Invented French Doors?

Though credit can’t be given to any individual, French doors are considered to have been invented centuries ago. It’s believed that these doors were influenced by the Italian Renaissance architecture, and laid emphasis on symmetry and light. This style migrated to France after the 16th century’s Great Italian Wars.

During this period, aesthetics were combined with dependence on increased availability of glass and natural light. This increased the demand and popularity of French windows. Over time, these windows were expanded into doors.

Since glass was expensive and fragile, it was installed in the form of small panes with standard mullions in between. The door frames and mullions were generally manufactured from wrought iron or wood for structural stability and aesthetic appeal.

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Benefits of French Door Design

? These doors offer a visual bridge between outdoors and indoors or adjoining rooms

? They expand your warm-weather living space by simple opening out to a balcony, garden or patio

? French doors allow sunlight in your home without letting the warmth escape. During summer months, it’s the opposite

? They make a room look bigger

? These doors bring in natural light to your hall or interior room, which doesn’t have any windows

? French doors fill wide opening and create a flow between different rooms. Conversely, it enables adjoining rooms to be easily closed off from the other for heating or noise reasons.

Different Styles and Types of French Door Design

Originally, French doors could only be differentiated by their number of lights or panes. These days, they are available in a wide range of materials and styles. They range from 10-light styles to single panes set in frames manufactured from steel, wood, fiberglass and aluminium. The most common material is clear glass. Moreover, when you need some privacy, you can even use opaque glass.

Traditionally, French doors are hinged. In addition to this, you can also find louvered, pivot and sliding French doors. There’s a strong debate whether these doors can be considered authentic French doors or not. Regardless of the semantics, even these modern French doors are worth considering.

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Using French Door Design

As mentioned earlier, French doors can be used for both exterior and interior. They are often used to provide you with easy access to outdoor living spaces. In most cases, exterior French doors are used as opening onto patios, balconies and gardens. Due to visibility, easy break ins and security concerns, these doors were not very common for front doors.

However, with advancements in technologies, these doors use better insulated and tougher glass. Thus, they are also used for exterior purposes. French doors can be effectively used interior as links between different rooms. Some homeowners even use them in non-traditional areas, such as bathrooms.

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