Solving the Mystery of French Door Window Treatments

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French doors have been a popular choice over sliding glass doors in recent years. Many homeowners note the increased safety, better functionality, more desirable aesthetics, and energy savings as reasons they prefer French doors to sliders and/or have made the switch in their homes. However, the swing-open action of French doors may have some homeowners stumped when it comes time to choose French door window treatments. Good news—it is totally possible to add window treatments to your French doors! The trick is to focus on the window aspect of the doors, rather than the actual door. When you approach things from that angle, there are a myriad of possibilities.

As you are researching and deciding about French door window treatments, think of them more as windows than doors (for these purposes). By focusing on the window aspect, you can choose hardware and treatments that will cover the window, while leaving the door fully functional to access your outdoor spaces. When attaching the hardware for the mount or the rod for whatever window treatments you choose, you can mount them above the window area, but still on the door itself—this will keep your treatments confined entirely to the door, and therefore they will not interfere with the swing motion of opening and closing the doors. “What about the door handle?” you might ask. This is an easy predicament to avoid, as long as you choose treatments that are skinnier than the entire area of the door. By using shallower window treatments, you ensure that the handle of the door doesn’t at all interfere with the window treatment and vice versa.

When you approach choosing French door window treatments with an agile mind, you’ll find that there are so many choices available to you! Gathered sheers are sheer curtain panels that are attached with a curtain rod and the top of the window and at the bottom, and they are a great choice for looks and functionality, adding privacy, while allowing natural light to filter into the room. Cellular shades operate with many of the same advantages, while their accordion style allows for easy movement of the window treatments up or down as your needs require. Plus, you can install them in about an hour! Roman shades are another great choice—very similar to the gathered sheers and Roman shades—with fabric that adjusts to allow or obstruct light as you see fit. Just be sure to consider an attachment option for the bottoms of the curtains to the doors as well, since they tend to swing loosely and hit the bottoms of the French doors when in motion.

Window blinds are another option that often hang loosely at the bottom of the doors; but they have the advantage of coming in every conceivable material, style, and color, making them easy to match to your décor. A slightly different option would be pooled curtains. Sound fancy? This simply means that you mount a curtain rod on the wall above the frame for your French doors, and then hang your curtain panels from the rod. During the day or other times that you want to access the doors, simply “pool” your curtains to either side or some on each side of the door frame. It’s easy, allows you many aesthetic choices, and even creates a bit of a frame around your French doors, for added emphasis. You really can’t go wrong with any of these choices! The best part is that you can have the architectural interest of French doors, while ensuring that your French door window treatments coordinate with your décor, afford you the privacy you wish, allow natural light in when you desire, and enhance the functionality of your beautiful space.

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