Interior French Door Styles: The Benefits of Elegance

French doors allow more light into room.

Interior French doors add charm and privacy to a room.

Why You Should Choose French Doors

If you're seeking a way to add privacy to a study or home office without robbing it of valuable lighting, then French doors make a great choice. In addition to being able to keep light flowing into the room, you'll be able to see the rooms in your home. The need to hold private conversations or finish work at home can threaten to isolate you from your family. By using French doors, you won't be cloistered behind a solid wood door. French doors are a buffer to various household noises.

Name Origin and History

The definition of a French door is a double door with multiple glass panes filling the door's entire length. This unique widow turned door became popular in the mid to late 1600s. The idea behind the design was to allow more light to travel throughout a home, mansion, castle, and other dwellings. The first ones were actually window casements that had multiple glass panes that filled the window from top to bottom which ended at the floor. These were termed as French windows. Later, the design was used on exterior walls as well and became doors to open onto short, narrow, wrought-iron balconies. The French door idea was swiftly adapted for the interior and evolved into the modern use. Not all French doors must have multiple panes. A single glass pane the entire length of a door is an accepted alternate design choice as is the top half only being paned.

Popularity of Interior French Doors

There's a nostalgic appeal and romantic charm associated with French doors. Aside from being a very function choice to allow light into an interior room, this door choice gives you many design options. You can use a sheer door curtain to add a touch of privacy and elegance. Blinds or mini-shades can be mounted to one side to provide varying degrees of light control and privacy.

French Door Styles

There are many choices of glass for your French doors. The most common one selected is a plain glass pane.

  • Beveled glass for an elegant appearance. Great for Victorian and other period style homes.
  • Stained glass gives a functional art piece built within the door, especially for customized pieces.
  • Grooved glass
  • Etched and frosted glass allows you to have light but also privacy without needing to add blinds, sheers or shades.
  • Colored glass panes are a unique way to make your doors personalized.

Door Hardware

Standard doors come with brass, gold, silver, pewter, or bronze finishes with matching hinges. You can change out the hardware on standard doors to create a different and individual look to your doors.

Moldings and Embellishments

You can be as creative as you like with your new doors by adding moldings and wood motifs. You can easily apply these to your doors.

Wood Finishes

Most doors are available in wood or a wood byproduct. You can purchase your set of doors already painted or stained. You can also purchase unfinished doors to paint or stain to your personal taste.

Shopping for French Doors

You have many choices when it comes to French doors because many manufacturers use the term, French doors, for any double doors with glass panes. This kind of door set may have glass panes only in the top half of the door instead of the traditional full door length. Etched glass and even stained glass panes can be found with the lower half of the door trimmed with raised wood panels. Some styles offer you not just the swing-open type, but also pocket doors that can slide back into the walls and disappear when not in use.

You can purchase standard multi-paned French doors from your local building supply stores.

Specialty French Doors

Making Your Choice

As you can see, you can make a design statement with interior French doors.

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Interior French Door Styles: The Benefits of Elegance