Choosing Curtains for French Doors

French doors have long been an elegant and timeless part of beautiful rooms. The right window treatment can make these classic entryways a real focal point of the interior and exterior of your home.

French doors are both functional and decorative and usually consist of two panels, typically made of wood but also fiberglass and veneer. French doors may be one large piece of glass or mullioned but are designed to allow maximum light in and view out. They are usually found leading to outdoor spaces such as gardens or patios and are a great addition to almost any home.

French doors, occasionally referred to as panel doors remind some of door height casement windows and casement windows are outstanding candidates for window treatments such as sheer curtains which allow in a great deal of light while providing a degree of privacy. Unlike wide sliding glass doors, French doors slender design lend themselves elegantly to curtains making them great focal points for any room.

There are three basic options for adding curtains to French doors, from a road above the door frame, free hanging from the top of the door and fixed to the top and bottom of the door. Each of these basic options has variations to suit your personality. Option one, hung from a rod above the door frame provides maximum privacy and maximum light when pulled open.

Option two, free hanging and free-flowing hung from the top of the door offers a great privacy and as much light as can pass through your curtain. The trade-off with this option is light and privacy. The more transparent the curtain the more light and the less privacy you are afforded. The final option, fixed to a rod at the top and bottom of the door is often gathered at the center of the curtain to create an hourglass appearance and features limited privacy and allows for a good amount of light to enter the space.

Once you have decided which option works best for your doors and best meets your needs it is time to measure and buy your curtains. For curtains that are going to be affixed to your doors be sure to measure the width of your individual doors and not the total width of both doors and frames. Measure the height from where you plan to mount your top rod to either the distance above the floor that you would like or the distance to where the bottom rod will be attached. If you are planning to gather the curtain in the center add a few inches to the height measurement to allow for the gather.

If you plan to hang your curtains above the door frame so you can have maximum privacy and maximum light when the curtain is pulled open, measure the height from above the door frame where you wish to place your rod and measure down as close to the floor as want your curtains to hang. Be sure to add a few inches on both sides of the doors width measurement to ensure enough fabric to completely cover the opening when the curtains are drawn to conceal the doors and frame.