The History of French Doors
French doors appear to have originated in France at the latter part of the renaissance period of architecture. They were first used as large windows that reached down to the floor and opened onto small balconies. They were used to allow more natural light to flow from room to room both internally & externally before the days of electricity. A set of French doors giving light to two separate rooms.
French doors were originally made of wood and wrought iron for added style and structure. Over time, as the glass industry developed, embedded windows in the structure allowed light to come through and were traditionally made up of individual glass windows. Today, these doors are made with many different materials including wood, rigid PVC or aluminium.
French Door Styles
French door styles have evolved over the years and have become drastically more elaborate. Today, these doors are present in the home and office, giving designers an easy fix for both light and focal problems.
Originally differentiated only by their number of panes (or lights), French doors are available in a myriad of styles, ranging from single pane (called one light) to 10-light styles (often called Georgian bar). Clear glass is most common, but where some privacy is desired, opaque glass may be used.
French doors are traditionally hinged to open outward, although you can now also find inward opening styles. Sliding, folding and pivot French doors are also available.
French doors should be considered for:
- Providing a visual bridge between indoors and out, or between adjoining rooms.
- Expanding your warm-weather living space by opening out to a patio, balcony, or garden.
- Letting the sunlight in without letting warmth escape (and in the summer months, the reverse).
- Expanding the sense of space in a room.
- Bringing natural light to an interior room or hall that doesn’t have windows.
- Filling wide openings—and creating a flow—between rooms. And conversely, enabling adjoining rooms to be closed off from each other as needed, such as for noise or heating reasons.
New French door systems can add a striking visual and practical impact to any design project.