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Should French Doors Have Curtains

French doors are a chic and sophisticated look but offer little privacy. That is the reason why people decide to use curtains on their French doors.

The beauty of French doors is they are large enough to allow a lot of light to enter the room, while curtains on them will enable the light to be filtered while providing necessary privacy from prying eyes.

But whether or not you choose to put curtains on your French doors depends on where the doors are located. If you have interior French doors at the entrance to a library, for example, you may wish to leave the beauty of doors exposed. But if they are at an outside door, use thicker curtains. Or you may try pairing curtains with wooden blinds for privacy.  

French doors are typically found at the back of a home, allowing outdoor access from the kitchen, family room, or bedroom. The doors have windows over most of the surface, which some homeowners prefer to leave uncovered.

However, some coverage is desired by most to provide needed privacy. As with other window treatments, the type of coverage you choose is a matter of preference.  There are several options available to use on your French doors if you decide to cover them.

The Best Window Covering for French Doors

No. 918 Emily Sheer Voile Single Curtain Door Panel, 59" x 72", White

Sheer curtains here on Amazon!

Sheer curtains add decoration to the panels of your French door while maintaining your privacy. The texture adds a soft contrast to the lines of the door.

Choose curtain panels with a color to blend or complement the room’s style and decor. The sheer fabric permits the sun to come through while you can still see out.

What Size Curtains Are Needed for French Doors?

Using a measuring tape, take the measurements to determine the size of the curtains you need. If you are hanging the curtains above the door frame, measure the width of the French doors adding two inches on both sides for four inches.

How do you decorate French doors with curtains?

A French door is one of two, with glass panes that extend for most of its length. Sometimes there is a need for some privacy, but those glass panes prevent us from getting it. So these panes need a treatment of some type.

Actually, a French door window treatment is the same as a typical window. Blinds, curtains, or both are used. But it’s not advisable to use two types of curtains or draperies as layered curtains will make the doors look bulky and detract from the beauty of the doors.

Beaded Curtains

AIFENTE String Curtain Door Curtain Tassel Screen Panel Fringe String Curtain Beaded Curtains for Door Wall Window Wedding Coffee House Decorative (Silver Grey 90x200cm

Beaded Curtains here on Amazon!

Beaded curtains add a Bohemian, vintage style to any room in your home. With the proper attachments, hanging beaded curtains over a doorway, window, or French doors is quick and easy.

Depending on the size of the curtains, attach the nails or hangers into the wall to secure them in place.

Blinds

Linen Blended French Door Curtain Light Filtering French Door Blinds Privacy Tricia Window Covering Shade for Patio Door/Sidelight Door Jacquard Tie Up Door Curtain, 26 x 68 Inch, 1 Panel, Linen

Blinds for French Door here on Amazon!

Vertical shades or Roman blinds are other popular ideas, and they can be of different colors and patterns. Choose shades that match the room’s décor, and when you don’t need them, keep them rolled up.

Bamboo shades used in a farmhouse look natural and adds a textural look to the décor, and as they are often used together with curtains, the contrast provides a stylish look that will add to any room décor.

Curtains

Rose Home Fashion RHF Voile French Door Curtains-Set of 2 Panels, 40W by 72L Inches, Sheer White (W40 x L72|2 Panels, White)

Curtains French doors here on Amazon!

Choose curtains based on the colors and style of your room. Curtains are a popular way to get privacy and not spoil the interior as even the most refined décor will look good with them. If you are unsure, try neutral, lighter shades because they always look airy and help to refresh the room’s décor.

You cannot only attach them above the door to achieve sweeping curtains look, but right to the doors as well. If you do this, choose a bow shape to allow in some light. Accomplish this by using a tieback to draw in the curtains in the middle.

Door Panels

NICETOWN Blackout French Door Curtain - Thermal Insulated Side Door Window Curtain Panel Drape for Front Entry Way/Kitchen/Dining Room/Bathroom, Navy, 1 Panel, 25W by 72L inches

Door Panels curtains here on Amazon!

Door panels fit over the windows of custom-made French doors while providing privacy and not impeding accessibility through the doors.

The door panels have rod pockets at both ends, so the panels can be pulled tight between the two rods then gathered. Door panels can be found in decorator fabrics that will coordinate with other window treatments in the room or sheer fabrics which allow light to filter through.

Using a tie in the center of the panels will give them an hourglass appearance.

Draperies

MRTREES Sheer Curtains Extra Wide Beige Sheers Patio Door Living Room 100 x 84 inch Length Sliding Glass Door Voile Curtain Panels Bedroom Draperies Rod Pocket Window Treatment 1 Panel

Draperies curtains here on Amazon!

Some homeowners decide to use draperies over their French doors. The drapery rod is hung high above the doors, extending several inches beyond the door frame, allowing the draperies to extend to the floor.

If you use a rod with large rings, you can easily slide the draperies out of the way, allowing light into the space and access to the doors. A draw drapery rod works too, and any fabric is appropriate for this use.

Shades

Natural Linen Blended Door Curtain - Privacy French Door Curtain Light Filgtering Tricia Window Door Curtain for Patio Door Sidelight Glass Door Blind Tie Up Shade, 26 x 68 inches, 2 Panel, Natural

Door Shades here on Amazon!

For a sleek and tailored look, use Roman shades on the French doors mounted at the top of the windows. You can pull them all the way down for complete privacy or partially allowing light to enter the room.

Another option is to install roller shades or slatted blinds over the windows. These are cut precisely to fit the dimensions of the windows and have the advantage of allowing complete or partial coverage like Roman shades.

Valances

VHC Brands Black Star Door Panel with Attached Scalloped Layered Valance 72x40 Country Curtains, Raven Black and Tan

Door Valances here on Amazon!

A valance is a window treatment positioned at the top of a window, covering only the top portion. Valances can be used as a topper over drapes or blinds or alone.

Custom valances used on French doors can complement the room décor and are suitable for contemporary homes.

Decorating the Glass Panes in a French Door

There are many high-quality DIY products available on the market for decorating glass. Improving your glass panes on the French doors can be done on the weekend.

The method you choose depends on the effect you wish to create, your skills as a craftsperson, and whether you want the changes to be permanent. Begin with a nonpermanent method in case you want to try something different later.

Decorative Window Film

Window film can make regular glass look like frosted glass. Decorative film is a thick vinyl that sticks to the glass with static cling.

The vinyl film can easily be removed without sticky residue left on the glass. You can create realistic stained glass looks, frosted, etched, leaded, privacy, and various other decorative accents with window film.

Window film is cut to any size using scissors or a utility knife. You cut each piece slightly larger, then trim the excess after installation.

For a small fee, certain companies will cut the film in advance, based on the measurements you provide them.

To apply, just wet the glass with soapy water, then peel the film away from the paper backing, pressing the film against the glass. Once you get it aligned, use a plastic squeegee to smooth out the film and remove the excess water and air bubbles. The film can still be repositioned if necessary.

If a squeegee is not in your window film kit, purchase one at an auto parts store. Keep the lining paper for your film if you later remove it but want to preserve it. Using window film, you can change the look of your doors every season or when you want a fresh look.

Etched glass

Create designs in the panes of your French door using a stencil and a glass etching cream. The cream is an acid substance that permanently changes the glass’s surface, so be careful when using this product.

If you are unfamiliar with the etching cream, practice first on a cheap piece of glass, a mirror, or a dish to become familiar with using the product.

Although glass etching is permanent, it is an easy way to decorate glass. Apply painter’s tape on the wood frame so you don’t damage the finish or wood. When done correctly, you will have a beautifully decorated door.

Permanent Glass Paint

Create a stained-glass effect with glass paint and a stencil. If you are confident about your skill to paint on glass and have a design you want to permanently keep, buy enamel glass paint. If you desire to copy the look of stained glass, buy paint designed specifically for this purpose.

Based on the type of design you want, you can fill the entire glass pane to create privacy or use a design in one or two corners of each pane so that you can see through the glass.

Temporary Glass Paint

Another option for decorating the glass door panes in a nonpermanent way is acrylic glass paint. Use a stencil to apply the design unless you are highly skilled or a professional artist. It is easier to apply if you remove the door and lay it flat to paint it.

Since acrylic glass paint is not permanent, paint the design on the inside of the glass. Don’t use a sealer if you plan to remove or change the design at a later date.

Window Tints

Installation of home window tinting for windows or French doors is a costly investment, so it’s essential to choose a high-quality film that won’t fade, bubble, or discolor.

High-quality 3M residential window film protects your furnishings from UV rays and comes in a wide range of designs and patterns.