French doors can pose a problem for homeowners. They cause us to ask that age-old question: “Should I hang blinds or leave the windows uncovered?” While they are beautiful, they let lots of sunlight in. Those harsh afternoon rays can raise the temperature in your home up to 10 degrees, forcing your air conditioning unit to work overtime. They will also fade and damage your furniture, especially in the Summer.
One of the most common problems for people looking for window coverings for French doors is that pesky handles get in the way of functionality. The solution is to buy shallow blinds like cellular shades that fit comfortably between the door and decorative handles
What should YOU get?
French door blinds should enhance the beauty of your doors. Something simple and neutral is always best. They should match the other window treatments in the room. If for some reason they cannot match because maybe you have shutters of draperies on other windows, choose something very basic that doesn’t draw much attention.
The blinds or shades you choose should be dependent on the amount of light you want to let in. If you prefer to completely block light, choose a blackout roller or honeycomb shade. If you prefer to allow some light in, choose a light filtering shade. Some people love to see the silhouette of the doors from behind the shade, and light filtering shade, like a cellular, will allow you that view. Shades will also block any draft that leaks through the cracks of the door. They’re affordable and durable; you won’t spend a fortune for beautiful custom window treatments, only to have them break a year later.
Because French doors require long, narrow window treatments, I recommend choosing a cordless product. When the blinds are raised, the excess cord will be difficult to control. This is especially dangerous for homes with children and pets. Avoid this by ordering a cordless cellular shade.
Another option to consider is Top Down/Bottom Up. If you’d like to let a little light in, but maintain privacy, you’ll love Top Down/Bottom Up.
Don’t forget to consider what they’ll look like from the outside. In the long run, this will help with resale value.
Wood and fauxwood blinds are also popular choices for French doors. If you choose one of these options, make sure to get 1” slats, as larger slats most likely won’t fit in the small space between the door and handle. Again, choose a wood or fauxwood stain/paint that complements your décor, but does not draw attention away from it. Wood and fauxwood are great for French doors because they allow for great light control. You can adjust the slats to let in a little light, unlike shades.
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