How to Hang Roman Shades on French Doors [5 Steps]

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Roman shades are window treatments that are durable and stylish. One popular use for Roman shades is on French doors because they are long and wide enough to cover the doors’ whole window. But how difficult is it to hang Roman shades on French doors? We’ve researched the proper way to do this. Keep reading to find out.

Hanging Roman shades on French doors is an easy process. To hang them, follow the steps below.

  1. Measure the windows on the French doors.
  2. Attach the mounting brackets and headrail.
  3. Attach the cord control cleat.
  4. Attach the tension device.
  5. Test out your new Roman shades.

Properly installed Roman shades are usually outside mounted, which means that they attach to the outside of the door frame. To hang them, you may need to purchase an installation kit if it doesn’t come with your choice of Roman shades. The installation kit should come with mounting brackets, screws, and a cord cleat and tension device for corded Roman shades. Once you have the installation kit and a drill, you can begin to install your shades. For more details on how to hang Roman shades on French doors, please continue reading.

White french door entrance to a living room with view of the front yard, How to Hang Roman Shades on French Doors [5 Steps]

1. Measure the windows on your French doors

Your first step should be to measure both the length and width of your French door windows using a measuring tape. It is important to measure first to make sure you have the right size Roman shades and the right size assembly kit before you begin the installation.

Click here to see a tape measure on Amazon.

Once you have the right size shade and assembly kit, measure the French door’s width and the width of the headrail (the piece of wood or metal that the shades are attached to). Center the headrail over the window and use a pencil to mark where the headrail will go.

2. Attach the mounting brackets and headrail

Coming with your assembly kit are two mounting brackets for the top rail and the screws needed for mounting the brackets, usually two long screws and two short screws. The long screws are to anchor the brackets to the wall, while the short screws are used for attaching the headrail to the brackets.

Click here to see Roman shades mounting brackets on Amazon.

Attach the brackets to the wall at the areas you marked, using a drill to screw them into place. Ensure the brackets are level, then use the short screws to attach the headrail with the shades to the mounting brackets.

3. Attach the cord cleat

The cord cleat is a metal hook-like device that is used to wrap the cord for the Roman shades around. You will want to attach it, using the provided screws, to the wall or door frame next to the window at a height that is out of reach of small children or pets. Use a drill to attach the cord cleat using the screws that are provided. Wrap the window cord around the cord cleat.

Click here to see chord cleats on Amazon.

4. Attach the tension device

The tension device secures the chain to the wall or door frame to keep it tight. For outside mounted shades like Roman shades, mount the tension device to the wall. Before you mount it, make sure that the chain is taut before screwing it into place. It should be installed somewhere that doesn’t interfere with the control cord. Insert the provided screws and secure it to the wall. If installed correctly, the chain will move freely through the tension device.

5. Test your new Roman shades

Now that you have finished the installation process, it is time to test your Roman shades to ensure they are installed properly and work correctly. Roman shades that work properly should raise and lower smoothly without getting caught or tangled up in anything. If they don’t work, check to see that the cord or chain isn’t wrapped around another piece of the assembly and that the tension device is mounted tightly.

We should note that this installation process works for Roman shades that have a cord. Watch the video below for installing cordless Roman shades (and for a visual how-to for the first two steps listed above).

How Else Do You Cover French Doors?

Besides Roman shades, that are many other stylish but functional ways to cover French doors that provide both privacy and a way to control sunlight. Depending on the type of look and the amount of light control you want, here are some other options.

Door-length curtains

White French doors with sheer curtains

A single door-length curtain hung from a rod from each French door can provide plenty of privacy, and there are different fabrics available to control the amount of incoming light. For curtains that can be swung open without opening the door, hang them from a Portiere rod (also called a swing-arm curtain rod), which is hinged on one end to allow the rod to swing.

Try this swing-arm curtain rod from Amazon.

Floor-length drapes

Beautifully crafted white double glazed French doors in a luxury home with winter view

These are good choices if you want your French door coverings to match the other window coverings in the room. Be sure to install them in a way that doesn’t interfere with the doors opening and closing, hanging them from a rod that is mounted above the door frame.

Blinds and other shades

Long blinds are a good option for a window covering that can be adjusted as needed. Blinds are also used to control visibility out of the French doors. There are many types of shades besides Roman shades that can be used, such as butterfly and Austrian shades, for a more decorative French door coverings approach.

Try window coverings like these tie-up shades from Amazon on your French doors.

French door curtains

There are curtains that are specially made for French doors with a rod pocket at the top and the bottom. They are designed to be gathered in the middle of the window and tied with a curtain tie in a shape that resembles an hourglass to let light in on both sides of the curtain.

These French door curtains from Amazon come in a variety of colors.

What size curtains do you need for French doors?

Because there is no standard size for French doors, there is no standard size curtain for French doors. But the good news is that we can explain how to measure and find the right size curtains to fit the French doors in your home. To do this, you will need to measure the window’s length and width on the door. 

Ideally, curtains for French doors should be at least two inches longer than the windows (or more, depending on how high you want to hang the curtain rod). The width of the curtain panels should be 1 ½ times the width of the window.

Should Roman shades touch the floor?

Roman curtains in the interior of a modern home entrance with French doors

While it is common and recommended for curtains and draperies to touch the floor, blinds and shades often don’t touch the floor because they serve as a way to make quick adjustments to the light and visibility coming through a window. Most Roman shades only extend to the length of the window or a few inches below.

How do you decorate a French door?

While adding curtains, drapes, shades, or blinds are a great way to accent your French doors to make them stand out in a room, there are other unconventional ways to decorate French doors as well that can make them more noticeable and add a wow factor to your home.

Paint them

Newly yellow painted exterior double French doors with shiny metal base plate

Paint just the door and window frames of your French doors, especially the exterior side if they lead outside or if they are interior French doors that lead into another room of your home. Painting them and leaving them curtain-free allows plenty of light to come in and makes them stand out from the rest of the room.

Add window film

Adding window film to the windows in your French doors can help block out UV light and add a decorative touch to your French doors. Common effects for window film include stained glass, frosted, and reflective. Simply cut them to size and stick them to the window.

This window film from Amazon will make your French doors look like a work of art.

Update the hardware

Changing the color and style of the hardware on your French doors is a small but noticeable way to give your French doors a makeover. Hinges, doorknobs, and handles are inexpensive and available in a wide variety of styles and finishes, so you’re sure to find one that fits with the look of your home.

Give your French doors a facelift!

We hope this guide to installing Roman shades on your French doors was helpful. With the right tools, hanging Roman shades is a very quick and easy project that can make your French doors the center of attention. And if you decided after reading this that Roman shades aren’t for you, we hope that you’ll try one of our other suggestions for giving that facelift to your French doors.

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