It almost seems as though French doors are becoming the standard for newly built homes. Their ability to let in an enormous amount of sunlight while simultaneously, keeping cold air out, is definitely a value-add in the eyes of new home buyers. But what are the best ways to create privacy with French doors? More specifically, can you put blinds on French doors? And if so, how? In this post, we will answer this question for you.
Here are the steps needed to place blinds on your French doors:
- Take measurements of both doors.
- Inspect your blinds and hardware Upon receipt
- Mark the screw spots
- Drill the screw holes
- Install the blinds
It's always best to ensure that you have accurate measurements before installing your blinds. Let's take a look at how to set them up.
The biggest benefit of having French doors is that they can bring in a lot of light through their glass panels. And one of the biggest disadvantages of having french doors is that the same glass panels can also raise privacy concerns, so blinds can be a great solution. (note: Outside-mounted blinds work better on French doors, as they can be installed over the entire glass panel of your doors--and a few inches over it as well.)
Tools you'll need:
- A Screwdriver
- A Pencil
- Measuring Tape
- A Level
- Mounting Hardware
- An Electric Drill with multiple bit sizes
Let's take a closer look at each step.
How to Install Blinds on French Doors
Since French door blinds can't be mounted on the inside of the glass panels, it's important to measure the doors accurately, as this will be the exact width of the blinds you order.
1. Take measurements of both doors
Starting with the door on the left for your measurements. If your glass panels do not have molding surrounding them, measure the panels from the left edge to the right edge using your measuring tape. Next, take measurements from the top edge of the glass panel to its bottom. If there is molding surrounding the panel, start the measurements at the outside edges from left to right and then from top to bottom. Add an extra couple of inches to the top of the panel and 1/2 inch to 1 inch to the bottom.
These extra few inches will be needed so that you will have sufficient room for your brackets (if you purchase hold-down brackets) and other hardware. It's also a good idea to add an extra inch to the width measurements to allow for complete privacy when the blinds closed. When you measure the first door, you can begin to take the second door's ignition vents. After taking measurements, you're ready to order your blinds.
Check out this tape measure on Amazon!
2. Inspect Your Blinds and Hardware Upon Receipt
It's important to thoroughly inspect your blinds and hardware upon receipt to ensure that they are the correct measurements and that you are not missing any pieces. Make sure to count all of the brackets, screws, rods, and measure the blinds with your tape measure. You don't want to start the process of installing the blinds only to find out that they're the wrong size.
3. Mark The Screw Spots
Take one set of blinds and extend them completely. Next, hold them up to the top of the door (or over the molding) where they will be installed to ensure that they lay straight (use your level). Then, use your pencil to draw a small dot on the top of the door (or molding) where the headrail screws will go (on the left and right sides). The marks should be about a fourth of an inch from the ends of the headrail.
Next, grab your mounting brackets and place them over the marks. While holding them in place, use your pencil to mark the drill holes for their screws (should be on top and bottom of the bracket--each one has 2 screws).
Check out this measuring level Amazon.
4. Drill the screw holes
Insert the appropriate bit into your electric drill and create your pilot holes by drilling it into the door for the brackets' screws. Next, change the bit on your electric drill to prepare to drill the screw into the bracket. Take the bracket and insert the top screw through its designated hole. Then, with the bracket on it, place the screw in the drill hole and drill it in with the screwdriver. After, drill in the bottom screw and then do the same for the other bracket.
Check out this electric drill on Amazon.
5. Install the blinds
Take the headrail of your blinds and place it on the mounting brackets. The process for doing this may vary depending on what type of brackets you have, but it should snap into place once it's secured. Next, lower the blinds to test them out and ensure that they both fit and function properly. If they lower without any issues and are level with the glass panels, you're good to go.
What Type Of Blinds Are Best For French Doors?
French doors work well with various blind styles; let's take a look at a few.
Slim roller shades work great on French doors as they can easily fit behind their door handles. Roller shades can be found in a variety of colors and patterns to match almost any decor. You would need a couple of roller shades to cover your French doors as one blind would be needed for each door. They can usually be purchased online or at any interior decorating store for about $50.
Check out these roller shades on Amazon!
Aluminum blinds are lightweight and slim-fitting options that are commonly used for covering French doors. These mini blinds usually measure about half an inch thick and are a popular go-to for homeowners. They are really easy to clean, which is great for high-traffic areas. Aluminum blinds also get an 8 out of 10 for durability.
Check out these aluminum blinds on Amazon.
Roman shades are some of the most classic and popular window treatments, and they work extremely well for French doors. Not only do they offer superb blackout capability, but these fabrics also come in a wide range of colors. Another value-add is that their flat construction can easily fit behind the door handles of French doors, making them suitable for several types of door designs.
Check out these Roman shades on Amazon!
Also known as "duette blinds" or "cellular shades," honeycomb blinds are among the best ways to cover French doors, as they come in available sizes up to 7 ft wide. That being stated, you can use one single blind to cover both of your doors (depending on their width), or you can split the blinds into two separate pieces. Some of the more popular styles for honeycomb blinds include the Literise and slide-chain models.
INTU blinds are an ideal cover for French doors, as they don't require screws or drilling to be installed. They also don't hinder the swing of the doors in any way, which means that you won't have to worry about them hitting the door handles when they're opened or closed. INTU blinds are available in Venetian, roller, or pleated design styles. They are also available in a wide variety of colors.
Check out these INTU blinds on Amazon.
Wood and Faux Wood Blinds
Wood blinds can add a touch of character to your French doors and provide insulation benefits as they are denser than other types of door covers. When collapsed, they can fit quite snugly against the back of the door, which means that they won't block the door handles. They can also allow for convenient light control through their tilting ability. Natural wood blinds typically start around $40, while faux wood blinds can be purchased for about half that price.
Check out these wood blinds on Amazon.
What Size Blinds Do You Need For French Doors?
French door blinds will need to be mounted on the outside of the doors, and the measurements of the blinds will depend on the measurements of your specific French door set. French door sizes are determined by their manufacturer, though they generally fall into a few standard sizes. Most French doors will be 30 inches to 72 inches wide, and they are typically sold in pairs of 47 inches, 59 inches, and 70 inches (though they can come wider). They come in the standard door height of 80 inches.
When measuring your French doors for blinds, be sure to measure the glass panel starting at the edge if there is no molding on the doors. If the doors do have molding, be sure to place the tape measure on the edge of the molding to ensure that the blinds are wide and tall enough to cover it. Also, it helps to add about half an inch to the doors' width and one to two inches to their length to ensure complete coverage with the blinds.
Lastly, another factor to consider is the door handle, which can interfere with the blinds upon opening and closing. To prevent this, you may want to consider hold-down brackets, as they can prevent the blinds from swinging, keeping them in place.
How Else Can You Cover French Doors?
Curtains can also be used to effectively cover French doors and are a recommended choice if you are looking to have a bit more insulation during the winter. Curtains can come in a wide range of colors and styles and add refined decor to your living space.
Check out these curtains on Amazon.
How Do You Decorate French Doors?
Now we'll discuss the different ways that you can add a bit of style to your French doors.
Thick drapes work well over French doors and can often be a go-to option, as they complement the door and can create a nice border effect. You can find thick drapes and several different designs and colors, as they are a popular decorating choice for any decor.
If you are looking for complete privacy with your French doors, frosted glass is the way to go. Some french door sets come with frosted glass, others can be custom-made with frosted panels, and you can also purchase frosting film online or at your local home improvement store.
Heavy-duty exterior shades can be another way to decorate your French doors. They can also offer UV protection as an added benefit. These shades are commonly used in particularly rainy climates, as they offer great protection outside weather conditions (especially in coastal areas) such as hard rains and heavy winds that may wreak havoc on the glass panels of your French doors.
Shutters work particularly well for French doors that lead from the kitchen or out to a back patio, as they can offer an inviting feel and a sense of liveliness to the areas. Shutters can also let in or reduce the amount of light in the room, allowing for more privacy when they are collapsed. Though shutters come in a wide spectrum of colors, they can also be painted to suit your decor.
Wrapping Things Up
Installing blinds on French doors is a fairly easy task to complete. The most important thing before doing so is making sure that you have the correct measurements to ensure a proper fitting for the blinds. Interested in more home decor tips?
Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:
How To Stop French Doors From Blowing In The Wind