What are French Windows?
French windows are windows with glass panes that cover most of the length and breadth of the window. Most often, French windows come in a pair. They are designed in a manner from which both panes can open. Optionally both panes may be opened simultaneously. But, more often than not, they usually open one after the other. Usually, one of the panes can be tilted open and the other one can be operated by a lever.
What are the primary advantages of having French Windows?
The best thing that you have got going for you with French Windows is that when you try to open them, they open on the outside rather than inward. If they were to open inward, it would clash with any window treatments you have installed. This makes for an awkward look if you have curtains as your preferred set of window treatments. You might resolve to changing your window treatment or not opening the window at all, both of which can be problematic. Changing your window treatments to blinds and privacy shades will not help because you won’t be able to open the window ever.
This is why French windows are largely preferred over some other types of windows. They open on the outside instead of inward. Although this will not hinder your window treatments, make sure that any potted plants you keep outside the windows are outside the range of the pane. There is a chance it might restrict the movement of the pane or cause the pot to topple over. If the slab on the outside is wide enough, you can change the position of any object, like the potted plant for example, or find another place to keep it.
How should I approach treating French Windows?
Since they move outward when opened, your options are endless, you can go with different types of curtains, blinds, and shades. The idea is to first prioritize what aspects of the French Window you want to highlight and what you want out of the functionality that these windows offer. Assuming you want French Windows because of the potential of their design to illuminate a room, you might want a window treatment that does not completely block out the sunlight but does so partially by filtering. On the other hand, if you are using it in bedrooms and dens, you might want to keep the room completely illuminated at one time and keep it completely dark during the rest of the time, a window treatment like blackout blinds or blackout curtains might just do the trick.
It is also common knowledge that glass windows do not have the best temperature control abilities, so might want to get cellular shades or insulated curtains. It not only helps in regulating the temperature but is also energy efficient, making it a financially feasible investment. While taking all of this into account, you would want the window treatments to enhance the look of the room. You might want something that matches the walls or is in stark contrast to them.
What are the best types of curtains I can get for dressing my French Windows?
- Panel Pair Curtains – Panel Pair curtains have two separate curtain panels. This is a classic style of window treatment that is still relevant to contemporary trends. You can place a curtain on either side of the window. They go well with the French Windows as they have a double panel, making it a polished and sophisticated look. The pattern and designs of the curtains come in plenty of options.
- Single Panel – Panel Pair curtains get their appeal with French Windows because of the complementing symmetry that they have when paired together. Single Panel curtains, though, can be the one for you if prefer the causal asymmetrical look. Single panel curtains are just one piece of curtains that must be pushed to the side to expose the window. You can keep the windows half covered and half exposed if you wish.
- Window Scarves – Window scarves are somewhat similar to valances but can work better with French Windows. This is because scarves are long, thin pieces of curtain fabric hung on top which can give your French Windows a dreamy look.
- Sheer curtains – Sheer curtains are a basic accessory that always needs to be considered, because of the elegance they can give a window. They allow sunlight to enter the room with partial filtering. They are semi-transparent which means that privacy might be a concern to address. These curtains go very well in dining and living rooms.
What are the best types of blinds and shades I can get for my French Windows?
- Blackout Blinds – Blackout Blinds are very good at blocking out sunlight entirely and keeping the room dark and cozy. Sometimes, the sunlight can get harsh. Overexposure to the sunlight can lead to gradually damaged furniture. Moreover, if the window treatment is not good at filtering out sunlight, it becomes a difficult environment to sleep in, especially during the day. You or the people living might find yourselves wanting to sleep in on the weekends or rest during the day after working the nightshift or simply burning the midnight oil. Blackout blinds can help you solve these challenges.
- Cellular shades – Cellular shades or honeycomb shades are good with temperature control. These shades comprise cells or honeycombs that trap pockets of hot or cold air, making it difficult for them to escape, thus easing the room temperature whenever required. They come in single-celled, double celled, and triple celled variants. You can choose one of them based on the size and dimensions of your French Windows.
- Vertical blinds – Vertical blinds, in comparison to the traditional Venetian blinds have their slats placed vertically, fastened to the top and bottom of the windows. This gives them a different look compared to other windows. They work well with French Windows because of their size. They have bigger slats, giving you more surface to view. They occupy a little more space than regular window treatments but fit rather seamlessly.
- Roman Shades – Roman shades are a single piece of fabric that is used by a cord or cordless to roll up and down. It somewhat resembles a valance in terms of looks but differs in personality.
There are many other options you can try as well, blackout curtains, roller blinds, netted curtains, valances, etc. The list above highlights what goes well with French windows, but there is no limit to the designs out there.