French doors make an excellent addition to any home, they add light and beauty. You will hear realtors talk about curb appeal and that is something that French doors definitely bring to home. They can open up a room to make your home seem more spacious or they can open up onto a patio and make a seamless migration from indoors to out. In today's article will learn a little bit about the history of French doors, the materials that have been used in their construction, and how to day designers have found new uses for this classic functional work of art.
The French door actually began it's life as a window. It is believed that the casement window grew from its beginnings as a window during the French Renaissance period. Initially the window grew down to meet the floor and was normally seen on second floors of homes. Eventually someone decided to extend the window upwards and turn it into a door. These original French doors contained individual pieces of glass known as lites separated by wooden dividers known as mullions. The number of glass pieces was used to describe the door, for example a door with 10 glass pieces would be described as a 10 lite French door.
Obviously the original doors began life using single panes of glass and wood for their creation. Recent modern advances have allowed us to use lightweight materials such as aluminum or uPVC to create these doors. Often times these days instead of using multiple sheets of glass separated by Mullions, manufacturers will use a single piece of double pane glass in the door and overlay a grid to give it the divided look. Manufacturers have become very crafty and inventive at creating these doors. You can find French doors with mini-blinds encased between the two sheets of glass to provide a way to block out light and provide for privacy. That is just one example of the many creative possibilities manufacturers are coming up with today.
As consumers have gotten more creative with their needs, designers have come up with new inventive ways to meet these needs. For example restaurant owners are often looking for ways to expand the square footage of their facilities to provide extra seating. Designers came up with an ingenious way to accomplish this by replacing an entire wall with a series of bi-folding French doors. It seems that the uses for French doors are limited only by our imaginations.