French Door Window Treatments

French doors bring in a lot of light from the outside because of the full length windows. For this very same reason the need for French door window treatments are greater, especially if you want some privacy.

Here you will find the best ideas for French door window treatments and the answers to your questions like, what to use as french door shades? Or can you only use shutters or curtains for French doors?

Theoretically you can use just about any type of window treatments for French doors, however there are some thing you need to consider:

*Most of the ideas and considerations here are also true for any window within a door.


  • Outside Mount - The French door shade is mounted on the outside of the window because unlike a regular window the french door window has no mounting depth. Therefore it is important that the window treatment used should be able to be mounted outside.
  • Decorative Handles - Your French door most likely has decorative handles and they might get into the way of the operation of the window treatment. So you would need French door blinds that are rather flat and don't protrude much.
  • Hold down brackets - So your window treatment is hanging and you want to open or close your French door, now what happens? The door goes one way the shade flies the other way, then the two finally meet with a thud! How do you prevent it?

    Hold down brackets is the solution. They are attached by placing pins that extend from the hold-down brackets into the bottom rail end caps as you can see in this diagram.

    Now your French door shade is hanging neatly and moving in tandem with the French door.

    The only drawback with this method is that the hold down brackets have to be released to be able to open the shade. However this can be overcome by using top-down shades.

Even though you can use most types of window treatments for French doors, here are some popular French door window treatment ideas:

Curtains for French doors

A simple but elegant solution, curtains are a classic for these doors. The French door curtain is made with fabric gathered vertically and finished off with a ruffle above the rod on the top and below the bottom rod.

The curtain can then either be left plain or decorated in a variety of ways. It can be tied together like an hourglass or split in the center with two tiebacks on each side called a reverse hourglass. Contrast headers and tiebacks add a lot of style. A pretty option is contrasting layered curtains with a plain one with an hourglass curtain on top.

If made with sheer or lace fabrics, light will still be able to filter through the curtain. Less transparent fabric will of course provide more privacy.

Curtains for french doors are a fixed window treatment solution that stays the same at all times and cannot be opened or closed at will.
Here are some rod sets that you can use for your French door curtains.

French Door Shutters

Plantation shutters can be specially designed as a French door window treatment with a cut-out by the decorative handles. The shutters are mounted securely onto the door and therefore move together the door.

If your French doors open outwards you also have the option of putting on shutters inside the house so that they will open and close without being dependent on the doors. This way the shutters can be closed even if the doors are open. However, you need to be careful to leave space for the decorative handles. You can see the various door shutters available on our sliding door page.

Top-down Shades Use shades that open from the top. This way you don't have to release the hold-down brackets to be able to open the shades. As we mentioned above hold-down brackets are important on French door window treatments to keep the window treatment and the door together.

NEW! We now sell Cellular shades for French doors.

These shades have rails on top and bottom. This keeps the shades from moving when the doors are opened or closed.


French Door Window Treatment FAQ's

French doors with arch transom above . . .

I have a set of all glass french doors that open out onto a deck. I'd like some suggestions for some privacy /sun solutions . . .

I need some suggestions how to cover my back door. The upper half has windows like a French door . . .

How do I put on window coverings on my French doors without drilling into the doors . . .

Need ideas for aluminum french door; magnet will not work . . .



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Specialty Shapes

Do you have an odd shaped window and are wondering how to cover it?

Check out our window treatment ideas for specialty shaped windows.

You will find:

  • Separate pages for each shape window ex. arch, trapezoid, etc.
  • Ideas that allow you to get the most use out of your window
  • How not to lose the unique architectural look of your window
  • How to protect your window's view while protecting your privacy

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