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Are French Doors Actually French?

French doors are open wide onto a home's porch.

Ah, the allure of French doors. With their elegant design and timeless charm, they add a touch of sophistication to any space. But have you ever wondered if these door designs truly originated in France?

While their name may evoke images of Parisian boulevards and quaint bistros, the origins of French doors trace back to a different time and place.

The birth of French doors can be attributed to the Italian Renaissance, where they made their first appearance as grand, floor-to-ceiling windows. These windows were incredibly popular in the 16th century for balcony access but weren’t considered doors.

Doorways of Paris

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It wasn’t until the 17th century that these Italian creations gained popularity in France. The French, known for their impeccable taste and eye for design, adopted and refined the concept…except, they transformed the windows into what we now recognize as French doors.

The French version featured multiple glass panes held together by delicate mullions (the vertical bars you see between panes), allowing natural light to flood interiors while maintaining a sense of elegance and privacy.

Soon, French doors transcended borders, making their way into various architectural styles across Europe and beyond. Today, French doors continue to enchant us with their timeless allure.

They seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces, inviting nature’s beauty to grace our interiors. Whether leading to a blossoming garden, a cozy balcony, or a backyard with a playground, these doors embody a sense of openness and sophistication.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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