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A Brief History of French Doors

posted 15 Sept 2010, 06:32 by Mpelembe   [ updated 15 Sept 2010, 06:33 ]

What's a French door? And where did it come from, aside from
France obviously? The history of the French door dates back
as far as the 17th century when France was at war with
Italy. A French door, also known as a French window, is a
light door that has glass panes that extend for most of its
length and usually come in a pair. The original French doors
were constructed of individual, single paned pieces of glass
and wood—basically a window. But over time, the door has
become widely popular throughout its existence because of
its multifunctional uses and beauty. A French door is
popular choice for many home owners and office buildings
because they bring light into a room and also work function
as a door. It's as simple as that.

During the 17th century, Renaissance art and architecture
was constantly changing under the influence of new ideas.
French doors originated as windows that reached to the floor
and led onto small balconies and even began to appear in
England by the end of the century. Because Renaissance
architecture focused on symmetry, proportion, regularity and
geometry, similarly to ancient Roman architecture, there was
a heavy emphasis on light, thus creating the necessity for
glass panes. This led to a greater incorporation of windows
the French had not used before, including doors. Windows in
doors allowed for users to have light in their homes for a
longer part of the day, before electricity existed. Light
could be brought into hallways and interiors rooms that
otherwise did not have windows.

French doors were originally made of wood and wrought iron
for added style and structure. Over time, as the glass
industry developed, embedded windows in the structure
allowed light to come through and were traditionally made up
of individual glass windows. Today, these doors are made with
many different materials, although wood or rigid PVC or
aluminum is preferred because of their lightweight and

Over time, French doors and other door styles have evolved
and have become drastically more elaborate. Casement window
manufacturing extended windows to meet the floor on upper
levels leading to balconies. Today, these doors are present
in the home and office, often a popular choice of
architects, civil and structural engineers who value their
rich history and also favor spacious atmospheres. The
creativity and innovation of French door manufacturers have
created with new techniques to improve a French door,
including installing miniblinds between the panes of glass
for added privacy when desired. Folding French doors are a
restaurant owner's favorite for expanding seating capacity.
Only our imaginations can limit the uses of a French door.
There's really no boundary when using something as simple,
practical and elegant as a French door.

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