If you love the look for French doors but want a bit more privacy than they typically offer, there are several solutions that can help you. Balancing your need for light and your desire for privacy can be hard, but it isn't impossible. Here are five ideas to inspire you:
1. Two-Way Mirrors
Instead of having traditional glass panes on your windows, consider two-way mirrors. Have your French door manufacturer, face the mirror side to the outside. Anyone standing outside your home will see their reflection, but inside, your panes will look just like glass.
Best of all, the mirror side of a two-sided mirror lets through light, meaning you can still enjoy light through your doors in your home.
For a faster and easier solution, buy mirrored decals and apply them to the glass panes on either side of your French doors. Line up the decals so the look the same on both sides. If you use enough decals, you will create the illusion of privacy.
2. Frosted Glass
In lieu of mirrors, consider frosted glass. It lets in light almost as effectively as clear glass, but no one can see through it. If you are adding new French patio doors, have them designed with frosted glass, or simply have the glass replaced on your existing windows with frosted glass.
For a cheaper alternative, cover the glass on your existing French doors with a layer of film. You can use the sun blocking film people use to darken their car windows, or you can use a decorative film that simulates the look of frosted glass.
If you are trying to cover your French patio door windows with your crafty skills, consider doing decoupage over your glass. With decoupage, you essentially choose pictures or patterns you like, and you glue them to your windows. Maps can provide a unique and sophisticated covering for your windows, but you can play with any colours, patterns or pictures you like.
If you aren't confident about your decoupage skills, consider just painting the windows of your French doors. With special paint designed just for glass, you can make the colours and patterns you like on your panes.
4. Window Treatments
If you don't want to make permanent alterations to your French patio doors but you still want privacy, you should use window treatments. There are a range of window treatments made specially for French patio doors, and you can buy anything from curtains to shades. Opt for gauzy materials if you want to let in light.
If you don't have money to buy traditional window treatments or curtain rails. You can make a quick substitute. Simply, grab a couple of hooks with adhesive backs and stick them to either side of your French door. Then, rest a PVC pipe on the hooks.
Buy a cheap sheet from a thrift store or a piece of discounted fabric from a craft store. Cut it slightly longer than your window. Then, fold over the top and stitch a slot in it. Slip your PVC pipe through the slot, hang the pipe on your hooks and you have an instant French door curtain.
5. Reclaimed Wood
When designing a French patio door, keep in mind that they don't have to feature a lot of glass. Traditionally, when people think of French doors, they think of doors with lots of little panes of glass or big panes of glass. However, you can design French patio doors in a range of ways.
For example, instead of having doors that are mostly glass, consider using reclaimed barn doors. That way, your French doors can be all privacy-giving wood, or they can be wood on the bottom with glass on the top.
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