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What Are French Doors/Why Are They Called French Doors?


French doors have been a popular type of home improvement for as long as we can remember. Trends come and go but French doors have never really gone out of fashion. They’re a perfect way to transition seamlessly from house to garden and their wide glazing areas mean they fill homes with light.

But for those not familiar with the term, what are French doors? And what is it that makes them French? Let’s take a closer look.

The Typical French Door

French doors are similar to double doors, and the names are sometimes used interchangeably. They consist of two separate doors that join in the middle and open outwards. Unlike double doors, French doors have wide glazing areas and aren’t typically used as front entrances, they’re more likely to lead onto gardens, patios, or balconies. There’s a certain springtime charm about them and they make for a bright, airy home.

Why Are They Called French Doors?

What exactly is it though, that makes them French? Well, they date back to the renaissance period and first became popular in France. They then spread throughout northern Europe and were a sign of cultured elegance for the elite. As they originated in France, the name ‘French doors’ stuck and has been in use ever since.

However, there is some debate over whether they genuinely are French, or whether the Italians can lay claim to inventing them. The French were involved in the Italian wars, a series of conflicts that started in 1494 and while on campaign, were exposed to the local architecture. Large, two-pane windows that could also function as doors were popular in Italy at the time, and when the French army returned home, they took the designs with them.

The sticking point in the debate is at what point those windows truly became doors. Had the Italians already invented French doors, or were the French inspired to adapt a type of window into their own design? We’ll leave the final decision to the professional historians, but the term ‘French doors’ has persisted and that’s what we’ll continue to use.

Regardless, French doors are a wonderful investment and can brighten up the home. We make ours with high-quality aluminium and have added a modern twist to their classic design.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can email us at and one of our expert staff will be happy to speak with you. Alternatively, if you’d like to get started on your own aluminium French doors, you can request a free online quote today. We can’t wait to hear from you.