When designers create homes today, they go to extreme lengths to ensure that the surroundings are welcoming and inviting to all who enter the home. They strive to find the exact balance of texture and light to give an open and gracious feel by selecting doors and windows that are beautiful and light-inviting as well as of practical construction to withstand daily use. The beauty of doors is never more apparent when they choose French doors on both interior and exterior application to make full use of the light throughout the home.
The need for home light
The 17th century Renaissance designers knew exactly what they were doing when they let as much natural sunlight into the buildings as they could. At that time, there were no electric lights, and so they had to bring in the light from outside. The windows in their homes were full length from ceiling to floor. Often times they elegantly led out onto balconies where the window could open and fully admit the sun and pleasant breeze. Light would fill each room for the entire day, giving them an air of summer even during winter months. The emphasis at that time was on symmetry and geometry just as it was in earlier Roman architecture.
Windows then became doors
The large windows soon became a part of the interior of the homes, letting in sunlight for a longer part of the day. The inside rooms and hallways soon had light as well. These interior doors were first made of wood and adorned with wrought iron to add style. French doors were traditionally made of individual glass windows held by bars of wood which created frames for the windows.
Today’s French doors convey beauty and openness
Today, French doors are also known as French windows as they have windows set into the door from top to bottom. The windows are often referred to as “lites.” The bars that divide the door between the lites are called mullions. In the door-manufacturing industry, French doors are often called true divided lite French doors (TDL). Each lite in a TDL door is built separately when the door is constructed. If you order an eight lite door for example, it will be built with eight separate lites inserted independently into their own mullions. Some manufacturers use a single lite covering the entire length of the door and then add an inexpensive snap-in or glue-on ornamental grid to make it look like a true divided lite door.
Because French doors are not really made for privacy, they are created to be a source of artwork in the home. They add character and increase the value of the home while helping to let light enter into rooms with full beauty whether between rooms or those that open out to the exterior of the home. Modern doors rival the beauty of those original French windows and are constructed of different types of wood such as alder or mahogany which provide texture and color to adorn and accessorize the glass inserts. Each glass lite itself can be glistening and sheer or etched with design and pattern. These doors bring ambiance to the home and reflect the personality of those who chose the doors.