SOLUTION: The French door dilemma seems to be one of the most popular! Let me offer some suggestions that will appease your client.
As you profile the window, there are many considerations to keep in mind: aesthetics, function and blending styles that are appropriate with your client's many antiques. Depending on the clearance above the French door, including the wood casing around the doors, mounting the treatment in the proper location is very important. Some possibilities of styles would include:
•Swags, a fabric valance that falls gracefully from the top of a window and drapes in a downward direction. Keep in mind the most important part of a swag treatment on a French door application is the lowest part of the swag. It must not interfere with the top portion of the door as it swings into the room. Obstructions are the largest part of the French door dilemma.
•Valances in a variety of styles are another option for the French door. The valance is defined as a top treatment in various shapes and styles. They also can be described by their shape or function such as scalloped, tapered, crescent, ruffled, tab, tailored or puff. Again, confirm the length and check for obstruction when designing the various styles of valances for above a French door.
•Stationary balloon valances are another choice for above French doors. This treatment is considered a valance with a scalloped bottom, somewhat similar to the balloon curtain.
•RTB (rod top/bottom) Lace Panels (also known as door panels) are an option for covering the window portion of the French door. Hold-down brackets are not required for these treatments, as the bottom rod secures the treatment in place. This style of window treatment also will blend in well with the period style in the room.
•Blinds and shades are still a possibility. The soft look of a pleated, honeycomb or Roman-fold shade gives a soft look to any French door and is versatile when it comes to style and color. Keep hold-down brackets in mind with blinds and shades, however. These will keep the window treatment from flapping each time the door is opened.
As with any window treatment, French doors offer many possibilities. Remember to profile the window and design around any obstructions. The window should be appealing, functional and aesthetically pleasing.
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
666 Dundee Rd., Ste. 807
Northbrook, IL 60062-2769
Fax: (847) 498-9299
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer in both commercial and residential design. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout California and currently is an educator at Moorpark college in southern California. She is a published author and frequent public speaker.