French Closet Doors: Functional Alternatives
French closet doors are one of the best ways to create a practical yet attractive closure for your closet space. These doors allow you to access all of your space in the closet and do away with unattractive tracks and rollers.
This can transform an unsightly space into one that looks neat and tidy. We have gathered some great French door closet options as well as some DIY advice to help you complete your project.
What are French Closet Doors?
There is some confusion around the phrase “French closet door”. There is both a strict definition and general usage for this phrase. According to Doors & More, to be defined as a French door, a door must have “at least two panels, with one of those panels being glazed to allow light to pass through.”
Yet, in the general public and even among some door producers, French doors are used as a shorthand for hinged double doors that meet in the middle and open outward. In keeping with the popular phrasing, we will consider French closet doors as both solid and glass-paneled double doors with hinges.
French Closet Doors: Pros and Cons
Closet French doors are one type of closet door that you can choose. While they offer distinct advantages over sliding and bi-fold doors, there are some disadvantages to also consider.
- Variety of Styles – There are many attractive styles for French closet doors because it is such a popular option for internal doors.
- Better Inside View – French closet doors open all the way to allow you to access even the darkest corners of your closet.
- Space Usage – You can use the back of the hinged closet doors to hang belts, ties, scarves etc to save space inside the closet.
- Attractive – French doors for a closet present a more attractive and modern style than bi-fold or sliding doors.
- Space in the Room – French closet doors take up valuable space in a room when you open them. This makes the space in the room unusable for other things.
- Closet Opening Size – If you are retrofitting closet French doors to take the place of other doors, the opening size may be too wide to fit most standard size double French doors.
French Closet Door Design Ideas
There is so much variety available for French closet doors. We have gathered some diverse styles that will help you narrow down what you like as you consider your own space.
Craftsman French Doors for Closet Spaces
One of the most popular Craftsman door styles is one with recessed panels inside a square frame. This 4 panel Craftsman door was used as a closet door to help frame this area and create a cohesive and symmetric room design.
Contemporary French Door Closet
Using glass French doors to cover your closet is not traditional. Using decorative glass like this frosted and clear glass pattern in these French closet doors is a great way to bring some light into the dark closet while still maintaining some sense of privacy.
Mirrored French Closet Doors
Closet French doors with mirrors add a look of glam but also provide functionality in the room. Also, these mirrored doors reflect light and brighten this side of the room without windows.
Traditional French Closet Doors
If you like the idea of using traditional French doors on your closet, consider a walk-in-closet design with built-in cabinets. The French closet doors allow you to look into the room but the built-in cabinets keep all your personal items neat and confined.
French Door Closet Wall
Custom built-in doors always give a room a look of distinction and style. These paneled French closet doors feature another cabinet above them with the same recessed panel design. Together, these create ample storage in this transitional London home.
French Closet Doors: Buying Options
Make sure when you are looking at doors to purchase, you check to see if it is a slab or prehung door. This will tell you if the frame, hinges, and other hardware is included or if you are just purchasing the door itself.
French Closet Door with Pivot Hinge
This French closet door has a pivot hinge which is ideal when you want the accessibility offered by a swing door but you do not have the available room. Pivot doors have a smaller inswing and outswing than the size of the door because the hinge is offset. These double doors from Ark Design have frosted glass to allow light but minimize the view into the closet area.
Paneled French Closet Doors
These double doors from Sarto Doors have a single recessed panel design that works well for contemporary and modern design styles. It is a prehung door that includes the frame and hardware. It has a solid core of solid pine with an eco-veneer skin. It offers a good level of sound insulation and is available in eight different sizes.
Traditional Style French Closet Doors
These traditional French closet doors are another option from Sarto Doors. This design features doors of solid pine construction and covered in an eco-veneer. This style has clear glass and works well if you want to create a custom walk-in closet space without shutting out all the light. These doors are useful if you have no other windows in your closet.
French Closet Doors: DIY Advice
If you want to add French closet doors to your home and want to try to do it yourself, brush up on your DIY skills with these helpful blog posts.
Installing French Closet Doors with Ana White
In this helpful blog post, Ana White walks through how they installed French closet doors in their home. She includes helpful close-up pictures of all the hardware components as well as a video tutorial that walk you through the process step-by-step.
How to Turn Bi-Fold Doors into French Doors
If your closet has bi-fold doors that are in good shape, use them as a foundation to create hinged closet doors. In this blog post from Harbour Breeze Home, she walks you through her process of converting her doors into modern farmhouse French closet doors. This blog post also includes a video tutorial and helpful pictures showing her process.
What is the True Definition of a French Door?
A French door is a door that has glass panes as part of its construction. Because you see French doors so often as double doors, it has come to also refer to two doors that are hinged on the side and close together in the middle.
What is the Best Kind of Closet Door?
The type of closet door you choose should depend on your budget, style, and space in the room. Of the three main types of closet doors, folding, sliding, and hinged (or French) doors, each has positives and negatives. French closet doors look the most custom, but they take up more room than other doors and cost more to install. Bi-fold doors are more space-saving and allow you to access most of the closet, but they have an outdated style that can look messy as they are often left open. Sliding doors have a sleek and tailored look, but they allow you to just access one side of the closet at a time.
French closet doors are a good alternative for someone looking to update their closet design. They have certain advantages over bi-fold and sliding doors that make them an attractive option for modern home design. Because this style door is popular, you are sure to find a style that fits your needs and helps to complement the style of your home.