French Patio Door Designs and Features

French patio doors, or otherwise known as hinged patio doors, are a great addition to any home. They give a classic feel to any space while looking elegant and functional. From the outside in, french patio doors allow for natural light as well as a patio view that could add that little extra pop that makes any space look radiant!

French door arched entry

Ins and Outs of French Patio Doors

Each french patio door has the option of being an in-swing or out-swing door; that is, the option to have the door open into the home or out of the home. There are advantages to each. It most often comes down to personal preference on which way you would like the door to open. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to each:

Hinged In-Swing Patio Doors

Advantages of in-swing french patio doors are that they are very common and come in more styles than out-swing patio doors. A disadvantage of an in-swing french patio door is that there needs to be sufficient space inside the home for the door to be while it is opened.

French door bedroom

Hinged Out-Swing Patio Doors

Advantages of out-swing french patio doors are their resistance to large force winds since they swing outwards and they can protect the inside of the home from the weather changes better than an in-swing patio door. A disadvantage of an out-swing french patio door is that there needs to be enough space outside the home for the door to open. This can be a problem for patios that are not very large since it will take up valuable outdoor space.

French patio doors

Different Home Styles Lead to Different French Patio Door Styles

Choosing a patio door can be stressful. A patio door is something that is seen everyday so you want to be sure to make an educated decision on what style is right for your home. Below are some examples of home styles and french patio door styles that go along with them. Be creative and have fun while choosing the french patio door that best fits your home!

Spanish Colonial

Spanish colonial homes are becoming more popular around the Midwest and across the country. From the stucco walls to the concrete tile roof, Spanish style homes make a statement on any block. A french patio door for Spanish style homes need to blend into the rest of the home’s exterior. A good recommendation would be an in-swing french patio door with a half circle specialty window above the door to keep within the Spanish style. An equal light grille pattern on the french patio door as well as a renaissance grille pattern on the half circle above the door will complement all of the home’s Spanish features!


Farmhouse homes are an American staple. They are classic and make a statement. American Farmhouse style homes have a specific rustic polished exterior look. The french patio door should be no different. The classic patio door for a farmhouse home is an in-swing patio door with a transom. Most windows on these homes have an equal 2×2 grille pattern. For the french patio door a similar style is suggested. For example, a 2×4 grille pattern would fit well with the rest of the homes style. The transom adds the perfect rustic touch. It adds more light inside the home as well as adding a visual element that appeals to everyone both inside and outside the home.

Prairie Homes

Prairie homes are as original as they come. Frank Lloyd Wright began creating prairie style homes in 1900 and still to this day the style is being replicated. Prairie style home have distinct features with their sloping roofs and clean lines. Homes like these have powerful styles. For this reason, their french patio doors must be distinct as well. An in-swing french patio door with stained glass follows the original style well. The stained glass is of course optional but it adds a pop of color and texture to the exterior of the home that fits well within the clean lines.

prarie style home

Georgian/Federal Homes

Georgian or Federal style homes remind most of us of historical red brick homes. Their more symmetrical appearance is nothing less than grand. French patio door selections for this type of home are more complex than other styles discussed before. For this type of home an in-swing french patio door with sidelights as well as an elliptical transom would blend in with the home wonderfully. Sidelights are windows on either side of the door. They add light and depth into the homes exterior as well an interior. The elliptical transom covers the length above the door from sidelight to sidelight. This adds a stately element that make the french patio door pop! An equal grille pattern would be fitting for both the french patio door as well as the sidelights. A more fun grille pattern like a sunburst would be fitting for the transom above.

Different Types of Glass for French Patio Doors

Different glass types fit different home styles but also different personal styles. Some types of glass that were stated above might not be fitting for certain personal styles and that is okay! Each home has a different use for their french patio door. For this reason there are different types of glass that can be used on patio doors.

Textured Glass for Privacy

If there are privacy concerns, textured glass could be used. Textured glass will allow light through the glass but will not allow for anything else to be seen through. There are different types of textured glass, some allowing more transparency than others. This is a great option for those who want the look of  french patio door but also want privacy.

Textured glass

Features Available to Add to French Patio Doors

Instead of textured glass for privacy, there is also an option for a french patio door with blinds. French patio doors with blinds between the glass are a great way to save space as well as have the door look great. For any style home, having blinds inside the glass is an option that should be highly considered. The blinds do not get dirty and they allow for a sleek look without any added dangers of dangling cords.

French door handles

For those who are not looking for a certain style french patio door to go along with their home, there are more options than just a plain door. While choosing a french patio door design there is a freedom to choose from many options that will suit your wants and needs. Below are some other options that you can add to a french patio door to make it a statement the whole neighborhood will be talking about.

Decorative Transoms that Come in Different Shapes and Sizes

Transoms are not only for certain style homes. Transoms are windows above the door that add more light into the room while also adding a decorative touch. They come in many shapes and sizes that will complement your french patio door. Half moon transoms are great if there is ample space above the french door. For a shorter ceiling, a rectangle transom could be added. This will make the ceilings look higher and draw the light upwards brightening the room. Another style available is an arch transom. Arch transoms resemble a mix between the half moon and rectangle shape transoms. For any shape, there are grille patterns that could be added for an extra touch. Once the shape of the transom is chosen, the fun can begin with the smaller details like the grille pattern!

Sidelights for French Patio Doors that are Show Stoppers

Sidelights are a great addition to any french patio door. Sidelights are windows on the side of the door that add more light and visual appeal to the door. There are two main options for sidelights, vented or just original sidelights.  Vented sidelights are highly functional and great to get ventilation into the room while not having to worry about having the french patio door open. They open like windows and allow for air to come in to any space. Original sidelights are great if a visual effect is needed. While they do not open, they create a sense that the space and door is larger, making a grander effect. Sidelights, either vented or not, are an addition to french patio doors that should be looked into by all.

There are many different options for french patio doors. French patio doors are not only beautiful, but also highly functional. They add a special element to any patio. There are different types of styles of french patio doors that are good to now about before picking out your door. Find a french patio door style that makes your patio POP!

Share this article:


Get started with

*View our privacy policy

Or call us at 1-866-4FELDCO®
or visit one of our locations.


brown double hung windows

What Are Window Jambs & Why Are They Important?

Window Jambs & Their Importance Window jambs are indispensable as ...

Identifying & Addressing Hail Damage: A Comprehensive Guide

Identifying & Addressing Hail Damage to your Siding Hailstorms pose ...

Mastering Roofing in Cedar Rapids: A Comprehensive Guide

Mastering Roofing in Cedar Rapids, IA: A Comprehensive Guide Embarking ...
weather stripping on windows and doors

Your Guide to Window Replacement and Flashing in Cedar Rapids

Your Guide to Window Replacement and Flashing in Cedar Rapids, ...
childproof windows

Childproofing Your Windows: Window Safety Features

Childproofing Your Windows & Creating a Safe Environment for Your ...

Book Today and Save!

Over 500,000 homeowners have trusted Feldco with their windows, siding and doors. Click the button below and we’ll get started on your quote!