French Country Curtains
Simple is Best...
French Country curtains are simple, yet stylish. Like wall treatments, they play a major role in creating the right backdrop for French Country décor.
Curtains are generous in volume and drop to the floor often ending in a full puddle. If they are tied back, the tie back is simple in design or perhaps just a strip of plain or patterned fabric.
As the French love to bring the outside in, windows are often thrown wide open as the outside view is of prime importance in the French Country home.
Emphasis is not on the style of the window treatment, but rather on the view of the garden beyond. For this reason, French Country curtains are simple with little elaboration. However, this does not mean they will not be stylish and elegant.
Simple French Country curtains with subtle embellishments allow the furniture to speak out and not compete, as it would with elaborate layers of designer valances and drapes.
Fabrics used are muslin, soft fine cotton, unbleached linen or seed cloth. Colors are predominately white and off white, ecru or pale and muted earthy shades.
Country French curtains are hung from wooden or metal poles attached above the window, with the ends of the pole fitted with finials. The curtains can then be attached to the pole with plain wooden or metal rings, or with tabs cut from the same fabric and attached to the curtain.
As shutters are used on both the inside and outside of the house, sometimes Country French window treatments will consist only of lace, either a straight panel or gathered.
Often there is no window treatment at all - depending on the architectural structure and design of the window and the manner in which the room is decorated.
Window Treatment Ideas
- Use old or vintage French cotton sheets as curtains.
They can be attached by sewing a row of fabric or ribbon ties to the top of the curtain, which will then tie around the pole in a knot with the ends protruding a few centimeters.
Or use the method below which is also quite effective.
- If using a very lightweight fabric for curtains, the top can be folded over to the outside about a quarter ways down the curtain, creating a natural valance and giving the curtain balance. Also give the curtain a deep hem to give it more weight.
- Cover a pelmet in a patterned print if curtains are a solid color, but use a faded or vintage fabric which won't compete with, but rather enhance the curtains.
French Country Cushions, Throws and Quilts
Quilts, throws and cushions introduce comfort, giving a homey and relaxed impression.
Use cushions and bolsters in profusion to bring color into the room, but take note they should be simple in style and shape, of mixed sizes and if possible made from treasured pieces of old or embroidered fabric.
They should be soft, squishy and scattered in an inviting way, encouraging you to sink down into them, not stiff and standing in a straight line against the back of the sofa looking like a row of soldiers.
Quilts and throws should be draped over part of, or completely cover upholstered chairs or sofas giving a relaxed warmth to the room.