French country style is the cohesive presentation of both European styles and rustic design elements. The color palette encompasses soft creams, peaceful grays and light colors with either of those hues at their base. The style also includes charmingly ornate, but never overworked hardware and furniture, such as faded wood chairs, and country-inspired structural elements. Picture a room with a farmhouse table and rounded wooden chairs, a rich cream rug on the floor and an elegant chandelier.
Common traits of French country style
While it's easy enough to identify furnishings and home decor with a French country style, it can be much harder to create a design plan that ties everything together. Whether you're redesigning a single room or your entire home, these traits and elements are popular features for every iteration of French country style:
- Tall windows with dramatic window finishes and sheer curtains to allow natural light in
- A focus on neutral, soft colors
- Natural materials such as wood, natural stone and white-washed brickwork
- A blend of soft and hard lines so the room isn't too harshly rustic or too rich and pillowy
What doesn't fit into French country style?
When you're selecting new window finishes and home decor styles, it's just as important to know what shouldn't belong on your wish list as it is to know what should be. These are some elements that should be avoided in French country style. This can include jewel tones and bright colors, even in accessories and pops of color. You want to avoid using metal elements including frames, furniture and visible hardware, chromed and shiny metals are particularly hard to reconcile with French country style. That said, pops of brushed and matte metals (for cabinetry handles, curtain rods and light fixtures) can be blended into the style.
For a French country design, it is also best to not use heavy fabrics. This can weigh down the room and take away from the light, airy feel of the aesthetic. Rather than heavy blackout curtains and ornate drapes, opt for medium-weight drapes and a sheer underlayer.
How to use a moodboard to create French Country style window designs
A mood board is the perfect space for mixing and matching samples of your French country style inspiration. You can build a Pinterest board or a physical board with your favorite fabrics, furniture styles, window finishes and accessories. This is a great way to ensure the colors complement each other and the different elements create a well-balanced space.
Window treatments to bring French country design to life
Once you're familiar with the principles of the French country style design aesthetic, creating a new room design can be a fun adventure. When it comes to finding the perfect window treatments to complement your French country design, we have a few recommendations that have stood the test of time for this calming style.
1. Plantation shutters
Plantation shutters fulfill the rustic aesthetic that makes up the backbone of French country style. The classic timelessness of plantation shutters will make your home's windows look larger and grand. At the same time, they allow for plenty of natural light and will never clash with any of your other window finishes or nearby decor. They can also help insulate your windows so you can enjoy that natural light all year long, summer or winter.
2. Sheer curtains
To continue preserving as much natural light as possible, opt for sheer curtains or drapes in your windows. Lightly colored sheer curtains can preserve your privacy and stop some of the harmful effects of the sun's rays while still allowing plenty of light into your home. They're a great option for when you want to open your drapes but don't want your windows completely exposed. Also, there's nothing more homey than having your sheer curtains moving in a light breeze as you enjoy your newly redesigned home.
3. Roller shades
Window roller shades are available in a wide range of styles, textures and colors, making them the perfect choice for any French country style room. They don't take up space, so even small rooms can seem open and inviting. Because they sit squarely inside the window box, you can also use them as a beautiful but straightforward option for bay windows around a reading nook. Roller shades can be completely opaque or semi-transparent and sheer for as much natural light as you'd like.
Pair them with window valances to add ornate drapes and splashes of color or texture to your window without overwhelming the space.
Match French country style with modern convenience
With motorized and smart roller shades, you can have a rustic, old-fashioned look with modern benefits. Opt for smart roller shades that you can put on a timer or control from your smartphone so you can enjoy natural light at the tap of your screen or as the sun is rising.
At Budget Blinds, we offer curtains, shutters, shades and more for every design aesthetic. We can bring your French country style dreams to life with light and neutral color palettes, elegant fabrics and timeless designs. Contact us today to learn more about our custom window finishes or schedule a consultation so your new window finishes will be a perfect physical and aesthetic fit for your home.