Dress Your Windows With French Country Curtains

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When it comes time to choose your window treatments there are several factors to consider such as privacy, light control, and the surrounding view. French country curtains can solve all of these issues and add color and pattern to the room at the same time.

If privacy is an issue you will want to ensure that your curtains prevent outsiders from peeking in. This is certainly important in a bedroom or bath area but can also be an issue if your windows face a busy street, your neighbor’s backyard, etc. In these instances you have several choices that provide the necessary privacy but are attractive as well:

  • Shades, woven blinds, and shutters provide ultimate privacy when closed but can look bare at the top. A valance or cornice placed at the top of the window adds both color and pattern and makes it possible for you to use fabric that coordinates with the rest of the room. Be sure to add those all important details such as buttons, nailhead trim, fringe or braid for added interest and a designer touch.
  • Drapery panels make it possible for you to close off the window completely when needed but let the light in at other times. In French country decor, these would be casual panels that are attached to a curtain rod with rings, grommets, ties, and tabs or simply shirred onto the rod. Choose colors and patterns that coordinate with the rest of your decorating for a cohesive look. For example, toile is a classic French country fabric for curtains and works beautifully in a room with the same toile fabric used on the bedding, upholstery and/or wall coverings. If this is too much pattern for your taste, consider simple linen panels that have a toile band placed at the leading edge of the curtains or along the hem. Lace curtain panels can be placed behind the curtains if you desire more privacy and light control during the daytime.
  • Cafe or tiered curtains are a casual window treatment that can be used in a kitchen, utility space, child’s bedroom or casual dining area. This style offers some privacy when the lower panels are closed but still allows light into the room. They are easy to hang with a tension rod and add a subtle touch of color or pattern to your space. A valance can also be added to the top of the window for even more coverage.

Light control is important in all areas of your home. After all, the amount of light that enters a room affects the temperature of the room and can fade your valuable furniture and expensive fabrics. Based on the amount of light control you desire in a particular space you have several window treatment choices:

  • Roller shades can be lowered or raised to the desired height, allowing you to control the amount of light that enters a room. However, when a roller shade is raised you cannot diffuse the light. If this is desired you may want to consider some sort of mini blind that is controlled with a wand allowing you to let as much light into the room as you want or close it off completely. Shutters also make it possible to control the amount of and direction of the light but can be more expensive than blinds or roller shades.
  • Curtain panels also allow you to control the amount of light depending on how wide you open them. But your fabric choice is also important. An opaque fabric prevents light from entering through the fabric and protects your furnishings but a sheer or loose weave fabric will still allow the sun’s damaging rays to enter the room. Consider lining your curtains to protect the drapery fabric as well as the interior of your home.

The surrounding view outside of your windows may also determine what type of window treatment you choose. If it is a beautiful view of a garden, lake, city lights, etc you will probably not want to block that view. In this instance, consider framing the view with beautiful drapery panels that compliment the rest of your French country decor fabrics. On the other hand, if your view consists of a busy street, the side of your neighbor’s garage or unattractive power lines, for example, you can partially “hide” the view through the use of sheer panels placed behind your drapery panels or with shutters or blinds that can be partially opened.

Regardless of whether you choose country curtains, blinds, shutters or drapery panels, you can avoid disappointment down the road if you consider all of these factors when it comes time to choosing the proper window treatments for your French country home.