Photo Courtesy: Sherry Rose
Create the perfect country look through the delicate draping of lace blinds and floral curtains at the window, or build a classic French character by carefully placing chic striped blinds and painted wooden shutters. Whatever you choose, remember to give your choice of window furnishings time, thought, and energy, so that they fit in with the rest of your home.
Your choice of window furnishings will dictate so much about the practicalities of how you use your home. Curtains, shutters and blinds control the light that comes into your space, and consequently the heat also.
That’s why you’ll find different types of window furnishings across the globe; in England, heavy curtains are used to keep heat in and wind out. In France, shutters and light cotton curtains are used to keep out cool night-time breezes and deflect the summer sun. In Sweden, blinds and lace peninsulas are used to create chic lines and reflect the beautiful sunshine all year round.
Creating an English Country Cottage Style
For true English character, pick a pretty lace window cover to maintain privacy and enjoy the low winter sun, as well as thick and heavy curtains to draw on a winter’s evening. This classic combination is both formal and practical.
Old country homes of the extremely wealthy are noted for their extravagant embroidered curtains with matching peninsulas. This is obviously quite an expense to replicate, but you might be able to pick up some good fabric at a yard sale or auction that will fit the bill – though you may need to dry clean or alter them to fit your window size.
For true English style, drape your curtains over beautiful handcrafted windows, which have been prettily patterned, frosted or rippled to create an interesting effect – this is great for smaller windows in bathrooms or on front doors.
Spotlight on Blinds
Whether you choose Venetian blinds or Roman blinds, make sure you choose something you really like and that is practical for your house also. Opt for sturdy classics, in simple cotton for a design that will last – and if you’ll be turning the blinds each day, then find a system that functions well, and draws easily.
Blinds are famed for their simplicity and elegance, and they suit many different types of homes. Steer clear of bold designs if you want something that will last – Swedish white will look great in the centuries to come, just as it has done in centuries past.
There are no problem buying ready-made blinds – so long as you have sensibly proportioned windows. They come in a wide variety of lengths and widths, and many of the more affordable options can be trimmed to size. You can even create your own quite simply if you find some fabric you really love and want to use.
Furnishing your Home with Classic French Design
The classic French shutters are a time honored hero of design, and no country cottage in any province in France would be seen without them. Pick a pretty color, and have them handmade if you want to do things the proper way. Duck egg blue, sunshine yellow or sage green are all beautiful options and will go well with the perfect tiled roof.
Finish the polished French look with beautiful glass windows that have had their frames painted to match, or be suitable contrasting in color.
Electric blinds are a staple of large villas when, at the push of a button, they can go up or down to let the bright sunshine in or out, depending on the time of day and the season. You can have these fitted by a professional for a reasonable price, and there are many companies willing to do this for you.