The French are renowned for creating stylish interiors, and while we may automatically think of Parisian Chic or Provençal, there is one thing all styles of French décor have in common – the ability to dress windows to keep their homes cool in the summer without compromising on style. Almost all French homes have window shutters to help keep their rooms cool during the hot summer months and to help keep their homes safe from burglaries. In fact most French house insurance companies offer discounts to home owners if they have external shutters or bars on their downstairs windows.
Wooden blinds are most akin to shutters, the difference being blinds are fitted to the interior of the home and shutters on the exterior. Wooden blinds are available in a range of colours, including painted styles. Cream, white and pastel colours are ideal for creating a French boudoir style, and look fabulous in bedrooms. Natural wood colours are perfect for getting the French rural farmhouse look, more especially in antiqued pine, beech and teak finishes.
Aluminium Venetian blinds are also a good choice for getting the French look. Faux wood are an excellent choice in kitchens and bathrooms, where damp atmospheres can play havoc with real wood blinds. Aluminium blinds in metallic colours are ideal for city apartments and industrial loft decorating motifs, while those in rich gold and silver tones offer an opulence that is perfect for French Château decorating themes. Having the ability to provide control over the amount of light entering the room, Venetian blinds can be used in the same way as shutters to block harsh sunlight to help keep rooms cool. In towns and cities they will also provide privacy from prying eyes, and still enable you to see the outside world.
The French adore beautiful fabrics for their clothing and their soft furnishings. Luxury fabrics such as satin, silk and velvet are seen on the catwalk and used extensively for home décor. Roman blinds made from any one of these opulent fabrics will add a touch of 'je ne sais quoi' – 'a certain something' to bedrooms and living rooms. Patterns also play a huge role in French décor, fabrics such as Toile de Jouy, a linen fabric depicting a rural scene, is a great way to get an authentic French look for rural and Parisian styled interiors. This delightful fabric is available in a range of colours and scenes from which you can make your own Roman blinds. Roman blind kits make the whole process easy, even for those with little sewing skills.
When giving your room a French makeover it is worth remembering that very few French homes have curtains. Café style curtains in kitchens, and sheer panels in living rooms and bedrooms are sometimes used in combination with shutters and blinds, but it isn't a strict requirement to use them to achieve the French look.