Window Treatment Ideas:
Country Window Treatments
& Stylish Window Covering Ideas From Europe

Window treatment ideas, European style: Browse elegant & rustic window treatments, curtains & window coverings from Europe.

Check out original window treatment photos, and find inspiration and ideas for interesting window treatments that will add flair and personality (and a 'European accent') to your home.

On this page, you'll also find:

  • easy window treatment ideas for rooms that get too much sun, and
  • simple window treatments for rooms that are too dark.

All other  links (below) will take you to dedicated articles about specific styles of curtains & window coverings ...

... plus plenty of pictures of window treatments in different European countries.

1. Tuscan Window Treatment Ideas

Recreate the charm and allure of Tuscany with Tuscan Window Treatments.

view from a window in Tuscany

They're simple, they're beautiful, and they're very  easy to copy.

They're almost always white.

This article is jam-packed with original pictures of window treatments in Tuscan villages, farmhouses and hill towns. Oh, and a palazzo as well.

What could possibly go wrong when all you need is a length of cotton fabric and some white lace?

2. French Country Window Treatment Ideas

French country curtains

If you're after pictures of window treatments with a chic, distinctly French accent, visit this section.

French Country Curtains are not just for windows - explore ways to extend the use of window curtain treatments to doorways, wardrobes, and outdoor rooms!

If you're into Toile de Jouy, check out the Toile Curtains shop.

Or, buy very simple Country French Curtains, and jazz them up with a length of Toile De Jouy Fabric or Waverly Toile Fabric.

3. Window Treatment Ideas for a Country Home

windowboxes in Switzerland

Traditional European country windows often consist of wooden shutters in combination with simple, cotton/lace window curtain treatments.

This article gives you an overview of old-world Country Window Treatments, with original pictures of window treatments that are all about a simple, unaffected, pristine beauty.

4. Exterior Window Treatment Ideas
from Tuscany and Northern Italy

window treatment in northern Italy

Italians have a unique way with windows: they seem to saturate them with color.

Not just that - they have come up with an abundant variety of ways to create the warm, luxuriant, vivacious style that is so typical of Mediterranean home decor.

Learn how to create your own, Italian-style Exterior Window Treatments.

(Oh, and you'll find lots of original pictures of window treatments from all over Tuscany and Northern Italy in this article.)

5. Window Treatment Ideas With a Difference

colored window in Jaisalmer, India

In Preparation:

If you're the daring kind, or you have an out-of-the-way window where you'd like to experiment a little, then this is for you:

A collection of textile and non-fabric ideas for interesting window treatments from Europe, India, and Japan.

Explore and make your own version of these window treatment styles, and create an extraordinary look for your home!

(Return to Top)

6. Window Treatment Ideas for Sunny Rooms

plantation shutters in London, UK

Decorating with shutters is very effective when you want to keep a sunny room cool and fairly dark on a summer day.

Use interior or exterior shutter panels with moveable slats (louvers) so that you can adjust the amount of sunlight that filters into the room.

Shutters are widely available and go with many interior styles. The drawback is, though, that when the sun's out, the light in the room is usually 'sliced' into very hard lines.

To soften the stark, angular look in a room, consider additional (lightweight) fabric curtains to cover or frame the shuttered window on the inside.

bamboo blinds

Blinds are the next best method of keeping unwanted sunlight out - you can adjust their height and keep the windows ajar to allow airflow into the room.

Blackout  roller blinds are the most effective, but on their own they can be a bit drab.

Consider combining them with fabric window treatment ideas - mount a blind 'invisibly' behind a curtain rod, a pelmet, or right into the window opening, and then layer it up with drapery.

red striped fabric awning, Italy

Alternatively, add texture and color to a room with Roman blinds, or roller blinds made of natural fibers, like bamboo (as in the picture above left), paper or thin wooden slats.

They won't keep the sunlight out completely, but they'll soften its effect.

Curtains lined with blackout material (or a thick opaque layer of fabric) are another option.

They look great in most rooms, but they're not quite as practical as a combination of blinds and drapes, because you can't adjust them in height to respond to different lighting situations.

makeshift awning on an Italian balcony

People in the Mediterranean know a thing or two about managing sunlight, and have come up with these window treatment ideas:

1. Install awnings, as in the picture above. They can look very classy and protect the interior from the sun while allowing good airflow at the same time.

The one in the photo above provides shade for a ground-floor room as well as for the small terrace outside.

To the left, an example of a makeshift 'awning' - a door curtain hung across a balcony railing in Northern Italy.

adjustable exterior shutters

2. Mount a pergola above the ground floor windows, and top it with a wattle/bamboo screen, or train climbing plants over it (roses, wine, climbing hydrangea, clematis ...)

3. Mount adjustable exterior shutters that can be angled out at the bottom. This is the most common sun protection for Mediterranean houses, and it is extremely effective.

To the right is an example of wooden shutters that open out both sideways and from the bottom up (you'll find more pictures of window treatments like these in the chapter on Decorating With Shutters, coming soon!)

(Return to Top)

7. Window Treatment Ideas for Dark Rooms

non-curtain window treatment

You'll get the maximum daylight from a small or north-facing window by leaving it completely bare. But that way, you'll also end up with gaping black 'holes in the wall' at night, and little or no privacy.

On the other hand, if you use anything beyond the thinnest and lightest fabrics to cover these windows, you'll darken the room even further.

Every thread (literally) costs precious daylight. So ...

1. Use single, flat layers of very lightweight fabric. Gathered, ruffled or pleated material will swallow too much daylight.

2. Paint the window recess in the lightest possible color, or tile it with mirror glass (if that suits the decor in the room).

3. Install mirrors opposite the windows to reflect the daylight back into the room.

4. Instead of covering the whole window, hang a café curtain that covers only the lower third or half of the window.

5. If the window is small, and if privacy is not an issue, try stretching a band of lace along the top of the frame (the Dutch did that for centuries, as a way of dealing with restrictive tax laws!)

lace curtain, Tyrol

But how to make window treatments attractive, if all you've got is a single, skinny layer of fabric - if that?

You could, for example,

  • Insert or attach some lace to a plain, flat curtain
  • To create more substantial-looking window curtain treatments, use a heavier border fabric around a sheer central panel, and starch the curtain.
  • Hang lengths of gorgeous fabric to the sides of the window (have them cover only the wall and the frame, not the glass)
  • Try scarf window treatments that don't interfere with the light (play with the space above the lintel)
  • Paint, or add an ornament (a framed picture, a carving, an antique tile) above the curtain rod
  • Place something beautiful on the windowsill - some fruit (as in the photo above), flowers, a bowl, a piece of art.
sandblasted window or frosting foil

An interesting alternative to window curtain treatments is sandblasting. If you want to test the effect first (at minimal expense), have 'frosting' foil applied to parts of the window.

Or, use a stencil and frosting spray to create your own window decoration.

The nice thing about these non-permanent window treatment ideas is that you can replace them easily & quickly if you fancy something different next week :-)

(Return to Top)

For more window treatment ideas, have a look at Alina's informative and inspiring website, Window Blinds Project. Highly recommended for simple, easy, creative window solutions!

Also, check out interior designer Jennifer Davenport's super simple 'recipe' for Swag Window Treatments - very pretty indeed!

Yet to find the information you're looking for? Type a word or phrase into the search box below: