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French Country shutters are synonymous with elegance, history, and charm. These exterior window shutters make a home look welcoming and they add a layer of beauty to the exterior design of French houses and apartments. In short, they provide the perfect finishing touch for French (or French-inspired) homes! If you too love the look of French Country shutters and want to add a dash of je ne sais quoi to your home, in this post you’ll find real-life European exterior shutter inspiration that will make your sacred place look like a French home. And though not all of these houses are in France, they follow the same French Country design and provide so many classic ideas for styling shutters yourself.
1. Manor house, Valbonne, Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur, France
I have one word for this manor house and that’s Magnifique! This French Country-style home has a natural yet regal elegance. The home exterior boasts natural materials like stone and a neutral, solid color that stands the test of time.
A stunning courtyard and front entrance with climbing plants give the house a touch of romance on the traditional exterior. And, of course, one of the main features that are too beautiful to ignore is the French countryside shutters.
This mansion has louvered shutters that work perfectly with the traditional French windows and they add to the romance of the house in this dusty pink and beige hue. (Cool history fact: This was once the vacation home of JFK’s family!)
2. Lakefront Trophy Estate, Italy
This beautiful home in Como, Italy is exactly what you would expect when you think of the charming simplicity of 18th-century European design. The design of the mansion was influenced by the surrounding natural elements such as the lake and gardens.
White limestone and quoin (blocks at the corner of a house) provide a chic and natural look. Other design elements that stand out the most are the symmetrical rectangular windows that give the home a sense of planning and purpose. They are decorated with grey-blue louvered shutters that match beautifully with the stone finishes.
3. Manor House, Vaud, Switzerland
This charming French Country inspired home makes heavy use of natural design elements like limestone walls and a pea gravel driveway. These natural elements all work together to add some texture and warmth to the house.
Other charming details like the weathered front door and trailing vines give the home a lived-in feel. What else is there to love? The color of these shutters! These warm beige French shutters add a touch of calm yet contrast.
4. Trophy Estate, Florence, Italy
I may be biased, but no architectural style can give you quite a lovely home experience like French Country houses. And this house is the perfect example! The plaster/stucco sets the perfect backdrop for green shutters and overflowing window boxes. This style is breathtaking and timeless.
As mentioned earlier, French Country homes take inspiration from the surrounding area, which is why green shutters were used to decorate the windows. The green hue blends in well with the dreamy garden.
Key Elements of French Country Shutters
They Are Not Decorative Shutters
Homes in the United States usually use shutters for decorative purposes. However, that is not the same case for French Country homes. The French add functional shutters to the windows which are used every day – they are just as important as a front door.
It’s okay if the shutters you plan to install are purely decorative! But to make it look authentic, it’s best if they look big enough to cover the window if they were to be closed.
A Natural Color Palette
After looking at thousands of European homes (and going to Europe myself), shutters are almost always in colors that mimic the natural surroundings of the French countryside.
For example, blue shutters take inspiration from the lake or ocean and hunter-green is inspired by the Mediterranean vegetation. If the color is not directly related to nature, then they’re usually in a neutral color like beige, sage green, or stained wood.
It is no secret that the French love classic designs and this is evident in the types of shutter designs they choose. Common styles you will see are board and batten shutters. This design has an old-world look that provides a classic look to an exterior of a home.
But there are other different styles like louvered shutters, flat panel shutters, archtop shutters, and raised panel shutters with ornate hardware.
Now that you’re armed with information and inspiration, it’s time for the fun part – shopping for French Country shutters!
If you ever saw a beautiful house in a French village, and thought, “I wish my house could look like that!” Good news, it can. Adding these shutters is an easy way to emulate a French Country design.
The small arch detail makes the shutters look effortlessly chic and rustic. These highly-rated shutters also have a realistic wood grain that gives them a lived-in look. But of course, only use arched shutters if you have arched windows!
Get ready to say “oui!” to this next shutter style. The most classic style, it’d be hard to find a French Country home without louvered exterior shutters.
What’s to love about this style is that it comes in an elegant green hue called “heritage green”. This shade would look beautiful against a cream limestone wall and blend well with a well-maintained garden.
This flat panel design will make your house stand out in a chic way without looking pretentious. Pair it with a tall, rectangular window to achieve an authentic French Country home look.
For an understated classic look, try these louvered shutters. Affordable yet highly rated, they will provide so much charm and style to the exterior of your home.
Boost the curb appeal of your home by adding these round arch-top shutters! They have an aged finish that can give your home an effortless old-world charm. One reviewer said they are “the best-looking shutters I’ve ever seen.”
Whichever pair you get, French Country shutters exude a lived-in and subdued elegance that is perfect for styling the exterior of your home. If you want the exterior of your home to look like it is in Provence, then simply add shutters!
Did you know that you can DIY shutters too? Though I don’t have an in-depth tutorial for you, you can see how I gave my previous modest ranch a European makeover by limewashing the brick and adding DIY shutters. Up Next: My French Country Cottage Inspired Exterior Reveal!