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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 6

Friday, February 17, 2017

~  Architecture  ~ 

Eyebrow Arch Windows & Doors  

How do we know what IS French design? When selecting furnishings, lighting, accessories, and architectural elements for our homes how do we decide what to use to replicate French style? 

If you wish to have an authentic touch of French style, then you are in the right place. Each Friday Botanic Bleu goes to the source for French design through snapshots of French architecture, houses, textiles, metal work, food, woodwork, landscapes... and discovers inspiration for creating 

a French-inspired garden and home. 


I fell in love with the curved top windows, doors, and arches in France the moment I saw my first one. And there have been so many to love all over France. The gentle curve is what I call an eyebrow arch, not a full semicircle, but just a smaller portion of a circle. In geometry (ahem, former high school math teacher here), the mathematical term is arc. 

This house built in the 1990s in Texas has captured French Country with its blue asphalt roof mimicking tile, cut white stone exterior walls, and eyebrow doors, windows, porch arch, and louvered ventilation covers. The eyebrow curves add the je ne sais quoi (certain something, I don't know what) that nails French Country style. 

Finding an eyebrow window for my French Country garden shed was not easy, but I was determined to find one I liked and could manage to squeeze into the budget. Fitting into the budget was the biggest issue. While it seems eyebrow doors and windows are plentiful in France, they are not so plentiful in the United States. 

I found one through Pella windows that met almost all my wants. The interior window is wood, and the window is metal clad on the outside. Plus there was a range of colors from which to choose. When I saw this blue shade, I knew I had found T H E window, but had to wait for about five years before I was able to make the budget work. 

From the photo you can tell there are still things to be finished. Nail holes in the wood trim around the window need to be filled with putty. The facing board along the roofline needs to be cut to follow the outline of the window, and the facing board needs to be primed and painted. The board on the roof needs to be removed also. 

Inside, the window has been left natural with a clear sealer to go with the butcher block countertop. The window is a double-hung style which means the window can open by raising the bottom frame.  I priced an eyebrow arch window that was made in a French door style with the two window sections opening out. That style is prevalent in houses in small French villages and towns. 

Ooh-la-la... not in my budget E V E R. 

I decided I liked this style window.... besides the window can be open when it is raining without getting the window wet. 

One of the features of this window that is also a French design is all three horizontal sections of the window unit are approximately the same size. Look at French doors in France, and you will often see them designed with horizontal panes that are equal in size with a solid panel at the bottom, not the small rectangular panes normal for French doors in the United States.  

Each Friday there will be a photo from France followed by photos here at home illustrating how to translate French design into our homes, within our budgets. French design can be implemented without requiring a French antique.  

New materials can provide the French design we love. 

What is your favorite style for windows? 

Spring is around the corner here in North Texas. My early daffodils are in full bloom, pear trees are blooming all over the metroplex, and non-blooming trees have the shimmer of green that comes just as new leaves begin to emerge. You can't distinguish any leaves yet, but the green shimmer surrounds the tree. 

The average last freeze date for the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas metroplex is March 13, less than a month away. 

Need a little Spring to help you make through the last half of winter? Spring is coming to the jardin chateau (garden shed's nickname) this weekend, with a blog post next week.