In French, “écru” is defined as “unbleached, raw” usually in reference to linen.

Our design philosophy at ÉCRU embodies the rustic simplicity of the French countryside: the rawness of the materials, the aged patinas, and the neutral tones.

There is a calming sense in the bareness of the French countryside that we so enjoy. There was a time when we strived to cover all the bookshelves and counter space with knick-knacks and space-fillers. We now believe that a few unique and useful pieces say more than cluttered shelves and walls.

We love to work with a neutral palette and do so almost exclusively. Neutral walls and furnishings provide a serene and simplistic space without ever feeling “overdone.”


Whites can often be intimidating to work with. We were recently featured in The Times-Picayune on “Getting White Right.”

Here are a few go-to tips on mastering the world of neutrals!


In our opinion, everything looks better in white. A white room creates a serene, unrefined, and clean space that does not restrict you. It’s a blank slate that allows you to create; it is so liberating. When we refer to white, we mean anything from designer white to washed grey to taupe. There is a tremendous range of neutral colors of “white” that all work well together.


“Won’t that be boring?” Clients are always afraid of being “too consistent” by using the same white for walls throughout the house. We try to reiterate that each room will look slightly different depending upon the lighting, furnishings, and artwork. White walls allow for a good flow without dominating the design, and allow you the freedom to create the space that you want. You can tire of a certain color, so it’s much easier to bring color in through accessories than it is to paint and refurnish an entire house when you’re over that certain color.

We add interest to an all-white room through textures and different hues of white. Some people think that if you use a true white, then you can’t introduce other shades of white, but that is not true.

Neutrals do not have to match; actually, we prefer that they do not match. They all work so well together, so you can easily bring in different textures and materials. Each layer adds interest.

For example with fabrics: washed linens, antique grain sacks, burlap, and even painter’s cloth can be used together to create dimension and variety in a neutral room.


Yes. With washable paints and slipcovered furniture, there’s no need to fret. We love linen slipcovered furniture because it washes so easily and cleans so well. If you’re having custom slipcovers made, be sure to pre-shrink the fabric before the slipcovers are made. This will ensure that they still fit after you wash and dry them. We always use bedding that is machine washable as well. Feel free to email us with any questions.