When you’re thinking of the French countryside, you’ll undoubtedly run into bright sunshine and lavender feels.
The French country décor is a pretty popular style, and almost always results in a rustic, welcoming atmosphere.
It looks great, regardless of whether we’re talking about a French country bedroom décor, or a French country living room décor, French country bathroom décor, or even a French country cottage décor.
Image source: Marina Klima Goldberg – Klima Design Group
It looks great in anything from an elegant, old chateau, to a country house. It will unmistakeably fit well in your home as well.
It has a comfortable, warm feeling
Image source: Debra Campbell Design
When you’re looking at colors, especially with a French country wall décor, you should stick to the warm side with colors that have low to medium intensity, such as baby blues, warm pinks or creams.
With the furnishing, go with a lot of painted furniture which has simple and graceful lines. An old French provincial chair makes a great accent piece. Getting something that’s older and distressed would be a great fit, and this style usually comes with rusted metal or wrought iron accents. The French country decorating style isn’t all about wood.
Image source: Newberry Architecture
As far as fabrics go, they usually rely on toile, which is a traditional fabric. You can match it with plaids, stripes or solids, anything works well.
French country design in the kitchen
This kind of kitchen comes with a lot of jars that hold food staples. Get old, covered jars at garage sales or thrift shops to replicate the look. You can either print labels or hand-paint them, and use street or grocery signs for the wall décor.
You can make your own, all you have to do is search for craft stores that have inexpensive metal signs or wall plaques. You can also use a wrought iron wall planter and hang things such as utensils or pots, so they stay secure.
Bringing the French country home décor in the dining room
If you’re after a traditional French country dining room, get old mismatched chairs, and use a round wrought iron garden or patio table, to get an inexpensive dining set. Or, you could repaint a wood set, or even get a new one which is painted in pastels, or natural wood tones.
French country decorating ideas for the living room
Image source: Jay Rambo Co.
Windows in this kind of room shouldn’t have heavy drapes and fabrics that weigh them down, like you’d have in a traditional room. Use lacy panels to get some sunshine while still having privacy. Get a wrought iron garden bench in front of the window, and add pillows for the window seat look.
The French country décor in the bedroom
Image source: Home Design & Decor Magazine
If you want to get the style in your bedroom, get an old iron garden gate and use it as a headboard. An old metal garden bench can be used as a sitting area at the end of the bed. Dressers that are painted in pastel colors will add to the room’s comfortable feel.
French country décor in the bathroom
Wrought iron towel racks, or fruit bowls, can be used to hold wash cloths and towels, and you can add an old painted buffet as a vanity for your sink.
As you see, you can do the French Country on a budget, and pretty easily too, with distressed garden furniture and old thrift shop finds.
When discussing colors, you will actually find the full spectrum, from soft gold, to burnt rust and dark hunter green and cobalt blue.
Image source: Jonathan Ivy Productions
To punctuate those bright colors and define some accessory pieces, you can use bright black and dull grays. Rusted metal lighting fixtures and furniture will provide some amazing lines and warm colors.
A very important element used here is the use of natural materials. Regardless of whether it’s rough stained plaster wall, or delicate carved wood details, these things add a lot of texture and simplicity to the look. You can cover those natural stone floors with either cotton or wool rugs.
And, no real home is complete without a stone fireplace, and a heavy beam at the top as a mantle. The border is formed by tiles, either ceramic or stone. The hearth is either brick or clay, and you can use copper pots and herbs as accessories on the side walls.
What are some of the items you can use?
If you want that style in your home, you can use some, or all of the elements below, depending on what fits and what you like.
Stone walls and floors and irregular plaster walls form the frame of a home decorated in this style. The furniture is rustic and has hand-carved decorations, raw wood, and curved panels. And, no room is complete without an armoire for pans, pots, or tableware.
The dining table is usually large, either round or rectangular, and must have a low-sheen or a dull waxed finish. Carved and curved details will grace the chairs, both dining and occasional, and they’re either ladderback, or come with vertical slate.
The flooring is either clay, stone or brick, and sometimes even old wooden boards may work. The focus is on the charming and old.
Typical of this kind of décor are pieces that have contrasting color and texture, such as pale plaster walls that are accented with dark, rough wooden beams. Provencal printed fabrics are colourful, yet set off against natural seating in light tones.
The windows are tall and narrow, and are held by deeply cut window sills. The shutters close in order to keep the sun out in the summer, and both windows and door ways are encircled with growing vines.
Some traditional products and motifs may include olives, roosters, grapes, sunflowers, beetles and lavender. The designs often come arranged in regular intervals, and are bordered by a wade panel of the motifs, but in a different scale. This is typical for all textile products, from tablecloths, to curtain panels.
Toile is a traditional design, and you’ll find plenty of it. Toile themes may include monkeys, farm animals and Chinese patterns, or even courting scenes of the eighteenth century. Most of them are printed on cotton or linen.
Accessories range from colourful ceramics and tiles, to carved wood pieces and wire or woven baskets, and the walls are adorned by old paintings, either dark or colourful.
You’ll also find a lot of natural flowers everywhere, and vases can be baskets, an old pitcher, or copper pot, or even clear glass. The goal here is to get the textures and colors of nature into your home. The window boxes outside will proudly display the colors of whatever grows, and lavender and geraniums are very popular.
Image source: Creative Touch Interiors
The pottery is both muted and colourful, and you won’t find any fine china. The themes of olives, roosters and vivid flowers are apparent on the tableware too, and you can’t forget about the wire baskets, colourful tablecloths and iron candle holders.
How to know you’re smitten with French country décor
Toile is a neutral to you
While most think that solid-colored cotton or linen are ideal to ground a room, your choice here is pastoral toile, and you use it for everything, from an upholstered headboard, to floor-length curtains.
Toiles were actually originally made back in the 1750s, in Ireland, and they quickly caught on in France. Toile is actually French for “cloth”, and they were made in Jouy, resulting in the name “toiles de Jouy”.
Your wooden surfaces are whitewashed
Image source: Warmington & North
Sure, natural wood is beautiful and you agree, but a whitewashed finish is a must. That small farm table and the chairs get a rustic allure with a creamy, distressed finish, and the walls and door have a white, chalky glow.
Whitewash is a predecessor to paint, and made from salt, chalk and slaked lime. Barns and farmhouses were coated with it back in the 18th century, and this was a way to keep the buildings clean. When the widewas flaked off, sediment and dust flaked off with it.
Wrought iron is a common sight indoors
Image source: Hanna Homes
People who think that wrought iron furniture is used only for alfresco spaces are narrow-minded, according to you. With a lot of pillows, you can make a very cozy wrought iron daybed in your living room, and it lasts for centuries.
Wrought iron was primarily used for weapons and tools before the middle ages, and in the 16th century ironwork became highly decorative – something you can commonly see in gates throughout the French countryside.
You collect white-and-blue porcelain
You don’t only love it and display it proudly, you may be even designing your whole kitchen around a couple of favorite pieces. From the painted blue cabinet, to the tea towels, you make things match.
While most of the early French porcelain was made in Normandy, there is a factory in Nevers to blame for that blue-and-white porcelain’s production, and it was made by three Italian brothers.
Ending thoughts on French country decor
Due to its casual elegance, focus on rustic or natural accessories, and the splashes of color, the French country décor is very popular worldwide. Attaining it in your home doesn’t really have to cost you an arm and a leg, and you may refine some existing furniture to give it that touch, and create a delightful space.