French style decor ideas place emphasis on the unique charm of rustic life. Drawing on the simplistic beauty of the traditional French village, and encouraging simplicity and individuality, French style interior design ideas have grown markedly in popularity.

To create a simple, yet elegant, interior you don’t have to spend a fortune. Whether you’re looking to renovate an entire room or you simply want to inject a few key pieces into a space, French country style furniture can be found to suit a range of budgets. In just a few easy steps you can create a rustic room reminiscent of rural Provence.

One of the key features of French style decor is the careful intermingling of indoor and outdoor space, coupled with the clever use of fabrics and furniture.

The Ideal Color Palette

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One of the best French style décor ideas involves the mixing of various fabrics, designs and colours, creating an informal, homely atmosphere. French country style homes are often decorated simply, with walls of plaster painted in delicate tones of blue, cream and green.

These gentle colours are often complemented by unique, patterned fabrics, with particular emphasis on checked trim and floral designs. The floors in a traditional rustic, French home are frequently fitted with wood or terra cotta tiles, both of which age effectively, giving the room a minimalist, yet cosy, feel. The joy of French décor lies in the individual intermingling of various designs, so, don’t be afraid to put your own personal stamp on your space.

The Outdoors Inside

The French lifestyle is centered on the enjoyment and use of outdoor space. To make the most of the agreeable summers, traditional French homes usually incorporate a terrace, shaded by trailing plants. If you’re interested in French style interior design ideas, you could try adding a small, sheltered space to your garden, thereby creating the perfect place to dine on those long, warm, August evenings.

As well as creating an authentic French dining space outside, you can also add rural pieces to rooms indoors. French country style homes often incorporate vintage wooden or wrought iron pieces in a bid to blend rural and domestic life. When decorating a space, rough French country style furniture is often offset by delicate fabrics decorated with dainty patterns. Overall, French style interior design ideas focus on informality, marrying functionality and simple, rustic tradition.

Simple and Functional Furniture

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In terms of French style interior design ideas, furniture which effectively blends simplicity and functionality is key. In traditional French homes dining and kitchen chairs are often made of wood or simple, metal and are either painted in fresh, neutral colours (to lend an overall coherency to the room) or are left to age naturally, contributing to the overall rustic feel of the space. As well as allowing pieces of furniture to age naturally, you could also alter your French country style furniture artificially, using painting and stripping techniques. This approach cleverly highlights the rustic simplicity of French tradition.

French Style Fabrics

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Toile is the fabric that is most frequently associated with French style décor ideas. The French word Toile translates literally as cloth. Toile is often beige, cream or white and is adorned with repeating patterns or pictures. The pictures repeated on Toile can vary significantly from elegant summer scenes to crowded French streets. The adornments on Toile are completed in a limited range of colours, including red and blue.

In recent years, Toile has increased in popularity. The patterned fabrics available for purchase today have been designed to suit a range of tastes and budgets. As well as Toile, French country style homes often incorporate fabrics which bear rural themes. For example, farmyard animals, such as roosters, are often stitched or appliqued onto tea towels and cushion covers.

Popular French Décor Decorations

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The simplicity common in French country style homes is frequently seen in the use of basic homely decorations such as antique, second-hand vases, medieval candle holders, and woven baskets used for the storage of household items or, perhaps, firewood. French style interior design ideas also often tend to incorporate garden herbs, attractively displayed in patterned pots in the kitchen, as well as copper pots and jugs. If you have a particular fondness for flowers, you could try either making your own attractive bouquets or drying dying flowers to create rustic, rural-smelling potpourri.

Pièce de Résistance

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There are so many ways to add the finishing touch to your new room or home. Your local antique shops are full of one-off pieces that would be ideally suited to the creation of any number of French décor design ideas. High quality antique shops are full of competitively priced wrought iron chairs and tables that you could use to create an attractive outdoor dining space.

As well as stocking elegant furniture pieces, antique shops also carry smaller items such as carefully crafted pots which would be ideal for displaying kitchens herbs or freshly cut garden flowers. What’s more, antique shops often stock myriad products from a range of countries, so, always be on the look-out for genuine French pieces you can place in your new home or room, such as authentic French signs and posters.

As well as scouring your local antique shops, you could also try making your own decorations. Why not have a go at stitching your own cushion covers or decorating your own clay pots with simple patterns? As well as being fulfilling in itself, in designing your own decorations you can add a unique touch to your French country style home.

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French style interior design ideas are based on the careful balancing of simplicity and functionality. What’s more, such designs provide a great deal of room for freedom of expression, allowing you to create a look that is uniquely individual.

Great joy is derived from the careful collection of personally loved, individual pieces ideally suited to you and your home. French style décor ideas marry minimalism and beauty, helping you turn your house into a rural, rustic home that is perfectly suited to your individual needs.