French country style is rustic, cozy, and centered around the celebration of the pleasures of everyday life, such as sharing a meal and a good drink. It evolved in the farmhouses of rural France, using materials such as wood and stone, along with the ornate styles of Paris.
In the kitchen, this charming look might be characterized by a natural wood farm table in a whitewashed finish, paired with simple ladder-back chairs featuring rush seats. Blue and white porcelain may be found proudly displayed throughout the room. Furnishings don’t really match, but might be a blend of wood pieces in a variety of natural finishes, and perhaps some metal items that reveal a little age. Rather than specific types of furniture, this style is more about a feeling than anything else.
The palette is typically inspired by the colorful surrounding countryside, with lots of whites or soft creams paired with a sea blue, sunflower yellow or brick red. Even just a touch of French country style can make a room more inviting, while keeping the romance of summer and color alive in your home throughout the year.
Natural wood furniture
French country design tends to use lots of natural woods. In the bedroom, a vintage wooden chair might be placed strategically where one can sit and enjoy the view outside. A delicately carved, whitewashed wooden headboard may be the centerpiece, accented with pastoral toiles on a duvet cover, throw pillows, and perhaps draperies to complement the look.
Incorporating lots of whites
Using lots of whites invoke an especially romantic style. French country colors have a gentleness that translates into comfort. Whites are warm rather than stark, such as ecru, ivory, or cream. A white down comforter, or an aged iron lamp lined with mosquito netting, might be the ultimate crowning touch of a romantic, inviting bed.
Layers of white paint in varying shades create a timeless finish, which can be used on a night stand or other furnishings. A large mirror in a white wooden frame placed on the wall allows light from the window to be reflected, creating a brighter space.
Lots of natural wood to blur the boundary between inside and out is a cornerstone of life in the rural regions of France, but there are other touches of nature that should be used, as well. Using lots of flowers is a great way to bring the outdoors in, and no French country interior is truly complete without them.
Arrange fresh blossoms and foliage in a way that looks as if they’ve just been picked from the garden. They might be clustered in an interesting vase purchased at a flea market or yard sale. Repurposing is a popular way to incorporate old pieces into a home, perfect for bringing in country French flavor.
Allowing a gentle breeze to tug at the hems of simple window treatments creates an especially romantic country look. The layers of Roman blinds in natural fabrics such as cotton can also add a touch of elegance to any space. A window’s distressed finished can help add more character to the look.
When it comes to French country style, simplicity is the key. It is confident, yet understated, with each element of the home or room edited down to its simplest parts.