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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
French Country Interior Design
“French country interior design is a unique, and very addictive form of rustic chic.”
french country interior design
French country interior decorating has some character traits that really are distinctly French. It has its own way of …
… bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out,
… adding ornament (particularly above doors), and
… using antique fabrics in wonderfully creative ways.
The fluidity of boundaries between home and outdoors, and the inventive use of ornament and textiles are probably the most conspicuous aspects of authentic French country interior design …
free e-book about interior color schemes
… but there’s much more to this style, and you’ll find additional tips & tricks for French country home design in the links below. (If you scroll down a little, you’ll see them – or just read on!)
If you’re particularly interested in French country style wall treatments, or flooring, or pottery from Provence, you’ll find information about these on the page about Provence Interiors.
A chair like the one in this picture would be perfectly at home in French country decor along the German or Swiss border, but not at all among the cool blue-and-white of, say, La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, only 500 miles away.
Interestingly, most people outside France find that French country interior design is really summed up in the farmhouses and cottages of Provence.
French Country Interior Design,
The south-eastern corner of France, with its seductive scents of lavender, rose, herbs and honey, is what most of us have in mind when we think (or dream) of French country home design.
French Country Style Basics
Country French style basics design (also known as French Country) has emerged from the scenic villages of the south of France to become one of the most popular styles of interior design around the world. The look is casual, inviting, and fuss-free – the charm lies in the rustic feel of the furniture and accessories and the easy, cheerful combination of colors. Country French interior design can work for anyone, on any kind of budget. Keep these tips in mind to turn relaxing in your home into a daily vacation in Provence.
See French Country design in action in this bedroom slideshow
French Country Style Basics: Colors
Color is of course important in any interior design plan you have, and this is especially true of Country French style. The colors most associated with Country French are soft, foamy greens, bright yellows and golds, rust, red, and splashes of blues, pinks, and lavender purple. These colors create a bright and cheery environment while allowing the natural rustic wood and rod iron features associated with Country French furniture to shine through.
It is common within this style to see mixing and matching of colors and prints that might not be obvious, or might even be frowned upon in other schools of interior design. Mix a floral with a plaid – no problem!
Country French Style Basics: Fabrics
Probably the fabric most associated with Country French design is toile. Toile, which translates as “cloth” in French, is fabric with a white or beige background that is adorned with repeating pictures. Generally, the pictures feature a scene – a couple in a boat or a couple sitting underneath the trees are both common – but the pictures sometimes are simply made up of churches, birds, flowers, or nature scenes. The colors most often used for the print are red and blue, however, you may also find green, black, or even brown. Toile has become hugely popular and is widely available in a variety of price ranges.
Roosters are another major motif in Country French design and can be found on everything from fabric to wallpaper.
The emphasis for furniture is on the rustic feel – it doesn’t have to be perfect – in fact, the more lived in, the better! You want to look for furniture that is low gloss and natural looking. Dark woods are often used, as are pieces that have been stripped and painted an off white or soft green color.
Wrought iron and distressed metal are also an important part to the Country French. Look for wrought iron or distressed lamps, tables, and clocks.
The Finishing Touches
Accessorizing is a breeze with Country French, given the recent upsurge in popularity of the style. Roosters are found in just about every guise imaginable, from salt and pepper shakers and pitchers to door stops. Search out your local antique shops and flea markets for treasures like French apothecary jars, pseudo-French train station signage, and even furniture. Remember, the emphasis is on casual and welcoming, so a few imperfections only make your style even more convincing.
No Country French home would be complete without flowers. Any kind of flowers you like will work well here, but don’t forget to include a bunch of lavender here and there to really get the feel of the French countryside.
French Country Interior Decorating Ideas
The French Country decorating style was taken from the simplicity of French countryside farmhouses.
Deciding the decorating style that you will use in your home is never an easy decision. Each style of interior design has its own style and flavor that greatly enhances your living environment. Take the time to explore each style to find the one that suits your home, tastes and sense of style. French Country interior designs take elements from nature and bring them into the home.
When you decorate your home in the French Country style, it is necessary to bring in the elements from the countryside. This translates into sky blues, lush greens and lavender. You can also use creamy whites for furnishings and walls with the vibrant colors of nature used to accent the room. An earthy and aged look is common on the walls in a country French home. Taupe color and texturing gives the walls the appearance of aged stone walls.
French Country furniture is a mix of many different periods in French history, from heavy Baroque to delicate pieces from the Rococo period. Today a French Country interior design mixes different pieces together to create a warm and inviting look that is relaxed and functional. The armoire is an example of French Country style that is a favorite choice for a French Country bedroom. Pieces are placed in a room for the best functionality of the furniture.
Stone and tile flooring is a common choice for a French Country design. The stone and terra cotta tile bring elements of nature into the home in the classic French Country style. Painted tile is not common, but you can use it in the style in moderation. A French Country home does not contain carpeting but may have smaller area rugs scattered throughout the home.
Wood floors are a natural element in a French Country home. A wood floor in this interior style will remain natural but sealed and polished.
Decorative accents in the French Country style are functional items that are displayed in the home and are still used by the occupants of the home. Books and urns are excellent accent pieces that serve a functional purpose yet add to the overall beauty of the home. Candlestick holders and mirrors are common French Country accent pieces for a room.