French country is a creative interior style that combines the elegance of antique French décor with the spontaneous cosiness and natural focus of country settings. talk about an aesthetic that has fallen out of favor in the last few years, but is more than ready to come back. It’s time to talk about French country. While many people are under the impression this type of design is too ornate to fit with today’s tastes, we think that could not be further from the truth. French country design showcases elegant simplicity at its finest — and, if given a chance, could become the next twist on rustic. If you’re ready to give French country a chance, this post is for you.
Our designers at Blucap interiors aims to create an irresistible mix between sophistication and a humbler rustic feeling, in other words. Inspired by the idyllic homes in southern France and, especially, the Provence region, French country interiors are characterized by distressed wooden furniture with harmonious lines, upholstered pieces, a natural palette, and patterned fabric like toile.
Difference between French country and farmhouse style
Both French country and farmhouse style include rustic and natural elements, but, while they’re often mistaken for being the same décor, they’re still two different and separate types of interior designs: French country
- It’ll make you feel as if you’ve brought a slice of French Provence into your home
- It’s an aesthetically pleasing balance between sophistication and rustic cozines
- It involves a charming natural palette
- You’ll get to enjoy the softness of toile and natural fabrics
- The decorative lines of its characteristic furniture will result in the most delightful décor
How to decorate your home in a French country style
While traditional French décor can be more ornate, the trick to a successful French country style is to balance it with humbler vibes by focusing on more casual and distressed elements, too. Here are the most important aspects to keep in mind for a home that celebrates this style harmoniously and that is… très belle, of course.
Start by picturing this style correctly without straying away from its characteristic feel: a blend of sophistication and comfort.Remember that, with French country style, you don’t have to strive for perfectly polished furniture and decorative items. On the contrary, a distressed and lived-in feel will go a long way. We believe that this décor is especially perfect if you secretly wish to impress your guests but also make them feel welcome as soon as they step through the front door.
Create a natural palette
To reinforce the countryside element included in this style, focus on a natural palette. Unlike some stricter décors, French country leaves you a bit more freedom when it comes to colors. The French country aesthetic is almost in direct opposition to some of the ultra-modern style we’ve discussed in the past. Rather than relying on monochromatic shades and bold pops of color to create visually exciting contrasts, this look is all about creating a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.The easiest way to achieve that goal is through your color palette.
While the dominant shade in each room should still be fairly neutral, French country’s reliance on subdued hues means you can stretch that definition a little bit further than usual. Focus on colors that are inherently warm and subtle — such as tans, creams and soft yellows — to fill this role.Where your accent colors are concerned, you’ll want to choose shades that harken to French country’s traditional roots. Its most traditional hues are soft yellows, cornflower and baby blues, warm pinks, pale greens, orange-reds, and cream, so you can start by picking the three main ones that you prefer.
Elegant but distressed furniture
One of the biggest misconceptions about French country style is that it’s ostentatious. In reality, the opposite is true. This look comes from the rural valleys of southern France. It’s more or less the French version of rustic. With that in mind, you want to follow many of the same rules as you would when putting together a traditionally rustic look.
Concentrate on incorporating plenty of natural materials. The shape of these pieces, however, is where this aesthetic sets itself apart. French country furniture boasts a variety of sophisticated, flowing lines to add plenty of visual interest in addition to function. Upholstery is another area in which French country looks differ from other rustic styles. Since comfort is the main goal of this type of design, cozy cushions are key. Be sure to include plenty of plush seating in your design.
In fact, curved lines are often used in this style to create visual appeal, such as with ornate elements and the immediately recognizable cabriole legs.As for chairs, the most traditional French country choice are wooden models with fabric upholstery and, of course, cabriole legs. While rustic wood should be the star of the show, you can always include a few golden, wrought iron, or metal accents, too. More specifically, wrought iron in particular is an even better choice for your patio furniture, but don’t stray away from this style’s focus on decorative lines.
Bring nature inside your home
As well as with the colors of your palette, French country style encourages you to introduce more Biophilic elements in other ways. After all, you can’t be inspired by the Provence and then forget to bring some of its bucolic features into each room!
- Choose botanical and natural themes for your fabrics (for example, curtains, cushions, and bedsheets), wallpaper if you decide to use it, artwork, or accessories. Some of the most traditional French country motifs include roses, lavender, olives, sunflowers, and roosters, but also rustic patterns like gingham and plaids
- Try and stick to natural fabrics whenever possible. Cotton and linen are popular versatile materials, but don’t forget to experiment with the most recognizable French country fabric: toile. Soft and breezy, it’s perfect for patterned curtains. Still, you can find it in throws and upholstered options, too
Introduce a few mirrors
When it comes to French country style, mirrors are essential for two main reasons (beyond the obvious one of helping you get ready in the morning): they amplify the breezy and airy element of country homes, and they’re a great opportunity to reinforce this style through their frame.
In fact, you should focus on the most ornate gilded mirrors with either noticeable gold and metal accents or a distressed painted look. Basically, if your French country mirror looks more like a piece of artwork than a reflective surface, you’re clearly doing it right! You can include a few smaller mirrors as a decorative accent, but, in general, don’t be afraid to go big.
Add pops of Old-World charm
As always, accessories are the fun part. They are really where you can let this style shine.Toile — a traditional floral pattern — is a hallmark of French country design. Think about including it in your upholstery, but if you’re not ready to make that big of a commitment, textiles such as blankets or throw pillows are also a good choice. Pair it with solids or mix and match with other prints like florals, stripes or gingham. Other French country accents include decorative chandeliers, shapely mirrors, iron décor items and large wall clocks. Whichever items you choose, make sure they carry through the same distressed feel as your other design elements.
Though French country design has been around for several centuries, it seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years. We think this is a huge mistake. Many seem to think this style is synonymous with overly decorated, traditional styles, when in fact it’s a beacon for simplistic elegance. If you’re ready to help bring back this aesthetic, this post is for you. What do you think of French country design? Will you be including it in your interiors?
Know more about the French Country Design - French country design's rustic elegance at its finest
Embrace weathered finishes
French country style is steeped in tradition. The elements of this type of design have been handed down from generation to generation. When done correctly, a few subtle nods to that past can be seen throughout these designs. One way to do that is through your finishes. Rather than having design elements look as though they’ve come straight from the store, you want the impression that your rooms have seen a bit of a history. When it comes to selecting flooring, furniture or even architectural elements like decorative wooden beams, choose finishes that are a bit distressed, or imperfect around the edges. Of course, the best way to achieve an antique look is to bring in real antiques. You may want to consider shopping at second hand stores or investing in vintage items to really cement that sense of history.
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