The French seem to be experts on love: from French beds, kisses, lace, chansons and troubadours to chateaux, croissants, toast, fries and wine! It’s a go-to country for inspiration on romance, hedonism and fine living. But, did you know that France is also a hotbed of charming decors rapidly gaining popularity on the global interior design scene?
Characterized by an abundance of ruffles, shabby chic patterns, distressed woodwork and tasteful combinations of neutral and bold colors, French country décor is both sophisticated and cozy. It’s managed to win France yet more points for prestige and class in the nationality branding race and it’s a look that’s oh so chic! Here are some tips on how to achieve a French country look in your home that we guarantee you’ll love!
Pieces crafted from natural wood make excellent statement furnishings. Parisian designers know it well: a typical French living room features upholstered wooden elements with a creamy whitewashed finish for an irresistible shabby chic allure. To achieve a French country décor, use antique furnishings such as sofas and armoires with a weathered look and upholstery in neutral tones. Top them with charming extras like distressed art frames, old-fashioned nightstands or a quaint-looking vanity mirror and stool.
2. Blue-and-white Porcelain
Another landmark of French interior design; porcelain collections featuring blue-and-white pieces will add a note of sophistication to any kitchen or dining room. France has a long tradition of porcelain production and chinoiserie patterns are an inevitable element of a French-style cupboard. If you have a seldom-used blue-and-white china set in your family heirloom, now is the time to take it down from the attic and proudly display it in your kitchen showcase – which you can also repaint in white and blue and deck with like-colored accessories such as towels and napkins for coordination.
3. Use Lacy Panels
There is nothing more French than lace, is there? For a graceful living room and boudoir, swap the heavy curtains for lacy panels made from natural fabrics. Apart from the merely decorative purpose, lacy drapery will let sunlight fill the room while providing privacy from nosy neighbors. When it comes to color, French windows usually feature light or muted lace curtains, so don’t overdo the tonal intensity – bold lace tones may come across as garish and completely ruin the French country look.
4. Use Wrought Iron Indoors
Sturdy and refined, wrought iron or heavy metal with rusted or brass accents is another must-have for a French-style home. Though you are probably used to seeing such robust elements outdoors, refined ironwork is an indispensable asset when aiming to reproduce a refined ambiance in your home. Revolutionary as they have been throughout their history, the French love coffee tables and stools with delicately executed iron legs, and you can find such items in most antique or used furniture stores. For added comfort and appeal, top the wrought iron pieces such as armchairs, daybeds and ottomans with soft pillows: this will help achieve a playful yet sophisticated feel in the living room.
5. Mood Lighting
Once you have furnished your home with items evocative of the sunny chateaux and vineyards of France, you should also set the right mood with the help of unique lighting. For a charming living French room, use LED lights for mood lighting. You can place an LED strip behind the fireplace, along the inside edges of the wardrobe or use them to accentuate the focal point in the room such as the bar, wine rack or bookshelf, or even use LED wall lights.
French décor is lovely: with graceful lines, natural fabrics, breezy feel and frisky yet classy combination of patterns, French country is a perfect style to turn to for inspiration when renovating your home. Exquisite and buoyant, French country is a look that will make sure you keep falling in love with your house every day – so what are you waiting for? Say “Oui!” to French interior design and turn your home into a place of romance, comfort and prestige.
Amy Mia Goldsmith is a literature graduate with a lot of different interests in life. She and her husband love DIY projects and design. She blogs at Smooth Decorator and you can also contact her at her Facebook page or Twitter account.