CLOSE YOUR EYES...¬†and picture in your mind the casual passing of billowy white clouds, silhouetted against the depths of fresh blue skies, revealing sun drenched fields of soft flowing¬†lavender; contrasted in unison with the stability and charm of quaint cobblestone streets lined with warm stucco walls, adorned with fresh flowers draped over wrought iron boxes... to get the feel of French Country style decorating. As one of the most popular decorating styles used today, French Country is inspired by the ambiance of the amazing Provance landscape, importing the colors, textures and freshness of the French countryside into your home. The look is romantic and charming, using old and worn elements combined with an aire of down to-earth comfort for a look of casual elegance. STEP¬†1. ¬†Bring the outdoors in as your color palette inspiration. Think sunny and fresh with yellows, pale faded washes of Mediterranean blues and greens, contrasted with woodsy browns, earthy brick red and persimmon accents. Additional touches of creamy, distressed whites will give your look the French Country charm. Don't forget to add a touch of black accent here and there.
A traditional French Country fabric often used is toile, which depicts small courting, picnic or animal scenes silhouetted against a neutral background. Toile can be used for curtains, as wallpaper or partnered with stripes, checks, plaids and faded floral fabrics in your room's decor. A touch of billowy sheer and lace accents can be added in the curtains for a fresh, romantic touch. STEP 2. ¬†FURNITURE:¬†
Choose French Country furnishings that are characterized by a combination of contrasting elements; from graceful lines with delicate curves, carved details, berg√®re chairs and settees in the parlor, to ladder-back chairs with rush seating in the dining area. The addition of hand-painted, rustic and distressed accent pieces will add that final touch of charm.¬†
Use armoires wherever possible. The French country look is never complete without at least one or more of armoire, whether used for clothing storage, to display bed and bath linens, storing pots and pans or used as a display for unique collections and accent pieces. Old painted or rustic buffets serve well as a vanity for a sink, or table top for your¬†flat screen TV. STEP 3: ¬†ACCESSORIES & ACCENTS:¬†
Carefully choose elements for your French Country look that will add the needed texture and casual charm to complete THE LOOK. Use natural materials, such as stone, wood, rattan or rush complimented with aged, warm-toned wall textures. Added accent suggestions would be wrought iron pieces, baskets made of wire or rattan, distressed wood or metal candlesticks, old pitchers, copper pots, jars and heavy pottery for the kitchen, fresh wild flower arrangements such as lavender and sunflowers, old books, roosters, fleur-de-lis designs, tapestries and oriental rugs.... anything VINTAGE! ¬† For the walls, heirloom photos, Parisian scenes, old botanicals and iron wall hangings are a few suggested choices. STEP 4: ¬†INTERIOR DESIGN GLOSSARY:
The picture shown here is a French Country Bergere chair. ¬†Don't forget to use the Interior Design Glossary to look at any unfamiliar terms. ¬†For more French Country decorating pictures, see them HERE... ¬†(slideshow at end of article). ¬†Have fun decorating in French Country style!