For week number 5, I will be introducing you French Country.
The interior design of French Country has fallen out of favor the last couple of years but is making a huge comeback. Most people are under the impression this style is too ornate for today’s look. One of the biggest misconceptions about French Country is that it’s pretentious and flamboyant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Elegantly simple is the name of the game in this reemerging décor trend.
If you like natural materials, muted hues, toile patterns, beautiful lighting, hints of gold—all with a rustic touch….then you may be a French Country fan!
French Country is inspired by the rustic pastoral valleys of the French countryside and the clean and down-to-earth feel of American farmhouse style. It’s more or less the French version of rustic. It strikes a balance between rustic and elegant while creating a balance with beauty and comfort.
Still Not Sure What French Country Is?
It’s easy to confuse French Country for American farmhouse, as both incorporate a lot of natural materials, white, wood, and antiques, but they are two totally different design styles. French country embodies a soft, airy, feminine, and distinguished style. American Farmhouse expresses a cleaner look, more defined lines, and has a more laid back feeling.
Most people believe this look is effortless and simple to accomplish. And it is. It actually follows a formula to achieve a “perfectly imperfect aesthetic”. There are some rules you must keep in mind if you want this style in your home.
- Look for furniture with flowing lines. Forget about clean lines and unembellished furniture; French Country uses furniture to add a flowing feel to a room. Tables and chairs have sophisticated and graceful lines to add plenty of visual interest in addition to function. Though nothing ever feels flamboyant and it’s made out of natural materials, such as carved wood with a low sheen finish.
2. Main colors should be essentially warm and subtle. Perfect examples are tans, creams and antique white. Accent with such colors as rust, green, blue and yellow, which will give a true French feel. Dark colors, such as grays and blacks, do have a place, but are marginally used. These tones are used to break up and add contrast to bold colors.
3. Include plenty of lush seating. Comfort is one of the main goals in French Country design and comfy cushions are a must. Wooden chairs will usually have an upholstered cushion.
4. Focus on bringing in natural materials. Since rustic is what you are targeting for in French Country, make sure to incorporate branches and twigs for a more natural look in your room.
5. Select flooring, furniture or even architectural elements in a weathered finish. Make design and décor elements look as though they’ve been around for several generations. Nothing is perfectly polished and finishes feature subtle distressing for a lived-in feel.
6. Accessories can make or break a room. Bring in accouterments like old world clocks, attractive chandeliers/lighting, blue and white porcelain plates, iron décor pieces, and shapely mirrors. Whatever you choose to bring in, make sure it has a distressed effect and look about it. When possible, include antiques for an authentic feel.
7. Toile pattern is a trademark of French Country design. Prints like floral, stripes, buffalo check or gingham are other choices you can use to bring a bit of the French look inside your home. Traditional French Country themes include lavender, roosters and flowers.