How to Get the Look: French Country

Hillsdale Wilshire Inspired by the colors and textures of the Provence landscape, the French Country style is blend of elegance and country charm. It’s a timeless style that emphasizes taste, function and comfort for an overall effect that is warm and welcoming. To capture this look for your home interior, keep in mind some of these French Country elements:

The French Country look is rich with texture, elegant without being overly ornate. The charm of this style comes from the mixing of the old with the new. There are no hard and fast rules, but weathered patinas, distressed painted furniture, and ruffles and lace are all characteristic components. Contrasts are key, particularly when it comes to textures. A mix of materials, woods, and textures will blend to create a unique cozy cottage feel. Using several patterns in the same room is encouraged, but be sure to tie them together with a uniting element, such as a common color. Black or dull gray accessory pieces complement the vibrant colors and help bring balance. Wrought iron and distressed metal are also an important part to the French Country style. Look for wrought iron or distressed lamps, tables and clocks.

The colors of the French countryside come through in typical French Country fabrics – soft greens, yellows and golds, rust and red. Traditional country patterns of stripes, checks, and toiles instantly identify the style, particularly when made from natural fibers. Toile is printed fabric depicting floral designs, farm life, or picnic scenes on a neutral background. Use them anywhere – on cushions, slip covers, tablecloths or curtains. White and cream are also key colors for French decorating, used as colors in their own right – not just as neutrals. Window treatments of white linen, lace, or sheer materials soften a room and create a relaxed atmosphere.

Chooty French Laundry Four Hands cabinet Natural Materials
An important element of French Country is the use of natural materials – echoes of the rustic features found in the typical farmhouse: wooden beams, stone fireplace, woven chair seats, carved details. Don’t forget to add flowers to bring the outside in – no French home is ever without them. Fill a copper pitcher, clay pot, or clear glass vase with an arrangement of lavender.

The French hesitate to discard anything of beauty, preferring to repurpose it. Mismatched items follow the “collected” approach to French Country home furnishing. Lightly distressed furniture has the look of having been gently worn with time, so low-sheen, naturally roughened surfaces typify this decorating style. Let the natural beauty of the raw wood show through, or try a pale gray wash. Like white, gray is a much-favored color – used on its own as well as the undertone for many paint shades.

The French embrace hearth and home, so enjoy creating your own look to bring the classic appeal of the French Country interior to your decor.