An artful balance of elegance and old-world flair, combined with a touch of nature, is what makes French country design so popular. Soft and refined, this style is sophisticated in an unassuming way, always proving to be warm, inviting and fresh.
Elements of French Country Design Style
Here are some elements that contribute to the beauty of French country design:
- Wood tones
- Multiple fabric patterns
- Colors derived from nature
- Textural surfaces
- Hand-painted and/or gently weathered furniture
- Statement lighting
- Fresh flowers and folk art
The interior of a French country home reflects the look and feel of southern France, which is beautiful, casual and relaxing. Furnishings have a rustic elegance, giving the space character and charm. Windows are adorned with ceiling-to-floor drapes or Roman shades, sometimes accented with fringe or lace. Lighting is decorative, yet functional—mainly chandeliers or hanging lanterns. Wood tones are predominant within the space, which contributes to its warmth. Textures are abundant and celebrated. Many accents have a purpose (i.e. wall-hung plates, baskets, candelabras, jugs, etc, that can actually be put to use), but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a touch of whimsy. Folk art is quite popular within a French country home, but the most popular accent might have to be the colorful rooster. Finally, one of the finishing touches you’re sure to find are flowers—specifically ones native to the location where the design style originated.
Furnishings within a French country home are simple, yet stylish; elegant, yet functional. While French country pieces are predominantly unadorned, it isn’t uncommon to see items such as fruit, roosters or floral patterns to be hand-painted on them. When it comes to wood, oak or pine are often primary choices. Iron, metal, and leather are compatible choices for finishing off the look.
Colors in a French country home will often reflect nature. Subdued hues of blue, red, green and yellow are used frequently, as well as other neutral tones (and the occasional lavender accent). It’s these warm, neutral colors that create the relaxed and casual environment French country design style is known for.
Textures and Patterns
French country design relies heavily on visual depth. Texture is introduced into the space through surfaces like stone, stucco, plaster, metal, woven rugs, fluffy trim and distressed wood. In regards to fabric, several patterns are used. Popular ones include stripes, gingham, plaid, checks, and florals.