What is the French Country Style of Decorating?

Sheri Cyprus

French country decorating is based on the casual, yet elegant feeling of French rural areas. The colors are inspired by natural surroundings such as lavender from the wildflowers in the hills and gold from the sun. The mood is one of rustic appeal and old world comfort. Although this look can vary widely, some elements are common to this style.

Elegant glassware is often a part of the French style of decorating.
Elegant glassware is often a part of the French style of decorating.

Natural elements ate a big part of French country decorating. A stone fireplace is a classic focal point for a French country room. Pots of herbs, flower arrangements and candles as accent pieces can add the charming countryside feeling so essential to this look. Fabrics featuring flower and animal motifs are common. The classic fleur de lis or lily pattern is a classic French decor motif.

Armoires are typical of the French country style.
Armoires are typical of the French country style.

Draperies may feature floral prints. Lace curtains, table covers and pillows are popular French country accents. Rugs made from natural materials such as cotton or wool help to soften the look of wooden and wrought iron furniture. Metal furniture may be black or have a rusted appearance. Other metals such as copper also work well in French country decor.

An armoire or tall wooden storage unit is a classic part of French country style and its doors mean you can neatly store away many items that would otherwise clutter a room. Plus, the top of an armoire is often a great place to perch a flower arrangement or potted plant that flows partly down one side. Walnut and pine are the woods most often associated with French country furniture. Dining rooms of this style usually feature a large wooden dining table with clean lines rather than carvings or other details. Mismatched wooden dining chairs can add a carefree, comfortable appeal.

French country colors are inspired by nature and in addition to sunny yellows and rich lavenders, watery blues, forest greens and dark reds are common. Reds and greens may also be bright. Neutrals are often black or gray. French art prints and elegant glassware are great additions to the look.

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Discussion Comments


Artwork is often leaned against a wall, rather than hung on it.

Fabric is colorful and mixed and matched that can be both beautiful and elegant.

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