Defining French Country Style And How To Incorporate It Into Your Home

By on January 6, 2013

As the name indicates, the French country style draws its inspiration from the gently rolling hills and valleys of the French countryside. This interior decorating style has an unstudied approach, but it is firmly rooted in tradition and beloved objects that have been handed down through families for centuries. Its simplicity and sincerity is as much concerned with pleasing the soul as the eye.

The French are renowned all over the world for their natural sense of refinement and taste. These are the elements that prevent this style from becoming pedestrian. French country decorating, despite the number of disparate elements that might be thrown at it, finds and retains its center. This home décor style offers the perfect blend of Old World sensibility and modern sophistication.

Simple and Stylish Furnishings
We all have that one friend who can go into a discount clothing store and emerge with an outfit that looks like it just came off of the runway. The same relationship exists between a home’s furnishings and the French. French country furnishings are, by and large, free from the ornate embellishments that are the hallmarks of other French styles. However, they are still stately, shapely, and well scaled. The eye is geared towards balance.

To keep with the balanced appearance of this decorating style, you should shy away from “matchy” furniture sets. Rather, look for furnishings in a variety of different natural finishes. These pieces should be blended with metal ones that show patina and age.

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers!
One of the hallmarks of the French country style is its ability to blur the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors. A French country style room would not be complete without the inclusion of flowers. Whether the flowers are carved into the wooden frame of a mirror or blooming in a pottery vase, the inclusion of flowers should not be ignored.

If you choose to use fresh foliage and blossoms, choose blooms that look as though they have just come in from the garden. A few popular options that blend in well with this décor scheme include irises, poppies, and sunflowers.

Choosing the Right Color Palette
The colors that are used in a French country inspired home can run the gamut from bright reds and blues to pastel colors. When it comes to selecting a color palette, the most important aspect is to choose colors that instantly translate into comfort. White hues should be warm, rather than stark. Think of shades of ivory, ecru, and cream. Most colors used in this decorating style are taken directly from the landscape. Other popular color options include brick red, sunny yellows, sky blue, and sage and lavender.

Accents That Have a Purpose
It is rare to find accessories in a French country décor scheme that are used wholly for decorative purposes. Each accessory should have an undertone of purpose. For example, think of dishes, hung on the walls, that can easily be removed and put into service or baskets that are used to hold produce that just came from the market. Open shelving is a staple of the French country style, and these shelves should be used to display cherished everyday items, rather than putting those items behind cabinet doors where they will languish.

The French country style is one that is effortlessly beautiful. If you want your home to bespeak of warmth and elegance, then this is the interior decorating style you have been looking for.

Polly Godwin is the owner of KineticFountains.com, a company specializing in wall fountains, outdoor water fountains and more.

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