What is French country style?
How do you define French Country Style? This is a question I hear often.
Is it antiques, fabrics, colors—or something else?
To me, French country style is more like a feeling in a room. It is a style full of personality that mixes elegant and refined pieces with more rustic ones.
How can you tell it’s French country style?
Look for old-world architectural details. Pay attention to textures, finishes, and the age of pieces.
This style cherishes antique textiles like brocade, ticking fabric, and Belgian linens with fringes and tassels.
The furniture has worn-painted finishes or hand-rubbed patina. Wood with old patina that’s imperfect is perfect for this look, along with carvings, barley twist legs, and brass knobs.
The decadent mirrors are intricately carved with gilded finishes, the chandeliers are laden with crystals.
How do you pull off this look?
Go for vintage and antique or reproduction pieces such as curvy French-style chairs and natural-finish wood tables. These add a ton of French country charm.
Choose those that have lime, natural, and simple finishes or worn painted finishes.
Place baskets, flowers, carved accent pieces on old armoires and simple farmhouse tables with chunky tops.
Use old mirrors, whether tall and stately or small with gilded frames. And hang chandeliers of all shapes and sizes.
Look for linen-upholstered benches, chairs, or sofas. Mix slipcovered and mismatched flea market chairs that wear original brocade fabrics.
How can you add this style to your existing décor?
Bring home something with a charming patina that speaks to you. Place it in a room along with your upholstered pieces. To start, add a beautiful detailed Aubusson pillow to your bed or sofa.
Elements such as copper and patinated silvers, or stacks of old wooden breadboards and ironstone dishes, are all perfect for use in your kitchen to add that touch.
Display flowers, from simple potted blooms to delicious arrangements, in rustic or elegant vases.
Add layers of old quilts and linens on the bed.
You can also occasionally incorporate pottery and simple streamlined pieces.
Use these same elements throughout the house.
Outdoors, use marbles and limestone for curated yet natural gardens with gravel paths.
It’s easy to add a touch of French country charm without having to re-do your home—and the most important thing to remember is to decorate with what you love and what makes you happy.
Then it’s perfect.
As the founder of lifestyle blog French Country Cottage and editor of Romantic Homes magazine, Courtney is known for bringing chic aesthetics and vintage elegance to her designs. Courtney offers readers creative ideas and decorating tips inspired by the ongoing renovations on her 1940s cottage home.