French country design is a classic and warm style of interior decorating that mixes cottage touches with elegant and thoughtful finishes. It’s a timeless look for a reason! If you want to bring a little France into your own home, here are a few ways you can enliven and enrich your space with French elements without importing a cottage from Southern France.
Start off your interior design makeover by getting inspired. Browse Google Images, Pinterest, and reference books to help you identify what particular elements of French country design you would like for your home.
Cut out or photocopy pages or magazine spreads that speak to you and assemble them into a collage. You can also use scraps of fabric or other textiles to help you bring all your ideas together.
We recommend the fantastic book French Accents: Farmhouse French Style For Today’s Home to get started.
Add in Creams
A hallmark of this style of decoration is soft pastel neutrals like creams, whites, light blues, and teals. These timeless classics all look great mixed together, so you don’t have to worry about perfectly matching your ecru couch to the eggshell walls. You’ve got some color flexibility and a little variety adds to the overall effect!
When in doubt, always opt for a cream or off white color.
Use Rustic Textures
A neutral color palette gives you more room to play with textures, so incorporate as many of the style’s trademark materials as you want. Unfinished or distressed wood, rough linens, canvas, worn rugs, and buttery soft leather all go hand in hand with this style. A little wear and tear brings the warmth this style is known for, so don’t worry about finding pristine items.
Speaking of well-worn items, French country style looks fantastic with antique finds. Rococo, Louis XIV, and similar styles all blend in well, but don’t feel limited to what’s authentic. Look for colors, textures, and designs that evoke the calm, rustic vibe of a French country cottage, and display them with pride! There are many amazing guides to French Antiquing if you’re interested in perusing the countryside looking for diamonds in the ruff.
Minimalism may be trending, but we think everyone likes a good cheval mirror.
Mix Old and New
You don’t have to reinvent your whole style to enjoy this look. Throw a slipcover on your current couch, reframe your art in some vintage frames, or paint your walls a mellow hue. Add in the design pieces that you really like to enhance the effect, and play around with your space until what you have works well with pieces you add.
Remember that you shouldn’t imitate the style, but bring your own flair to it!