French Country Style Basics

Beth Asaff
French Country style bedroom

French Country style design has emerged from the scenic villages of the south of France to become one of the most popular styles of interior design around the world. The look is casual, inviting and fuss-free. The charm lies in the rustic feel of the furniture and accessories and the easy, cheerful combination of colors. French Country interior design can work for anyone, on any kind of budget. Keep these tips in mind to turn relaxing in your home into a daily vacation in Provence.

French Country Style Basics: Colors

Color is important in any interior design plan you have, and this is especially true of French Country style. The colors most associated with this style are soft, foamy greens, bright yellows and golds, rusty red and splashes of blues, pinks and lavender. These colors create a bright and cheery environment while allowing the natural rustic wood and wrought iron features associated with French furniture to shine through.

It is common within this style to see mixing and matching of colors and prints that might not be obvious, or might even be frowned upon in other schools of interior design. Mix a floral with a plaid - no problem.

Fabrics in French Country Style

Open room with French Country style fabrics

Probably the fabric most associated with French Country design is toile. Toile, which translates as "cloth" in French, is fabric with a white or beige background adorned with repeating pictures. Generally, the pictures feature a scene - a couple in a boat or a couple sitting underneath the trees are both common - but images may also include churches, street scenes and more. The colors most often used for the print are red and blue, however, you may also find green, black or even brown. Toile has become hugely popular and is widely available in a variety of price ranges.

Roosters are another major motif in this style of design and can be found on everything from fabric to wallpaper.

Furniture

French Country style furniture

The emphasis for furniture is on the rustic feel - it doesn't have to be perfect - in fact, the more lived in, the better. Look for furniture that is low gloss and natural looking. Dark woods are often used, as are pieces that have been stripped and painted an off white or soft green color.

Wrought iron and distressed metal are also an important part to the French Country style. Look for wrought iron or distressed lamps, tables and clocks.

The Finishing Touches

Accessorizing is a breeze in French style. Roosters are found in just about every guise imaginable, from salt and pepper shakers and pitchers to door stops. Search out your local antique shops and flea markets for treasures like French apothecary jars, pseudo-French train station signage and even furniture. Remember, the emphasis is on casual and welcoming, so a few imperfections only make your style more convincing.

No French Country home would be complete without flowers. Any kind of flowers you like will work well here, but don't forget to include a bunch of lavender here and there to really get the feel of the French countryside.

Make it Your Own

The ability to mix and match fabrics and colors in this style design means that you have the ability to adapt the look to your personal tastes and lifestyle. This makes the style one of the easiest to attain; create the interior design of your home over time by searching out just the right pieces, rather than buying a furniture suite. In time, your home will have the classic appeal typical of French Country style.

French Country Style Basics