A French country balcony should resemble the relaxed, easy-going lifestyle of the French countryside. It consists of native flowers, ceramic containers and hanging flower boxes along with simple pieces of furniture. This look is easy to achieve using these design elements.
Parisian Style Country Balcony
One element of a French country balcony is the black or painted white wrought iron railings. One type, in particular, found in Paris and throughout France is called the Juliet balcony, which is a shallow, small balcony with a curved, ornate design.
Adorn this style of balcony with flower box hangers of lavender. Lavender is a staple flower, scent, and herb used by the French. It provides a nice pop of color.
Typically, Juliet balconies are only a decorative architectural element and at the most are used to display flowers though sometimes a few seat pillows or small pieces of patio furniture are used. There are several manufactures that provide these balconies such as Hooks & Lattice which offers a faux version.
Rustic French Country Balcony
If you do not care for the provincial look of the Juliet balconies, another option is a more rustic version that uses textured stucco walls or stone and simple wrought iron railing along with basic bistro style patio furniture. These railings can be installed on your balcony and found online at DecIron.
Use a variety of French native flowers planted in flower boxes that fit over the railing. These boxes are easy to find and can be purchased at any local garden or hardware store. Plant irises, jonquil, daffodils, and yellow gentian and other flowers that are native to France.
Besides flowers another option is to grow a potager garden, which is a small kitchen vegetable garden. This is an ideal option if your balcony is near the kitchen.
Balcony With Soft Elements
French country style uses soft elements in color and textures. A sheer white curtain will add a nice gentle touch to your balcony as well as add a little privacy. Light pastel flower containers are another option to white along with violet or soft pink flowers, such as wisteria or petunias.
The main style of furniture used on French balconies are bistro patio sets because they're small and fit nicely on these balconies. There are different types out there, but you should stay with black or painted white wrought iron to keep true to the style. Some places to search for these furniture sets are Overstock or Hayneedle, although most department stores will carry them.
If you want more of Southern French flair to your furniture, consider covering your table with a Provence-inspired floral tablecloth. You can find these online at Petite Provence or Marche Provence!
Mediterranean French Style
If you want to add a little more of Mediterranean French feel to your balcony, baby blue or turquoise shutters on the windows of your balcony are a nice touch. This is a popular theme in southern France.
Add a blue and white umbrella to block out the sun. The umbrella also provides needed shade if you want to sit on the balcony.
You can paint the shutters you have blue, find some old shutters at a thrift store to paint or purchase some online at Wayfair.com. Don't worry about painting them perfectly - the shabby look of them helps create the country style depicted.
Integrating the New With the Old
Since the French country style tends to use contemporary, minimalist elements, such as white flower containers and simple pieces of furniture, use that to your advantage. Adding a few outdoor décor pieces, such as French inspired floral pillows, baskets, and French bistro-style chairs on a modern, contemporary balcony will complete your design. Great places to find these little knick-knacks are at thrift stores or on websites like Birch Lane or Hobby Lobby.
Use ceramic bowls and French inspired containers to plant your flower bulbs. Stick to white ceramic pots, bowls, or even water pitchers, to use as planters. You can find these styles of containers at online stores such as Telefora or French Garden House.
French country style balconies are beautiful but if combined with other styles you can make your own stunning, unique look. For example, use a French bistro furniture set with some contemporary elements, such as white shag or sequined pillows, along with bejeweled flower containers to create an eclectic or chic and shabby style. With a little imagination, you can create a wonderful French-inspired outdoor retreat with your own personal touch.