Key Design Features of The French Country Style Home
French Country (or provincial) furniture and décor was inspired by country homes and farmhouses in rural France. It was intended for wealthy people living in rural areas, who could not afford the elegant and expensive Parisian pieces but appreciated their beauty. French Country furniture tends to be more rustic in style, however, that does not mean that it cannot go hand-in-hand with elegant statement pieces. In fact, many people love to combine the rustic nature of the French Country style with elements of sophisticated elegance. French Country décor is especially associated with the Provence area in France, but its popularity is now widely spread across the world.
Below are some of the key design features that are commonly associated with the French Country style theme, and that should provide some guidance on how to create this look within your own home:
- Materials: Natural materials are a firm favourite with this style of décor. Wooden floors, furniture and beams are often paired with stone (or wooden) floors and dark wrought iron light fittings.
- Furniture: The French Country theme heavily features vintage pieces typically made from natural wood, which has been painted and distressed. Furniture is often decorated with ornate carvings and motifs, like shells, acanthus and flowers. And furniture legs are mostly cabriole (curved) in shape.
- Soft Furnishings: The use of soft furnishings adds warms and depth to a room. French Country themed rooms opt for layers of cushions and throws, and cold floors are covered with large, patterned area rugs. Patterns on soft furnishings are typically mixed and matched featuring checks, toile and stripes in beautiful natural linen fabrics.
- Colours: Neutrals are mostly employed in a French Country home – with plenty of taupe, grey, green and other earthy hues.
- Accessories: Home accessories are a great way of finishing a design style. The French Country theme oozes charm by peppering the room with unique curiosities and intricate detail; it is the opposite to minimalistic! Paintings are a great way of adding a focal area and can vary greatly in style. Dried flower, Chinoiserie vases and plates, wicker baskets, window boxes with herbs or fresh flowers are just some of the ways to bring the French Country look to your home.
- Floors: These are a significant feature in a French Country style home and are usually made from natural materials, such as exposed wooden floorboards or stone flagging. Carpets are rarely seen but large rugs are used to add warmth and interest.