There is more to France than the Eiffel Tower. Decorate your home to fit the easy romance of the French countryside.
Do not be limited by the thought of a French palette. The good news when it comes to choice of hue is that the theme does not call for the use of specific colours. Instead, it is all about creating drama with the combinations. For instance, go for something cheerful like red and yellow. Feeling elegant? Pick brown and robin's egg blue for the living space.
Go for down-to-earth furnishings... Not all French furniture are gilded and ornate. A distressed table in a natural material such as wood, gives the look of a French country home because of its rustic appearance.
...but balance with interesting details. It would not be French if the details are spared. Even though the French countryside is known for its rustic aesthetic, that does not mean shunning luxury. Add a wrought iron chandelier or pick furniture with intricate carvings to make the room more interesting.
Scour thrift stores for interesting finds. While I would love to fly to France to find pieces to fit my decorating theme, many of us cannot afford this luxury ( Hint to editor :) ). Thankfully, some of the best furniture I've seen were scored from second-hand shops or garage sales. Keep an open mind and look out for interesting shapes. You can always have an item refinished or reupholstered.
The room should look slightly unfinished. One of the unique features to French country decorating is that the rooms should not look perfect. Choose finishes that look natural such as painted plaster or polished stone floors. Exposed ceiling beams are a boon.
Be conscious of your fabric choices. French country decorating is faithful to a handful of fabric prints. To capture the look, bring in plaids and checkered fabrics. They can be used in the seating upholstery, as curtains or even as a throw.
Bring in whimsical elements. A decorating theme emerges from the details. One of the best examples of French country décor I have seen is the repeated use of roosters as a visual reference. The owner had a rooster painting and rooster bookends. It was unexpected and gave the room a whimsical vibe. Accessorize using motifs found in the French countryside such as grapes, olives and sunflowers.
Do not forget about the windows and doors. French country interior design has a signature when it comes to openings of spaces — they should look effortlessly organic. Frame the windows with wooden shutters. If possible, plant a climber, such as ivy, near the door so that the vines grow around the doorway.
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