When you think of Provence and the French countryside, you’re sure to see lavender fields and bright sunshine. While there are many elements that contribute to the French Country style of decorating, the resulting look is always rustic, old world, and welcoming. The look fits well into both country houses and elegant, old chateaux. The French Country style of decorating, with its warm and casual feel will fit beautifully into your home as well.

Colors used to decorate in the French Country style come from the full spectrum of the rainbow. Sunny yellow and soft gold, fiery red and burnt rust, bright grass green, dark hunter green and cobalt blue are all colors that influence this style. However, if you are looking to make a more modern style, choose from a variety of neutral colors. Today’s designers are utilizing ecru, oatmeal, heather gray and pale white to create a more sophisticated and elegant modern look.

Typical of French Country interiors are accented with architecture and furniture, which contrasts texture and color. Pale plaster walls and ceilings are typical punctuated with dark rough wood beams.

Another important element used in French style decorating is the use of natural materials and texture. Rough stained or painted plaster, hefty beamed ceilings and walls, delicately carved wood details, and chair seats that are woven of rush give texture and simplicity to the look. If you are looking to add a more updated style add a variety of texture ranging from shiplap, porcelain, chicken wire and linen. Natural stone floors are covered with wool or cotton rugs.

No real French Country home is complete without a stone fireplace. A heavy beam at the top of the opening serves as a mantle. Tiles, either stone or ceramic, form the border. The hearth is clay or brick, and herbs, copper pots, and iron accessories.

Architectural features like stonewalls and floors play an essential role in creating the French country style. Rustic flooring is most often made of stone, clay, or brick. Old wooden boards work well, too. The focus is on old and charming.

Lastly, the use of new or reproduction rustic furniture will help create the ambiance. A rectangular or round dining table in a dull waxed or low sheen finish is one piece of furniture that will help tie together your entire look. Chairs should either be ladder-back style or have vertical slats, often with rush seating or for a more modern look utilize benches or mixed chairs.

David Brown
Mulberry Seed Design