Decorating in the French Country Style - dummies

Decorating in the French Country Style

By Katharine Kaye McMillan, Patricia Hart McMillan

The French country look embraces the warmth and grace of the Provence region for France. By learning how to decorate in the French country manner at your home, you can add a sense of elegance and warmth.

French country has the warmth of American country, but its furnishings tend to have a less homespun feel:

  • Earthy textures and bright calico patterns found in the fabrics make this look enduringly popular.

  • Colors are strong: mustard, rusty red, indigo, and grass green.

  • Fabrics stand up well against white plaster walls.

  • Matching patterns on the walls to those in the room makes a definite style statement.

  • Use rusted metal and wrought iron to accentuate furnishings and light fixtures.

  • Add stone, wood, and brick to add depth and warmth to the room.

  • Most walls should be white or stained plaster walls. You can get paint that is textured to look like plaster at most home centers.

  • Natural fibers and textures add an old-world feel to the space.

  • Go with traditional patterns in muted colors, such as toile.

  • Furnishings should solid and fairly rustic. Be sure to keep the polish to a low sheen

  • Use color pottery and glassware to accessorize your space.

  • Keep the flooring natural. After all, there wasn’t a lot of wall-to-wall carpeting a couple of hundred years ago.