"What does French country decorating look like in France?"
Take a Virtual Tour to find out!
Then, read on for authentic French country interior decorating info, ideas and inspiration for
(The pictures on these pages are my own French country decor photos, of real French homes.)
Once you've taken the Virtual Tour, check out the overview on French Country Interior Design for eye-catching country French decorating traits that I've come across in France - particularly in the southern French region of Provence.
Do you have specific questions? Other readers might have asked the same - find out in the French Country Home Decor FAQ. And if you're nowhere near France, read about the DOs and DON'Ts of creating French provincial decor abroad.
If you're on a budget, make sure you read the pages about
These pages are brimful of cheap and simple - but very effective - French country decorating ideas.
The 'shoestring' page also contains a lot of color information for French country decorating. For more French color scheme ideas, visit the dedicated page about French Country Colors!
Country French bedroom furniture is often portrayed as a gray-and-white, cabriole-legged, 18th-century (Louis XV) affair.
This is a stereotype - French
Bedroom Design and decorating reality often looks quite different.
Here are a some examples (with loads of country French decorating photos, of course):
Also, check out the frugal French bedroom decorating ideas on the
Creative French Country Decorating page.
So, do you need an armoire or an antique French vanity with a mirror, or an antique French Country Bed when you're decorating a French country bedroom? No. It's a nice touch, but not essential for authentic French country interior decorating.
French country living rooms are much more rustic and rough around the edges than most people assume.
And given the popularity of Louis XVI-style furniture around the world, you may be surprised that there is very little evidence of this style in French farmhouses!
However, French country living rooms are often elegant, quirky and abundantly beautiful.
There are a lot of "antique" country French bathroom vanities on the market, complete with intricate carving, glamorous gold, and elegant mixer taps.
On the French Country Bathrooms page, you'll find a list of them to buy.
The page also has information about the history of French country bathrooms, and about current trends in French country bathroom decor.
French Country Kitchen Design is about creating a workspace with a pared-down, low-tech look that uses country French decorating designs, materials and colors for
If you're not looking to do a complete kitchen remodel, the page about French Country Kitchens has lots of ideas for a 'lite' makeover of your current kitchen.
There are many ways to infuse your kitchen with a 'country French' flavor, without having to change too much about the actual cupboards or worktops.
Sometimes a lick of paint, a change of accessories, and new window treatments can do the trick beautifully.
Decorating with Toile de Jouy can easily create an "instant French" look. It's also easily overdone. This page has more than 40 ideas for pitch-perfect toile decorating.
Use vintage or antique French Country Fabric for an authentic look. Country French fabric (like hand block printed linen toile) is often handed down through several generations in a French country home.
French Country Curtains will give your home a relaxed, country French decorating flair. The page contains lots of ideas for inexpensive, elegant, and very effective country French curtains and drapes.
You've probably come across a neutral-colored French country interior decorating style that looks like a cross between French Rococo (Louis XV & early Louis XVI) and modern, Skandinavian or 'coastal' white-painted furniture (pictured below).
The link between mid-18th century French style and this contemporary, faux-rococo,
white/gray/beige country French decorating fashion is the Swedish "Gustavian"
King Gustav III had a passion for the architecture and decorative arts at the French court (he had traveled to Versailles before ascending to the Swedish throne in 1771).
He promoted the style in his native Sweden, where it was interpreted in a less ornate, lighter manner, and the wood was often painted a pale gray. So all we've done now is to paint the gray parts white!
Personally, I'm not too keen on this way of "doing" French country home decor. But if you combine the furniture with a pale natural color palette, minimalist accessories and lots of textured materials (like quilted or nobbly cushions/blankets/carpets, straw matting or simple, bleached floorboards), it can look good even in contemporary rooms.
This is a type of French country decorating that's used more outside France than in the country itself. With its 'generic Mediterranean/Gustavian' character, its current use goes well beyond French country decorating.
If you choose to go down this route, you'll need to know how to handle neutral colors. Unsure about decorating with neutrals? Here's a free e-book full of illustrated color schemes. It shows you ...
I need to point out, though, that the book is not about French country decorating with neutrals. It's more general than that. Still, it's eminently usable, and it and comes with a subscription to my (equally free) e-zine, Dream Home News, which goes out every two months.