French Provincial Bedroom Furniture, Part II:
Normandy, Île-de-France & Atlantic Coast

French provincial bedroom furniture & decorating ideas:
7 authentic examples from France.

On this page:

  • French provincial bedroom furniture in Normandy
  • Country French bedroom decorating in the vicinity of Paris
  • French bedroom ideas from the Atlantic coast
  • Where to shop
    for antique & reproduction bedroom French provincial furniture

Further reading:

  • French country bedroom ideas from the South & East of France
  • Contemporary, stylish Provençal country bedroom decorating

French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
& Decor In Normandy

French bedroom in Normandy
Country French bedroom in the Haute-Normandie region
(Northern France);   Photo © Toprural

Within shouting distance (almost) of the English coast, country French bedroom decorating in Normandy can look a lot like English cottage style.

Tiny, ancient half-timbered houses make a wonderful backdrop for floral quilts and plump cushions in simple, sweet colors and patterns.

French bedroom in Normandy
Country French bedroom in the Basse-Normandie region
(Northern France);   Photo © Toprural

However, you don't need a historic building for French bedroom decorating.

The room to the left (also in Normandy) could have been built last week - it still has a lot of French flair.

This is not because of the toile bedspread.

Neither is it because of the red, blue & white "French" color scheme, nicely muted to cotto red and grayish blue ...

... and definitely not for the simple, contemporary bedstead (which would go well with any 'nautical' style, French or otherwise).

The room 'looks French' because of the two Directoire-inspired armchairs.  If you replaced these two pieces of French provincial bedroom furniture with, say, Windsor chairs, the room would lose most of its Gallic flair, despite the toile.

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French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
In The Région Parisienne

Our next two examples are from the Île-de-France, the region around Paris. First, let's look at French provincial bedroom furniture with a bit of bourgeois attitude:

French bedroom in central France
Country French bedroom in the Île-de-France region
(Central France);   Photo © Toprural

The floor, in elegant parquet de Versailles, sets the scene for this room.

The mirror (on the marble tabletop in the foreground) has an antique, Louis XV feel about it.

The distressed chair and the two engravings in gilt frames above the bed add another layer of 'history' to the room.

The chest at the foot of the bed may or may not be French, but it lends some much-needed visual substance to the contemporary bedstead.

It also balances the two bedside tables, which contribute a quirky element - they don't match (one is higher), but the twin bedside lamps make up for it ;-)

To show off the antique(-looking) French provincial bedroom furniture, the bedding is kept informal and nonchalantly plain. I think the room is a very successful mix of elements:

  • country French,
  • 'aristocratic', and
  • relaxed contemporary.

Compare that to our next country French bedroom, from the same region:

rustic bedroom in central France
Country French bedroom in the Île-de-France region
(Central France);   Photo © Toprural

This room is much more down-to-earth and rural in style than the previous one:

Raw sandstone walls, simple floor tiles, basic beds and simple window treatments.

But can anyone doubt the attitude behind those velvet-and-silk bed spreads in regal jewel colors?  That's what I call panache.

There's no denying it, the French have it in spades ;-)

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French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
Near The Atlantic Coast

northern French 'garden' bedroom
Country French bedroom in the Département Sarthe
(Northwestern France);   Photo © Toprural

This sweetly pink "garden" bedroom in the Pays-de-la-Loire is not far from the French west coast.

In contrast to other European cultures and the USA, the French really have no hangups about using the color pink.

Not even the men!  They somehow don't seem to find this color girly or effeminate.  (So no, this isn't a lady's French bedroom!)

Apart from the unabashed use of pink, here's a list of the other  items that make this a "French country" bedroom:

  • the metal bedframe with scrolling detail (could also be black or white)
  • the sculptural metal 'hatstand' in the hallway
  • the small painting on the wall above the bedhead - something I've seen in many country French bedrooms
  • the garden table and garden chairs - bringing the outside in is a decorating & lifestyle trend that other Europeans have been picking up from the French. Garden furniture is used in French country kitchens, dining rooms, even living rooms - so of course, you can use it as French provincial bedroom furniture as well.

Compare to that the following, much cooler country French bedroom on the Atlantic coast:

nautical bedroom, Loire Valley, France
Country French bedroom in the Loire Valley region
(Northwestern France);   Photo © Toprural

To me, this is French provincial bedroom decorating at its best.

  • Cover a simple bed in a white matelassé bedspread,
  • add one antique (or reproduction) piece of French provincial bedroom furniture,
  • hang a few pictures (black-and-white, photography, etchings or engravings, preferably in gilt frames),
  • add a vase with flowers, a cute little lamp, or both
  • slipcover a few chairs generously in beautiful, elegant fabrics that add a splash of color, and
  • voilà, you're done!

The last French provincial bedroom example on this page has a sparse, 'zen' feel similar to the above, but it uses a much warmer color scheme:

warm rustic bedroom, central France
Country French bedroom in the Loire-Atlantique region
(Central France);   Photo © Toprural

  • The impression of height in the room is enhanced by the elegant low wall lights.
  • The bare walls would look austere if it weren't for the warm golden color and texture of the natural stone.
  • The color scheme, limited to red, cream, and a warm brownish gray, comes alive through an intelligent pattern mix - toile, ticking and solid colors.
  • The star of the show is the bedspread, a stunning, geometric, large-scale patchwork of co-ordinated colors and patterns.

Of all the French provincial bedrooms on this page, this last one is my favorite. It uses plenty of French country decorating ideas, but it defies the frilly, toile-heavy stereotype that is often misunderstood as 'authentic' French style.

And there's more ... if you're interested in contemporary French provincial bedroom furniture and decorating ideas, come along and have a look at some amazing Provençal bedrooms!

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Where To Buy French Provincial Bedroom Furniture

The country French bedrooms on this page prove that you can create a lot of "Frenchness" without much - or any  - French provincial bedroom furniture.

However, having a nice armoire, or an antique French chest of drawers, or a dressing table with a mirror, will always make it easier to achieve a recognizably French country bedroom look in your home.  So where would you find the right French provincial bedroom furniture for your purposes?

a) For reproduction pieces, try these:

b) For antique country French bedroom furniture, or a mix of old and new elements, try

  • Garage and yard sales,
  • Flea markets,
  • Estate sales,
  • Antiques dealers, or
  • Antiques auctions.

Alternatively, get lucky and find exactly what you're looking for on ebay:

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