Wednesday, April 27, 2022

5 Essentials for French Country Style: Tips from an Interior Designer

At Lavender & Company, French country style is one of most popular categories on our site. Our interior design and e-design customers also love French country style decor, and we layer their rooms in our favorite French country style rugs, bedding, furniture, wallpaper and more. Here are essentials for a fresh, modern French country style that works for any home. 

What is French Country style?

French country style is defined as a blend of rustic decor and more refined European elements - think a rustic wooden dining table with upholstered Louis XIV dining chairs. This style is inspired by classic homes in the French countryside, especially like those in the Provence regions.

In classic, traditional French country homes like those in Provence, you'll find:
  • rustic wooden dining tables
  • distressed wooden furniture - if painted, it's usually in whites, creams, or shades of French blue
  • upholstered seating in velvets or linens, but nothing stuffy: casual elegance is the name of the game. Chairs and sofas are meant to be lounged in.
  • Elegant antiques like gilded mirrors
  • White stoneware or bisqueware
  • Fabrics in toiles and ginghams
Traditional French country is casual and elegant, but still refined. It's not uncommon to see a neutral room with distressed wood furniture, natural linen upholstery, and beautiful silk gingham curtains.

Image of Provence via Julia Berolzheimer

What is Modern French Country style?

Modern French country style retains the color palette and refined spirit of traditional French country style, while incorporating elements like marble and stone or more diverse decor like modern art or bolder patterns that you might not see in a traditional French country home.

If you want a lighter, brighter version of a French country home, you might want to do a lighter paint color on the walls. You might also do a sectional in a neutral linen that you'd see in a traditional French country home, but incorporate a toile pattern on the pillows.

Image via Simons Design Studio

Five Essentials for French Country Style in Your Home:

#1: A Distressed Wood Cabinet or Dresser

A distressed wood console, cabinet, or dresser is a French country mainstay and can work in any room in your home. It does double duty as decor and as storage. These finds from our shop have that antiqued French country look that can work in a modern or traditional French country home. 

Shop the Painted French Sideboard at Lavender and Company

Shop the Bow Front Server at Lavender and Company

Shop the European Painted Server at Lavender and Company

Shop the Spool Leg Console at Lavender and Company

#2: French Blue Velvet Placemats

This is the perfect way to add a touch of French country to your home. Pair them with our Giulietta Dinnerware and Sofia Coupes to achieve the full look.

Shop the French Blue velvet placemats set of four at Lavender and Company

#3: A Rustic Wooden Dining Table

Add a rustic wooden dining table in your breakfast area or dining room for that casual French country feel. In Provence, it's all about casual elegance. 

Shop the Club Room Table at Lavender and Company

Shop the Old Elm Farmhouse Table at Lavender and Company

Shop the French Country Dining Table at Lavender and Company

#4: A Romantic Bed

A romantic bed frame, piled high with lace-trimmed bed linens and pretty pillows, is the ultimate in French country chic. 

An wrought iron bed frame is classic in French country decor, as is a painted wood finish. 

Shop the Corsican Sleigh Bed at Lavender and Company 

Shop the Somerset Bay Chateau Bed at Lavender and Company

#5: The Right Patterns

Toile and Gingham/Checks are the predominant patterns in the French Country style. Usually seen in softer tones of blue, green, and pink, you can have fun with them by incorporating brighter colors for a modern French country look. 

Shop the French Farmhouse Toile Chair at Lavender and Company

Shop the Gingham Tea Towel at Lavender and Company

Shop the Seda France Sel de Mer Candle at Lavender and Company

Shop the Schumacher Toile De La Prairie Wallpaper at Lavender & Company