A popular look for today- French Country Decorating is filled with the rich colors of Provence, bursting with plenty of Country Cottage charm.
French Country style is casual and yet sophisticated. You can transport yourself to another place and time with this fun, farm-folk style.
Envision a lot of warmth and richness to French Style Decorating, it has the feel of a warm and sunny place.
This decorating look is especially great for kitchens- but don’t stop there! You can incorporate French style through out your entire home.
Let’s now take a closer look at this fantastic decorating look. You will see how easy it is to add this great cottage style to your home.
French Country Decorating Colors:
Are rich and bold shades. The most common French colors are Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green. Some examples of color combinations are blue with yellow and red with yellow.
Black is always a popular accent with the French color scheme.
French Country Walls:
Look great with a stucco finish. You can use plaster on the walls to achieve this classic French look.
Today there are many faux wall treatments that you can apply. These kits will help you achieve the appearance of stucco. This is a great option if you don’t want to change the texture of your wall, and desire a less permanent option.
Faux wall treatment kits, books and supplies can be purchased from a craft or hardware store.
Here are two examples of faux finished walls. These Red and Gold examples will give your walls an instant French Cottage style.
Wallpaper is a great addition to your walls. You could apply wallpaper in toile patterns as described below, or any pattern that fits within French country decorating style.
A wallpaper border with chickens and roosters would make a charming addition to your kitchen.
Brick looks great with French style as it creates warmth and charm. Again, if you don’t want to use real brick, you can recreate the look trough faux painting techniques and wallpaper.
French Country Decorating Fabrics and Linens:
Have a distinct look and feel. The are typically Chintz, Toile or Calico.
Toile fabrics are a familiar French country decorating icon. This fabric has an old fashioned look, and is recognized for its all-over pattern.
Toile is traditionally available with the color combination of white or cream with one single color. The dominate colors being Red, Black or Blue. Here is an example of toile fabric in this blue and yellow kitchen. Take note of the window treatments.
French Provincial fabrics are another distinct fabric style used in French decorating. Here is an example of these.
These Provincial fabrics are what we would most likely call calico. You will notice their intense colors and small repeated patterns. These textiles are available from fabric and quilting stores.
You can always purchase a variety of pre-made French Style textiles. You will find everything from place mats and table linens, to bedding and draperies. These charming linens will give your home that distinct French look you desire.
You may want to accent the French Provincial and Toile fabrics with striped and checkered fabrics. These make a nice contrast with the busier patterns.
Remember, Cottage Style is all about mixing and matching of patterns.
French Country Furniture:
Could be dark and natural, or might also be light and painted. You will see faux finishes on furniture as discussed above for walls.
Within French style you will see decorative hand painting added to pieces of furniture. Think about adding decorative flowers, French roosters, and flowing vines.
The easiest way to do decorative painting is to use stencils and stamps. These are easily available from craft stores and so easy to use. Stenciling and stamping add a lot of character, for a very cheap price!
Take a look at this French Style Kitchen on the right. You will notice the cabinets were given a wonderful faux finish,, which gives this kitchen a lot of character and cottage charm.
French Country Floors:
Will mostly be natural wood, stone, or tile. You could mimic the look of stone, brick or tile on your floors, using a stencil or faux painting kit as described above.
Area and throw rugs are always a cheap and easy addition to any floor. There are so many charming and fun rugs available today. These will give a punch of color and style where ever you need it.
We have now covered the basics of French Country Decorating.
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