Fragrance and Good Feelings

Country style decor eschews the formality of many styles and rather feels like a comfortable pair of slippers - relaxed, comfortable and lived-in. Your guests are not afraid to sit in the living room or drop in unannounced for a cup-of-joe in your country kitchen. Casually elegant with sturdy wooden furniture, colorful textiles and functional accessories, your country style home is a welcoming place for hanging out.

A Trip to the South of France

French country reflects the vibrancy of the South of France in its appeal and color palette. Typically, the colors are the ones found in the countryside; lavender and aubergine (eggplant), sunflower yellow and intensely deep azure blue. The fabrics of this style are brightly colored with small floral or animal designs, or even more commonly, toile. Toile is the French word for fabric, and generally is a white or beige background with little scenes of couples, flowers, woods or birds, repeating over and over again. It's hugely popular and found often as a covering for furniture. It is not uncommon to see the subtle mixing and matching of colors and prints, which might be looked down upon in other styles of decor. But it's not a problem to mix floral and plaids in French country decor.

These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Classic French country furniture often features a large plank-style dining table of rough hewn wood - something that looks like the family has eaten at this table for generations. It's surrounded by cane-back chairs or benches and the cupboard in the kitchen/dining room is often an antique. The furniture is rustic and lived in - it is low gloss and very natural looking. There are no "star pieces" in the house, everything blends and works together. Dark wood is favored and you'll find pieces that have been stripped and painted, either off white or soft green, complementing the furnishings. And, let's not forget a true French favorite - wrought iron or metal pieces. They are found often throughout the look, but usually serve as accessories and one-of-a-kind items rather than as main pieces. Clocks, distressed lamps and tables are also part of the furniture mix.

Finish it with the Right Accessories

When it comes to accessorizing, you will have a lot of fun. One of the most popular items to be found in a home with French country decor is a rooster, or two or five. They are found in every guise conceivable - from salt and pepper shakers to pitchers, door-stops to stand alone sculptures. A trip to the antique store or flea market may yield a great find of French apothecary jars, perhaps a pseudo-French train station sign or, if you're particularly lucky, a piece of furniture. Don't get hung up on perfection - this style of decor demands imperfection and casual feelings.

And, Finally - Flowers

And, no French country home would be complete without flowers. Anything you love to have around is a great choice, but don't forget an ample supply of the flower France is famous for - lavender - to get the feeling of the French countryside.

If French country decor is not your thing then check out our article on English country decorating.