Basics of French Country Decor

Details Count in French Country Decorating

French country kitchen Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

French Country decor is popular worldwide because of its casual elegance, splashes of color and emphasis on natural or rustic-looking accessories. Attaining French country style in your home doesn't have to cost a fortune. You may be able to put your creativity to work and refinish existing furniture to create a delightful space.

The Basics of French Country Decor

French country style has a warm, comfortable feeling. The color? It's best to stay on the warm side of the color wheel with colors that have medium to low intensity. Think soft yellows, warm pinks, baby blues, and creams.

The furnishings should have graceful and simple lines. French Country features lots of painted furniture. Buying older distressed furniture would be a perfect fit for this style. Wrought iron or rusted metal accents are often incorporated into this shabby chic's not all about wood decor.

Fabrics in this style are wide-ranging but rely on toile, a very traditional fabric. You can partner toile with stripes, plaids, or solids--anything goes.

French Country Decor In the Kitchen

A French Country kitchen features lots of jars holding food staples. Find old covered jars at thrift shops or garage sales to duplicate the look. Add hand-painted labels or print them on your home printer. Use old quaint street or grocery signs for wall decor. Again, you can make your own. Just search out craft stores for inexpensive wall plaques or metal signs. Use a wrought iron wall planter to hang pots or utensils with hooks so they stay secure.

French Country Decor In the Dining Room

For a traditional French Country dining room, white-wash old mismatched chairs and use a round wrought iron patio or garden table for an inexpensive dining set. You can also repaint a wood set, or purchase a brand new set painted in pastels or with natural wood tones.

French Country Decor In the Living Room

Windows in French Country rooms shouldn't be weighed down by heavy drapes and fabrics, such as you would see in a traditionally styled room. Add lacy panels to let the sun shine in while still providing privacy. In front of the window, try a wrought iron garden bench with pillows for the look of a window seat.

French Country Decor In the Bedroom

An old iron garden gate would make a great headboard if you wanted to tie the French Country into a bedroom. Use an old metal garden bench at the end of the bed as a sitting area. Dressers painted in warm, pastel colors and those distressed will bring that comfortable feel into the room.

French Country Decor In the Bathroom

Use wrought iron towel racks or old vintage wrought iron fruit bowls to hold towels and washcloths. An old painted buffet as a vanity for the sink would be nice too. 

French Country on a budget? It can be done, and as you can see, it can be done easily with old thrift shop finds, distressed garden furniture, and fabrics.