The French have style, even when they are finishing rough masonry (rusticating), and when French Décor is spoken of it usually refers to a French Country style. This interior decorating style incorporates colours from the French countryside and has an Old World feel with regard to its furniture and fabrics.
French Décor for the bedroom
Decorating a bedroom in the French style will mean that it will have a very feminine look and feel. French Décor is supposed to convey a feeling of luxury and comfort, so this means plump, inviting textiles, such as cotton, linen and silk, teamed with aged furniture.
To get the look, the walls of the bedroom should be painted in an off-white or cream colour. If this feels a little stark, there are some other colours that work well, such as a light powder blue, dove grey, pastel pink and lilac. For a perfect blend, paint three walls in the off-white colour, and the remaining wall in one of these colours to create a feature. To masculinise the room, darker colours can be used, such as browns in all their variety, from light fawns through to dark oak.
The furniture needs to appear old, so if the existing pieces are modern, paint them in a white colour and then distress the surfaces to show the wood beneath. Customise furniture to make it unique by adding decoration, such as a floral stencil or motif painted on the headboard and footboard of a wooden bedstead, or onto the front panels of the wardrobe doors.
French Décor for the kitchen
In the kitchen, the colour palette should incorporate the French countryside’s more earthy tones. This is the perfect place for those browns and oranges, sunshine yellow and leafy greens, as they can even help to stimulate the appetite.
The furniture should also keep its natural look, such as a large pine or oak central table and dresser. It is almost the point of French décor to look like it is a style that has evolved over time, so none of the furniture should match. Fitted cabinets are definitely out. All items, such as the oven (ideally a range cooker), the fridge, sink and cabinetry should be freestanding.
For a really authentic look, from both the inside and outside of the home, install white wooden shutters at the windows. For a more rustic feel, these can be left as the only window dressing, but for a more layered, luxurious look, team the shutters with curtains made from a floral or subtly striped fabric.
French Décor generally means plenty of accessories, as they help to layer and luxuriate the room. For the bedroom, use old hat boxes as storage boxes, and display them beneath the bed and on top of the wardrobe. Find old apothecary and perfume bottles for reuse on a dressing table and mantel, whilst a large gilt mirror will add a touch of opulence.
For the kitchen, use ceramic or metal storage boxes for flours, sugar, tea and bread. Display old-fashioned decorated crockery on the dresser, and utilise pots for holding kitchen utensils. Display a vintage pair of scales complete with their weights, and hang up aprons, tea towels and oven gloves made from different fabric patterns on wooden pegs.
By Aimee Clare