If you’re looking for inspiration for your next home decor project and need something with a distinct character, the French farmhouse style might be the solution. This classic aesthetic is at once rustic and timeless, and it’s perfect for creating a cozy and inviting space. Whether you’re into the country-chic look of Provence or the refined elegance of the Loire Valley, there’s a version of this style to suit your taste. And what’s even better, it’s easy to pull off without much hassle. Read on for guidance on how to achieve the right appeal.
What Defines French Farmhouse Decor Style?
The French farmhouse decor is defined by its rustic yet refined aesthetic. It draws inspiration from the simple country homes of Provence and Normandy, blending natural materials and comfy furniture with feminine touches and sophisticated accents. Despite being called a “French farmhouse,” this type of home can be found all across Europe.
While French country décor can be adapted to any space, it is particularly well-suited to country homes and rural retreats. With its warm, laid-back atmosphere, it invites you to relax and enjoy the small pleasures of life. This concept is all about creating a place that feels like home. Most importantly, it embodies a philosophy that values community and nature above all.
French farmhouse style relies on a few key elements: simplicity, rustic materials, and a focus on comfort and function. Typical spaces are often built of stone or brick, with pitched, sloping roofs covered with tile or metal, and little external adornment. Some common features include weathered wood beams, exposed stone walls, fireplaces, inglenooks, and wrought-iron chandeliers.
The color scheme is typically muted and earthy, with some vivid pops coming from fabrics and accent pieces. Complemented by reclaimed wood and other natural materials, these shades convey an inherently rustic feel. At the same time, distressed finishes characterize French farmhouse decor perhaps more than anything else. Those can be found in many elements, from weather-beaten furniture to antique tableware.
French country interiors generally have an airy feel thanks to their large windows letting in natural light while providing picturesque views. Meanwhile, the furnishings are bulky and comfortable, providing plenty of seating for family and friends. Plushy upholstered sofas, armchairs, wooden dining tables and chairs, and ticking stripe fabrics all add to a cozy feeling.
What to Avoid in French Farmhouse Style
When it comes to French farmhouse decor, there are a few things you should avoid if you want to stay true to the style.
- Steer clear of anything too ornate or fussy
- Secondly, avoid using too many vibrant colors or patterns
- Also, avoid anything that looks too new or modern minimal
- Finally, don’t forget the importance of texture in this style: glossy and high-polished surfaces might be challenging to incorporate into the rural mix
French Country Color Palette
One of the best wall colors in a classic French farmhouse decor is light blue. This color evokes the French countryside’s clear skies and calm waters, creating a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.
For a timeless option that never goes out of style, pick a classic white or cream. These shades are perfect for creating an airy and light feeling in any space. Plus, neutral background is an excellent canvas for effortlessly layering in other French-inspired details like distressed furniture and floral fabrics.
Looking for something more contemporary? A warm gray works wonders in modern French farmhouse decor. This shade has all of the sophistication of classic gray but with an added touch of warmth. It’s perfect for creating a cozy, inviting space that oozes modern vibes.
Another great option is a pale yellow, which can bring a feeling of sunshine and warmth to any space. For a moody look, consider using a deep burgundy or forest green. These hues can help to create an earthy and inviting ambiance that adds a twist to the classic.
French Farmhouse Flooring
There are a few different flooring options that can work well for a French farmhouse decor style. One option is to go with a classic hardwood floor. This gives the space a warm and cozy feel and works well with traditional and more contemporary furnishings.
Another option is to use stone or ceramic tile. This can provide a more rustic look, and it’s also durable and easy to care for.
If you want something truly remarkable, you could even opt for reclaimed wood floors blending different pastel shades. These add tons of distinctive character and can really help to set your home apart from the rest.
French Farmhouse Textures & Patterns
A few key patterns and textures will capture this style’s rustic, charming aesthetic. Let’s explore the elements one by one.
French Farmhouse Fabrics: Country Chic, Shabby Chic, Stripes
Look for fabrics with intricate floral designs or classic stripes or plaids. Linen, cotton, and burlap are all great choices for adding texture to your decor. Lace curtains, quilts, and ticking fabrics will also blend in beautifully. Alternatively, mix in some gingham or plaid for a touch of country charm.
French Farmhouse Rugs
Consider using a carpet with a similar vibe. A washed-out antique or french country-style rug, for example, would be a perfect choice. Made of natural fibers like wool or jute, these rugs often feature charming floral or checked patterns. If you’re looking for something a little more subdued, opt for a solid-color rug with a textured finish.
Patterned wallpapers are a great way to imbue more visual interest. The best selection for this style should reflect the natural beauty of the countryside. To capture the true essence of the French farmhouse style, look for wallpapers with botanical or pastoral motifs that evoke a sense of rustic elegance. Barnyard animals, like chickens or roosters, are popular choices; other options include checks, ginghams, and stripes.
For an added touch of authenticity, select wallpaper with an embossed or textured finish. Rough-hewn materials such as linen or burlap will give your space an extra dose of rustic charm.
Wrought Iron Lighting Fixtures
French farmhouse-style light fixtures are typically straightforward and elegant, reflecting the overall room aesthetics. Wall sconces, floor lamps, and chandeliers often feature a metal base and a glass or linen shade. The shades can be clear or frosted, and the metal bases are usually black or bronze.
Wrought iron is a material that is both rugged and delicate, making it the perfect choice for this sophisticatedly rustic style. Other options include bronze or brass. These durable materials can withstand the elements, while aging makes them blend with the style even better, making them also ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
Details & Accessories
Finally, don’t forget the accessories. Wicker baskets, metal buckets, and enamelware will help you put a stamp on a genuine French farmhouse look. Choose hardware made of natural materials like wood or iron and prioritize distressed finish. Ruffles, lace, and detailed carvings are all welcome additions. Moreover, antique mirrors, rustic metal hardware, and delicate lace curtains all add to the charm of a French farmhouse.
French Country Wall Art
French farmhouse decor is all about creating a warm and inviting space. To maintain the cohesive look, you should choose wall art that reflects the rustic charm of the countryside.
Stick to the chosen color scheme, focusing on neutral colors and natural materials with a few accents. Think blacks, whites, and greys mixed with wood and stone.
For a traditional look, try hanging a french-style tapestry or painting. Rustic wooden signs are also a popular choice, as well as large distressed wooden clocks. In addition, you might bring in some specifically French-inspired pieces. This could include a vintage mirror or a piece of art depicting the Eiffel Tower.
Another great way to add french farmhouse flair to your home is to display dry flowers and Provencal herbs in distressed frames.
Finally, you will want to add some personal touches to make the space truly your own. Those could be family photos, heirloom quilts, or even a pet portrait.
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