French country style for Interior Design

Decorative arts, Design, french decor, French design, French Theme, Furniture, Interior design

Say what you will about the French. They’re a style obsessed people, and when it comes to making your home’s interior truly shine, we have a great deal to learn from them. A person could do far worse than to take their interior decorating tips from a culture as stylish as France’s. French country style is one of the most popular interior design schemes with a French basis at the moment. It’s a down-to-earth approach to interior decorating, and arranging your house in this way does not have to be particularly expensive. Of course, this being a French-inspired theme, it still oozes with style despite its humble intentions.

French country décor is not particularly picky when it comes to colour schemes. You can get away several different colours, though it’s important to try and create drama and tension. Boldness is certainly in order, and splashes bright reds or searing yellows can be used to add a lively edge to a room.

You can also get away with building a design like this on a budget. You don’t have to spend excessively on furnishings and decorations. Rather stick to the simple, the humble and the down to earth.


These are the highlights of French country style:

Rustic themes and motifs

French country style
By French Finds under CC BY 2.0

This is essential to French country style. All around the house, you’re going to see little reminders of quiet country life and the plights of simple folk. This is country living at its most intentional, and every rooster, farm scene and silhouette is intentionally placed.

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Furnishings are key in French country style. There is certainly a rustic edge to this style, and this really comes through in the house’s furnishings. Vintage is ideal, and if it looks a little bit lived in, then all the better. Furnishings should have a natural feel to them – a bit muted with soft colours low gloss. Dark woods prevail.


Let’s begin with the upholstery used on French furniture. French country style prefers to use toile, which is essentially French for ‘linen cloth’ or ‘canvas’ but in this case specifically means a decorative, soft-coloured fabric (usually beige or white) with a subtle, repeated image. You’ll see this on chair backs, sofas, chaises, and a number of other furniture types. This is an extremely popular decorative style, and it can be used in several different capacities.

Pay close attention to detail

Any true French design style is going to be at its best at its baseline details. That’s the beauty of French country style. Somehow, it manages to be simultaneously unpretentious and detail driven. And despite the fact that the emphasis is on simple living, this is no way a rejection of luxury. However, luxury manifests in different ways. Rather than being expressed through fine crystal or expensive trappings, it might be seen in the filigree of the bedcover or the intricate carvings on a hardwood chair.

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It’s a work in progress

One of the beautiful aspects of French country decorating is the underlying impression that this is a work in progress. In some cases, it looks as if the person has nearly finished moving into the house, but is still waiting on another furnishing or a few accessories. Think: stone floors or exposed ceiling beams. This hint of ‘unfinished business’ adds a level of expectation to the room, and it creates playful suspense.

Invitations to nature

French country design embraces nature, and even goes so far as to tempt to venture inside. Vines climb the doorposts, wooden shutters only partially keep the outdoors out. And as already mentioned, farm animals rule the interior motifs.