French country decorating has been one of the most popular decorating choices because it invites comfort into the home like no other style. Lived in furniture, distressed wood tables and chairs, cotton throws, aged plaster walls are just some of the hallmark elements found in this style.
Choose Earthy Colors
The French have always taken their inspiration from outside. Use vivid colors in your home, by painting your kitchen cabinets, or accenting with bright floral centerpieces. Colors like poppy red, sunflower yellow, cornflower blue, meadow green, and violet purple are typical colors found in France. Add several natural wood pieces such as accent tables, or chairs to balance out the color. Vivid colors can provide those saturated tones found in the summer. Depending in the look you are after, you could pick out accents (such as throw pillows, bed spreads, upholstery choices) in the richer tones, while using lighter airy shades for your walls. Choose fabrics such as curtains and seat cushions in paisley, stripes and floral prints to tie together the Provence look in your home
Black Painted Furniture
Painting furniture black in your home was a symbolic sign of loyalty to King Louis XVI after he was imprisoned and put to death during the French Revolution. What is now considered a classic color for French furnishing actually started out as a rebellious social statement. Painting black couldn’t be easier. Go for egg shell, or satin for an authentic country look. Glossy furniture is rarely found in the country. Distress your furniture slightly to add that old age appearance we love to admire.
Decorate With Family Photos
You can create a family photo album on your walls, with your most treasured pictures. For a timeless look, try your photos in Black or white, as they tend to show the emotion and it will ease into any color scheme. Try also matting your photos with French styled wallpaper, or go for a classic choice with cream, or black matting.
William Rieder, curator of decorative arts at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, says, “The persistent popularity of the bouillotte lamp is based partly on the world’s love of French decorative arts of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.” This artifact of not only beautifully illuminates interiors but accommodates today’s different-sized desks and tables with its adjustable lampshade.
Needlepoint skills are prized all over the world and have been for hundreds of years. Tapestries have been hung on walls for hundreds of years and you cannot get a better period feel in a home than to hang a breathtaking tapestry. Expect to pay extra for these time consuming crafts, but also expect to find some great deals on ebay as people clear out their attics and sell some of these collectable gems.
I readily admit, I enjoy collecting tin boxes with the antique labels. I use them to decorate my pantry, discarding the modern packaging and replacing it with the old. If you like country decor style, these little boxes can a bit of an old world accent into your kitchen or pantry. Collect vintage liquor bottle tins, and use them to store spaghetti. Tin boxes can be used to storage soaps, cosmetics and candy, and are a most have for any Provence home
Bushel Baskets were once used on farms to collect the vegetables, apples and fruits. The vintage baskets were made by nailing the different pieces of wood together to form a sturdy basket that never had to be replaced. Today they are collectible and make the perfect basket to display soaps, fruit, or decorations.
Go For Saturated Walls
Brown, beige, or griege walls can be breathtaking in country styled homes. Darker toned walls can look terrific with walnut wood furniture and leather upholstered french chairs. Pair darker earthy colors with raw wood pictures and furniture. With any dark color, you want to to be sure to add lots of natural sunlight. Consider adding art work on the walls that will pop with color. Layer in rich wool throws with white being the primary color. Adding in cream, beige, and a couple brighter accents will allow the color brown to showcase a richer side to country decorating.
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