Interior design is often about creating an image in someone's head as to how they could live and the feelings the property could evoke. It's about playing matchmaker between the homeowner/potential buyer and the property itself, tying together the two with a specific look so that whoever is living there falls in love with their home and, in the case of a show home, the market value is maximised. A mismatched interior will look and feel completely off and have the opposite effect - turning off potential buyers and making homeowners feel uncomfortable in their own home.
Now, imagine if the image in your head is of rolling lavender fields, vineyards, quaint country roads and grey-stone cottages, feelings of tranquillity and restfulness. I know what you're thinking - "Sign me up!", right? Well, that is the essence of French Country Living as an interior design style - warmth, plenty of light and an invitation to relax.
Here is everything you need to know about French Country Living, what works and what doesn't, and how to incorporate it into your own home.
The idea of this interior design style is to keep things as bright and summery as possible. Take advantage of natural light and open spaces to create a welcoming atmosphere that breathes elegance and simplicity in equal measure. Each room should be an invitation to unwind and forget the stresses of the day-to-day, just like a holiday to the South of France should be!
Contrasting white with pastel colours is best, but because the style is based on centuries-old farmhouses and rural living, traditional colours look good too, like creams and beiges, especially if your house is already full of character and has dark beams and cottage doors. If you would like to keep things more suited to the oft-rainy and miserable British weather, soft greys are good at breaking up the lighter colours and keeping things cosy when needed in the colder months without being too dark/dingy.
See some examples of colour schemes below that you can use in your own house to introduce a bit of French Country Living!
Textures and patterns are very prevalent in French Country as it is a more traditional style and the joy of more rustic, often distressed interiors is that you have a lot of freedom to get creative and explore different options. Unlike a more modern, minimalist style where curtains and soft furnishings should stick to a strict colour palette and not deviate too much from the rest of the interior, you can really experiment with eccentric designs that are really personal to your own tastes. You should still avoid darker wall coverings, window dressings and soft furnishings though. Everything should still be quite light and calming, just don't be afraid to add character.
If you prefer to avoid textures or patterns altogether, you should still try to break up large, plain areas like windows and walls with accessories such as flowers, ornaments or artwork, just to avoid these areas looking bland/unfinished and even a little cold when the weather isn't as nice.
Below are some examples of fabrics available from one of our suppliers, Prestigious Textiles. As you can see, there are many different patterns and colours that work well. These fabrics have a tonne of personality and look great when used against wooden furniture. They are also very warm and inviting, perfect for upholstery or soft furnishings!
Images belong to Prestigious Textiles and are used for review purposes.
In terms of furniture, wood is the way to go. You can use distressed/shabby-chic pieces, rusted, dark and knotted items or light, painted furniture and not really go wrong. Just avoid chrome/gold/iron or anything else that looks too manufactured, dark and imposing.
Similar to texture/patterns within soft furnishings and wall coverings, you can really explore your tastes and let your personality shine through with the furniture - don't be afraid to mix and match styles and use accent colours or patterns different from the rest of the room.
French Country Living is such a homely interior design style that it lends itself well to just about anything you like so long as it matches the theme. Here is an example of a mood board we could create for your own interior design quote using images from our suppliers Gallery Direct, Coach House, Prestigious Textiles, Riva Paoletti and DAR Lighting. As you can see, their items work fabulously together to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that is equally light and cosy!
Everything you see here can be used for your own interior design project or show home! Simply get in touch today using our free no-fuss form, or if you would prefer something more informal - give us a call on 01332 870066 or email email@example.com