How to decorate in a French Country style « Vanessa Arbuthnott
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How to decorate in a French Country style

French country style springs from the gentle hills and valleys of rural France. It’s an unstudied, collected approach, built on firmly entrenched local traditions and on cherished objects handed down through generations. Simple and sincere yet effortlessly elegant, it satisfies the soul as much as the eye.

The French tend toward an inborn sense of taste and refinement. Guided by instinct and a knack for striking a balance, French country décor always works, no matter how many disparate elements you throw into the mix.

So keep treasures, add in an eclectic mix of favourite cushions, curtains, throws, cards, and paintings; they can all be accommodated in one room. It’s more about objects with meaning than mixing and matching cushions etc.

The soft furnishings can then work around the treasures, choose soft muted shades for the wall colours to create a soft neutral backdrop.

Choose a toile such as my Love of Rose fabric for the curtains, blinds or cushions, they are traditionally French, made famous from the cotton and linen printed with designs of landscapes and figures for which the 18th-century from the factory of Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles. They create a wonderful atmosphere is a room and are a must if you are hoping to create a French look.

The French have wonderful taste in lighting, look for some old lamp bases and make some fabric lampshades. Also search out some old mirrors and wooden chairs to paint in junk shops and auctions.