French Country Decorating Ideas

By Interior Designer, Tracy Svendsen | Published January 04, 2019 | Updated on March 25, 2024 |

French Country Decorating Ideas: Transform your home into a breathtaking retreat with the timeless elegance of French country style. From the rustic charm of the countryside to the sophisticated allure of Parisian chic, this decor trend is sure to captivate your senses. 

Whether starting from scratch or simply looking to add a French twist to your current design, this guide has you covered with decorating ideas for every room in your home.

In the living room, create a cozy ambiance with plush sofas adorned with soft linen slipcovers and distressed wood furniture accents. In the kitchen, embrace the warm hues of Provence with a farmhouse sink and open shelving displaying your collection of vintage French pottery. 

Bring the charm of a French bistro to your dining room with a wrought iron chandelier and a rustic farm table. Escape to a dreamy oasis in your bedroom featuring delicate floral patterns, antique armoires, and luxurious bedding fit for a queen. 

And don’t forget the bathroom – transform it into a spa-like retreat with a clawfoot tub, elegant fixtures, and French toile wallpaper. Fall in love with French Country and create a home that exudes grace, charm, and romance. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of this timeless style. Feature image courtesy of Kara Childress.

French Country Decorating Ideas

French Country Decorating Ideas | Photo Pascal Chevallier 
Image courtesy of Elle Decor

What is French Country Design?

French Country is a broadly appealing design style inspired by the centuries-old farmhouses of rural France. It is the embodiment of elegance that strikes a perfect balance between beauty and comfort.

It is epitomized by soothing hues, rich use of fabrics, provincial furniture, exposed wood ceilings, fresh-cut flowers, natural linen fabrics, finely upholstered chairs and sofas, rustic antiques, and intricate details. It is a curated blend of European elegance and rustic country style.

French Country Color Palette and Materials

A warm and inviting color palette, reminiscent of the French countryside, characterizes French country decor. Soft, muted tones such as beige, cream, and pastel hues dominate this style. These colors create a sense of tranquility and warmth essential to achieving the French Country look.

To further enhance the ambiance, incorporate natural materials into your decor. Embrace the beauty of distressed wood furniture, stone accents, and wrought iron elements. These materials add texture and depth to your space, creating a truly authentic French country feel.

French Country Colors

How to Decorate a French Country Bedroom

Escape to a dreamy oasis in your bedroom with French country decor. This style is all about creating a serene and romantic atmosphere. Start by incorporating delicate floral patterns into your bedding and curtains.

Opt for pastel colors such as soft pinks, blues, or lavender to achieve the desired effect. A well-designed French country bedroom recalls the rolling hills and valleys in rural France. 

If you want to create a bedroom that transports you to the French countryside, it’s important to create a space that combines effortless elegance, warmth, comfort, and homey details. Nothing quite compares to a refined provincial bedroom in calming, neutral tones. 

There are several approaches one can take in creating a French Country bedroom. As with most country design styles, there is an opportunity to expand on the traditional concept.

“The gentle hues, luxurious bedding, and homey details of a French Country bedroom engage the senses and invite relaxation. Designed as if accumulated over time, French provincial bedroom decor embraces simple accents, sturdy fabrics, and practical elements that keep the look uncluttered and refreshed. Layers of plush bedding and a deeply tufted fabric headboard create a comfortable and restorative sleeping space. Nature-inspired artwork breathes life into the room, as sheer window treatments allow soft sunlight to filter in. Enhance the space with useful pieces like an armchair, storage bench, mirror, and lamp to make daily routines a breeze.” – Overstock

To add a touch of elegance, invest in an antique armoire or a vintage dressing table. These pieces not only provide ample storage but also serve as focal points in the room. Finally, indulge in luxurious bedding fit for a queen, complete with soft, plush pillows and a cozy duvet.

French Country Bedroom Ideas

French Country Bedroom Ideas
Image courtesy of Houzz

Elements of a French Country Bedroom

1. Muted Color Palette

Neutral walls are a trademark of French country-style bedrooms and should be in warm and creamy tones like ecru or ivory rather than pure white to prevent the room from looking modern or cold. Additional colors should be drawn from nature, such as soft yellows, pale greens, muted blues, and peony pinks.

French Country Bedroom Ideas

French Country Bedrooms by Anita Joyce
Images courtesy of Cedar Hill Farmhouse

These beautiful French Country Bedrooms were designed by Anita Joyce, who was named one of Country French magazine’s favorite style-makers. She’s also the author of the book French Accents, Farmhouse French for Today’s Home, and has a wonderful blog focused on French Country Decorating titled Cedarhill Farmhouse. She’s been working on her bedroom (image on left) for 6 years on and off, and the result is a delightfully feminine room with shades of lavender and blues, plenty of texture, and delicate botanical prints.

Anita suggests adding a soft rug under your feet to add detail to the room.  She has three different rugs in shades of cream and blue.  A cozy chair and ottoman provide the perfect place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or cozy up under a blanket to read a book. Another tip is to have a place to display some of your favorite things in your bedroom to personalize the space.  The throw pillows here instantly add color and personality to a room. Anita also places lavender sachets in the dresser with her clothes to provide a sumptuous smell to her clothing and bedroom.

2. Distressed Furniture

French Provincial furniture is steeped in tradition and endurance and passed from generation to generation. The French love their antiques, and it’s essential to include vintage or antique furniture. Choose furniture that appears to have withstood the test of time to help create that old-world feel.

The bed should be the focal point of your bedroom, and the headboard works towards creating that special bit of magic. From white distressed pieces to wrought iron, antique brass, and burnished bronze – all work well in creating a French country bedroom. 

For a more modern approach, you could also incorporate an upholstered linen bed in antique white. Tufted, vintage, and painted headboards are other great options.

French Country Bedroom Ideas

French Country Bedroom
Image courtesy of Luxe Source

3. Elegant Window Treatments

Window treatments can add softness and luxury to a bedroom and help to create a serene sanctuary. Frame your windows with beautifully pleated linen curtains in a variety of hues that provide additional texture, warmth, and elegance, as well as a sense of timelessness.

4. Hang a Chandelier

Chandeliers add the perfect finishing touch to a French country bedroom, whether weathered and rustic or delicately designed with hints of gold and shimmering crystals.

5. Be Sure to Add the Bling

Subtle touches of silver or gold add refinement and elegance. This can be achieved by adding a gorgeous metallic trimmed mirror, sparkling lighting fixtures, and mirrored picture frames.

6. Create an Intimate Seating Area

A seating area doesn’t require a large area to accomplish. It’s all about finding the right antique-style chair to sit in and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or read a book during the day. Place a small-scale table beside it, and add an elegant lamp and a vase of flowers to create a cozy and inviting nook.

7. Add Accents that Make it Unique

Florals add a beautiful touch to any room – but with French Country decorating, it is one of the essential layers in the design. From roses to lavender and peonies, flowers add warmth, depth, and country charm.

Choose vintage pieces that accentuate your personality and are timeless and chic. Throw a dreamy faux fur throw at the end of the bed and place glass vases on counters and shelves. Cozy rugs add further pattern and texture to the space.

French Country Bedroom Decorating Ideas

French Country Bedroom
Image courtesy of Luxe Source

French Country Kitchen Ideas

The kitchen is a focal point of any home, and with French country decor, you can transform it into a warm and inviting space. Embrace the warm hues of Provence with a farmhouse sink and open shelving displaying your collection of vintage French pottery. 

These elements add character and a touch of nostalgia to your kitchen. A French country kitchen is the heart of the home and features items such as whitewashed furniture, butcher blocks, country fabrics, and jars holding food staples.

“The French country kitchen is where your rustic charm will shine. And it’s the perfect room to spruce up in time for Thanksgiving dinner and other fall gatherings. A clear way to add French country style to your kitchen is with a wooden kitchen island. The wood creates a lived-in, country cottage look that will add richness to the kitchen. Want to add a modern twist? Paint your French country kitchen island in a bold color. And if a wooden island is too “farmhouse” for your style, you can still incorporate rustic charm with subtler elements, like wooden counter stools upholstered in linen or leather.” – Kathy Kuo, Interior Designer.

To further enhance the French country vibe, incorporate natural materials such as a butcher block countertop or a reclaimed wood kitchen island. Finish off the look with a vintage-inspired range hood and pendant lighting with wrought iron accents.

French Country Kitchen | French Country Cottage
French Country Kitchen | French Country Cottage

French Country Cottage Kitchen
Image courtesy of French Country Cottage

This stunning French Country Kitchen is beyond charming. It was designed by Author and Photographer Courtney of the French Country Cottage blog. She believes in the power of patina and a good cup of coffee and that a room isn’t truly finished without a chandelier and a bouquet of fresh flowers.

“Whether you use something like a drapers table, an old farmhouse table, or even a big butcher block chunky topped stand- your kitchen island can be that statement piece in your kitchen. The best part- it can be a new but made-to-look old piece- or an antique that you transform into something else.”

Courtney believes in adding copper pots and pants to the kitchen to provide a warm patina and the subtle sheen and elegance that copper adds. She also displays weathered cutting boards and a touch of marble for old-world charm.

Rustic Country Kitchen

Open Shelving in French Country Kitchens
Images courtesy of Pinterest

Crockery Display
Country Kitchen Ideas

French Country Kitchen
Image courtesy of Froken Knopp

Country Kitchen Ideas

French Country Kitchen
Image courtesy of Victoria Mag

Living Room Ideas

The living room is the heart of the home, and it’s where you can truly bring the charm of French country style to life. Create a cozy ambiance with plush sofas adorned with soft linen slipcovers. Opt for neutral tones or delicate floral patterns to maintain the elegance of the style.

To add a touch of rustic charm, incorporate accents of distressed wood furniture. A coffee table with a weathered finish or a wooden sideboard can instantly transform your living room into a French country haven. Finish the look with soft, flowing curtains in natural linen or cotton.

A living room in the French country style creates a sense of sophistication and elegance in the home. Components of a French country living room include:

  • Comfortable and oversized upholstered chairs and sofas
  • Provincial furniture
  • Rustic antiques
  • Natural linen fabrics
  • Exposed wood ceilings
  • A neutral palette for walls and soothing hues for furniture and decor
  • Wrought iron
  • Whitewashed woods
  • Blue-and-white porcelain
  • Robust gallery walls
  • Antique mirrors
  • Botanical elements
  • Detailed window treatments
French Country Living Room Ideas

French Country Decorating Ideas
Image courtesy of Kara Childress Design

Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Remember to extend the charm of French country decor to your bathroom. Transform it into a spa-like retreat with a clawfoot tub, elegant fixtures, and French toile wallpaper. These elements create a sense of luxury and relaxation, making your bathroom a true sanctuary.

To further enhance the French country vibe, incorporate accents of distressed wood or wrought iron. Install a vintage-inspired vanity with a marble or stone countertop for a touch of elegance. Finish off the look with soft, fluffy towels and scented candles for an extra indulgence.

French Country Primary Bedroom & Ensuite
French Country Primary Bedroom & Ensuite

French Country Primary Bedroom & Ensuite
Image courtesy of Kara Childress Design

French Country Dining Room Ideas

Bring the charm of a French bistro to your dining room with French country decor. Start by investing in a rustic farm table, preferably reclaimed wood. This piece adds a touch of authenticity and serves as the centerpiece of your dining room.

To create a warm and inviting ambiance, opt for a wrought iron chandelier suspended above the table. This not only provides ample lighting but also adds a touch of elegance to the space. Complete the look with upholstered dining chairs in neutral tones or delicate floral patterns.

French Country Dining Room

French Country Dining Room
Image courtesy of Kara Childress Design

French Country Outdoor and Garden Decor

Extend the charm of French country decor to your outdoor space and garden. Start by creating a cozy seating area with wrought iron furniture adorned with plush cushions. This makes a perfect spot for outdoor gatherings and relaxation.

To enhance the ambiance:

  1. Incorporate natural elements such as potted flowers and herbs.
  2. Opt for traditional French garden staples such as lavender or rosemary to add a touch of authenticity.
  3. Hang a rustic, weathered mirror on an exterior wall to create the illusion of more space and reflect the beauty of your garden.
French Country Outdoor Ideas

French Country Patio
Image courtesy of Houzz

Accessories and Accents

To truly capture the essence of French country style, pay attention to the accessories and accents in your home. Incorporate elements such as vintage-inspired clocks, delicate porcelain figurines, and antique picture frames. These pieces add a touch of nostalgia and elegance to your space.

To further enhance the French country vibe, incorporate textiles such as soft, flowing curtains, luxurious throw blankets, and decorative pillows. Opt for natural linen or cotton in neutral tones or delicate floral patterns. These textiles add texture and depth to your space, creating a truly authentic French country feel.

French Country Accessories
French Country Accessories

French Country Decorating Ideas
Image courtesy of Kara Childress Design

Conclusion and Final Tips

Fall in love with French Country and create a home that exudes grace, charm, and romance. By incorporating the right colors, materials, and decor elements, you can transform any room in your home into a French Country haven. 

Whether it’s the cozy living room, the inviting kitchen, the dreamy bedroom, or the serene bathroom, French Country style has something to offer for every space.

Remember to pay attention to the details and choose accessories and accents that genuinely capture the essence of French Country decor. From vintage-inspired clocks to delicate porcelain figurines, these pieces add character and elegance to your space.

Lastly, embrace natural materials and soft, muted colors to create a warm and inviting ambiance. With the right combination of elements, you can transport yourself to the rustic charm of the French countryside or the sophisticated allure of Parisian chic. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of this timeless style and fall in love with French Country decor.

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