Is there a more romantic cottage style than French country? It’s an effortless state of elegance and relaxation, filled with toile fabrics, natural materials, muted colors, extravagant lighting, tapestries, florals, touches of gold —all with a rustic touch. As with all things French, it’s a balance between comfort and beauty. It can be over-the-top while still feeling homey.
We’ve curated some of our favorite French country cottage ideas to help transport you to the French countryside and make you fall in love with your coastal home all over again.
French Country Cottage Decorating Ideas
Wood Furniture with Beautiful Detailing
French country straddles the line between ornate and rustic, giving way to hand-crafted wood furniture with gorgeous detailing and elaborate finishes. Materials used to build an armoire, bed frame, bookshelf, or kitchen table look like they could have been made by a craftsman next door or handed down multiple generations.
Reclaimed Wood in French Country Design
Rustic elements run deep in French country design, and you’re sure to find a multitude of pieces crafted from reclaimed wood. Naturally, distressed whitewash finishes will easily fit into this decor style and really speak to the “shabby chic” look and feel.
Wicker furniture adds a nice textural element to your room’s furniture. Not only does wicker give you that cottage look, but you can easily change the color of the pillows and cushions. It looks fabulous in any room inside – or outside! – the house.
A Solid Farm Table
In a French country home, the kitchen takes center stage, and a gorgeous, sturdy farm table is a brilliant addition. The farm table can also be made with reclaimed wood on the top, which can seat several people. You can then use individual chairs or even have a bench for one side of the farm table. A lighter stain or naked wood table will help pull in the natural sunlight from the outside, which is why this is one of the more loved French country cottage decorating ideas.
A Mix of Old with New
French-style values history and anything with a storied past should be incorporated into your overall design. And, if you’re starting from scratch, consider well-built pieces that YOU can pass along. Looks for handcrafted pieces that use traditional woodworking techniques like mortise-and-tenon jointing.
Charming – and Daring! Chandeliers
They are a staple in nearly every French home … chandeliers! From gaudy to simple. They can be dripping with crystals or evoking simplicity with elegant lines. You can find a chandelier commanding the space in almost every room of a French home.
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You’d be hard-pressed to miss florals and botanicals in any French country cottage, from real-life flower arrangements to pretty botanical designs in tapestries all around (a typical pattern is known as Toile). Textiles such as blankets, throw pillows, rugs, and curtains are also a way to showcase floral designs. Pair them with solids or mix and match with other prints like stripes or gingham.
The French love art. From Picasso to unknown street-corner artists, beautiful pieces adorn French country cottages! Hand-selected pieces add personality and flair. You really can’t go wrong when you choose wall art that makes you happy.
Pretty, yet Practical
Furniture pieces often act in a dual role of not only providing additional storage – as is the case with the Little Washington Console pictured above – but also be a lovely addition to a space. Every piece has a purpose and is done so with typical French flair … with beauty.
One of the French country cottage decorating ideas is to infuse their entire space with small, thoughtful touches, such as filling vases and jars with greenery and flowers.
Layer in gold between your primary colors. It brings shimmer to any space without overpowering it. Paired with colors such as pink, lavender, red, baby blue, or even combinations such as seafoam and cream or black and white. Gold is the most versatile companion color and is right at home in a French country cottage! Add glamour with accent pieces such as gold accent tables, lamps, vases, mirrors, wall art, and other fun accessories.
The comfort and tranquility of a French country cottage is rustic elegance. It’s a style that allows you to easily infuse your own personal taste into it. This way, you can make it your own while maintaining the comforting cottage look for throw pillows, tables, lighting, and everything else you might need in your cottage decorating; make sure to check out the latest from Cottage & Bungalow. From an entire home update to changing the decorating in your three-seasons room, Cottage & Bungalow has what you’d like.