Thursday March 12, 2015
When it comes to French décor, you may think of the opulent style of Marie Antoinette. Her over-the-top neoclassical style, as seen in the Palace of Versailles, has been copied the world over. Maybe you think of a Parisian café, or the bright colors and distinct patterns of Provencal décor.
However, when it comes to decorating in the authentic Frenchcountrystyle, you'll see that it is actually much more muted and eclectic in style. Often characterized by its airy and casual feel, its blurred boundaries between the indoors and outside make it a great choice for any outdoor living area.
Laying Down the Groundwork
One of the defining factors used in French Country style decorating is the use of natural elements. Patio pavers in bluestone or rustic cobble are perfect for this calm and cozy look and feel; but any neutral, rustic style patio pavers will work beautifully.
In keeping with nature inspired décor, cast veneer stone walls in a color and texture that complements your paving stones create the backdrop for decorative elements. Large and rustic overhead beams are often seen against irregular plaster ceilings in muted colors.
Stone fireplaces are often found in French country homes. Nature inspired decorations adorn a matching heavy beam that serves as the mantel.
Have a Seat
Furniture selection could be wrought iron in either black or white. Rattan or wicker (either left natural or white-washed) is popular as well. Resin wicker is quickly gaining popularity as a low-maintenance, long lasting alternative.
An outdoor daybed is both practical and stylish. The iron daybed design originated in France in the late 17th century and has become popular as an outdoor seating solution.
Outdoor French ticking is perfect for outdoor living rooms. This vintage style cotton linen was originally developed to prevent feathers from poking through the bedding fabric. These lightweight yet durable fabrics can me mixed and matched with toile, checks and floral patterns for a classic French country look.
Once you begin your "treasure hunt" you'll be finding French inspired décor items everywhere- so be very cautious when decorating. Subtlety is the key to an authentic look. Always keep in mind that a French country outdoor living space should never appear sleek, polished or overcrowded.
The fleur-de-lis symbol is associated with the French monarchy. Top off this antique finished wall bracket with a distressed wooden shelf to display your nature inspired collectables.
The Graphics Fairy site is loaded with free vintage signage and typography prints. There are instructions for transferring to wood, fabric, painted metal, terra cotta and more.
France's countryside is well known for its lavender fields, so be sure to include some of these gloriously fragrant plants into your outdoor living room. You can soften the look of the patio pavers by incorporating containers bursting with native irises and lilies.
While not entirely French, Queen Anne's Lace can be found in most French countryside settings. These delicate white flowers are reminiscent of vintage lace, so it's no wonder that they find their way into so many gardens and bouquets.
You'll be sure to feel the "joie de vivre " of this understated and charming style for years to come.