There is a fine line between modern and traditional French country decorating styles, yet each has its own charm and appeal. The style is often recognized as the romantic counterpart of the English country style. Although both styles share some common elements such as light and airy windows, French country decorating can be used in today’s more open floor plans, while still maintaining a sense of romance. It can be used as the perfect backdrop to a formal dining room, with its combination of rich tones and warm colors. Or, it can be used to create a cozy space in the kitchen, where you and your family can enjoy a warm evening snuggling together.
If you are planning to use French country as the background for your design, then it’s important that you pay close attention to the details. For example, do you want the table to appear to be raised up, or flat? Do you want the chairs to be high and wide, or low and cozy? Do you want your table to be tall and black, or deep and low? All these choices will help you determine what size of table and chair to purchase.
In French Country, the table is never set up at the same angle from which it was placed. Instead, the furniture is set so that each seat is at an angle relative to the others. This creates a sort of “tapestry” effect, as one seat flows over the others. This effect is most prominent when the table is round, but can be adapted for square and rectangular tables. For this look, I love using a pale cream color on the table, with a scattering of white or off-white lace scattered about.
Another way to add the right touch is to use an area rug as the undercover for your table. Area rugs are not only stylish, but they add warmth and interest to any room and can help to create the look that you’re going for. You don’t have to use an area rug made from wool; cotton area rugs work well, as do many other fabrics. I like to use a delicate floral pattern on an area rug, with flowers ranging in size from very small to large.
When it comes to choosing the table and chairs, you want to choose something that is complementary. If you have a lot of open floor space in your kitchen, for example, you can choose a round French country table and chairs and place them in a corner of the room. If your kitchen is big, you could conceivably place two or three tables and chairs in a row along the perimeter of the room. If you have a lot of open floor space in your dining room, you could conceivably place a dining table and chairs in the middle of the room, with another table or chair in each corner. These types of arrangements give you plenty of room to eat, and your dining table and chairs will naturally be out of the way.
One element that you do not want to overlook is lighting. You can really amp up the look of your French country dining room by using some gorgeous chandeliers or crystal chandeliers. A pendant light would be ideal in the dining area, and if you have a nice artwork or a vase that you want to show off, place it on an area rug or have it displayed on a wall. Having a nice piece of chandelier on a table can add a gorgeous look to your space.
Don’t forget about your napkins! These are just a simple way to dress up the table and create a table-dressing effect. A nice decorative napkin such as a floral print or woven one, with coordinating napkins, can really pull together the look of your French country room. You can also add a nice cutlery set or even a serving tray and some serving bowls on the table.
I love the look that French country decorating adds to my home. It makes me feel like I’m in Europe whenever I go there. It makes me want to explore more of the European styles that are out there. The fact that French country is such a relaxed and comfortable style of decorating makes it a very inviting style for anyone to add into their home.