Here’s the story. You love French Country design—that stylish infusion of earthy and chic that brings to mind images of rolling hills and valleys in rural France. There’s nothing that compares to the warmth and comfort of a home dressed in refined provincial furniture and calming neutral tones. But here’s the thing: old-fashioned toile, rooster iconography, and your grandma’s scrolling furniture just isn’t your style (…nor has it been in style for years). Here, the Kuotes is your guide to the French Country decorating ideas you need for an updated French Country look. Updated being the key word. Capture the old-world sensibility that takes your breath away while adding an edge of sophistication that shows you as you truly are—a modern woman.
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What to Keep:
A Neutral Color Palette
French Country colors require a gentleness that translates to instant warmth and comfort. Whites are a great way to start, but go with something creamy and resonant (like ecru or ivory) instead of whites too modern or stark. When adding other colors into your palette, always draw from the naturally occurring colors of the earth: a soft sage or grassy green, yellows that remind you of sunrise, muted blues pulled straight from the sky, lush lavenders of the countryside, peony pinks, and misty greys. Below are some of our favorite French Country colors:
A White Weathered Bed
French provincial furniture is all about tradition and endurance. During this period, furniture was handmade and passed from generation to generation, so the French Country furniture you choose for your bedroom should look like it has withstood the test of time. Painted pieces should appear slightly weathered. You should go for wrought-iron, antiqued brass, and burnished bronze finishes over shiny gold or polished silver. Since we’re talking bedroom, perhaps the most vital piece is the bed. Choose an upholstered linen bed in an antique white for a romantic ambiance. And if you can’t let go of the more traditional French Country trends, choose a tufted headboard with an ornate, hand-crafted trim. Need some inspiration? Browse our quick picks below:
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What is the secret ingredient that makes the French Country bedroom so inviting? The charm. Accenting your bedroom with a selection of vintage French Country decor breathes life into your space and really makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the French countryside. How to modernize this concept? Choose vintage finds you love that are timeless and chic instead of pieces that “look French Country.” Look at the image above. These pieces are character-driven focal points: a dressmaking mannequin for the girl who loves fashion and shopping, beautiful florals, an old wire shoe rack. We get the entire picture just from the choice in decor. We love this approach. Choose vintage pieces that accentuate your personality.
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What to Let Go:
These “French Country” looks are old school. It’s time for a makeover.
Outdated Toile Patterns – Grandma says what? Skip the classic toile pattern for your bedding and curtains. Instead, use toile as a minor accent in your upholstery or decor to allude to the French Country traditions. Even better, use updated, modern patterns—like this stunning blue geisha watercolor print.
Wall-Hung Plates – Grounded in utilitarian principles, wall-hung plates would actually be taken down for dinnertime, used, and then placed back up on the wall to dry after being washed. In an age of dishwashers and drying racks, this custom is no longer… so hanging plates on walls (as beautiful as they may be) must also cease. Replace wall-hung plates with something you’ll actually use—like a stunning French Country antique mirror.
Farmhouse Iconography – As we stated above, your decor should represent you and who you are. So unless you have a true affinity for roosters, there’s no reason for somewhat arbitrary farmhouse decor to haunt your home. Our suggestion? Consider an adorable wood wall art print for a more contemporary approach. Our selection has something for everyone.
What to Add:
Refresh your French Country bedroom with simpler and more modern silhouettes. Think straight lines and smooth gentle curves as opposed to the elaborate scrolls you may be used to. Choose a lamp for you bedside table that has a slender body, but top it with a soft and elegant linen shade for a country cottage feel. For the bed, go with a modest headboard constructed of distressed wood. If you follow us on Instagram, you know we love French Country spaces with exposed reclaimed wooden beams that are vintage and country in material but offer perspective and symmetry that’s more common in modern spaces.
Modern or Rustic Materials
A completely French Country look, while beautiful, is very one-dimensional. In today’s interior design world, that just doesn’t cut it. Give your French Country bedroom texture and eclectic versatility by adding in modern materials. Place a bench at the end of the bed with a tufted top and acrylic or rustic wood legs. Throw a dreamy fur pillow onto your bedding, or top an ottoman with a stylish tray. The smallest unexpected detail makes all of the difference.
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Explore more bedroom ideas on the blog or start shopping now for your French Country refresh!
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