Whether or not you have been to France and the French countryside and experienced the lavender fields, sunflowers and sunshine up close and personal yourself, you may still be drawn to the look of French country for your own home. It is a welcoming, olde world rustic décor style that fits into a grand, old chateau, a home in the French countryside, or your own home. It is more an ambiance and a charming way of decorating than a specific style. This beautiful decorating style can be achieved across the full colour wheel. Pairing cobalt blue with faded blue tones, burnt orange or rust with hot reds, bright sunny yellow with soft, faded gold all work with this style. Accessories are often shiny black, rusted, deep charcoal in faded finishes. Metallic pieces have swirling lines and warm colour shades. There is a softness to the finishes of light fixtures and furniture pieces. Curved panels, hand painted motifs, and raw wood are the hallmarks that we often see. Wall finishes are rough plaster finishes, hefty raw wood beams are overhead, and the floor is often a natural material such as natural stone or wood. Chair seats are beautiful faded toile de jouy in reds and golds, varying shades of blue, unbleached cotton, or the seats can be rush.
Chair backs, armoires, cabinets and fireplace mantles often have delicate wood carving. Even with all this detail, the look is simple and relaxed. Stone mantles with a heavy beam shelf often complete the look. Hand made tiles embellish the fireplace over the brick hearth as well as kitchen areas. Copper pots are in abundance, as are hanging bundles of drying herbs. It is a look of age and charm. The dining table may be round or rectangular, but is likely large with a dull hand waxed finish. Chairs are often ladderback with rush seats. Colourful Provencal printed tablecloths and curtain panels finish the look. These come in greens, lavenders, blue, reds and bright orange. The cicada is the symbol of Provence and is depicted , along with lavender, roosters, sunflowers, grapes and lavender in these folksy fabrics. The toiles generally are made in a single colour – green, red, blue or black, and illustrate farm life, farm animals, country scenes, Chinese patterns and monkeys, as well as courting scenes. The rooms are accessorized with large pottery pieces, local hand made ceramics, large wire baskets, iron candle holders and copper pots and implements. Beautiful old dark paintings in heavy frames adorn the walls. Fresh florals are usually present. Lush window box plantings are especially well executed. The window sills of the old French country houses are deep and vines encircle the windows outdoors. Shutters keep out the hot midday sun. Our suburban Ontario homes certainly do not have the deep windowsills and rough plaster walls of old France. Here at home, we may love lavender but have trouble finding it. Lavender will grow here, but it likely will never achieve the size that it does in France. Our climate is too difficult, so we substitute our own home grown lilacs instead. Just as beautiful, and a touch of home. With a little creativity and serendipity, we can layer some or all of the elements mentioned here into our own homes to achieve and enjoy this look here at home. C’est bon!
Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.
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