Originally called French Provincial, Country French Style evokes the casual simplicity and rustic elements of a country home in the South of France. By paying tribute the region’s sunny, warm landscape, Country French style adds cheerful vitality to a home’s design.
Typical elements in a Country French style home include high-pitched hipped rooflines, symmetrical multi-paned, divided light windows and French doors. Additional elements may include rounded turrets, multiple rooflines and doorways inset into stone or brick archways.
Exterior finishes in Country French style homes include brick, stone and stucco. Different areas of the country utilize different exterior, typically to withstand the weather elements in that locale, so finding a brick Country French home in Texas is more likely than in Southern California where stucco predominates. However, they do exist here in San Diego County, pictured above in La Jolla.
French Country décor is an easy blend of rustic, primitive and Old World textures and patterns with soft hues and bright accents. Drawing from nature, Country French base colors include the saturated spectrum of burgundies, wines and terra cottas as well as more delicate pastels drawn from the lavender, sage and buttery yellow-toned field flowers of the Provincial district.
Brightly printed cottons and French toile (pronounced twäl) prints dominate the look and can enhance your décor by the simple addition of cheery curtains, pillows and seat covers. Toile designs include depictions of the agricultural, pastoral, hunting, military or farm-life settings, floralscapes or a mixture of pastorals, florals and stripes. Historically, toile fabric is rougher, homespun muslin, but modern toile prints are available in an array of easy care blends and finishes.
Country French furniture is not one period, but represents an eclectic mixture of furnishings from 18th-century designs inspired by the great halls of Versailles, rough-hewn, practical pieces of less ornate, sturdier composition, and wrought iron. Finishes include lime-washed pastels, unpolished natural woods and stenciled designs.
Mixing styles, eras, patterns and colors makes Country French decorating easy and fun. Charming accessories such as mixed-media candlestick holders, birdcages, stacked books and earthen bowls piled high with fruit complete the relaxed look.
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