Plug into the French connection
Published on April 1, 2014
Have you ever spent your holidays in the tranquil French countryside? If so, you will recognise the feeling of sunshine, sun-baked earth, fragrant lavender fields, beautiful old, rustic homes and the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere! Yes, French-country interior design is becoming a quit a popular trend in Dubai. The Community tells you how to bring the magic into your home with these stylish and practical, French country decorating tips…
GET THE LOOK
First, make sure you are creating a beautiful, rustic look – but with a refined, elegant and even romantic feel too…! Generally, there are two ways you can go here: the white, almost ‘shabby chic’ look, pale yet elegant or a more rustic and country feel, which is heavier and more solid with warmer, darker woods. Both of these looks will work well separately or together.
WALLS AND COLOUR
Wood panelling or a rough, aged texture, will give a really authentic, antique, rustic look. Consider using suede effect paint (or other textured paint) or a colour wash effect. Ideal colours are those inspired by the French landscape. You may choose rich, warm yellows, but nothing too bright, with golden or orangey tones. You can also go for softer creams and mix with natural browns, greens and oranges.
FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES
Try to choose furniture with a rustic feel – slightly distressed and worn looking is welcome but must be elegant. Whitewash your wood and try using a quality satin or gloss or a watery coat of normal white emulsion paint (dilute with water approximately 50/50) to allow the attractive natural wood grain see through. This will give you quite a light and airy look, suitable for smaller spaces. Antique furniture and accessories are a great way of getting the country French decorating look – so keep your eyes peeled at antique fairs, flea markets and while browsing on the internet. A traditional pew with cushion makes a great seat for kitchen, living room or bedroom and echoes a French interior design style. When choosing your furniture look out especially for traditionally styled ladder-back chairs, dressers, sideboards and beautiful beds, for a typical French country decorating style. Wrought iron will play quite a part in your French country interior design scheme too. Look out for furniture with wrought iron decoration, wrought iron decorative wall hangings, and particularly wrought iron lighting and candle sconces. When choosing pictures or accessories, roosters are a very typical French theme – they are the national emblem of France. Therefore, choose anything with roosters on to make sure you get a very authentic, French country interior design look. Pictures of other farm animals – pigs, cows, horses, ducks etc – are also typically French, so slip a few of these into your country French decorating scheme too.
FRENCH COUNTRY KITCHENS
If you have space, arrange your kitchen with a central wooden table to be the heart of your home and family. Copper pans and kettles are ideal. Choose copper handles or copper bottoms on pans if completely copper ones are a little out of your price range.
Keep you fabrics light, pretty and luxurious. Choose fine linen or lace for a very romantic and elegant rustic feel. Or go for chintz, roses and the typical French ‘Toile de Jouy’ pattern. Choose fabrics for your walls too. Beautiful wall hangings, particularly tapestries, are an excellent way of getting the French country look.
A perfect way to pull your whole French- country style interior together and find the ultimate finishing touch is the use of vases and jugs of fresh lavender. The magical lavender fields of Southern France are a wonderful, unforgettable sight – and very typical of the region – so bring the outside in and fill your home with the beautiful and very relaxing, fragrance! Remember, this rustic look is all about romance, elegance and refinement, so include plenty of white to lighten your scheme, and fine carvings and delicate patterns to keep it all pretty.