Friday, July 15, 2011

French Country Decorating

I have often been asked what the difference is between English country and French country decorating and other than colors, not a whole lot really.

When considering French country decor, think about the colors of the south of France.....the sun drenched lavender fields, sunflower gold, terracottas, deep reds and cerulean blue skies.  And therein lies the French country color palette.

As far as fabrics go, toile is probably the most used in French decor, mixed with ikats, ginghams and opposed to the floral chintzes of English design.  I'm sure the color scheme of yellow, blue and white comes to mind often when thinking about French country, and while it is a popular color scheme, there are many others, as you can see in the rooms below.  French ceramics are very colorful and oftentimes, a home's palette will be taken from a homeowner's collection of ceramics or china.

Also, as in English design, homeowners love their animals, animal art, pastoral scenes and overall animal themes such as dogs, roosters and cattle.

As mentioned yesterday regarding English country design, French country also involves most of the same elements as mixing old with the new, light woods mixed with dark woods, natural materials for floors, wall and timbered ceilings......and surrounding oneself with the collections one loves......whether it's books, ceramics, animal themed pieces, all adds up to comfy, snug rooms that are warm and welcoming.

The foremost French country decorator in North America is a man by the name of Charles Faudree, who is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He is a French country afficionado and is the turn to guy for his expertise.....many of his accessories are authentic vintage items that he picks up on his regular shopping trips to France and he now has his own furniture line of French style bergere chairs and his own fabric line.

All of the rooms below are by Charles Faudree, the first five are from his weekend cottage, called "The Roost", and the rest are from permanent homes he has will notice the difference between the cottage rooms and the traditional house interiors.  He has also published several books on the subject.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Notice the natural wood walls and ceiling, mix of beautiful fabrics - toiles, stripes and gingham, his quilt and his personal collection of books, ceramics - it reads French design in every way.

 Charles' beautiful blue and white ceramic collection and rooster in his cabin kitchen.

Again, beautiful mix of fabrics in blue and white and painted beamed ceiling.

Look how tiny and cosy this bathroom is and he has a vanity, a chest of drawers as well as a perfectly accented room with wall art and bath accessories conveniently placed.  Impeccable taste.

How much more inviting could this bed nook be for a guest?  Or a dog?

Another perfectly accessorized room with a tea table in front of the sofa.

This is the fireplace opposite the sofa above.  Dog art, ceramics, gilt frames.

An animal art filled foyer.

Rustic beamed ceiling and lots of animal art/ceramics.

Impeccable detail again - fabrics, books, collections and cosy furniture arrangements.

The wall opposite above sofa - stone fireplace, flowers, fabrics and animals.

Love this cosy little dining nook.

Love the sofa between the bookcases and again, the tea table instead of a lower coffee table.

All photos via Traditional Home


  1. I just love the french country theme. We're trying to incorporate modern contemporary with rustic country by going with a simple black and white theme for the kitchen and solid timber floors throughout the house. The rest is still to be decided but these images help a lot. Cheers.

  2. Have always liked a lot about Country French but never ever liked the blue and yellow.So glad to see other colors.I'm a new follower and enjoying your blog,so nice visiting :) Denise

  3. i love the inspirational images you have up i look for inspiration every day so thanx . all are gorgeous..ta ta...

  4. These rooms are so wonderful...the bathroom is perfect!

  5. Charles Faudree's rooms are always so beautiful. I prefer for my own home a more 'undecorated' and simple French Country look but really enjoy his visual feasts!

  6. This is a very informative and pretty post. Thank you.

  7. This is the kind of home I would love to have. Beautiful and welcoming