Many homes could benefit from a bit of rustic French charm, representing relaxation and a taste of the countryside.
Anyone who has holidayed in France will be able to recreate the look in at least one of their rooms.
The natural look will not necessarily suit a living room design or formal dining room but are perfect for bedrooms.
The use of textures, via bed linen and other soft furnishings, can really make a statement, providing a relaxing haven and a calm place to sleep.
Old furniture is straightforward to paint and will add to the French theme, old picture frames and mirrors can also be distressed very easily. Mix different sizes and styles, an eclectic mismatch will work better than everything in proportion.
Chandeliers incorporated into the scheme will add some richness, and use a collection of different side lamps to create a cozy feel. When choosing color, creams and greens are good with accent touches of reds and blues.
Look out for pieces that evoke the French feel, a country landscape, pottery and metalware. The French love to use dark wood and it is very easy to stain existing items with varnish from the hardware store. Just a few things however, as dark can become too foreboding.
Another room that could work well with the French country style is the kitchen, although if you like sleek clean lines it will not work for you; homely ginghams, yellow plastered walls, with plenty of sunflowers displayed in old vases, old pottery filled with fruit or eggs and the cabinets whitewashed with a metal mesh fascia.
Hang a large pan rack from the ceiling or even an old fashioned indoor washing line with dried herbs dangling from it. The humble rooster is very popular with the French; in fact it is the country’s mascot, so look out for prints, fabrics and even statues.
Scour antique shops and yard sales for suitable items, remember chairs can be recovered as well as painted and this particular look is all about shabby chic. Old side tables can be lightly sanded and painted too.
Another good idea is the café style curtains that can be seen throughout France, these are very easy to do simply using a metal curtain pole and some lace fabric. You can buy this style of curtain in stores if you prefer and they are quite inexpensive.
For other ideas look through books and magazines to make sure you capture the real essence for France and the French way of life.