Is French Country Out of Style?

 Not if you live in the countryside of France... 

Hey, I am no expert on "French country," but something tells me the farm wife in France doesn't decorate her home with "Made in China" cute decor found in large chain craft and decor stores. She is either using vintage hand-me-downs or ridding of the old stuff and buying brand-new furniture that is casual with straight lines, which reminds me of my own grandmother.

My grandparents had an old horse barn filled with antique furniture that was given to them by their parents. Beautiful old oak furniture decorated with fillagree and curvy Queen Anne-style legs that through the later years Grandpa would eventually refinish. At the time Grandma didn't care to have it in the house. The beautifully redone furniture got as far as their family room in the basement where the grandkids played and eventually the antique furniture made in the homes of their children and grandchildren. I am blessed to have a few of those pieces.

In 1954 Grandpa even tore down the old two-story house on their property and built a "modern house." Grandma wanted modern furniture like 1960s swivel lounge chairs, modern carpets, and floors; and even in the 1960s, 
she had a modern kitchen with a pink refrigerator. Grandma entertained club luncheons and quilting bees in her home, and about every decade she would replace and redo something more contemporary with the times. 

So, exactly what is "French Country?" In short, I define it as "Louis XVI meets Barn." The online decor magazines define it with much more descriptions and photos using French furniture with curves and strategically-placed rustic decor. It's a fine crystal chandelier hanging from a primitive wood beam. The beds, sofas, chairs, and benches have a curvy and elegant look in spite of being in the country. The base colors of a room's focus are white and cream, using accent colors traditionally with a mix of blues like cornflower and periwinkle, sage greens, primrose yellow, with a hint of tea rose here and there - - or so the assorted brands of paint palettes referred to as the "French Country Collection" inform me. 

French country décor
 can involve farm animals and small birds, with a few pieces of distressed 
Louis XVI furniture and accented with rustic copper and woven baskets. A blend of casual fabrics from ticking and white linens to elegant toile and printed garden flowers. 

The busiest room in the farmhouse is the kitchen and inspired by the rustic yet elegant villas of the 
French countryside blended with the clean and down-to-earth feel of the American farmhouse style which is cleaner, casual with more defined lines. And chances are in a true working French farmhouse kitchen there are no kitschy signs that say, "Farm Fresh" or "Farmers Market." 

There is also an attention to detail in the French country look
 using antique glassware (No doubt filled with rosé from Provence) placed on starched linens perched on rustic old tables, and old canning jars, and apothecary bottles holding a bundle of elegant roses or a few sprigs of wildflowers from the nearby field. French country can be elegant but needs those touches of rustic and whimsy. There are no trends in French country as it is a blend with the old and a bit of the new. 

"French country decor never really goes out of style; it is timeless. The interiors reflect a longstanding connection to the land and nature and seasons." -  Louise Bacou, co-founder La Maison London. 

So, there we go. I think we have our answer. French country decor is timeless. 



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