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Ten Steps to Create a French Country Bedroom

Bringing together French country furniture with period style furnishings, soft relaxing hues and the odd fabulous flourish creates the perfect, gently feminine, soft elegant, ‘tres chic’ French country bedroom.

The French country bedroom style cannot really be described as a design trend as this theme reflects century’s worth of history lending a gathered through time, less contrived and more lived in look. The French are renowned for their style and elegance. Ever mindful of harmony and balance each component of the bedroom is carefully chosen to compliment the next. Mixing the old with the new harmoniously creating a room that is not only elegant and stylish but also restful, indulgent and soothing.

Although simple in style, the French Country look is by no means short on comfort or luxury. Bedrooms inspired by this theme welcome a happy mix of old and new, well worn pieces sitting comfortably next to newly acquired treasures, course linen fabrics layered with plush velvets creating a harmonious and yet eclectic understated elegance.

Though each French bedroom is as individual as its owner there are constants, elements of the overall design that pop up time and again. But how do we translate this to our own bedroom? Here’s a few ideas and suggestions on the key elements required to create your very own French style country bedroom.

1. The French Country Bed

French Country Bed in a French Country Bedroom

1. French Country Bed  2. Brass Chandelier  3. Avignon Damson Toile from Art of the Loom  4. Breton Damson Check from Art of the Loom  5. Smithfield 19 Paint from Mylands  6. French Blanket Box 

You can’t have a French country bedroom without a French bed. The bed should be central to the design. The room should be built around this key feature. Whether rustic, ornately carved or pared back and simple the French Bed is the leading lady of this theme. Look for a well worn antique or a modern reproduction bed that features fine carving and a sense of style. Four poster and half tester beds also work well with this look especially when dressed with toile drapes to match other soft furnishings in the room.

2. French Country Bedroom Furniture

Whilst the bed is central to your design remember that although this look is not contrived the other elements of the room must create a harmonious feel. The French country bedroom furniture chosen for the room must complement and enhance the overall feel to provide a ‘gathered over time’ appeal. Remember to include plenty of storage; chests of drawers, blanket boxes, bedside tables and armoires feature heavily in the French country bedroom and as the room should have an elegant, airy feel this will reduce clutter with a place for everything and everything in its place.

3. Colour Palette

Paints effects, so ‘de riguer’ not so long ago, do still have their place when used subtlety especially in the French country themed bedroom. Creating a soft aged chalky finish can easily be achieved by layering colours with a sponge. Blending to colourwash the walls thus creating the effect of many years of paint worn away with the passing years. The French country colour palette ranges from soft, pale neutrals through sunny yellows, cornflower blues and grassy greens to the bold and dramatic dark reds and black paired with an off white. It is important to limit the amount and range of colours utilised to ensure a sense of calm. Remember, the French country style is never overly fussy.

4. French Country Bedding

Layer, Layer, Layer! The golden rule of dressing the French Country bed is layering your bedding. Always start with crisp white sheets and a fluffy duvet and then dress the bed to impress. Think only natural fibres (none of your man made tat here) for this luxury bed, cottons and linen are king. Toiles, ticking and gingham checks work well together especially when the colours match lending uniformity to the bed whilst creating interest from the mix of patterns and textures. Mix a couple of throws with a blanket and bedspread all neatly folded back and finish it off with several cushions in various shapes and sizes for a plush yet elegant finish. A style tip here is to add the odd piece of monogrammed bed linen to really ramp it up in the luxury stakes.

5. Add An Armoire

Add An Armoire To Your French Country Bedroom

1. French Armoire  2. Morning Blue Paint from Mylands  3. Toile Cushion  4. French Country Bed  5. Monogrammed Lamp  6. Toile Bedspread  

No French country bedroom is complete without an Armoire: the French equivalent to our English wardrobe. This one piece of furniture sums up the look perfectly and your bedroom will not be complete until you have one. Built originally to hold bed linen, the armoire in today’s bedroom is used to store clothing. Ensuring a clutter free bedroom. Grand in stature, be it old or new, your bedroom must have a French wardrobe if space allows. Choose one with mirrored doors to add light and a feeling of space to your room.

6. French Country Lighting

Go to town with lighting, look for period pieces or gently aged reproductions with an air of faded elegance. Think grand designs dressed with crystal drops to reflect light and soften the ambience. Over head go for a luxurious chandelier and don’t forget bedside lighting. Remember to think outside the box. Lamps on bedside tables look fabulous but a stylish alternative would be a pair of wall sconce's that perfectly match your glorious chandelier.

7. Gold Highlights

Add just a glint of gold to the room. the French love gilded furniture and  it certainly has its place in the French Country Bedroom. Don’t go over the top though. In this case, less is more.  The trick is to add one carefully chosen piece, perhaps handed down from one generation to the next that lifts the feel, adds interest and seamlessly fits with the rooms design.

8. Embrace imperfections

Embrace Imperfections in The French Country Bedroom

1. Elegance French Country Bed  2. Blue Thistle Paint from B&Q  3. White Quilted Cushion  4. French Country Chest Of Drawers  5. Crystal French Chandelier 6. Avignon Wedgewood Fabric from Art Of The Loom  7. Ikat Wedgewood Fabric from Art Of The Loom

The beauty of French country style is that possessions have been passed down from one generation to the next. Don’t be scared a slightly jaded object can be given pride of place. Your bedroom does not want to look contrived and ‘matchy, matchy’. Rather it should have an eclectic, ‘gathered over time’, vintage feel.

9. Window Treatments

Though nothing says ‘French’ better than toile, it’s the blend of different motifs and fabric types that defines French country style. Use stripes, checks, and toiles together with wispy voiles to create fabulous curtain designs. Curtains should be full length, puddling lightly on the floor. They can be left plain or add embellishments such as a flirty fringe or tassels. Compliment your curtains with a padded pelmet and hang voile behind for those moments requiring both light and privacy. Roman blinds work well in carefully chosen coordinating fabric. Not only do they add to the overall three dimensional feel of the room but they block light and help to keep the room warm and cosy.

10. Accessorise

Lay down faded rugs featuring your chosen colour palette to balance the room. Keep the use of paintings and prints to a minimum. A better choice of wall art would be a grandly ornate mirror in an unusual shape or a display of carefully chosen antique French plates artfully displayed above your headboard. Choose accessories for their beauty and purpose but keep them to a minimum and avoid clutter at all costs. Stunning glass candle holders, beautiful storage boxes, porcelain trinkets and antique busts work well to accessorise this theme.

Turn your bedroom into a French country boudoir. Gentle, feminine, elegant and tranquil. This style will stand the test of time and provide comfort and calmness for years to come. Never outdated, this theme is like the ‘little black dress’! Never out of fashion and perfect for every occasion. ‘Tres, tres, chic’!


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Head Office - 123 Queen Street, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2BN - Call 01626 333006