The Complete Guide to French Country And Cottage Style

The Complete Guide to French Country And Cottage Style

The Complete Guide to French Country And Cottage Style

Posted 17 December, 2015 by Benjamin Gardiner in Get that look...

The country cottage style has been around for over a century and is still popular because of its simplistic and welcoming atmosphere. This nostalgic and heart warming style is still the aspiration of many a homemaker looking for that comforting and homely feel.

Cottage style interiors provide you with a personal and familiar home that does away with all the clutter and loud embellishments of modern interiors. You should consider this style if you’re into comfort and practicality; with a retiring style and simple charm.

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What is country style?

The History of country style

Country style interior design

Country style furniture

10 Country Style Secrets

Get the Look: Country Style Kitchens

Get the Look: Country Style Dining Rooms

Get the Look: Country Style Bedrooms

Get the Look: Country Style Living Rooms

What is Country Style?

Country Style is simplistic and minimalist, combining the utter practicality of the French farmhouse with the refined tastes of the French upper classes. The Country style can be split into two categories, farmhouse and French country style. Though both originate in France and follow many of the same trends, you can tell them apart by the bolder styles of the farmhouse style and the lighter and more modern moods of the French country style. However, both these styles share humble origins. This is reflected in their unstudied and domestic appearances, both can be recognised by the use of natural materials such as wooden flooring and furniture, combined with tasteful usage of older vintage patterns like gingham, toile or florals. 

The History of Country Style

The country cottage style originated in rural France as a style called French Provençale, named after the country region of Provence whose rustic furnishings and rich colours reflected the heart of the style that was to become the Country style.

At the end of the 18th century both the golden age for France and the French Revolution had passed by the rural regions. These areas remained mostly unchanged, the lifestyle still focused on the practical, and unable to afford or import any of the foreign embellishment that urban France favoured; the French Provençale remained unadorned, practical and locally sourced.

Today this style reflects the simplicity and connections with nature that the original style held, reflecting in its palettes the colours of rural France, particularly the lavender that Provence was and is famous for.

Country Style Interior Design

Country Style interior Design is all about the pretty and the practical. Reflect this style’s humble origins by keeping pattern and decoration minimal. Keep elements that have practical purpose and make these a feature, for example: show off farmhouse white plates with open cupboard fronts; use mason jars to store sugar and coffee. Keep worn furniture and flooring visible, and use light and natural colours to reflect the nature around you. Pair this with sparing hints of colour and floral patterns. This look emphasises simplicity so don’t clutter up surfaces with unnecessary embellishment, tastefully place one or two decorations, you should aim to create a homely environment that combines functionality and comfort.

County style Furniture

Whether it’s the more elegant French country style or the sturdy and traditional farmhouse Country style, all country style obeys three rules: To be unstudied, simple, and sincere. Function and design are perfectly balanced and the furniture is built to be hard working and durable, resulting in an unpretentious style that reminds us of simpler times

Solid Wood furniture

Originally the furniture was made from whatever wood grew in the region, which was then crafted into practical furniture with a plain and unassuming style. So aim for unadorned and simplistic furnishings made from solid woods such as oak and walnut to complete your look.

Painted Furniture

Inspired by the provinces, have a go at freshening up your look with some painted furnishings. Try a classical farmhouse white, or add some contrast to a room with a splash of bright colour, painted furniture is a classic part of any Country home that can match well with any colour scheme.

Reclaimed Furniture

Why not try to get into the spirit of ‘make do and mend’ with some reclaimed furniture. You can of course buy from stores that specialise in repurposing materials into unique, recycled pieces for your home, Or you could add that personal touch by having a go at some DIY. Why not try to recreate the country style’s iconic home- worn look by picking up the odd piece of furniture from a charity shop and using some paint and sandpaper?

10 Country Style Secrets

  • Fresh and Airy Palettes – Keep your colour schemes to natural and light tones, with light olive greens, rustic reds, creams and whites.
  • Toile, Florals and Gingham – Use vintage pattern fabrics to highlight your simplistic and minamilist style, try toile curtains, or floral cushion covers.
  • Milk paint – This is a must have for anyone dedicated to getting the best Country Cottage look out there, coat on a few paints to some rusted or fading furnishings for that well loved vintage look.
  • Repurpose – take old farm equipment and hang it on the wall as decoration, turn mason jars into kitchen storage and charity shop clutter as unique bookends or doorstops.
  • Pretty and Practical – highlight the beauty of everyday objects, accessories should be both decorative and practical. Make features of elegant china plates that you can pull down and serve your dinner on. Try to keep only what has function.
  • Fireplace - This is a pretty key part of any country cottage look, unfortunately you can’t just go out and buy a fireplace, but you can make a feature of a electrical fire you have with some paint and vases. If don’t have one at all, why not buy an antique looking mantel and use it to frame some wicker baskets or flowers.
  • Natural Materials – It’s key to remember that this style is all about reflecting nature and using what’s available to you, after all wooden furnishings were the staple of the original country cottage.
  • Flowers - Your natural country look wouldn’t be complete without some flowers, buy them fresh or pick them from your garden, but give them a casual and quirky look by placing them in old milk bottles or storage jars and remember: you can never go wrong with lavender.
  • Mismatch – Don’t try and keep everything the same, the original style would use whatever furniture was available, combine different furnishings and watch the room pull together.
  • Keep it personal – This style is all about being welcoming and comforting home to return to, so don’t try to copy this style from others, if love some elements and hate others, keep what you like and throw out what you hate. Figure out what works for you.

Get the Look: Country Style Kitchens

Check out how this Country Kitchen incorporates the natural materials of the building, highlighting it with these sleek wooden counters.

Loving the colour Palette, all those cool and calming colours really create a sweet and welcoming atmosphere. Here’s how we’d recreate the look:

Get the look: country style kitchen

one. Belgravia painted kitchen stool - here

two. Aquamarine cotton cord plate set - here

three. Belgravia painted large buffet sideboard - here

four. Lavender vase - here

five. Belgravia extending dining table – here

six. Dining chairs – here

Get the Look: Country Style Dining Rooms

Wonderfully calming colour scheme, integrating splashes of brighter colour in such a way to achieve a beautifully balanced room. We got this look by:

one. Provence two tone board - here

two. Vintage wicker basket, flower basket, garden basket, woven basket. - Here

three. Bee calm scented votive candle - here

four. Lyon Walnut end extension dining table - here

five. Provence two tone upholstered dining chairs – pair - here

Get the Look: Country Style Bedrooms

Chic county style bedroom

We love this tasteful use of pattern, using Both the gingham and florals in this otherwise neutral space works really well. See how we got the look:

One. Belgravia painted coat rack - here

Two. Sea blue floral bedding - here

three. Hampstead white 1 drawer nightstand - here

Four. Set of four pint mason jars,ball jars… - here

five.. Industrial desk lamp - here

Get the Look: Country Style Living Rooms

This sincere and simple style is a great look that everyone can appreciate with it’s beautiful practicality and welcoming atmosphere. It’s easy to be inspired by this lovely look, however it can be hard to know where to start in achieving this style. Get inspired by looking through our Country Cottage Ranges, where we’ve collected together some of our furnishings to get you started in creating that country look. 

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