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Video:How to Decorate French Country-Style

with Darcy Kempton

The French country style is a quaint interior design aesthetic that can be brought into any home. Learn how to incorporate the french country style with these design tips.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Decorate French Country-Style

Hi,I'm Darcy Kepmton, interior designer and creator of Simply Stunning Spaces, for About.com, and today I'm going to show you how to decorate with influences of the French country style. Let's have a look.

Before beginning any design project, you want to consider the architecture of your home. Now, if you're living in a beautiful, elegant château on a hillside, with rustic beams, wrought iron accents and stone flooring—perfect! But if not, there are still ways you can incorporate the French country style into your home, even if it's a quaint beach cottage such as we are in now.

Country Style Include Natural Materials

An important element in designing with the French country style is the use of natural materials, such as these aged wood floors that we have here; stone flooring; plastered walls; wrought iron accents; and a variety of others.When you're choosing furniture items, the best place to look would probably be your local antique shop. Look for things that have, like this one, very intricate wood carvings. They can be made of raw wood, and you can refinish them any way you like.

Look for French Country Patterns and Fabrics

When it comes to colors, you have a lot of options when decorating with the French country style. It runs the gamut of the color wheel. For example, we found this in our local antique shop—it's an old-style wing-back chair that we reupholstered to incorporate some of the other styles the homeowner enjoyed; but if we wanted to go with a more traditional French country look, we could have reupholstered it in a fabric such as this: a very vibrant floral motif. Bold motifs and plaids are great for the French country style.

When dressing your windows with the French country style, you have a few options, but you definitely want to cover them with fabric. The most traditional pattern you could use would be a toile—something with a white, light-colored background and one single color that usually has some sort of country scene on it.We chose a less traditional approach. A lot of whites and cream-coloreds are common for the French country style, so we have a white basic embroidered sheer curtain and a cream-colored satin to pair it. This adds versatility, so when you want the light in, you can have it, and when you need more privacy, you have that option as well.

Now, when decorating your dining room, use a very simple approach: no matter what dining table you have, you can cover it with a tablecloth and call it French country. When shopping for dining chairs, choose something with a ladder back or vertical slats like this one—this is very traditional French country style.

Use French Country Styled Accessories

Now, another way to add a little flare of French country to your home is to shop for accessories. I love to shop for antiques in the antique stores and find those unique items that you would find in the countryside. Look for motifs such as sunflowers, large vases full of flowers, and baskets—you can never have enough baskets in the French country style.

Well that's it for today! Again, I'm Darcy Kempton, your interior design expert for About.com. For more inspiration and ideas how to incorporate the French country style into your home, please visit the Interior Decor section here at About.com.

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