Recently, when I wrote a post about My Kitchen Refresh, I promised to deliver this blog about my French Country Living Room Ideas. As many of you know, I spend late December through May each year in La Quinta, California. La Quinta is a desert community and most of my friends there decorate in a contemporary style. Lots of neutral colors, succulent plants, and striking modern art displays are quite frequent.
Mr. G.Q. and I prefer a French Country style with colorful accents in many of our pillows, flower arrangements, and artwork. This blog will show you some of our French country living room ideas for you to enjoy.
In this post...
Fabrics used in French Country Living Room Ideas
Details that are seen in a French country home include the use of natural fabrics such as linen, cotton, and loads of pretty fabrics. It’s actually preferable to mix and match several different patterns and colors. I mixed the Provencal colors of red, yellow, and blue. (Traditionally, faded, pastel colors are used: white, milky, beige, olive, lavender, sea waves, ocher, sunflower, and terracotta compose a typical color palette. The interior in this style should characterize the blossom meadows of Provence.)
As mentioned above, linen is a fabric of choice in French country decor. Thus, we purchased a substantial U-shaped sectional sofa with an ottoman (similar, here, and here) because we had a large room, and we wanted to have comfortable seating while entertaining or watching television. Pro-tip: In all of my homes I have purchased solid-colored sofas as I think they are so versatile and neutral. They allow me to switch out the decor seasonally, just by changing the pillows, throws, and room accessories.
Paint Colors and Materials used in French Country Living Room Ideas
It’s important to note that in most French country homes, neutral paint colors are frequently used. Whites, beiges, and woods are commonly used throughout. Our home was newly constructed and fortunately, already had creamy walls with lots of natural light and dark cabinetry in the adjacent kitchen. There were two asymmetrical alcoves on the far wall of the living room that we decided to fill with custom-made dark shelves and cabinets. Pro-tip: Cabinetry or bookshelves are a great option for displaying books, and beloved items. In French country homes, you will often see roosters, bunnies, and even pigs as part of the Provencal theme.
Since I knew red was going to be the accent color in my adjacent kitchen, we purchased a faded red, cream, and blue patterned rug (similar, here) to warm up the tan tumbled travertine tiled floor. We also found a cool painting (similar, here) to place on the wall behind part of the sofa. The colors were pale red, yellow, and blue all of which blended well with the rest of our country French living room. We found this in a consignment store.
Lighting used in French Country Living Room Ideas
Next, we purchased lighting as we wanted to soften the room up as all that was in place were lots of canned lights. Cozy lighting is one of the common French Country living room ideas. That typically includes lighting at various levels of the room. Mr. G.Q. found these darling red ginger jar lamps (similar, here) which we placed on the walnut-finished sofa table (similar, here).
We also found this terrific arced light (similar, here) that is fun to turn on when entertaining as it’s subtle. Although my intention was to have a French Country living room, it’s really more of a French-inspired room. The arced light, for instance, is a current design trend, but, I think it works well with the other French accents that I’ll discuss below.
Accessories used in French Country Living Room Ideas
After the lighting, we added several cozy throws. Pro-tip: I am a big proponent of odd numbers of items as that tends to be more interesting to the eye. We purchased three throws; two are a pretty medium brown fake fur, and the third is a gorgeous, slubby, knotted cream one (similar, here). We actually use the two fake fur ones almost every night while binge-watching our favorite series on Netflix! (Have you seen Lincoln Lawyer? It’s so hard to turn off!)
Another French country living room idea is to have numerous throw pillows. I had these sunflower and stripe, yellow, and deep orange/terra cotta ones made because I wanted them to match my kitchen fabrics, but I have linked several very similar ones below (similar here, here, here, and here). The tendency with many French homes is to mix different patterns and colors. But, it’s not a random sort of thing. Instead, think of the pillows, flowers, and artwork as pieces of a tapestry that blend all the details together in a pleasing way.
We considered getting a coffee table to center the large sectional but then decided to switch to a coordinating tufted ottoman as part of our sectional. I love the softness of the piece and to make it more functional, I added a large woven tray (similar, here). This allows me to put a drink down on this firm surface when desired. I added some simple hurricanes (similar, here) and candles that are fun to light while watching t.v. or when entertaining.
Baskets and Containers used in French Country Living Room Ideas
I put together a colorful arrangement of orange and yellow silk flowers (similar, here and here) with some green ivy in a copper container (similar, here). I love silk flowers because once they’re arranged, they are carefree. I also love the vibrance of these particular flowers. Accessories such as baskets (antique or not), flowers in copper containers, candles, etc. are all frequently employed French country living room ideas.
Greenery and Plants used in French Country Living Room Ideas
Next, I wanted to soften the corners of the room. To do so, I purchased more beautiful plants. Pro-tip: When styling your home spend the money to purchase the most realistic and beautiful-looking silk plants as they will last for many years if protected from the sun. If on the other hand, you are great with indoor house plants, knock yourself out and put those all around! Ironically, I am an avid outdoor gardener in Chicago where I spend my summers and falls. But in California, I have mostly opted for gorgeous silk plants.
I purchased silk hydrangeas (similar, here) for the sofa table. I put them in inexpensive galvanized tubs. Next, I found a burnished red plant stand at a consignment store upon which I put a lush silk fern. On the sofa end table, I added a sweet smaller fern. And across the room, I added some silk ivy to the bookshelves. It’s so remarkable how much the greenery and silk flowers really softened up the room.
More Accessories used in French Country Living Room Ideas
Other accessories I added included pretty family photos to the sofa table, along with a pretty yellow and red painted tray (similar, here) that was a housewarming gift from a friend. I also added a white ceramic bunny (similar, here) to a pile of cookbooks in the alcove. I added an Impressionist painting to a side wall that had all the colors of the room on it.
At this point in the room styling, I thought things looked great. Mr. G.Q. and I happily lived in this room for two years. But then as you may have heard from my kitchen refresh post, I read an article touting the benefits of blue and white pottery in any type of decor. I was a bit skeptical but decided to bring some items from my Chicago home to give it a try.
I put three blue and white ceramic containers (similar, here) in the big alcove but originally thought they were too small for the space. But, Mr. G.Q. isn’t a fan of placing items in such a way as to obscure artwork. So I compromised and just added some more silk ferns to the containers, to gently increase their heft, without causing any marital strife
Since I loved how the containers looked, I decided to add some blue and white pillows (similar, here, and here). Wow, did these ever make the room pop! It gave great crispness to the yellow and orange pillows, and it blended with the blue and white kitchen accents.
At this point, I thought I was REALLY DONE! But then my friend Irena came to visit and she suggested I add blue flowers to the ottoman arrangement. Blue flowers, I wondered? I purchased a stem of blue silk bachelor buttons (similar, here) that I cut apart and strategically placed in the grouping. It looks so beautiful and ties in the blue of the pillows as well as the subtle blue on the rug.
So lovely readers, there you have it. Lots of French Country living room ideas for you to consider. What I love about this style is that it is classy but still cozy and comfortable. It’s not stuffy, just interesting. I hope you enjoyed it too. Please leave a comment below to tell me your thoughts.
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