For many people, the dining room is one of the most important rooms in the house. It is where they get together to eat as a family, and where they entertain guests who visit their home. Therefore, the choice of décor for this room is important. One style that you might consider for your dining room is the French country style. Here is an overview of the characteristics that define a French country dining room.
What is a French Country Dining Room?
A French country dining room is one that is decorated using the themes of the French country style. This is a style of interior décor that is influenced by the design ideas seen in typical homes in the French countryside. Rural life and nature are two of the biggest influences on this theme, and it is a comfortable rather than sophisticated style. The style is rustic and welcoming, says Elle Décor. Although there are some characteristics that define this style, you do not necessarily need to use all of them in your dining room. It is possible to select your favorite elements of this style and apply them to your dining room to create a French country feel, while completely ignoring some of the features that you would typically find with this style of interior décor. This means that you have the freedom to interpret this style in a way that reflects your tastes and personality.
Natural materials are a key aspect of French country style. The main material that you will see used is wood, as this material is used for furniture, timbers, and sometimes for the flooring. Natural stone is another material that features highly in this interior décor style. This is often used on the floors or in exposed walls.
All colors are used in the French country style, although color selections are often influenced by the surrounding countryside. Therefore, you can use earthy reds, burnt rust, deep greens, soft blues, sunny yellows, and even neutrals. Using contrasting colors gives a room the warmth that is associated with French country homes. If your dining room is small, then opt for the lighter colors to enhance the light in the room and give an impression of space. For large dining rooms, you may prefer to make a statement using contrasting bold colors.
While many styles rely on blocks of color, French country homes often use patterns. These are predominantly used on soft furnishings and accessories but can also appear in wood carvings. Nature and rural life are often the themes for this style. So, you might find floral wallpapers, cushions featuring bird prints, and farm animals stenciled around a room.
The use of natural materials is an important characteristic of French country homes. Dining rooms will typically have either treated wood floors or stone flags. This is also a practical option for a dining room as it is easier to clean up spillages on these surfaces.
Architectural features are an important element of the French country style, says The Spruce. If you are lucky, you may already have some typical architectural features in your home. However, it is possible to add some features if they are not already present. Some typical features that you might want in your dining room that are characteristic of this style include wooden beams, exposed timbers, irregular plaster walls, stone floors, and exposed stone walls. A fireplace is another feature often found in a French dining room.
The key feature of any dining room is its table and chairs. A rustic wooden table in the farmhouse-style is perfect. Your choice of shape will depend on the size and shape of your room, but oval or round tables are the ideal choices for French country style. The wood of the table and chairs should be dull rather than shiny, and tables made of reclaimed wood are perfect. If you want other furniture in your dining room, consider a large wooden sideboard that has both drawers and cupboards as these are perfect for storing your tableware. Alternatively, consider a dresser as not only can you store your tableware, but you can also use this furniture to display some of your accessories.
Soft furnishings add warmth, texture, pattern, and color to your dining room. It is likely that soft furnishings will appear in three forms in this room; seat covers, cushions, and curtains. Choose fabrics in colors that complement the overall color scheme of your dining room. The soft furnishings are also a fantastic way to introduce pattern into the room.
The French country style is almost the polar opposite of a minimalist interior design theme. The use of accessories in each room makes the house feel homely and adds points of interest in various positions. Typical accessories that you will see in a French country dining room include plates on display, other ceramics, potted plants, dried flowers, vases, and ornaments. Also, the French sometimes use their books as decorative features in their homes. Add shelving to display some of the accessories, or make use of the existing ledges, such as window ledges or dado rails. Mirrors are another great accessory to add that will add character to the room, while also increasing the amount of natural light. According to Hunker, wooden chandeliers are perfect for the French country style, and a wooden chandelier would look amazing above your rustic dining table.
French Country Dining Rooms – The Final Verdict
The French country style is influenced by country houses in France, and natural materials and nature are vital elements of this style. It is important that a rustic farmhouse-style table is used as the central piece of a dining room decorated in this style. Wood and stone are the main materials used, while nature is represented in the colors and patterns on the walls and in the soft furnishings. This is not a minimalistic look, so use plenty of accessories to create a homely space.