Although I love French Country decorating I honestly did not expect such a positive response to the last article I wrote on French Country bedding. It seems there are far more people interested in this simple and elegant style than I had imagined. If your question is how you can remodel an existing bedroom’s decor and match it to your new sheet set, comforter and quilt, then I do hope this helps.
Colors in French Country Bedding
Your gorgeous new bed set likely includes the shades most often seen in French Country decorating. They are the creams, the soft yellows, pale cornflower blue, some very specific light greens and any other relaxing colors that you have seen or know first hand that is found in the hills, farms and valleys of the French countryside. Just thinking of those sun-drenched lavender fields should be enough to make you want to snuggle up in your bed and drift off to a peaceful slumber.
But don’t yet! We’ve got remodeling and decorating to do.
With your bedding in hand decide on a color from the quilt or duvet cover to transform one or more walls of your bedroom. If you can’t paint the room consider painting your furniture (even a few nightstands) or your accessories such as wooden lamp bases, picture frames. Existing rustic country furniture fits right in so don’t worry too much over dressers and wardrobes unless they are deep burgundy so often seen in rustic country decorating. Smaller pieces painted in that red won’t look too out of place.
Another way to bring in the color are in your non-bedding fabrics. French Country is partially texture by definition so consider adding layers to your windows in toile printed fabrics or small throws and pillows on bedside chairs is a perfect and inexpensive complement to the style.
If You Haven’t Already Found the Perfect French Country Bedding
As you’ve no doubt noticed, French Country bedding displays are layers of comfort and textures. Unless you’ve managed to find a large bed in a bag set that suits this style – and I have yet to see one that I fell in love with – you’ll have to purchase the elements piece by piece. You can mix your colors but be careful when mixing prints unless you know they are all made by the same manufacturer or you can view them side by side.
Parts of your bedding will be solid while others will be patterned anyway – again, choosing the pattern first and then matching the solid to that pattern’s colors is easiest. Once you have the sheets, find a bedspread or duvet cover in a solid color that coordinates. Or, once you’ve found the perfect quilt start shopping for matching sheets and comforters. Either way remember that French country decor is a relaxed and unpretentious look so you can safely through out most of the standard and rigid rules of decorating while you shop.
On top of your normal bedding it is the French country quilt that puts the icing on the cake. These are usually folded and laying across the foot of the bed for extra warmth on your toes or to be pulled up in the night when the air turns chilly. Widely available today these quilts are over-stitched and commonly found in French toile patterns. Toile patterns are most often seen in cream or white as a base and have patterned repeats of country scenes or animals every 12-24 inches. French country floral patterns are also stunning – they are more graphic and masculine than the prissy cute country prints so look for hard edges or outlines in the prints with cream or ivory backgrounds.
Pillows can be in any shape or size and covered in more of the color you want to bring into the room. A little bit of lace goes a long way without looking prissy so go ahead and add grandmother’s hand-crocheted, lace edged pillow cases as well as the chenille covered decorative throw pillows.
French Country Room Accents
My favorite has always been fresh and fragrant flowers in white or clear glass jugs, but those bedtime dreams are seasonal so during the winter months I bring out the silks and use reed diffusers or candles to fill my room with the scent of lavender. The sweet fragrance from your flowers or deep and mysterious scent of lavender will make you think you’re sleeping on a French farm with warm night breezes flowing through your windows.
On your walls you’ll want an ornately framed mirror to reflect the window’s light but keep the color neutral on that frame. Gilded mirrors are great for the more upscale French decorating but in the country they’re painted white and aged to look like an antique.
Framed prints of flowers – again soft and neutral in color – work wonderfully. My favorite is a watercolor poppy print I purchased years ago from an Italian artist who knew the countryside and the lighting in this part of the world well. In fact, here it is –
If you’re anything like me when you drag yourself out of bed in the morning the first thing you look at is your feet hitting the floor. Don’t negate all your wonderful dreams of splendor by putting those feet on a cold floor. Add some decorative rugs, they don’t need to be expensive, on both sides of the bed to transition yourself. Keep in mind that rugs and carpets are another wonderful way to bring texture into your room and a moderately bumpy sisal rug works as well as a squishy cream shag or braided mat.
You can buy mostly everything you need for this French Country look and you won’t need to lug it home yourself as they deliver almost every one of their products fast and free – even the furniture. You may need to search on the site for such keywords as quilt, bacati, toile, and natural. You could also check French Country bedding in the Country Store right here on GoodByeCityLife.