If you’re not familiar with this design trend, French country decor embodies the countryside of France and all its beauty. Whether you’re going on all with the French country style or just want to bring some elements in alongside your modern decor, here’s some of my favourite ideas for decorating a French country living room.
French country style is characterized by timeless pieces. They’re usually in light colours (white washed woods, muted pastels, and antiqued metals, for example) and patterns are often pulled from nature. Birds, flowers, and bees are common themes that you’ll see a lot.
French Country Living Room Decorating Tips
To really get the French country style down in your living room, I recommend using a mix of new, vintage or antique, and rustic-inspired items to create a space that looks great but is also functional too.
Light Wood, Linen, and Antique Metal
A lot of French country decorations, especially furniture, is characterized by a combination of wood, metal, and or/linens.
Wood are often pale colours like oak if they’re left natural, or else you see a lot of white painted or washed wood finishes. Linen is typically a grey or beige traditional linen colour. You’ll see a lot of furniture that has a wooden frame and linen fabric cushion, for example.
When it comes to metals, most are antique and aged looking, or sometimes painted light colours like white.
Besides the natural tones of wood and linen, you see a lot of the French countryside coming indoors when it comes to this decorating style. Flowers are especially popular, but you also see plenty of birds and even bees too.
In contrast to other regions, French country florals are often pastels or muted colours rather than bold.
You can’t talk about French decor without at least mentioning traditional French toile. This is a unique print that’s still available today in a variety of ways including textiles (eg. curtains), rugs, and wallpaper.
I’ve included a few toile items in this guide, but it’s worth noting that this print is also a great option for wallpaper if you want a truly French design.
You might also like: 20 Spring Decor Ideas To Brighten Your Home
French Country Inspired Living Room Furniture
Furniture is the biggest accessory and main focal point of your living room (well, besides the TV or fireplace), so it’s important to start with the right statement pieces. If you have room in your budget to upgrade furniture (sometimes even just swapping end tables is enough!), here’s some awesome and affordable French country themed finds.
I like how versatile this neutral armchair is. You’ll be able to use it for several years, even as you update your decor, simply by swapping out the accent pillow. It has a lot of French country elements, including neutral earth tones and a partially whitewashed wood finish.
Dining Chair Set of 2
Yes, I know they’re dining chairs, but this set is perfect for adding some small accent chairs on a budget. Add a throw pillow and they become inviting armchairs for guests that take up a small space in both the room and your budget. Again, French country elements of linen coloured fabric and wood frames are seen here. They’d also be cute around a small bistro living room table!
Antique Finished Lamps
One thing to look for when choosing French country inspired lamps is the shape of the shade. Bell shaped shades, like the ones on these lamps, are the most traditional. Empire shades are also fine, if you want something less ornate. Choose a lamp with a long stem and bold base so they’re not just functional, but aesthetic too.
Accent Table Tray
I think this inexpensive accent table is a great find for French country decorating. It can be used as a side or accent table either to keep essentials in easy reach or as a styled tray.
Vintage Hutch or Cabinet
The trick is finding the perfect piece for your space, but once you find it a vintage hutch or cabinet can be the main event of your French country living room. You can find one that needs some TLC, or purchase it already finished for easy decorating.
Round Wooden End Table
End tables are a great way to update your living room decor without changing out major furniture. I love the whitewashed look with gold leafing of this one. You can also get the sofa table or coffee table in the same style to create a set!
TV stands are tricky, mostly because a TV really doesn’t go with the French country vibe. Still, if you’re like me there’s only one living room in your house, so the TV just has to stay. Try and stay clear of the farmhouse style pieces and pick something more traditional or vintage looking in this department.
Button Tufted Sofa With Wood Frame
This ornate sofa just screams French country, especially with the scalloping throughout the wood frame. The natural linen look of the fabric combined with wood tones will complement any decor pieces in the room.
Chantelle sofas are very french. Inspired by the anique trend, this one deviates from the neutrals to bring a unique statement piece that is definitely going to bring a unique life to your living room.
Great for small spaces or to compliment existing furniture, this mini sofa is a great accent piece. It still pulls in those traditional elements like oak and linen, but with a modern modern twist.
This is another more modern take, which again is perfect for someone looking to create a more trendy style that incorporates old and new elements. Ivory sofas look great against almost any paint colour, which is perfect if you’ve chosen bold colours in paint, floor, or accents.
French Country Living Room Decorations and Accents
Once you have your furniture picked it’s time to add accents and decorations! Here’s some of my favourite picks for a traditional or modern French country living room.
Toile Throw Pillow
Toile is super traditional, but if you don’t want it on the walls the
French Pitcher Vase
I can’t do a list of French country living room decorating ideas without including at least one metal pitcher filled with flowers! Cliché, yes, but trendy for a reason; they’re timeless.
Scenery Art Prints
There are a lot of options out there for art. To help narrow it down, look for pieces that bring in natural elements like scenery paintings. Ideally, aim for pictures with a muted colour palette to best fit the style.
French Country Living Room Throw Pillow
I love long cushions ,and this one brings in the French country vibes in a neutral way.
Ornate Rustic Frames
Custom frames are a great way to update your existing living room art. These would also be great for displaying your family photos!
Curtains are another great way to bring a French toile pattern into your living room decor. I personally have a set in my living room, so I can attest to how well they pair with almost anything.
Aged metal birds make great accent pieces, especially when they’re practical. If you don’t want to completely update your bookshelves, small accessories like this can help make your existing furniture work in the redecorated space.
Vintage Clay Pots
Flower pots are definitely French country. If possible, go with antique painted ones, like this hand painted option. Or make your own!
French Country Serving Tray
Serving trays are great all over the house, including the living room. I especially like them on the coffee table to corral all that living room mess.
Metal Bird Clock
Birds are another popular element, and super fun to bring into the space in unique ways. This clock would be perfect on a table or even the mantle.
Vintage Picture Frame
I love the pretty pastel colour of this vintage style picture frame. Great as a table or shelf accent with your choice of art card or family photo inside.
Bee Throw Pillow
Bees are a newer trend but something that has always been a part of French country decor. Bring it into your living room with linen style throw pillows like this one.
Chateau is French for castle, and you can have your own custom sign hanging in the living room. I love this for a family or as a gift idea (wedding, maybe?).
Not all books fit in with your decor style, so if you want to decorate with them you’ll have to get creative. I love the pretty colours of these these painted books for a living room accent.
French Style Table Runner
While you might usually expect to find table runners in the dining room, they’re also great accents for coffee tables and sofa tables, too.
French Text Throw Pillow
If you have a lot of modern elements or ambiguous pieces, an explicitly French accent like this throw pillow can really tie everything together in the space.