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The French Countryside ‘En Amerique’

August 15, 2016

The French Country Style

A passing glimpse of a photo of the Eiffel Tower or Chambord makes us long to go back. The mention of the Marais or Café Trocedaro causes a flood of happy memories. Twenty-five years ago, retailers started introduced French vintage fabrics and farmhouse furniture to the Midwest and the mainstream started ever since developing a taste for the French Farmhouse in their homes no matter where they lived.


Later in the 90’s Peter Mayle’s ‘A Year in Provence’ spurred a new generation to rediscover French style.1430412321-edc050115alexandriuk02

Currently, online catalogs, blogs and retail websites all capitalize on and perpetuate the desire to feel very French.A Kitchen in France - as seen on linenandlavender net

Today, French Style is more of an image than a style.people-love-our-old-surfaces

It’s about taking the best of what’s French, the authentic elements, ideas, and details that the French live by, and adapting them to your home.5370_1_7g-bestimage173_thumb-B



The French are known for a discriminating eye and for bending the rules, Macarons and Oh! Their wines… But there is the French flair, which comes from a belief that the French are born to taste and style and that this sensibility is genetic.1From an early age, the French are taught to appreciate their heritage, fine furnishings, and the elegance of both the unusual and the commonplace. This is the ‘je ne sais quoi’, the indescribable gift, that they possess.San-Francisco-Craftsman-Pool-Innovative-Designs1206_lohman_shekel_2176-B

This gives them a passion for beautiful things, a great sense of style and color, along with an innate ability to express their inner self in their rooms.
Each Frenchman and woman approaches style differently; so each interior is special.8b

The universal theme is that rooms illustrate the French way of life with a seamless mixing of simple elegance, obsession for detail, and always the touch of whimsy or surprise.
French Taste is really two distinct styles.[000347-b]Antique Reclaimed Stone fireplace from the 16th Century by Ancient Surfaces

The French Country style associated with the South of France and Provence; and French Chic, the upscale in-town version marked by Hotel ‘Particuliers’, chateaus, Paris and Versailles. Though both influence each other in some ways, they are different. This duality is a common thread woven through the French lifestyle. Let’s explore…temp_file_temp_file_Entrée_château_du_Tertre11france-provence-arles-hotel-particulier-big

French Country

French Country Style, ‘le style Provencal’, really gained nationwide prominence in the 70’s and 80’s with the rise of French fabrics and textiles. French Country is in itself a melting pot of many styles that represent the many regions, rural areas, and old cities that make up Provence.montenegro

The look is eclectic and cohesive at the same time. Interiors reflect a proclivity to mix but not match, not even

The French use what they have, mixing what they like with what has been handed down to create a harmonious blending in their interiors.Kronos-02

French city life has had some influence on its country interiors, but French Country is more about the region and the people who inhabit it.IMG_5007

The peasant population  took  what  was  high  fashion  at court  and  handcrafted  their  versions  for their own uses with local materials. French Country is “an excessive, exuberant style that fosters my favorite design principle, too much is never enough!” says Charles Faudree, one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 Designers and author of French Country Signature.7434136594_954652cb61_k

When asked to define the style, Faudree states, “It’s all about the mix. That mix is artful, eclectic, and inspiring.”landscaped-home-gardens_04

Provence has been a region inhabited by other cultures that have significantly influenced the French   Country Style: the Romans, with their sense of proportion and scale, and ability to build; Italian craftsmen  looking  for  work  left  a  heritage  of paintings,  fireplace sculptures,  and  tiles;  iron-workers from  Spain  leaving their intricate wrought iron; and East Indian merchants coming to port with ships filled with exotic wares. All left their mark on the region. Like these cultures, interior designers look at French Country in many ways and continually put their own stamp on the style. But there are still hallmarks or characteristics that define French Country.San-Francisco-Craftsman-Pool-Innovative-DesignsFoundation-Slabs-on-Pool-Coping-edge-by-Ancient-Surfaces-hotel-exterior-garden-lawn-053029204319_57a7263f45_b


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