What colors for a French country home?
So, you chose the style for your home: the French country home decorating style. Excellent choice! Like you, we love French country homes!
For a French country home decorating, everything starts with the color palette. Actually, for every decorating project, it is essential to first define the color-scheme: it's the foundation of the styling. That said, you may wonder how to exactly choose the right colors. We are here to help you find the right tones for your home.
In this guide, we share the pillars of French country home color palette, so you can start decorating the right way. We also reviewed French country kitchens to pinpoint you the do's and dont's. Nothing better than real examples to understand how to choose the colors, right? With our tips, you will be able to define your French country colors, that will be aligned with the best practices.
The 3 pillars of the French country home color palette
Pillar #1: French country home main colors are neutral: it's a mix of white, beige, taupe, and gray. These timeless and peaceful colors create an elegant and comfortable atmosphere in your home. Generally, the walls are in white, light gray or beige, as well as the main furnishings (sofa, bed…). For a perfect harmony, 3 options:
1) Walls and furnishings in pure white: this monochromatic color scheme is so elegant!
2) Walls in white and your main furnishings in other neutral colors like beige for example: this combination of colors creates a calming and peaceful atmosphere.
3) Walls in taupe or beige and your main furnishings in white: this corresponds to the Provence home style, renowned for its inviting and soothing atmosphere.
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Pillar #2: natural materials like wood and stone are always present in a French country home. Wooden furnishings (tabletop, chairs…) are made with light wood. Indeed, dark wooden furniture is generally more associated to a rustic home style. In French country houses, wooden furniture is also often painted in white or gray: bright furniture make the rooms seem larger.
Regarding stones, some French country houses have their walls made with stones. But if you do not have this type of house, no problem! Now there are options to create an exposed stones wall with decorative stones or even with wallpaper. Only one wall with stones would be enough to reproduce a harmonious French country interior style.
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Pillar #3: neutral colors are the fundamentals of a French country interior, but they should be completed with stronger, contrasting yet frequently faded colors. This second color palette will give character to your interior. For these secondary colors, there are 2 trends:
1) Warm colors like gold, copper, red, or pink: copper pans in a kitchen, a golden mirror or red pillows in the living room.
2) Cool colors like purple, blue, and green: a buffet painted in mint green in a dining room or lavender dried flowers in a kitchen.
Very important: remind to choose between warm and cool colors in a room: it is not recommended mixing these 2 types of color in the same room. However, you can choose to have warm colors in your living room but cool colors in the bathroom for example, as long as the main colors are neutral.
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French country home color palette: examples on kitchens
Now let's review 2 examples of kitchens to visualize how to mix the colors and to identify the best accessories depending on the secondary color palette.
A perfect example of French country kitchen
This kitchen has the white as main color: the wooden walls were repainted in white; the full dinnerware is white; the countertop, windows, chairs, and door are also white. Very elegant!
The rustic table brings a second color to the main palette: the brown. Usually for French country homes, rustic tables are repainted. In this kitchen, it was a perfect choice to keep the original material: the color is not too dark and is among the neutral color scope. With all the other elements in white, the table shines better like this.
Now let’s see the secondary color palette: no doubt, it’s warm. The copper pans are the perfect accessories when you want to have a warm secondary color palette in a French country kitchen.
Golden accessories are also an excellent choice: in this kitchen, the faucet is gold. I recommend adding more accessories in gold like a vase, a chandelier, or a tray for example.
And to add a final warm touch, kitchen linens (tea towels, napkins, or place mats) in white and red or white and pink would perfectly fit this type of kitchen. French kitchen linens usually have a colored pattern like stripes, little squares or food (ear of corn, wheat…).
How to optimize the colors to have a true French country kitchen?
Let’s look at this other kitchen now: I have to say I’m not that convinced about the color palette, I will explain in detail.
Clearly on this kitchen the intention is to have a secondary palette with cool colors. What we can see is that the color green was chosen and became actually the main color. This is something that you should care about for your French country kitchen: the main colors must be neutral, and the stronger colors must be added as secondary colors, with little accessories or details. This kitchen is lovely, but I don’t consider it as a French country kitchen, the basic neutral colors are not visible enough.
Moreover, you can see that there is a mix of warm (copper, gold, orange) and cool colors (green). There are too many colors in this kitchen and given the orange color of the floor tiles, the secondary color palette should have been a warm one.
Well, now coming back to a cool secondary color palette for a French country kitchen. Still, 2 things are interesting in this kitchen:
1) Painting cabinets in the secondary color is an excellent choice. We recommend doing it only on upper or lower cabinets, keeping half cabinets in white.
2) You can see that part of the rustic table has been repainted in a pastel green. This is a great idea to have two shades of a same color. Furthermore, as the table was just partly repainted, it gives it some chic character.
Regarding the accessories, for a cool secondary palette in a kitchen we would recommend some wall decor (paintings of flowers or lavender for example) and colored serving plates in the chosen color to finalize the atmosphere.
Et voilà, now you know the best practices for a perfect French country home color palette. You can start defining the colors for your home!
For more tips on French country home, read our full guide on French country home decor.