We’re going to feast upon gorgeous French Country, Swedish Country, and European inspired interior design and decorating ideas for dining rooms today, and I also want to share a bit of personal news…
As I post this, I am in Arizona where I am orchestrating a move from our vacation home. YES! Someone else is now calling home our Paris apartment inspired French Country home in the Southwest with the shabby chic, French Country dining room ! The home decorated with European inspired home decor and Nordic French details sold as fast as the “for sale” sign was placed in the front yard!
Does this make us official flippers? I’m not so sure since we are never in a rush to leave. As for this property, we thought we might hang on to it for retirement, but we have a few more years to find just the right fit. We were fortunate to receive multiple competing offers, and this was a wonderful boost to our DIY makeover confidence. It is still a bittersweet moment, of course. since we have to let go of something into which we put our hearts. Once again, I chose to sell many of the furnishings and decor collected over two years, in addition to the property. Every buyer that made an offer wanted it all! I didn’t sell my vintage piano, but I have yet to ship it home so for now it lives happily in my parents’ dining room.
We bought the Mediterranean style cottage I lovingly referred to as the Arizona fixer, two years ago as a vacation getaway and investment. It didn’t require any structural changes so the task felt like a piece of cake compared to our primary home’s renovation. We enjoyed giving the interior a design makeover, injecting it with shabby chic French Country and Paris apartment inspired personal style, and updating and upgrading the dining room and kitchen with beautiful timeless and tranquil appeal.
Like so many serial renovators, when a project reaches completion, there’s a sweet satisfaction and sometimes an itch to begin again. The process of transformation and the opportunity to become caught up in a creative flow is what we enjoy, and although it may seem crazy to thoughtfully invest so much into a project and then let it go, it’s a path we have chosen as a creative couple time after time. It has been financially profitable, but we approach each project not as budget-obsessed flippers in a hurry, but as patiently as possible and as if we will live in the property forever.
I’m frugal, know my way around home décor, and can intelligently make those endless buying decisions between bargains and splurges. My partner is fearless and skilled when it comes to construction and mechanical matters, and he also has a passion for interior design…so our renovations and makeovers become these engaging lovefest seasons of synthesis and bonding as we create beauty where we find it is in short supply.
In between trips to the house to pack and haul away belongings (I am so grateful for my dad and brother’s help!) I have spent time with my folks who live just two miles away where I am lucky enough to claim a bedroom. (BTW, I never did buy a car, golf cart, or even a bike for this property. Instead, I walked back and forth to my parents’ and siblings’ homes in the neighborhood. We rented a car as needed, but with the incredibly stable sunny weather, it felt like a privilege to walk.) Since my mom is ready to freshen her rooms, we have been discussing her wishes and decor options. She has forever held a fondness for Scandinavian decor, cottage style, and French Country romance, and her art and collections reflect those sensibilities.
We have turned our attention to her kitchen and dining areas which she would like to soften, refine, and simplify, and I have suggested she begin pinning what inspires her to make collaboration easier and since it’s a perfect way to get organized. Pinning from where though? I highly recommend Milieu magazine, Veranda, and Country French for inspiration.
Sometimes you can make a big impact without tearing up the whole room. You may remember we were able to completely make over our Arizona kitchen without demo or dust! My mom is considering cosmetic tweaks to their already spacious and efficient kitchen to put her own stamp on it. We discovered beautiful inspiration from Eloquence, and the dining room (above) sent us into a woozy swoonfest as we considered the palette and gentle romance of that dining room vignette, staged and pared down though it may be. Sometimes a single image will spark your vision and creativity and set you on a course to capture a similar beauty.
So let’s explore French Country, French Nordic, and Scandinavian Country dining room inspiration today…for me, mom, and all of you creative souls who appreciate home décor with a romantic, elegant, effortless, slightly rustic and refined beauty.
Sources: Eloquence, Chateau Domingue, Tone on Tone, Pinterest, Velvet and Linen
Some of the links which follow are affiliate, and I will be compensated when they are used for purchases, though you won’t pay extra.
10 Decorating Ideas for French Country & Swedish Dining Rooms
1. Drapery Tables.
You’ve watched your favorite designers and bloggers repurpose drapery tables, antique and otherwise, for bathroom vanities, kitchen islands, and sofa tables. What I love about them is their shallow depth and airy quality. Courtney of French Country Cottage used the following one from Eloquence as a kitchen island, and a smaller version for her bathroom’s vanity. I love how the bleached oak drapery table pairs with the glass bottle vase, and those pale grey paneled walls!!!!
2. French or Swedish Antiques.
I have yet to own a Swedish antique anything, but I’m forever on the hunt! Tone on Tone Antiques and Accessories is likely on your radar if you are in the market for lovely finds with timeless appeal.
Another ultimate source of imported, reclaimed, and aged architectural elements and monumental European antiques in the United States is Ruth Gay’s Chateau Domingue. Ruth Gay traverses “roads less traveled” throughout Europe several times a year to source beautiful finds for her discerning clientele. Her passion for European history and architecture have made Chateau Domingue the wonderland of lovely (for architectural and monumental antiques from the 15th through the 19th centuries) it is.
It’s not a dining room, but how can I stop myself from posting this jaw dropping feast of French Country lovely for the eyes?
Eloquence offers both old and new pieces, and isn’t the painted canvas wall covering here breathtaking?
3. Empire Style Crystal Chandeliers.
My parents have a gorgeous empire style crystal chandelier from Sweden hanging in their dining room, and these look stunning anywhere!
4. Rustic Farmhouse Dining Tables.
When the dining chairs are more on the refined side, a chunky rustic wood table pairs swimmingly.
5. Plaster Walls.
They are a surefire way to add instant age, charm, and character to your dining room.
Segreto Finishes is an amazing team of artisans led by Leslie Sinclair, who works wall magic in the finest of homes!
6. Candle-style Chandeliers.
I love how Old World style chandeliers like these add elegant country style.
7. Old World Sconces.
The modern farmhouse dining room of Brooke Giannetti at Patina Farm is indeed a unique and stunning interpretation of California organic country style and European influences. Upon this limestone hearth wall, Brooke has added airy, unfussy, delicate Old World sconces which have wonderful presence without overpowering.
8. Swedish Dining Chairs.
I’m a huge fan of how designer Pamela Pierce incorporates Swedish antiques into her designs, and if you’re a fan of Rococo style, here’s a timeless look with just the right amount of formality and comfort.
Steal the look above with these artfully hand-crafted pieces from Swede!
9. Buffets with Character.
Here is another Pamela Pierce dining room brimming with sophistication and character, and should you not find the perfect antique sideboard or buffet, consider a new one that only looks antique.
10. Linen Upholstery.
I found a beautiful vintage French Country dining table and chairs for our Arizona dining room, and after giving it a fresh finish, I had the chairs upholstered in three different linen fabric prints (all with a pale chambray blue accent) designed by Rachel Ashwell from Shabby Chic Couture. I’m a huge fan of Rachel Ashwell!
Thanks so much for reading, friends…I hope these inspiring dining rooms and decorating ideas have helped you gather ideas for your own dining room projects and that you found plenty to pin to your boards to share with your friends and save for later!
See this decor inspiration for even more French Country splendor.
Peace to you right where you are.