Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style

Years ago, proprietor Ruth Gay of Houston-based Chateau Domingue was building this amazing home with Old World style. However, securing antique construction materials and reclaimed architectural pieces from Europe for the project was a challenge. Turns out it was a fortuitous challenge since she uncovered a gap in the market. A business opportunity emerged to source one of a kind design elements and monumental European antiques. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style tours an unforgettable home and explores European inspired design underpinnings.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore sophisticated decor. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

Mastering Elegant, Rustic Refined European Country Style

Let’s revisit our house tour of the unforgettable home of Ruth Gay!

Design: Pamela Pierce Source: Chateau Domingue Photos: courtesy of Chateau Domingue

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore elegant French decor. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

Ideas for Capturing European Country Design

A European country inspired approach seems less concerned with shopping for eye candy and more concerned with nourishing the soul with thoughtful, natural, authentic gestures with purpose.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore sophisticated design. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

1. Aim High for Authenticity

Notice how Ruth Gay’s European Country French home is accessorized. It is difficult to believe this home is new construction thanks to authentic antiques, ancient stone, and imported materials. But look again. There is also an airy ethereal mood with help from pale plaster walls, creamy limestone, and muted painted furniture.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore sophisticated French design. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

2. Welcome a Wealth of Natural Goodness

Incorporate as many natural materials as possible. The natural materials used in the construction of the rooms contributes to the character, quality, and mood of the decor as well. Beautiful, well-earned PATINA is everywhere in these interiors–from the wood planked ceilings to the aged stone and furnishings.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #shelves
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore sophisticated decor. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

3. Accessories Should Work Hard

Expect more from the accessories incorporated into the mix. What many Americans mean by “decorating” is placing accessories they think enhance the anchor pieces in a space. However, it’s a more European country sensibility to include only functional pieces that have purpose and happen also to be good looking. Is the accessory useful? Can it be pulled into service? Does the piece have potential to store essentials? Will it stand the test of time? Is it high quality and multi-functional?

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore sophisticated decor. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

4. Aim for Quality Accessories

If you are used to accessorizing seasonally, consider a shift toward more timeless pieces of higher quality. Note the open shelves in Ruth Gay’s dining room and the quality of the collected objects upon them. You’ll see there are purposeful baskets, dishes, receptacles for flowers, and pitchers. While it could be costly to possess all of these pieces in one fell swoop, think about investing in one at a time.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you adore sophisticated decor. Mastering Elegant Rustic Refined European Country Style as well as French and Old World timeless design inspiration.

A more European inspired sensibility eschews mediocrity and aims for high quality. But that doesn’t mean we have to purge every mediocre decor piece! Rather, we can slowly upgrade and delight in having less but better.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you admire elegant French country. Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.

5. Say No to Excessive Filler

Who likes dusting a busy shelf? It is one thing to enjoy a collection and quite another to fill every tabletop in the name of “interest.” Excessive filler can impart a diluted, mediocre effect which lacks character and quality.

Chateau Domingue. Proprietor Ruth Gay’s Tuscan country manor style kitchen is a revelation…certainly rustic and refined indeed! Linen softens the apron front sink and walls created with French Limestone Bugets as well as reclaimed cobblestone flooring.

While massed collections can make a profound impact in a room, they can also cause sensory overload. Over-styling feels contrived and unnatural whereas an “underbaked’ (I learned that from interior designer extraordinaire, Tom Scheerer) can be just right.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you admire French country. Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.

6. Consider Room Dimensions When Building

American homes are typically more spacious than European counterparts. If you’re determined to achieve the charm of those European country interiors you admire, bear in mind it’s trickier within sprawling square footage. If you’re building a home, think about room dimensions and ceiling heights and how it might affect the intimacy you’re after.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #religiousart
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you admire French country decor. Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.

Rustic Yet Refined European Country Inspired Decor Ideas

Guiding Principles…Not Secrets

What is the secret to a rustic yet refined European Country French inspired design plan for your home? 

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you admire French farmhouse decor. Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.

There is no chance I am going to wax on about the 1-2-3s of French country decor or quick and dirty steps to score the look since that would be silly. Yet we can study, observe, and learn from the masters to notice a few guiding principles which run like a common thread through beautiful approaches to European Country decor.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #antiques
Photo: Chateau Domingue – in case you admire French farmhouse style. Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.

1. Begin With the Bones & Architecture

Hang on to your wallets because I am kicking off this list of principles with the steepest challenge! Beautiful bones are decidedly a tall order, and that’s precisely why partnering with an expert such as Houston-based Chateau Domingue is a blessed privilege.

Tour a 16th Century manor house to get a feel for the architecture.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.
Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #diningroom #fireplace
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Photo gallery of a breathtaking French country home in Houston as well design observations about European inspired decor.

2. Happily Invest in European Antiques

Importing and collecting beautiful pieces, art, and fixtures should not be done in haste. Enjoy the hunt and give yourself time to enjoy the process with travel, collaboration with experts, shopping brocantes, attending auctions, and antique shopping!

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Decor inspiration with photos of Chateau Domingue founder Ruth Gay’s breathtaking home as well as guiding design principles.
Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Decor inspiration with photos of Chateau Domingue founder Ruth Gay’s breathtaking home as well as guiding design principles.

3. Don’t Rush It

A rustic yet refined, authentically layered, timeless interior design plan takes time and most likely necessitates help from experts and designers. Americans are prone to feverishly rush and plow ahead, and we’re often rewarded for hustling as fast as we can.

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Decor inspiration with photos of Chateau Domingue founder Ruth Gay’s breathtaking home as well as guiding design principles.

We have so much to learn from European and French cultures and practices. Who knows how we might prosper by incorporating more of wise European daily rhythms into our daily lives to more fully savor the present and the process.

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #doors #limestone
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Decor inspiration with photos of Chateau Domingue founder Ruth Gay’s breathtaking home as well as guiding design principles.
Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #staircase #stone #romantic #candlelight
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Rustic stone, European antiques, and reclaimed wood as well as expert design from Pamela Pierce add up to a masterful European country home in Houston.

When you are seeking a similar look, antiques and reclaimed authentic materials are your friend!

Tour a 17th Century property in Cologne to get into the spirit!

A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Sophisticated and elegant French, Italian, and Gustavin Style converge in this house tour with photos as well as design details.
A sophisticated European country designed interior (Chateau Domingue and Pamela Pierce) is a breathlessly beautiful example of how to master elegant rustic refined European Country style. #frenchcountry #interiordesign #europeanantiques #oldworldstyle #rusticdecor #Frenchhome #housetour
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Photo gallery of a breathtaking French home as well as a discussion of European country design principles.
Three pairs of 18th century French doors, barrel vaulted ceiling clad in 17th century stone from a French Vineyard, and blissful upholstered pieces grace Ruth Gay's office.#chateaudomingue #antiques #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #lantern #limestone #oldworld
Three pairs of 18th century French doors, barrel vaulted ceiling clad in 17th century stone from a French Vineyard, and blissful upholstered pieces grace Ruth Gay’s office… certainly lovely, indeed!
Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #livingroom #ruthgay
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Inspiring European Country House Photo Tour in Case You Love French Country Decorating Ideas.

Overview: Chateau Domingue

Chateau Domingue is an invaluable source for the ingredients one needs to create timelessly authentic, European country inspired interiors. Ruth Gay sources the following 15th to 19th century architectural elements and monumental antiques from Europe:

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antique #stonesink #ruthgay
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Timeless design inspiration from a rustic refined home…certainly charming indeed.

Antique Furniture

Stone surrounds

Mantels

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #bathroom #stonesink #ruthgay
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Elegant understated interior design inspiration photos of a house built with reclaimed materials from Europe…certainly charming indeed.

Gates

Fountains

Garden Decor

Doors & Windows

Hardware

Wood Flooring

Tiles

Stone Flooring

Lighting

as well as the unexpected

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiques #limestone #ruthgay
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Elegant understated interior design inspiration photos of a house built with reclaimed materials from Europe…certainly charming indeed.

Unexpected? Let’s say your dream was to own an authentic, French stone, petite 15th century chapel…well, I’d bring you good tidings of great joy and say: YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS CHATEAU DOMINGUE!

This remarkable petite chapel was in stock a few seasons ago…

Chateau Domingue salvaged this French stone petite chapel. Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring.
Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring…certainly lovely indeed.
Chateau Domingue salvaged this French stone petite chapel. Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring.
The Provençal reclaimed elements include: rubble stone, seven original 15th century surrounds, terracotta roof tiles and Dalles Drome limestone flooring…certainly lovely indeed!

Chateau Domingue Doors

Where else can you find such bespoke treasures!?!

Chateau Domingue Timeless European Elegance and French farmhouse style converge in this house tour of founder Ruth Gay's home on Hello Lovely. Reclaimed stone, antique doors and mantels, and one of a kind architectural elements. #housetour #frenchcountry #frenchfarmhouse #europeanfarmhouse #chateaudomingue #rusticdecor #pamelapierce #elegantdecor #antiquedoors
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Elegant understated interior design inspiration photos of a house built with reclaimed materials from Europe…certainly charming indeed.

Domingue Architectural Finishes

Creating a timeless look for interiors can often be achieved with beautiful plaster and wall finishes, and Chateau Domingue also offers Domingue Architectural Finishes. With 140 colors (developed by Eve Ashcraft) for lime wash and mineral paint and 12 shades for plaster, the options for executing a “just right” finish are vast.

Domingue Finishes on a house exterior. Chateau Domingue. #chateaudomingue #exterior
Photo: Chateau Domingue – Elegant understated interior design inspiration photos of a house built with reclaimed materials from Europe…certainly charming indeed.

My heart is happy and full of gratitude to Chateau Domingue and its lovely curator, Ruth Gay, for sharing her family’s home with us. Do pay them a visit:

IN PERSON:  3560 W 12th Street, Houston, Texas 77008 or online.

Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio on a blue background. #inspiration #encouragement #wisdom #quotes

This house tour and discussion continues in the second installment RIGHT HERE. For even more rustic European inspired design inspiration, see this and this house tour.

Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio on a blue background. #inspiration #encouragement #wisdom #quotes

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shopping for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE (not just items mentioned in posts) or home decor keeps decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Swedish Wood Electric Candelabra
Evergreen Bucket
Courtney Lamp Base
Capri Blue Candle in Mercury Glass
Flameless Candles & Remote
Antiqued Brass Candlesticks
Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
Helmsley Bronze Door Hardware
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Gertrude Wood Bench
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
San Jose Handleset for Front Door
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
Rustic Wood Candleholders
French Linen Dining Chair
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
PARIS Framed Print
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
Faux Bois Candleholders
Grainstripe Pillow
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
Belgian Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Round Woven Placemat Set
Antiqued Sunburst Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Boheme Madera Bench
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool
Subscribe to Hello Lovely Studio!
click to subscribe!
Follow:

2 Comments

  1. October 1, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    Michele what a treat this post was, I felt like you were taking me on a personal tour. I really enjoyed hearing your views not only on the design features of this gorgeous chateau but your comments on American decorating habits. I’m drawn to the majestic serenity in this home and I attribute so much to the age of the materials and the feeling of spaciousness throughout. You’re right in some ways it does seem like it represents the antithesis of American decorating these days. I liked your comment on clutter too. So much design wisdom here. I just wrote a post about my reaction to seeing so much conformity in the blogger world today and I wondered out loud if Pinterest wasn’t making us all the equivalent of Stepford Wives Design Clones. I’m redoing my bathroom right now and I’m having to take a break from Pinterest because I notice it can make me second guess my decorating decision. Creativity is such an organic experience I think we have to protect the process. I’m rambling now. Love to you.
    xo
    Leslie

    • Michele
      Author
      October 2, 2019 / 10:24 am

      Thanks so much for reading, Leslie! The authenticity and tranquility in Ruth’s home is staggering. I rambled on and on over on your post because you gave me much food for thought. You always do – I think because we live in similar realms. I used to think I was simply a lazy decorator, leaving things undone and underbaked, but I think I’m just super cocky about my creative endeavors! It’s just like my abstract paintings – I intuitively KNOW when they are done or if they are keepers. I don’t second guess it or stew about what others may think about it. I don’t do much thinking at all – it’s more like going into a trance. So Pinterest doesn’t distract or annoy me since I’m personally uninterested in trends for the most part and simply need to be aware of them as a business blogger. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *