Our home is neither fancy nor fussy and came with all sorts of cottage quirkiness. Over the years, I have identified its design style with various names, and it’s certainly not purely Modern French or Country Cottage. My style is a mix of qualities that feel comforting to me: European country inspired, coastal, under-baked, understated, spare, and serene. So, yep, depending on my mood, I may call it Modern French, Belgian or Nordic inspired. Today’s European Country French Decor in Our Renovated Home shares favorite decor finds chosen especially for our home.
European Country French Decor in Our Renovated Home
I’m not sure why I’m so resistant to categorize the fixer upper we completely renovated which is now quite un-fixer upper like! Our last house was a French country manse we designed that felt Old World and established, while this one is a blend since it has existing architecture (contemporary, and Cali-style) imagined by someone else.
When we found it, it was a neglected custom cottage with great bones on a beautiful lot swallowed up in weeds (invisible from the street!). We inherited a whole bunch of unsavory damage and design elements, and I shared messy weekly progress HERE.
This Fixer Upper Needed Love Big Time!
A sea of taupe carpet and yellow paint were everywhere with: holes in lumpy walls, 4′ wide woofers and tweeters in bathroom ceilings (#justdont), hollow-core doors, and critters in crawlspaces. Most of the hardware, faucets, and fixtures had been spray-painted white so the marketing photos didn’t look half bad. I guess the only thing worse than el-cheapo brass-plated everything is white latex painted brass-plated everything.
The exterior of our home is humble and would likely strike you as Nordic or contemporary coastal cottage. River rock accents and simple lines mean the house is not trying to show off but rather aims to tuck into the woods without a fuss. We’re sited on a woodsy lot, high on a hill which is wonderful for privacy and interest.
European Country French Cottage Features
The fan windows are something you see in a lot of homes built in the 1990s. On a good day, they feel a little Hamptons-like, and then there are days they read ‘too granny.’ I have mostly made friends with them, imagining they are reminiscent of a chapel.
Inside, the ceiling height soars in the great room, and a cat walk floats above the center of all the main level action. The upstairs is light and airy, and the master came with a vaulted ceiling. That architectural detail packs a huge punch since even a humble country cottage master should feel like a retreat.
Lovely Nordic French Style & Statement Wall
Downstairs, a family room, bedroom, bathroom, and workshop get used by our grown children who stretch out on a leather sectional and two giant LoveSacs which were the envy of their teen friends back in the day.
Rustic European Country Style Entry
While the range of architectural elements of the home may have been hodgepodge, we aimed to integrate and calm them with: a quiet neutral palette, subtraction rather than addition, upgrades, and INTRODUCING PLENTY OF QUALITY NATURAL MATERIALS to impart substance and soul.
A Favorite French Nordic Design Element: Belgian Linen
WHAT YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT MISS IS MY PASSION FOR Belgian linen. It is everywhere since I’m unapologetic about my obsession and sprinkle it liberally since it comforts me in countless ways. This house has been a home to messy men who spill salsa, tip over red wine, splatter Bolognese sauce, and track mud on everything. As long as such everyday debris does not lie there too long, it all comes clean!
I’m crazy about the nubby texture of quality linen which is so durable and something of which I never tire.
Get the Look: Rustic Yet Refined, White, European Country French Nordic Style
I hope these shopping resources are helpful for items sourced for our house! Some links are affiliate links and when used for purchases may earn this blog a small commission but with no extra cost to you.
Alder Front Door With Speakeasy
Traditional Style Handleset for Front Door
Bright White Paint Color for Walls, Trim and Ceilings
After testing a wide range of bright white and off-white paint colors for the interiors, BENJAMIN MOORE White was the winner and used for walls, trim, and ceilings. It has minimal undertones and got rid of the dingy and oppressive yellow haze holding back the interiors.
For a white look-alike paint to BM “White,” try BEHR Ultra White.
If you look at the BENJAMIN MOORE White paint swatch in my banner (above), you can see how much brighter and whiter it is than the warm greys around it.
Knotty Alder Interior Doors
What a transformation when we upgraded the doors and installed rustic knotty alder solid wood ones. These are worth every penny and will last lifetimes!
I didn’t think twice about pairing natural wood doors with the existing white trim even though at the time, we weren’t seeing this done very often. We left the doors unstained and simply sealed them with matte poly.
Cuckoo for Cocopuffs for Door Hardware!
I’m guessing many of you are tired of seeing wood barn doors, but we added one to our lower level (where there was no door) entrance to a family/media room. Now it buffers sound a little bit when closed and provides much needed rustic architectural interest.
Hardwood Flooring: White Oak Left Natural With No Stain
The main living areas on our first floor as well as our master bedroom have 5″ wide plank, unstained white oak hardwoods with a matte sealer on top.
Wood Alternative in Secondary Bedrooms
I chose a an easy-care laminate I found for less than a dollar a square foot for first floor guest bedrooms which came with cheap carpeting. One bedroom is used as my studio for painting (Southern exposure and over-sized!). My husband installed it in a day, and it’s the easiest thing to wipe up paint messes!
Serene, Classic & White European Inspired Kitchen
Why, Yes, a Floor Lamp for the Kitchen!
I feel like floor lamps are so underrated for cozying up any space!
Dishwasher Hidden Behind Cabinet Panel
Cooktop & Ovens
Apron Front Fireclay Farm Sink
White Quartz Countertop in Kitchen
Backsplash Taken to Ceiling
Kohler Purist Bridge Faucet
Modern European Inspired Vent
Beverage Cooler in Breakfast Bar
Kitchen Essentials: For Dishtowels or Cloth Napkins!
Custom Window Seat in Breakfast Nook
Dining Room With Vintage French Doors
Main Bath: Classic White Coastal Cottage Design
Classic & Coastal Vanity Sconce
This brushed nickel sconce is in our main bathroom, and I still love its coastal and classic good looks.
Brushed Nickel Bathroom Faucet
Main Bath Tile Floor
Brushed Nickel Traditional Shower Fixtures
French Nordic Cottage Style in Master Suite
Not sure I mentioned this earlier, but we did not have to buy any new furniture for this home! Our last house was so large that I donated or sold more than half of our furniture and belongings to downsize many months before we even found this fixer upper!
Our bedroom furniture has worked in four different homes now, but I refreshed it for this one by painting it BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter. When you’re going for a low contrast, calming cocoon, mixing textures rather than colors is a trustworthy strategy.
Reclaimed Pine Peel & Stick Stikwood Planks
Unfussy, Simple, Rustic Yet Refined European Country Inspired Style
Master Bath Design Elements
The master bath was quite an undertaking in terms of DIY. Everything had to go, including an enormous Jacuzzi on a raised stage, a linen closet, cabinets, shower, toilet, sinks, and flooring.
Even though it’s more typical to tear down walls in contemporary renovations, we actually had to build them for this bath since it was one, huge, unbalanced, awkward space.
The Martha Stewart sconces selected for our master bath were chosen since we needed something coastal that also reminded me of France, and this just happened to be inexpensive as well.
Hamptons Classic Coastal Style Bathroom Sconce
Herringbone Marble Shower Floor
Furniture & Decor Outdoors
Classic Traditional Style Bathroom
Read about this bathroom we created from scratch where there was none, all DIY style HERE.
Our Renovation in Arizona
Although we sold the second home in Arizona we made over, you can still score decor details and sources here:
Paint Colors in Arizona Home
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
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