How to Infuse Interiors With Rustic White French Farmhouse Charm revisits a story about French inspired country style at home. You’re bound to be inspired if your heart skips a beat at the sight of: pale paint colors, old metal lanterns, Louis style furnishings, nubby linen, rustic earthenware, weathered finishes, unfussy antiques, religious art, distressed wood, hand-thrown pottery, original paintings, quirky accessories, curvy mirrors, rugged limestone and romantic chandeliers.
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How to Infuse Interiors With Rustic White French Farmhouse Charm
Let’s dig deeper into Rustic White French Farmhouse Style and Timeless French Inspired Beauty…because when you uncover the underlying sensibilities of this design style, you’ll be able to interpret it uniquely!
Timeless French Beauty
Have a favorite element of Country French, Rustic White French, or French Farmhouse style? As for me…what I admire most about la beauté française intemporelle (timeless French beauty) and French inspired decor can be summed up in an acronym:
T I M E L E S S
Timeless French Farmhouse Inspired Decor
Creating a timeless look almost always includes incorporating collected pieces from the past in your design. The French have a reverence for patina and “benign neglect” so pieces showing their age are revered.
Is the rug threadbare and faded from years of use? Lucky!
A reverence for aged beauty not only reinforces the unfussy quality of French country decor so many of us admire, it ushers in a layer of rusticity and texture.
When timelessness trumps trends, rich character is layered within rooms we want to linger in.
Find lovely French farmhouse kitchen options RIGHT HERE as well as similar dining chairs.
Antiques, vintage pieces, and even not-quite-vintage objects which have perfectly weathered and appear to have developed natural patina, look right at home in a timeless mix.
Since decor in a European country style home must also be functional, those items called regularly into service will reflect age more quickly than items collecting dust on a shelf…BONUS!
Intuition: a Gentle Intuitive Approach to French Farmhouse
A beautifully decorated French inspired room is especially lovely when it comes together intuitively and possesses a quality of imperfection.
It doesn’t follow formulas or involve overthinking a juxtaposition strategy. Rather, the process demands an intuitive layer of intelligence which guides the curation and placement of art and accessories.
For example, when I placed the Diana bust (above) in a corner with an abstract seascape I painted against pale white backdrop, I knew instantly more zhushing was required. Leaning a rustic vintage wood shutter (reclaimed from a local homestead) against the wall instantly increased my fondness for the bust AND my art!
For me, zhush factor and intuition are besties. While it may take a few tweaks, a lengthy process of tedious arranging isn’t typically necessary since intuition can be trusted.
Mix: French Country Masterful Mixology
It’s all in le mélange! Rustic with refined. Antiques with contemporary. High end mixed with thrift. Masterful juxtapositions.
Why does an “all precious” room or a space with “strictly shabby” feel off-putting or uninspiring? Because we humans are naturally drawn to contrasts at a very subconscious level.
Divergent elements occurring together create a third thing…a pleasant tension wherein our imagination is invited to compare and make connections.
Evocative: How French Inspired Decorating Stirs the Senses
Zee French deeply understand SENSUALITY and how to evoke emotion with art, color, and objects in a room’s design.
Indeed, they seem naturally wired to evoke pleasant moods and feelings of well-being with their adept ability to introduce surprising juxtapositions. It’s why we admirers study the work and seek to develop an eye for creating a character-rich balance of rustic and refined!
Luminous: Luminosity & Country French Style
My favorite color palette within the realm of French inspired interiors features faded, light-filled, chalky, subdued, bleached, and pale colors that reflect and increase the ambient light in a room.
If the word ‘sun-drenched’ tickles your brain and feels delicious to your senses, you’re in the club too.
Earthy: Natural Elements & Earthiness
Natural materials are everywhere in French country design. Flowers are fresh. Rugs and textiles are woven of materials which grew from the earth. Pottery, earthenware, construction materials, and furnishings are made of wood, stone, and iron…as opposed to synthetics or plastic.
Additionally, there’s a practicality–a down to earth sensibility–in French inspired decorating. Objects are functional AND beautiful; in fact, their functionality only makes them more beautiful.
Subtle: An Understated, Subtle Approach to Interiors
Whether it’s the color palette or lighting, the French know their way around the art of the understated. What strikes me as the most successful use of juxtaposition in French country and French farmhouse style decorating is how the French employ subtlety amid the contrast.
Call me cuckoo, but je n’aime pas feeling jolted or jarred by a room’s design. I want to feel soothed, seduced, and also embraced by nuanced layers of loveliness.
Soulful: Engaging the Spirit of Design
It’s an ageless element of simplicity, purity, and graceful elegance which simply cannot be ordered online. Often soulfulness results from incorporating antiques.
Soulfulness flows from multiple sources: the spirit of the decorator, the history and integrity of objects, the architecture or bones of the shelter, and even from color choices.
What I’m calling soulful may be otherwise be known as sensual or even poetic.
When you’re seeking an effortless look, avoid overthinking it. Soulful decorating necessitates a light hand and a full heart.
It’s that lovely golden thread running through the most satisfying French inspired designs; an impossible-to-quantify energy…difficult to reduce to ingredients, yet quite natural to sense.
Daily Living & Timeless Interiors
Here’s the thing about my affinity for French inspired decor: there are all sorts of parallels in my daily life. For example, I tend to welcome quiet, wabi sabi beauty into the ordinary rhythms of my day because it can be so lifegiving and also forgiving.
I need such qualities since I struggle daily with physical illness and pain.
For me, resonance with French-inspired subtle, soulful living reflects my desire to greet the beauty life brings with a wholehearted, HELLO, LOVELY.
This harmony of interiors figurative and literal can indeed happen naturally. However, more often it requires intentional daily practices. Meditation, opportunities for contemplation, and gestures that allow my thoughts to fall into the quiet of my heart space.
It’s there I sense an everlasting source of goodness and purity in a flow will never run dry.
Rustic, White, and French Inspired Decor Ideas
I think white for me is the embodiment of understated, unadorned purity.
It creates a very quiet milieu for life to happen.
I do love a white rustic yet elegant interior at home!
Peek Inside a Rustic Home We Renovated
Accessories In the Spirit of White Rustic French Flair
The perfect combination of modern and French:
Perfect for over a bed or on a gallery wall:
For a low cost candle holder for the mantel or table:
For more inexpensive accessory ideas, you may like THIS and also THIS.
Old World Inspired Lighting
Don’t miss this story with heart stopping French inspired sconces!
Rugged French Inspired Accents
You may want to consider galvanized accessories in this post as well.
Ever incorporated encaustic tiles into a design project? So charming for a farmhouse style mudroom or laundry room!
Romantic French Country Mirrors
I modified a plain old salvaged bathroom vanity mirror with a little latex paint and this Springtime in Paris stencil.
Rustic French Inspired Benches
Find more ideas for French inspired benches as well as rustic and refined decor here.
Here’s a rustic unfinished bench you can customize to your liking:
Slipcovered Dining & Accent Chairs
In another post, we considered a host of decidedly lovely linen seating so do see that too.
Chic & Unfussy Side Tables
So many gorgeous options for chic as well as rustic side tables!
Country Style Jug/Vase
Shop the Look
Do not miss the inspiration of this authentically constructed French country home and a French farmhouse with a pale palette.
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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Fabulous post! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the kind words and for leaving footprints here. 🙂
I am so confused. It seems from other bloggers that Farmhouse, which I never understood as no farmhouse would have white sofas, is on the way out and “cozy” is coming back in again for the millennial’s. Does this mean I start taking out of storage some of my shabby chic that I used years before?
No need to be confused! Yer girl is here to enlighten. (1) No one at Hello Lovely cares about what is trending or on the way out…we like what we like, and we consider timeless good looks to guide us.(2) Don’t let ‘farmhouse’ get under your skin as a descriptor. It replaced ‘country’ in terms of decor many years ago. Is anyone gonna tell me I can’t decorate in the country style while living outside of the country? I pity the fool. So I do not need a farm to be inspired by French Farmhouse beauty. Hahahaha. (3) Cozy never EVER went out of style – again – who cares too much about trends unless you’re selling your home and are appealing to a certain buyer who does care. Let the people look at my white walls and shrink my soul…not gonna change the color when my soul is at rest. (4) Many Millennials are very nostalgic, some are very anxious so they want to be surrounded by soft things, and most of them honor sustainable decor pieces ilke antiques, thrifted quality pieces, and well made stuff that isn’t disposable or obviously from Ikea. They don’t mind brown unpainted furniture. So they are embracing traditional style, shabby chic, and relaxed livable interiors. (5) Do not ever store away belongings that reflect what you love. Live with them. Love them. There is no design police ready to take you to HGTV jail. Shabby chic is beautiful! Long live the shabby and the chic. *but I wonder how I really feel about these things???? Hahahahahaha
Thank you Michele. I can feel intimidated (not enough confidence in my decorating choices) when some decorator comes in and says, “It needs more color.”
I just loved all the pics in that Rustic White French Farmhouse Charm blog and now I have a name for my style.
Really? Really? I can get out my old, white, Shabby Chic candelabras?
I’m going to copy your text and save it in my Decorating file for anytime I start to question my choices.
Keep up the good work.
You’re awesome. Get those candelabras, Paula. And light the candles. It’s freeing to let go of rules and realize you can play with them all. So let’s play! 🙂