4 Tips For Choosing Your French Outdoor Patio Furniture


If you want to have a good time with people who are very important to you, in an ideal environment is a good place to start looking for comfortable furniture. Finding the best furniture that suits your outdoor place within your budget is not as challenging as its sounds. Below are some tips to help you get the idea.

1) Select Furniture That Is Practical:

When selecting furniture for your patio, one of the most important things to consider is the comfort.  Why spend thousands of dollars on a set that you don't want to lounge in on your Sundays?  Furniture that comes with cushions is ideal for supreme comfort. Most importantly, working with furniture that fits your space.  You want look for furniture that is also practical for what you would be doing often.  Do you have BBQ's?  A full size dining table with matching chairs would be perfect, rather than a sofa.  Rocking chairs also can be a really nice investment if you like to read your morning news outside.

2) Select Furniture You Are Attracted To:

Your outdoor patio furniture should be a reflection of your style.  Wooden furniture can always be painted to match the color scheme of your patio or architecture and design of your house. Consider the style of your landscape, and the overall design that you are attracted to.

3.  Choose A Great Looking Set Within Your Price Range:

Not everyone has several grand to blow on patio furniture.  Although, don't be under the assumption that there is not great options for a small budget. If you are working within a budget, add to your collection overtime, by adding in complementing pieces such as all wood sets, or all metal sets.  This can allow you to update the pieces by buying new cushions, or simply painting your sets.

4. Choose The Materials Best Suited For Your Climate:

There is a wide variety of patio furniture available, which are made of different materials keeping different properties in mind. Here are some materials that you need to consider when buying patio furniture:

a) Wood

If you are looking for durable and maintenance free furniture for your patio than wood might not be the best option.  With wood furniture, sealing the wood, or re-painting needs to be done every few years.  Wood is one of the supreme choices for patio furniture.  It has a very high end appeal, and can look amazing as it ages outside with the elements.  Cedar and eucalyptus are the most popular types of woods. Working with the proper paints and wood seals will ensure your wooden pieces last longer.

b) Wrought iron

Wrought iron is most popular material which is used to make outdoor patio furniture. It is also the classic choice of furniture in France.  It is the strongest and reliable outdoor furniture material. Metal can be left in the sun, in the rain and in the snow, and it will always weather quite nicely over time.  Iron can be painted, but it looks quite terrific in it's natural state.

c) Aluminum

Aluminum is considered to be reliable and durable because it is rust free. It is also lighter than wrought iron and wood. It is best for low maintenance and you can easily move as it is lighter than wrought iron and wood.

Here are several classy outdoor looks that you can get some ideas from for this spring and summer.

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Painting Outdoor Furniture: What Type of Paint Works Best? French Decorating

Painted Furniture Seen On  Safavieh

French Painted Furniture - Safavieh

We have all come across wicker sets second hand that could use a new coat of paint, or a wooden patio set that has seen better days.  Why buy new, when you can fix up something vintage or used?

Here, we’ll provide recommendations for the best paint options out there for your outdoor furniture painting needs.

Consider bringing a swatch of your exterior house paint or that of your outdoor furniture fabric along with you when deciding on color choices.  With so many color choices available, it is nice to be able to get the exact shade of the hue you are working with, rather than just guessing.

Consider the theme of your surroundings- Equally important is the consideration of floral  colors that surround the furniture. What colors are in the natural landscape of flowers and other vegetation? Do you have a stone wall or patio? You want your outdoor furniture to blend nicely with the environment in which it sits, so consider the many elements of that environment when picking your paint color.

Paint when it is dry- Paint needs time to dry and will not adhere to surfaces that are not dry.  Don't consider painting your project on a rainy day, but rather wait for a dry warm day.  If you plan on painting in the winter or the spring when it is cold, or rainy, move your furniture in the garage, and use a space heater to warm up the room.

Clean your furniture first- Paint won't adhere very well to dirty or rough surfaces, so be sure to clean your furniture well before spraying or painting your furniture.

When working with left over paint, mix it in one container- Mixing multiple cans of the same color of paint into a larger container, such as a five-gallon bucket, will help ensure a uniform color is applied to your outdoor furniture collection.

One important thing to be aware of when considering the type of paint you’ll use on your outdoor furniture is that indoor and outdoor paints are different from each other. Moisture from the outdoors can cause paint to chip and peel so it is best to choose something formulated for the outdoors.

Enamel Paint

Enamel paint is resistant to peeling and is an example of the type of paint you want to buy for outdoor furniture.  As enamel paint dries, it tends to be harder.  This means that it is less impacted by moisture from rain, or snow.  Enamel paint is often oil-based, but you can also find water-based enamel paints.

All-Acrylic Paints - "100 percent acrylic latex" on the label is a paint that remains flexible, breathable, and colorfast far longer than paints made with vinyl resins or acrylic blends. It also adheres well to most surfaces allowing you to use it on wood, vinyl, metal, and masonry.

Water-Based vs. Oil-Based- Water-based paints are flexible enough to expand and contract with the change of the weather.  In general, they are breathable, so they won’t trap moisture and crack or peel. Oil-based paints offer better adhesion and stain blocking, so they are better for chalky surfaces, stained surfaces, bleeding woods (tannin or sap) and metals that rust.

Krylon Paints

To make the process far easier, Good Housekeeping recommends the Krylon brand, which can be found at Ace Hardware or online at Amazon.

Krylon H20 Latex option is environmentally friendly, low-odor, and is water-based so it cleans up easily when you’re done!  The Fusion For Plastic® series allows you to spray paint plastic pieces without primer or prep.  The plastic series can also be used outdoors.

Sherwin Williams Duration Acrylic is self-priming, mildew-resistant, and is also resistant to blistering and peeling. PermaLast technology enables the paint to last far longer than other outdoor paints. There are also over 1,500 beautiful colors from which to choose.

Best Paints According To Consumer Reports- Sherwin-Williams’ Duration, in satin and semigloss finishes, took the top rating in the rankings, and finished No. 2 in ratings of flat paints, behind California Paints’ Fres-Coat Velvet Flat according to Consumer Reports.  They say this brand still looks impressive after the equivalent of nine years.  Glidden’s Premium flat and satin paints are two of “several” finishes that performed almost as well for a markedly lower price. Read more here

Instead of spending a bunch of money buying new outdoor furniture, consider just giving it a new coat of paint. You’ll save money and your furniture will look almost as good as new!

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12 Ways To Bring The Rustic French Countryside Into Your Home

Château de Pintray Bed and Breakfast near Saint-Martin-le-Beau 

Château de Pintray : Bed and Breakfast near Saint-Martin-le-Beau -www.map-france.com

French country is a look that is comfortable and inviting. It is no wonder why it still remains to be one of the most popular styles to decorate around.

When you think about touring a French countryside home, you would expect to see classic printed drapery in the living room and natural stone floors throughout the house.  The walls would be finished in plaster and wooden furniture would be seen in a rough and distressed state.

Here are a few things you can do for your home to give it a classic French look:

Rough painted plaster walls are seen in most French interiors, and is a key element to achieving this style. Faux painters often start with an ivory base and use a sponge with darker shades of cream to give the look of plaster. Mixing translucent glaze with several shades of ivory softens the look, making it appear more realistic.

Natural stone floors can give the look of primitive France.  Architectural elements can be added such as a stone fireplace in the living room, iron lighting fixtures, and railings in staircases.  For tight budgets, consider polishing your concrete floors, instead of installing stone and using throw rugs which can bring back the warmth into the room.

Buy reproduction rustic furniture with raw or painted wood. A large dining table in a dull low-sheen finish gives the look of old age. Purchase ladderback, vertical slat chairs with rush seating for a provincial look. New upholstery or paint can update a vintage chair, so look for great chair frames which can be improved. The French style has always been one surrounded by natural elements of stone and brick and warm colors such as gold, burnt rust, and cobalt blue.  Furniture is featured in painted black, gray, corn yellow, deep grays.  Heirloom furniture with layers of patina show a history generations that have passed. Most important when buying a chair, buy a frame and style that you love!

Work With Opposite Colors- Typical French country interiors often have contrasting texture and color. Pale plaster walls and ceilings can be punctuated with dark rough wood beams. Colorful provincial printed fabrics can set against lighter-toned interiors.  If your interior is based around lighter colored walls and furniture, work with prints in blue and red, or purple and eggplant.  These warmer colors bring out the French country style.

Work With Copper- Think about accessorizing with copper pots, natural linens, and glass tableware for the kitchen areas.  Use a pot display rack in the windows above the sink or table to give that old world feel.

Decorate With Pottery- Colorful and muted pottery often adorns a French country table. Work with iron or wooden bowls for centerpieces, and iron candle stick holders to create the perfect centerpieces for your buffet tables.  Pottery, and colorful tablecloths are some of the classic marks of the French style.

La Valette Rouge Bleu cotton print by Braquenie - Pierre Frey. From the 18th century Chateau de Montgeoffroy in the French Loire Valley.

La Valette Rouge Bleu cotton print by Braquenie - Pierre Frey. From the 18th century Chateau de Montgeoffroy in the French Loire Valley.

Work With Traditional Printed Fabrics- The beautiful colors of the French countryside are seen in the traditional fabrics like basic plaids, checks, and stripes.  Classic prints combine shades of primary colors with greens, lavenders, and bright orange. Motifs include roosters, olives, sunflowers, grapes and lavender.  Often the most beautiful designs are arranged in intervals accompanied by a border.

Work With Toile - Toile has always been a traditional design seen in France.  Toile themes are often seen with animals, Chinese patterns and country scenes.  This classic 18th century look often is printed on linen or cotton.

Create Window Benches - Deeply cut window sills and benches are a feature in these old estates.  Tall, narrow windows with shutters were drawn to keep out the hot sun out in the summer. Windows and doorways often had wildly growing vines which added to the romantic aesthetic, but were functional in keeping things cool.  Create window seating which can be dressed up with bench upholstery and throw pillows.

Dried Flowers- Bright flowers are often seen in baskets, old pitchers and copper pots.  This is a fabulous way of bringing in the color lilac, orange or bright red into an interior.  Opt for the higher grade of faux flowers that have a wax type surface for your tables, or entry way consoles.  Consider installing window boxes outside to grow geraniums and lavender in the summer seasons.

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4 Unique French Style Estates- Provincial Decorating Ideas

Château de la Bourdaisière hotel

Chateau de la Bourdaisiere-www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Charles Spada's French Provence Home In Normandy- The Polish design magazine Weranda featured Boston based interior designer Charles Spada's  chateau, a former hunting lodge, located in Normandy. Charles Spada Interiors was established in 1980, after leaving a successful career as a designer of women’s apparel in New York City and Boston.  He has been known to decorate with a rich color palette, layered in high end antiques, and architectural elements such as stone and wood flooring. His work has appeared in almost every design magazine including Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and Veranda magazine as well as Boston Magazine, Design New England, New England Home Magazine and Interior Design and Architectural Digest Italy.

The Castle Of Chenonceau - This royal palace was built during the 1500s in the Renaissance style. The current château was built in 1514–1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. The bridge over the river was built (1556-1559) was designed by the French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme. After King Henry II died in 1559, his widow Catherine de' Medici made it her own residence, adding a new series of gardens. She also added rooms between the chapel and the library on the east side of the corps de logis, as well as a service wing on the west side of the entry courtyard. On Catherine's death in 1589 the château went to her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine. Read more about this palace here

A European Styled Home Designed By Eleanor Cummings

Home Beautiful featured an impressive European home designed by Eleanor Cummings in collaboration with Babs Watkins and Julie Watkins Baker. The home was transformed into a old world looking estate but started out being a typical builders model from the 1980's. Cummings added a few key architectural pieces which gave the home a classic European appearance.

The foyer reveals Louis carved walnut front doors in their original paint finish, and wood beams which were cosmetically added to the ceiling in the living room. 150 year old planks replaced old limestone floors and wood from a Scandinavian diary were used to make custom cabinetry in the kitchen.

The homes plastered walls show a palette of soft blues and platinum grays. Baker tells Home Beautiful that the color blue can be the most challenging color to get right in a room. The colors surrounding the blue can change the appearance of blue.  Natural wood warms blue up, while silver tends to do the opposite; it creates a colder appearance.

The focal points in this home cannot be missed - The antique painted Louis XV carved walnut front doors, the 18th century tapestry, and the beautiful faux finished walls, and painted furniture.

The Château de la Bourdaisière located in Loire Valley has been transformed today into a three-star hotel by the Prince Louis Albert de Broglie and his brother.  Although the chateau has had an interesting history.  In 1775, the château was partially destroyed by order of King Louis XV's most powerful Minister, Étienne François, Duc de Choiseul. In 1802 the property was acquired by Baron Joseph Angelier who undertook a massive reconstruction of the chateau, and built it back up.  Then during World War II, the château was occupied by the Nazis, and after the war because of a lack of funds from it's owner, it became run down. In 1959, its contents were auctioned off and government turned the château into a home for the elderly.  It wasn't until  1991 when it was acquired by its current owners, the Prince and Princess of Broglie that it has been transformed once again, and turned into a lavish hotel.

Louise de Lorraine, The Castle Of Chenonceau - Keywords: French Renaissance, French Decorating, French Furniture,  French Antiques, French StyleThe Castle Of Chenonceau

Louise de Lorraine, The Castle Of Chenonceau - Keywords: French Renaissance, French Decorating, French Furniture,  French Antiques, French StyleThe Castle Of Chenonceau

Louise de Lorraine, The Castle Of Chenonceau - Keywords: French Renaissance, French Decorating, French Furniture,  French Antiques, French StyleThe Castle Of Chenonceau

Continue reading 4 Unique French Style Estates- Provincial Decorating Ideas