French Farmhouse Tables For The Country Home

New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

Farmhouse tables are a rustic style of furniture, often seen in the countryside of France. The style of the table table is suitable for a simple lifestyle, one where formality is not important, but function is. The dining room table of the past served as the most practical piece of furniture a family would use through out the day.  These tables were designed to be long and large. Imagine food preparation, sewing and knitting done on one end of the table, while the children were doing their homework on the other end. In our Facebook group (Swedish & French Decorating), I posted a wonderful raw wood farmhouse table, here, and here to give you a visual on the sheer length of some of these country farmhouse tables.

There’s no strict style of what a farmhouse table looks like, but the look is always rustic in nature, large, and often rectangular. The legs of these tables differ from one table to the next. Some leg styles are straight with no design what so ever, and other tables feature turned legs. Most farmhouse tables are made from solid pine and oak wood. The table itself consists of four legs that support the table top. The design of this style of table is not complicated and is often left in it’s natural wood state, or can be seen painted. Practicality very much takes precedence over design when it comes to this style of table.

Painted Or Left Raw?

Farmhouse tables are one of the essentials in a rustic countryside home. A large table can be elegant, and dressed up or dressed down depending on the style you are after. A raw solid wood table can really be a centerpiece in a kitchen or dining area, and provide a nice contrast to a painted room.

Often times, the design is seen with the bottom apron and legs painted one color, while the top is left in its natural wood, which can be waxed, or sealed to preserve the wood. This allows the wood to be appreciated, while the painted legs might tie the room together quite nicely.

With a raw table, a layer of paint, which then can be heavily distressed may add to the rustic, shabby nature of the country. If the table is already painted, take the extra time to strip the paint off, leaving the raw wood the ability to soak in the paint. When the paint is dry, take a sander to it, and the finish will turn out spectacular.

Overall, these designs tend to be plain and simple.The design of this beautiful country style table is based around the family lifestyle. The function of this table allows for it to be dinged, gouged, and distressed over years of wear and tear. That’s the charm! Today’s entertaining takes place in the kitchen, and around the table, so invest in a great table that can last you through the years.

Other great posts featuring dining tables:

– Old World Style At It’s Very Best! A Restored 15th Century Tuscan Villa- Primitive Decor Ideas

-How To Antique Your Furniture Yourself- Primitive Decor Ideas

-Primitives: Colonial Decorating Ideas- Primitive Decor Ideas

-Sturbridge Rectangular Dining Set- Primitive Decor Ideas

-The BEST NEW English Inspired Dining Sets-Primitive Decor Ideas

-Primitive Wood Tables- The Swedish Furniture

-Gustavian Oak Weathered Dining Room Tables- The Swedish Furniture

-The Very Best Swedish Wood Outdoor Furniture- The Swedish Furniture

36 French Landscaping Looks For Your Back Yard

French style decorating has become so popular because of beauty of the the old world looks that are associated with the style.  There are a couple of elements that you can incorporate into your landscaping and the type of furniture you choose which will give you the classic French looks found in Provence.

1.  Consider replacing your lawn with gravel.  It sounds like a bad idea right?  Create texture using raised garden beds, and add in patio furniture, water gardens, which adds a lot more texture than just plain grass.

Consider showcasing the lawn that you do have.  If you have rectangular backyard, consider cutting around your lawn, forming a circle shape in the center of your property. A circular or square pattern which you can edge with stone or coordinating greenery can give you more of a designer look.

2.  Add In Rustic Container Gardens- Garden style urns can really capture the old world romance that you see in Versailles.  Paint can do wonders to those new resin urns that you see at home depot.  To get a rustic look, start with painting your urn an oil paint in flat black.  After it dries, mix together sand and brown paint and apply it to the urn.  When it is almost dry, take the hose, and spray water on the urn.  The pressure of the water will create a natural distressed effect that doesn’t look like you painted it yourself.  Consider using this picture as your inspiration.

3. Create Order In Your Backyard- Pair common elements together to create a landscape that looks like it was designed by the pros.  Plant fruit trees, instead of regular trees that will mature and produce dozens of fruit from year to year.  Line up urns, and patio chairs along the edges.  Line up shrubs and hedges in a row to draw special attention to these selected areas.

4. Consider investing in metal furniture that you don’t have to shelter over the winter.  Having a large yard is a lot of maintenance.  Wood furniture over time can root if it is left in the snow, while metal furniture, does a lot better in winter conditions. If you can shelter your furniture, do!  If you cannot, purchase clear plastic shower curtains at your local dollar store to drape over some of your furniture.  Wood, and metal furniture can be touched up with paint from year to year.

5.  Folding outdoor furniture is really popular in France.  Consider investing in a set of folding chairs which you can paint.  Any sort of metal furniture will create the French mood you are after.  Don’t worry if the furniture you choose is vintage, as anything can be improved with paint.  Metal garden pots, posts, fences, chairs are all elements that are commonly seen in the French countryside.  You cannot go wrong with anything metal in your back yard if you are after the French look.



3 Easy Old World French Elements To Add To Your Home Part 1

This beautiful farmhouse was newly constructed and sits between the sea and mountains of the south of Catalonia, Spain.  The house is decorated in the French country style. Borrow the best looks from this house for your own home.  Below we offer three suggestions that will give you the biggest impact for gaining the French country look in your home.

1. Old Plastered Walls

Old Plastered walls will give you an old world look automatically.  Nothing will change the appearance of your home MORE than a faux wall finish.  While there are so many finishes to choose from, it doesn’t have to be complicated.  Today there are a large range of concrete/ plaster molds that are available to FAKE a stone wall in your home.  ALSO, applying plaster that is mixed with paint can be an easy faux finish that  any person can make.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Consider adding texture to your smooth walls to give a inexpensivecomparable look to stone walls.

Consider adding texture to the walls using joint compound. (It is important that you test this look on a sheet of wood before applying it to your walls to see of you like the appearance before adding plaster. Practice makes perfect)  Simply apply a thin coat (1/4″ thick) of compound to the wall, using the flat edge of the joint knife. A thicker coat of plaster might crack and fall off, so working with thinner coats is ideal.   Experiment with creating various surface textures. Use a broom to create a striated, or a paint brush to create texture in the plaster.  Experiment with textures that look genuine.  When the textured surface is complete, let the wall compound dry for about 24 hours.  With a paintbrush, apply pale-pink semigloss paint to the wall.   Apply two coats of paint to seal the drywall compound. After your wall has dried, apply a glaze onto the wall with a wide paintbrush. Your glaze should be a slightly darker color of the paint color on wall.  A very light muted  yellow mixed with glaze would also make a terrific glaze.   Simply paint the glaze on, and wipe off the excess glaze with a cotton cloth.  The glaze will collect in the crevices giving the appearance of an aged look.

A large amount of faux plaster stone molds are available.  Plaster is pretty inexpensive, making this project very affordable.  The only down side to these molds, is it will take you a long time to make enough to cover a wall.

To read more details about this beautiful home, visit Campagne Decoration.


4 Ways To Get The French Provence Look For Less

French Style

 French Style Featured On The Essence Of Frenchness

Creating the Provencal country style in your home starts with the right colors, furnishings and decor. Here are some of the main must-haves to create this relaxed, elegant French Country decorating style.

1.  Go Bold With The Wall Colors

A home can be instantly transformed with color.  A color palette will govern all the other decorating considerations for your home.

French Provence style has always been known for their vibrant color choices.  The color palette has always been governed by the colors found in the flowers and landscape, so it is no wonder why vibrant blues, purples and greens have always been dominant colors in the Provence home.

You may want a muted palette with warm elegant furnishings, such as raw aged wicker, neutral ticking for upholstery, stone and raw wood to take the focal interest.  In this instance, consider accenting your home with the richer shades such as browns, found in the soils. Provence style was greatly influenced by the landscape of France, and inviting the colors found in nature  into your home will instantly change the tone.

2.  Architectural Elements

Consider introducing character into your home with architectural elements.  Ditch some of the modern looks in your home with something with age and old looks.  Exchange out your kitchen hardware, light switches, chandeliers, lamps, door hardware, sink faucets with older hardware with patina and age.  You can find brand new hardware with the old world patina and looks.

– Change out the lighting to a French crystal chandelier.  Consider investing the time into installing some antique sconces on the walls in your bathrooms, and bedroom.  Light from the wall will give your room the look of candles, than the overhead lighting we are used to.

-Consider hanging iron plaques above your stove.  Some of the plaques are quite large, and painted, making it a focal piece behind the stove, which is often hard to dress up.

-Wall Molding doesn’t have to be complicated.  Check out this easy DIY wall idea which could totally transform the look of your walls.

Interesting Articles:

-Buying Secondhand Cabinets: Yay or Nay? Cabinet Hardware Ideas

-Handles, Knobs, or Pulls: Which Type of Hardware Is Best for Your Room? Cabinet Hardware Ideas

-Using Cabinet Hardware to Bring Life to a Dull Kitchen or Bathroom – Cabinet Hardware Ideas

-5 Ways to Dress Up Worn-Out Furniture & Cabinetry- Cabinet Hardware Ideas

3.  Improve Vintage French Furniture

Invest in great pieces, and improve vintage furniture pieces with new upholstery.  My motto has always been “trade up”.  Fill your home with great inexpensive pieces, and as you find better ones, trade out the inexpensive pieces, with better quality furniture.  Your home can look fantastic with second hand furniture.  Often times some of the best pieces are the ones that you put some time and effort into.  A vintage French chair can be stripped of it’s paint, and re-painted, stained and upholstered.  A French sofa can be professionally upholstered and loved for 50 + years.  A side table and dresser can be the spotlight in a bedroom, and a small French side table can steal the attention with brighter paint and gold accents.  Collect pieces you love, and invest your time in making them better.

4.  Go With Solid Pecan Finishes

Balance out brighter wall colors with solid wood stained furniture.  You can buy vintage french furniture and strip it down to the solid wood.  You can find spectacular pieces on ebay, at garage sales or second hand stores.

One thing I have learned along the years, is stripping furniture paint is well worth the effort.  Wood can be painted, and then sanded down to look antique with the solid wood peeking through.  Stripping the paint down to the solid wood, also allows you to stain a piece a custom shade.  Consider investing in a heat gun.  This is one tool, I wish someone told me about years ago.  For less than $30 dollars, you can remove paint quicker without shelling out tons of money in stripper.  It enables you to use less stripper, remove more paint faster, making removing paint bearable.

Traditional Provence Furniture is usually made of walnut and either left a natural brown and polished to a high sheen, or painted. Pecan stains are found in the most elegant French homes.  For an authentic look, consider this stain first before others for that authentic Provence look.

Styled By:Mandy Keener Photographer:Nancy Nolan

At Home in Arkansas featured some beautiful photos of a home decorated around the old world interiors we see in Italy and France.  The house itself looks as if it were European, but in fact, this home is right here in the USA!  The homeowners wanted something country and rustic, borrowing from the classic looks found in France.

Here are some tips from the article:

“In the bath, we did limestone floors, but in a different way by insetting red Indian onyx. That red shows up in the French gothic revival altar from Avignon, which we used as a vanity. The kitchen island is inset with a single basin, extra-deep, bronze sink.”

The bathroom shows a fabulous cast iron bath with an exterior color matched to the paint on the bathroom walls.  ” We wanted it to appear old, as if it needed to be filled with water by hand. And the faucet is in the middle so you can lie on either end of the tub and look out over the balcony. That allowed us to take advantage of the wall space and to approach the bathroom in a different way. If it were my house, I’d enjoy a glass of wine there every evening.”

– Cottage Of The Week in France- Home Bunch

3 Easy Old World French Elements To Add To Your Home Part 2

See this chandelier here

19th Century French Iron Metal Folding Daybed Berkshire Home & Antiques

2. The Use Of Metal

In French decor, metal is a very important element, especially iron. One very easy way to incorporate forged iron is with curtain rods and curtain hold-backs.   Modern hardware can be traded out for iron hardware.  This simple improvement can make all the difference in a home.

Take a good look at your lighting.  Often times, you can quickly fix ceiling lighting simply with spray paint.  Rust-oluem produces a wonderful spray called Oil- Rubbed which gives a wonderful metallic bronze finish that looks genuine.  Rustoleum also produces a spray that simulates aged iron.  For under 20 dollars you can make over much of the metal in your home with inexpensively.  Adding a good primer can ensure that your finish lasts several years.  After trying a dozen of primers, I have found when it comes to covering metal, that using an automobile primer has been what has worked the best for me in the past.  Finding a primer in black is not an easy find.  Although Rustoleum produces an auto primer that works quite well.  Auto paints can be very very toxic to breath in.  So it is best to do spray painting outside, as well it is imperitive to wear a proper safety mask to ensure that your lungs are protected.  This is a great way of improving some of the little details around your home which will make a big impact.

Iron shelves can be put above doorways, or under kitchen cabinets for a very rustic appearance.  Use iron shelving in your bathrooms for extra storage.  The color and texture of the iron adds a touch of boldness that metals used nowadays don’t  have.

-Cast Iron Bird Knocker $13

-Esschert Design Quarter Round Etagere Plant Rack $134

-Esschert Design Cast Iron Wall Shelf with Hooks $52

-Esschert Design  Cast Iron Game Wall Hook $54

-Esschert Design XH61-AR Large French Urn $101

-Esschert DesignBird Large $13, Sitting Iron Bird, $13

-Esschert Design Boot Rack/Scraper for 2 pairs of boots $79

-Esschert Design DB56 Cast Iron Welcome Sign $19

-16″ Decorative Flowing Scroll Bathroom Towel Holder $60

-Elizabeth Narrow Towel Rack $49

-Set of 2 Vintage French Antique Silver Vanity Mirror Home Decor $64

-30.75″ Weathered Wooden and Iron Bistro Table with Scroll Accents $279

-27″ Black Iron Leaf & Scroll Lantern-Style Table Top Candle Holder $151

-Counterflory Recipe Book Holder $33

-Secrets du Potager Herb and Flower Dryer $18

-Secrets du Potager Harvest Baskets, Set of 3 $74

Cast Iron Shoe Scraper with Brush $53

-Cast Iron Umbrella Stand $86

– Large Wasp Trap with Decorative Cast Iron Holder $35

-Cast Iron Wall Mount Hose Holder $46

-Half Round Cast Iron Wall Planter $41

Other Interesting Ideas :

Iron Jardiniere Planters

-Ornate French Chateau Style Brown Iron Desk Clock $38

-Iron Wall Hook Home Decor $13

-Palazetto Fleur Cast Aluminum Bistro Set Color – Antique Wine $219

-Secrets du Potager Wire Mannequin Display Figure $181

-Esschert Design USA ZB16 Glass Cloche $54

-Esschert Design OZ13 Old Zinc Finish Round Table $133

-Esschert Design USA BR03 Bird Hook Bracket $15.48

-Set of Three White Metal Flower Pots In Metal Saucer $16

-Esschert Design USA White Metal Bucket with Wood Handle $16

-21″ Antique-Style Vanity Mirror with Two-Tier Tray $74

-Set of 3 Open Design Birdcage-Inspired Wire Urns with Finial Lids $140

-36″ Giant Wire Mesh Hanging Three-Tier Wall Shelf Rack $230


A Restored Farmhouse In Provence, France


When the three farm buildings merged to create a single luxurious home, the result was a functional, yet beautiful to live in.  A trio of worn 1850s structures in Provence was transformed into a single, spacious farmhouse. Renovating a trio of Provence farm buildings wasn’t an easy process. It all started with two decrepit houses and a gaping barn in between. Today the three buildings are linked together, which are seen as one whole home with all the modern comforts and old-world charm. Old beams and stonework were preserved, and the new stonework was created mimic the original.  A wisteria-shaded pergola is the perfect spot for taking in the tranquil scene of the stone-edged reflecting pool. The house’s original structural beams are displayed in the living room area, enhanced by the patina of generations of paint.   To add depth to these beams, the flaking and peeling layers were lightly sanded to reveal the wood with just a touch of subtle colour. Double living rooms bring an open floor plan to the main level of the home. These two rooms are linked by newly constructed arch.  A fruitwood-topped buffet running along the rear wall of the large living room provides display space for the homeowner’s antiques.

In the kitchen area, old stone gives this room an old Provence feel.  Wooden cupboard fronts, and limewash blends the shelving subtly with the rest of architecture.  An antique Italian mirror at the top of the stairs makes a strong statement.  A trumeau mirror is heavily distressed and works nicely with a rustic wood pedistal which sits am urn with a splash of red foliage.  One of the bedrooms shows an saturated blue painted ceiling and beams.  The bathroom shows off a pair of porcelain basins were mounted into a country table.


All images and information from Remodeling Center.

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating



Drew Barrymore’s French Inspired LA Office

Drew Barrymore's French Inspired LA Office

Interior designer Ruthie Sommers designed this one of a kind office for super maga star Drew Barrymore seen in Domino Magazine.  “I’m not a paper pusher,” Barrymore says. “My goal is to be creative, which is why my work space is playful and full of images that are thought-provoking and inspire me.”

“Drew decorates intuitively. She falls in love with individual pieces—and somehow they always end up working together,” says designer Ruthie Sommers.

A linen-covered corkboard serves as a map of the actor-producer-director’s mind and inherently collage-y aesthetic.   Drew’s office is a mixture of her favorite things she says, and when it is all combined together, it just works!

Questions for Drew Barrymore – How did you connect with Ruthie?

From the first issue of domino. She was on the cover, holding her dog—she looked like a cool chick. I saw what she had done with her own home, and it was the exact same aesthetic I was drawn to, so we met and I realized we really did see eye to eye. That started the renovation process and a wonderful, inspiring friendship.

Ruthie says that all of you could open an interior-design company together.

Fun is always the first order of business. We get so much pleasure from having a vision and then seeing it through. To have something in your mind and then watch it come alive is so thrilling.

Your office incorporates a variety of styles. What’s your favorite piece?

I believe you can combine anything. I love my globe, record player and horseshoe, and I’m crazy for my antique gold scissors and my Lucite stepladder that has two bronze deer bookends on it.

Breathtaking French Provincial Office Furniture

French Secretary Tiered Desk – GBP 4,295.00 by Sweetpea & Willow

In many homes, space is at a premium so many home owners need to think strategically about how to best use the space they have available.   The dining room is a great option for a space that can double as a home office, while at the same time functioning as an area to eat.  In many modern homes, the dining room is left unused, so why not turn it into an area that functions for a secondary business?  In some homes, space is very limited after the kids all get their own rooms, so family rooms need to be thought out.

If you’re thinking about using your dining room in this way, then consider investing in a secretary desk, which can hold a computer, keyboard, which can house all the computer equipment, leaving the dining room table left clean for dinners.  Slant desks are perfect for dining room furniture as they often have  additional cabinet space that could  house extra books and binders for school or business.  At the same time, they close up so you don’t need to see the computer keyboard, and all the mess that everyone has while they are working or studying.  You may also want to get a sideboard that can double up as a filing cabinet.


An antique Louis XV desk of rosewood and fruitwood with marquetry inlay and original ormolu and hardware.

Painted open front Biblitheque with barooque bonnet

Rare 18th Louis Xv Century French Oak Desk, Vintage 1950 French Secretary Desk Louis XV

French Provincial Louis XV Painted Chestnut Bibliotheque – This white painted, display cabinet or bookcase displays a moulded cornice above a conforming, paneled case enclosing open shelves, on a plinth base. It offers great display space and storage. Eron Johnson Antiques

This large and impressive French writing desk is hand-painted in antique white and rubbed down considerably to achieve a heavily distressed vintage look. It features four small drawers below four classic pigeon holes. The shapely legs and scalloped underside make this a wonderfully sophisticated piece of French furniture

Louis XV Polychrome Painted Two Part Breakfronted Bibliotheque– A French Louis XV Polychrome Painted Two Part Walnut, Beech and Oak Breakfronted Bibliotheque C1780, the uppermost with molded conforming cornice above the paneled and scrolled sides with a pair of inset screened doors flanked by outer conforming screened doors, each with thumb molded decoration and with arched asymmetrical tops and center panels enclosing shelves, above a base section with four solid arched panel doors on a plinth base.


Country Styled Home in Lourmarin, Provence

This serene house located in Lourmarin, south of France, belongs to Marie and Frédéric who fell in love with the home and the lifestyle they found in Provence.   The house was renovated with help from the locals, and most of the furniture for the home was also made from a local carpenter which added a  personal touch and a connection to the region itself.  The interior of the home was designed around the Provence style found in the countryside of France.  Concrete walls, metal window frames, stone tiled floors which were complemented with stone colours such as purples and pinks.  You won’t find anything unnecessary in this home; the furniture and decor has been well thought out.

This house was abandoned for decades before it was lovingly restored. The owners did a great job keeping the old features of the house authentic to the region.  Exposed brick walls, old wooden beams and stone floors added the elements found in old world France.  By adding a few modern architectural elements such as the staircase and plumbing, allowed this home to functional.   The muted colour palate which revolved around sand colours such as light blue, greens, greys and pinks worked with the authentic colors found in Provence.

Consider the color palette for your own home. Combinations of dusty pink and mauve work quite nicely with mink, grey, cream and milky coffee shades.  These tones can add warmth in a home decorated around the rustic elements found in the countryside of France.  Neutral tones and natural materials, such as stone and wicker add that country element, while the modern furniture give this home a happy mix of the new and old.


Photos from   Photo: Nicolas Mathéus