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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

70 Picture Inspirations Of French Provence Style Interiors

Old World French Provence Homes- maison-deco

Grand Provence Style-maison-deco.com

French furniture in the 17th and 18th centuries has been considered to be some of the most breathtaking furniture in history. In 1610 when Louis XIII took the throne, the furniture styles around the regions of France started developing their own signature styles. In Provence, furnishings were carved from walnut, while in Normandy, oak was popular for making armoires, buffets, and vaisseliers.

The Provencal style has always been inspired by the beautiful colors of France.  The atmosphere of the countryside picks up the bright colors of lavender, yellow, mint and blue.  Provencal style changes with the colors of the seasons.  The dirt and natural settings seen around France has been the inspiration for earthenware and ceramic hand-painted pottery.

Some of the key elements of this style are stone flooring, rustic furniture,wrought iron accessories,  tin enamel, painted pottery, raw cotton and linen.  Architectural elements such as beams and alcoves,  basin sinks, concrete corbels bring in the antique elements we all desire and admire. Soft, linen curtains and heavy linen upholstery has been a timeless choice for sofas, side chairs, slipcovers and cushions.  The perfection of raw-wood furniture has been thought to be a noble choice for furnishings for centuries.  Working with rustic hardware, such as wrought iron brings to mind the pastoral, country living that many people find refuge in.  It is not only a style, but a way of life that is deeply anchored in a traditional way of life.

moissonnier 2007 CD 022

Moissonnier Furniture

Old World French Provence Homes- maison-deco.com

Old World French Provence Homes- maison-deco.com

French Provincial Buffets

Bassett French Provincial Buffet Painted Black

Bassett French Provincial Buffet

The French provincial style has stood the test-of-time. Today, like in the past, the French Provincial look is essential to competing the classic french country interiors, Swedish styles, and shabby chic styles.

Buffets have always been a must in every dining room but also have been re-purposed as entry way cabinets, tv cabinets and also re purposed bathroom sink vanities.

The classic buffet furniture consists of buffet tables, buffet cabinets, buffet hutches, buffet sets, and sideboards. Depending on what you may need for functionality each piece offers something different.

A hutch which comes with a buffet is perfect for china display and presentation. If you are a avid collector, hutches are the perfect solution, as you still have the extra cabinet storage in the buffet.

A buffet cabinet provides the storage space you may need to store glasses and extra dishes, while the top is a tabletop you could use for display or extra space to hold food when family comes over and the dining table is crowded. It is great providing extra food space, allowing you to feature your food instead of cramming it all on the table or ushering your company into the kitchen.

Buffet tables usually do not provide any storage, but are attractive in that it is an extra working table top similar to the buffet cabinet but without the storage. The table serves as an extra tabletop for entertaining, and also allows for decorative display in your dining room, living room, and kitchen.

Dan Carithers French Provincial Designs

Dan Carithers October 1999- Featured on Magpies and Magnolias Blog

Now retired after a 50-year career creating rooms photographed for shelter mags like Veranda, House Beautiful, Traditional Home and Southern Accents, Carithers rooms still remain current, and is often the most blogged about designer around.  In 2003, Carithers was named one of House Beautiful’s “Giants of Design”—the highest honor bestowed by the magazine; it’s only been given to a handful of honorees during its 100-year history.

Dan Carithers grew up in small town Jefferson, Georgia, and first gained notoriety as the design director for home furnishings at Rich’s Department Store.   The job had an added bonus of being able to travel abroad which exposed Carithers to the latest home fashions and antiques from London and Paris. Carithers launched his own firm, and also established a long-time consulting position with Baker Furniture, and created an high-end upholstery line with Sherrill Furniture.

Carithers tends to lean towards the elegant side of decorating.  Antique-filled homes with bold punches of color is a signature style of Dan Carithers. He suggests to pick out your accent color first, and repeat it throughout the house.  As you can see in many of his designs, he tends to use neutrals on the walls, such as chocolate browns, creams and beige.  Carithers often used mirrors to expand light, using slipcovers that often left the bones of the chair exposed.  He often utilizes thought-out pieces for his rooms often looking around for the perfect choice.  He mentions that a chair can have great impact in the direction of a room.


Dan Carithers French Style Decorating – Carither’s Home Featured in Southern Accents 

Dan Carithers French Style Decorating – Carither’s Home Featured in Southern Accents

Dan Carithers French Style Decorating  Featured in Southern Accents

Dan Carithers French Style Decorating – Carither’s Home Featured in Southern Accents

Dan Carithers- Southern Accents Magazine

Dan Carithers Traditional Home Magazine

Dan Carithers French Style Decorating – Carither’s Home Featured in Southern Accents

Southern Accents Oct 1997

Kitchens I Have Loved Blog scanned in some pictures of the Carithers Home which show a provence styled interior

Carithers Home –Kitchens I Have Loved Blog

Carithers Home –Kitchens I Have Loved Blog

 Dan Carithers In Veranda Magazine

Traditional HomeDan Carithers- Featured On Developing Design Blog

 Dan Carithers October 1999- Featured on Magpies and Magnolias Blog

Dan Carithers October 1999- Featured on Magpies and Magnolias Blog

Dan Carithers October 1999- Featured on Magpies and Magnolias Blog

Dan Carithers October 1999- Featured on Magpies and Magnolias Blog

Dan Carithers October 1999- Featured on Magpies and Magnolias Blog



Historical French Provincial Color Palettes

French Provence Decorating Colors

French Provence Decorating Colors Flesh Pink, Burnt Orange, Beige, Washed Green- From Shabby Chic Mania

Today we see many modern day French inspired interiors bathed in grays and beige and natural woods.  A huge design trend has gravitated towards Greige, a color combination of both gray and beige.  Although, which these calming neutral shades, I truly believe we will see a trend historical colors come about, particularly with those who are passionate about French decorating.

The rustic details found in Provence are found in the rich colors of old world plaster walls, the details of the natural elements such as wood and stone and the distressing that occurs over time found in the French antiques.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape area is typical of the southern France countryside- Picture Credit

Looking through many historical French Provence homes, a wide range of pinks, and oranges hues are found in their exterior buildings.  Americans tend not to gravitate towards these colors because they are simply just not found in America’s heritage, but the color palette is very common to France.  Orange, pink and yellow are common colors found in France.

 Charles Spada Interiors Seen on The Boxwood Terrace Blog.

As you can see in the picture by Charles Spada, the color of orange with hues of pink really works just perfect with the wall cameos which merge together in the same color family of gold and beige.

Shades of orange, pink and yellow all work hand in hand in the French historical palette. What captured my attention is the Empire Chest. 

Empire chests are not normally painted because they often feature exquisite mahogany veneers, which are just as stunning to look at as Burl wood.

Though if you look at the color of the chest, it is a color often found in French Provence decorating that we often don’t include in our French decorating in the west.  Today, French decorating is so dominated by shades of gray and white.

Though there is such beauty in the  shades of orange, beige, blue and dark shades of rusty brown.

French Provence Decorating Colors

Beautiful Provence Colors In Pinks and Oranges From About.com

French Provence Decorating Colors

Provence Decorating Colors Using Pinks Oranges, Burnt Orange and Blue From Chic Provence Blog

Provence Decorating Colors

 French Provence Colors From Fuoriborgo

Elise Valdorcia Patina

 French Provence Colors –Elise Valdorcia & Patina

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

If you are hoping to add more of the warm reds, browns and oranges, consider terracotta  tiles, often found to be square in shape.

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

 Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

frenchstyleauthority.com-10 Ways To Use Pink Orange and Coral In Your Home

More Inspiration!

frenchstyleauthority.com-How TO Decorate With Purple In French Styled Interiors

More Inspiration!

frenchstyleauthority.com-How To Paint Black Furniture-A Dozen Examples Of Exceptional Black Painted Furniture

More Inspiration!



Decorating With The Color Green French Provence Style

Color Inspiration

Color Inspiration from here, , here, here, and here

There are so many ways to decorate with green, where do you start?   One starting point is to find a shade that you love.   Borrow color combination ideas from vintage packaging.  French packaging often pairs together colors that just work with one another.

Here are just a few of the colors that are found in France……

Artichoke – the color of fresh uncooked artichoke.

Fern Green is a vivid shade of green that resembles ferns. Fern green was used in 1902.

Laurel green is a medium light hue of greenish gray, first used as a color in 1705.

Myrtle green, represents the color of the leaves of the Myrtle plant, first used as a color in 1835

Teal is a dark cyan color that is seen on the neck of a duck.  – Colors From Wikipedia

How To Decorate With Shades of Green

– Add In Green Foliage – Don’t forget the blossoms, says Nicole Sforza. “Consider green (or greenish) flowers. Forsythia branches, which bloom yellow before sprouting bright green leaves, look great on the console. The Billy buttons, arranged in a light green vase on the table, can last up to two weeks. Also try Lenten roses, which have soft green flowers and foliage.” Real Simple Magazine

– Use Muted Shades of Green– In this link, Martha Stewart shows off 24 of the best rooms decorated around green that were originally featured in her magazines over the years.  In all the pictures, one common trait exists, – she uses old world colors that are muted.

– Pair Natural Wood With Lighter Blues and Green Painted Walls Natural Wood Tones– Stephanie Hoppen says “sandy beiges, and limewash finishes balance barely-there blue rooms. And don’t forget about paint finishes. Chalky flat finishes are warm, while shiny blues will give a bit of a chill”

– Use Muted Softer Colors In Main Rooms, And Brighter Ones In Less Used Rooms– Sasha Emerson, an interior designer says  “When choosing a blue hue, consider how often you’re in the room. For example, don’t choose a very bold blue for a living room — you might tire of the color. Save it for a den or a playroom and pick a more serene tone for central living spaces”

Cooler Tones Can Work With Glass or Mirrors -Stephanie Hoppen says “Frosty blues are elegant with soft creams and shiny accents such as glass. Take the chill off icy colors by teaming them with warm browns, reds, or oranges”

– Pair Jewel Tones Together -Jennifer Flanders says, “The color emerald is synonymous with wealth, prosperity and luxury, so I think it naturally works with other colors that evoke the same air of richness and elegance.  Many other jewel tones mix well with emerald green, but in particular I love this color with deep blues and shimmery golds.”

Farrow-and-Ball Paint

Color Combinations- Real Simple Magazine gives us 4 color combinations.

  • Pair together moss green and soft blue.  Think about colors that play off nature.  The soft colors found in trees, and sky.  You can go bolder with both colors, or really soft subtle shades in the ligher hues.
  • Sea Foam Green and Chocolate.  Think about darker floors, with painted green distressed furniture.  Chocolate walls, with lighter green accessories.  Sea-foam wall colors, with darker rustic WOOD accessories.
  • Consider the classic Rugby- Kelly green and bright white. Go for a bit of a bold contrast with the brilliant Kelly green and white as an accent.
  • Pair together lime green and soft pink.  These two colors can give a soft appearance.  Consider filling an over-sized glass vase with pink cherry blossoms.

Shades of Green

 Home Beautiful’s Color Selections

The Oprah Winfrey Collection

The Oprah Winfrey Collection

Check out my favorite pieces from Oprah’s collection here

Cabinet Bonnier de La MossonCabinet Bonnier de La Mosson

Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson (1702 – 1744), was a French aristocrat who loved science and began collecting exotic insects, snakes, shells and birds. These wooden cases were acquired in 1744 when they were auctioned off following the death of Joseph Bonnier de la Maison, whom was an extremely knowledgeable amateur scientist and connoisseur of art.

They were installed in the King’s Garden Room. Inside these five units made from Dutch wood decorated with serpents a collection of preserved [“dried”] animals. In 1935, the cabinets were disassembled, and were installed permanently in the the Museum of Natural History in the Jardin des Plantes central library in 1979. They are considered an “Historic Monument.”

Borrow this look for yourself, by painting your French furniture a muted shade of light green, and use a shade of white paint to bring out the carved features in your french furniture….

Frederic Mechiehe’s Provence Home In Hyeres

When Frederic Mechiehe arrived at this chateau in Normandy, he was faced with decaying floors and a missing roof. Everything in this home had to be reassembled or “faked”. Period style wooden stairs were installed and artificially worn and hollowed by an industrial sanding machine. The stone floor with black marble lozenges were also added. In this picture, the only thing genuinely to be period is the Louis XVI barometer on the wall. Taken From-Rooms To Remember – Interiors Inspired by the Past By Barbara Stoeltie.

Interior designer, Frederic Mechiche is known quite well in France for re-creating the old world interiors that many of us dream about.  So it comes at no surprise that his own home would be fulled with beautiful French antiques, and breathtaking detail.  His home is located in Hyeres, which is the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France.  Hyères is the oldest resort on the French Riviera.  His home, a fourteenth-century fisherman’s cottage which has retained much of it’s architectural elements  The details which are preserved give the home warmth and depth, and a sense of story behind the charming details.  The irregular walls, original plasterwork and ancient floors have all remained true to their original form and provide some interest.

Avant-Gardenist on Flicker features the chapter that covers Frederic Mechiche in the book Rooms To Remember – Interiors Inspired by the Past By Barbara Stoeltie. Here are few excerpts from the book:

“Whatever the reason, the desire for the patina of a bygone era is very powerful. Frederic Mechichc, one of France’s most prominent designers, has busied himself in his old fisherman’s house in the south of France in an attempt to “deceive the eye”, furiously attacking his walls with a hammer and having them re-stuccoed as many times as necessary to achieve an age-worn surface.Mechiche has proved over the years that he is a master of the most complicated means of achieving an illusion of age. He has stained his walls with pigment, milk, and coffee, ground away at the edges of a stone staircase to create the impression ot wear, and applied layers of paint to a wall, only to scrape them off later to obtain a multi-layered that could have been caused by centuries of repainting.”

” A few years ago, however,he managed to overcome his horror of the French Riviera for long enough to visit a friend in the area who claimed to have found a haven of peace. Strolling through the narrow, twisting streets of an ancient town with a Romanesque church, he was suddenly confronted with “a small, tall house, eaten away by time, unusually beautiful, and up for sale.” The estate agents description of “warped” floors and “appalling” condition were enough to whet his appetite. Mechiehe was on the lookout tor things authentic and deeply suspicious ot terms like “luxury,” “frilly restored,”and “impeccable,” saying “I’d rather contemplate a door and a few windows with their paint peeling off!” Where the patina of centuries did not exist, Frederic Mechiche invented it. First of all, he astonished the whole neighborhood by climbing up a ladder and plastering……  the entire surface of his facade with an ocher paste,daubing it with evil-smelling mud, and drenching the result with hundreds of gallons of greasy, opaque water to recreate the effect of age. Then a team of masons,
carpenters, and painters came and went for six months, and Mechiehe spent weeks going around the demolition yards of the region, tracking down eighteenth-century architectural salvage”

If you like the pictures featured in Rooms To Remember – Interiors Inspired by the Past consider buying the book….

More About Rooms To Remember:

The Stoelties, regular contributors to World of Interiors magazine, depict European and American interiors that use the period of their historic buildings to inspire their interiors. Rather than authentic re-creations of period decorating, these interiors have been designed to combine contemporary decorating styles with historic furniture and decorative accessories”

Barbara Stoeltie has been a regular contributor to The World of Interiors since 1984 and regularly collaborates with her husband Rene’ on magazine articles.Rene’ Stoeltie’s own interiors have been featured in Decoration Internationale, and his photographic work has appeared in magazines all over the world, including The World of Interiors, House and Garden, Elle, Country Homes and Interiors, Harper’s Bazaar, Colonial Homes, and Classic Homes.

Timeless Interiors: Rooms Inspired by the Past by Barbara Stoeltie and Rene Stoeltie– Timeless Interiors is about capturing the romance of the past without throwing away your washing machine and living in an old fashioned way. Primarily an inspirational source book, it shows how to recreate the tricks designers use: she shows why a room looks romantic and how to get that effect through colors, paint, wallpaper, flower arrangements or still-lives on a shelf. The opening chapter of the book is a detailed story of the featured houses. The following sections are divided room by room: halls, sitting rooms, studies, bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms.

Picture Credits

Picture Credits are due to Sotto Il Monte Vineyards Blog, whom scanned in all these beautiful pictures below.  The original source is – Mediterranean Living By Lisa Lovatt-Smith

Other Beautiful Posts By Sotte Il Monte Vineyards Blog

Christian Tortu – Design Inspiration – Christian Tortu is one of the leading floral designers in France

– Charleston Interior Designer Amelia Handegan’s summer house at Folly Beach

Additional Links:

French Style Authority Blog– French Decorator Frédéric Méchiche

Elle Decor -In a former office building, French decorator Frédéric Méchiche re-creates 18th-century grandeur for a couple who also love contemporary art.

Trouvais Blog– An 18th century Venetian églomisé mirror are from Frédéric Méchiche’s Paris apartment in the January 1994 issue of World of Interiors photographed by René Stoeltie.

Door Sixteen Blog–  Interior designer Frédéric Méchiche‘s 1712 home in le Marais, which he calls “a tribute to Bauhaus in Paris”.

My Best Interior Design Ideas– Interior Designer Frederic Mechiche’s apartment in Paris

Interior Archive– Interior designer Frederic Mechiche’s Parisien home was once 3 separate apartments that he has reorganized to form one light, harmonious apartment on two floors with the guiding idea of creating something of the feel of a small Directoire townhouse. Remodelled with salvaged wooden panelling, period stone floors, cornicing and mouldings the space has the laid back organic feel

Frederic Mechiche in the book Rooms To Remember – Interiors Inspired by the Past By Barbara Stoeltie.

The Extra Room- 6 French Provence Decorating Ideas

Sewing Room: No Cats Allowed

Coorengel And Calvagrac Bordeaux Library

Coorengel And Calvagrac Bordeaux Library- Elle Decor

Perhaps your children have left the nest, or you are newly married without children and you have that one extra bedroom that seems to be void of any life. You sit at the entry way deciding what to do but haven’t found a use for the room, other than a second bedroom or storage.

If you are wondering what to do with a spare room, and are looking for ideas to fill the space, we give you 7 really practical ideas to make that extra room functional, while at the same time fitting in with your French Provence countryside style.

1.  A Library

The suggestion of turning that extra room into the library, instead of a craft room,  just may convince your husband to fork out several hundred on a new built in for his, or should I say….. your books.   Men love cigar rooms, rooms where the can watch football games, so if you are into compromising, this may be the perfect idea that would work for the both of you.

Consider Provence Colors For The Extra Punch

The library of a French château decorated by Michael Coorengel and Jean-Pierre Calvagrac (above) features a French style, brighter color palette.  Colors like bright green, sunny yellow, vivid turquoise, and deep teal are exactly the type of shades that originally would have been used at Versailles. Lets face it, colors fade over 300 years, so the colors we today in Versailles, are not the colors that were originally chosen. Don’t be afraid of going with brighter paint colors.  Have fun accessorizing with a French settee and reading chairs.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed With The Cost Of A Library

Yes, built in’s can cost thousands, but it doesn’t have to.  Blogger Joni Webb transformed an extra bedroom into a library and reveals some of the in-progress photos.  In this photo, you can see how one would assemble the bookshelves, which then would be completed using strips of wood which gives the overall look a professional finish.  Paint your bookcases, and add custom lights, and a window bench and you have a room that looks and feels French.  Look at Joni’s room after here. It is a dream library.

Perfect French Furniture

-Zentique  Jute Bastille Sofa, Jute $3930, matching chair, $2600

-Wingback Chair, Natural Oak/Linen $1020

-Zentique Genevieve Sofa $3500

-Zentique Maison Sofa Natural Oak Natural Linen $2300

2.  A Serious Closet

Now that the kids are out of the house, you can spend some serious money on those handbags you always desired, show case the jewelry you have collected over the years, and the shoes you can only wear in the summer.  You can finally shop at home, and it costs you no money!

If your spare room is on the smaller side, it could make the perfect dressing room.  Custom wall-to-wall built-in shelving could be sensational for storing shoes, belts and accessories, and hanging clothes.

– Get the wood look for less.  Consider the Martha Stewart shelving systems available through Home Depot.

Use Metal Brackets- For all our closets, we decided to work with the Closet Maid products at Home Depot. I installed 4 Shelf Tracks in most of our large closets,  spray painted them with an oil based primer before installing, and spaced them in our closets using a stud finder.  After installing all the shelf tracks, simply paint over them using the paint you plan on using for the walls.  The shelf tracks then just blends into the wall.  Instead of using the wire shelving that is sold in the line at home depot, go for wood.  Purchase one foot solid wood boards in the length of your closet, and then simply paint them the same color as your wall color.  You get the built in look without spending the mega bucks.  For all of my closets, I used the lager 16 inch bracket from Closet Maid.  Using an oil based primer which will stick the existing paint, spray paint the brackets, which then can be painted in the same overall paint you choose for your closets.   Create ceiling to floor shelving for your shoes, and customize boxes by painting them the same color as your walls, for that extra designer touch.  Go for dark color inside your closets to make your colorful clothes pop, such as a navy, or rich gray. Having everything painted in one solid color brings attention to your collections.  Add corner brass hardware to bring your closet up that extra notch.  The details can go a long way.

Lisa Vanderpump’s Closet

Lisa Vanderpump’s closet is one of the most beautiful closets I have seen.  In this picture, you can see the closet is painted in white, which nicely shows off all her colorful designer clothing. Consider adding an island with drawers for jewelry like Lisa did.   In this photo, you can see all of her pretty heavy jewelry on display.  Clothes and handbags are organized by color.  Custom floating shelving on the wall show off a variety of pretty handbags and accessories.   Make room for a decorative full-length mirror and stool, bench, or French chair.

3.  An Old Fashioned French Game Room

Family time now can be set as a priority.  All in one games are perfect for kids. This 6 in 1 Multifunction Sport Game Table can be set on a table top, and has a variety of games that can keep grand kids busy.

If chess is your game, order this beautiful wood chess table.  Add two French chairs, and enjoy endless nights as your husband teaches you chess.  Game rooms can be perfect for connecting with your better half.  Conversations can be ignited in a game of cards, something we think is so ancient.

A game of darts, ping pong, or pool are great activities to play with another person.  Coffee dates with your best girlfriend can be rather fun over ping pong than sitting in the back yard.  These games don’t have to be out of plastic.  Today you can buy high quality sets in wood that work with an upper scale theme room.

Here are my favorite links:

– Rome 8 Foot Pool Table- Buy it on Amazon for $1549 , available in Maple

– Athens 8 Foot Pool Table- Buy it on Amazon for $1799

– Marietta 8 Foot Pool Table Buy it on Amazon for $1549

-Stiga Insta Play Table Tennis Table Buy it for $560

– Worcester Arcade Style Dart Board Cabinet Buy it for $349

4.  A Multi- Hobby Room

A hobby room can be the best use of space out of all the options.  Having a room dedicated to a passion can turn the available space into a serious second income.

This Atlanta Homes Magazine picture features a hobby room that could serve multiple hobbies. Book shelves and baskets serve as good storage options.  Two large tables work great for sewing crafts, quilting, photography and scrap booking.

Arts and Craft Hobbies:

Painting, Drawing, Photography, Pottery, Quilting, Sewing, Knitting, Crochet, Scrap booking, Jewelry Making, Candle Making, Soaps making, body scrub making, Flower arranging, Dressmaking, blacksmithing, dollhouses, knife making, musical Instruments, candles, sculpture, film Making, stained glass, shadow boxes, doll making, sewing, glass blowing. Paper Crafts such as origami, decoupage, and quilling.

– Harbor View Craft Armoire Buy it on Amazon $272

– Knotty Alder Raised Panel – Scrapbooking, Jewelry Making, Hobby Storage Armoire- Buy it on Amazon for $1230

– Minibox Sewing Supplies Organizing Desk $945

Music Hobbies:

Music can be so rewarding and bring so much pleasure.  Learn to play an instrument. Play guitar, piano/keyboard, the violin, or learn how to sing.  Create a dance studio, and learn how to Latin dance, or create a ballet room for your daughter.

Electronic Hobbies

Electronics is a popular past time. This can include building circuits, robotics, R/C Cars, Boats, Planes and Helicopters

Science Hobbies

There are a wide range of science hobbies that a room dedicated to the love of scientific advancement can be thrilling. Many of these hobbies include astronomy,
microscopy, model airplanes, and rock collecting

-Scrapbooking collections can easily get out of control when storage isn’t available.  For those who love scrapbooking,  in this post, I detail furniture specifically designed for scrapbooking from Martha Stewart.   Paint additional furniture in the same color to get a built in look.

French Accessories

– The Alvin Heritage™ Basic French Easel not only has the antique charm of the past, but could serve as a centerpiece in a painting room.

-Alvin Pavillon Art Table – Unfinished Wood Top $182

– Wood Drafting Table with Pencil Ledge and Storage Drawer -$319

Choose furnishings that double as storage and seating, such as convertible storage benches, ottomans and stools. Line the room with open and closed door shelving to store and display hobbies.

5.  Home BUSINESS Office

A home office can be a great place to get organized. A desk can hold the supplies that often get dumped into the kitchen’s junk drawer.   Lots of people love to write but don’t know how to get organized.  Write on a blog, write an e-book, or write poetry.  A library, or room dedicated towards your dream of being published might be the best way of really getting serious about putting a plan into action. 

A room dedicated to a home office also could allow a second income to earn you money.  If you are an attorney, a seasoned accountant, able to do payroll, or any online medical jobs, a second room dedicated towards work can pay the bills and afford you a vacation that you have never taken.  Additional jobs that can be done at home are graphic design jobs, website development, and software creation.  Any editing jobs can also be done from home.

6.  A Simple Drop Dead Great Gorgeous Extra Bedroom

Go buy that dream French bed, and create the perfect French guest room, while at the same time having your hobbies in the closet.  Yes, I said closet!  Transform the closet into your hobby desk and organization area.  If you plan on regularly hosting family and friends, make your spare bedroom a comfortable place for overnight guests.  Transform a closet into your storage space for your hobbies, an extra seasonal closet.  Save space by using a trundle bed, positioned against the wall.

Additional Ideas- 5 Ways to Makeover Your Spare Room- Cabinet Hardware Ideas

French Provence Decorating

Christophe Laurent Durand Rouffio – Nov. 2011- pictures from maison-deco.com

French Bedroom

An 18th-century portrait of Marie-Joseph of Saxony, daughter-in-law of Louis XV, in the Polonaise bedroom; the Louis XVI daybed is upholstered in a chintz based on an 18th-century fabric, the chandelier is 18th century, and the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s French Gray.

Picture –Elle Decor

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.


Faux Ceiling Beams - Ana White

Ana White | Build a Beams of Light

Hefty beamed ceilings also are key architectural elements in old chateaus.  Styrofoam beams can be painted to look like real wood instead of going to the trouble and cost of the real thing.  Wood supports can be drilled into the ceiling, while thin plywood can be anchored into place to create a box, which then can be  faux painted.

Decorate With Baskets – Woven or wire baskets can hold magazines, plates, towels, bedding and so much more.  This natural element can be used for storage in the bathroom, on the floor in a bedroom to hold extra blankets.  Use it in the living room to contain throws or toys.  Baskets can be an inexpensive way of bring in the natural elements into the home.

Enjoy these inspirational photos of French Provincial style interiors below.


This reproduction Louis-style children’s desk from French company Jardin d’Ulysse comes with a matching chair and is aged to lend your child’s room an antique look. More furniture and accessories from Jardin d’Ulysse.

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

Inspiring Interiors blog featured some wonderful pictures of a 17th century farmhouse which is located in Catalonia, Spain. The home featured beautiful stone walls, and some beautiful white slip-covered sofas and dining room chairs. In the bedroom, sat some Louis XVI stools, and a Louis XVI antique french chair. In the living room area, a beautiful natural wood desk and a Louis XVI chair in white sit amongst white slip-covered furniture. Wood herringbone floors show throughout the home with plaster white walls. This home is very similar in style to those found in the countryside of France.

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

Home of designer Henri Quinta in Perpignan, France. Elle Decor.

Home of designer Henri Quinta in Perpignan, France. Elle Decor

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

18th Century Louis XVI SofaBermingham & Co. Antiques

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

19th C. Louis XV Style Painted Armoire- Melissa Levinson Antiques

19th C. Louis XV Style Painted Armoire-  Melissa Levinson


Primitive Rustic Provence Decorating Ideas Shabby Chic Mania


A French Provincial Ebonized Oak Slant Front Bureau From Christies


Rustic Old World Decorating Ideas Marie Claire Maison

Colefax & Fowler 2010

Colefax and Fowler 2010


Old World Decorating Ideas Luc D’Hulst (source here)

Manuel Canovas From Mscott218 Photostream

Manuel Canovas From mscott218 – Flickr


17th and 18 Century Decorating Ideas Trouvais


Rustic Old World Decorating Ideas Bijsterveld


French Provence Decorating Ideas

French Sofa Sold by Karina Gentinetta

French Sofa  Sold by disegno Karina Gentinetta


French Provence Decorating Ideas – Axel Vervoordt


Swedish Bench French Country Decorating


French Country Decorating By Designer Betty Lou Phillips

French Provence

This beautiful French Provence interior with light plaster walls shows you that black furniture can really stand out against lighter interiors such as this. Stein World sells a really stunning black crackle finished chest that would be ideal in the bedroom, but also could double in a living room against a feature wall. Bombe chests like this are typically regarded as Italian, but also has some of the stunning features that French furniture is famous for.

A Fine Louis XV Painted and Parcel-Gilt CommodeA Fine Louis XV Painted and Parcel-Gilt Commode Bermingham & Co. Antiques

Laurel Painting Reproductions

Laurel Painting Reproductions, 1st-art-gallery.com

Le Grillon Voyageur

Le Grillon Voyageur, legrillonvoyageur.com

Architecture examples - Saint remy de Provence, Luberon

Architecture examples – Saint remy de Provence, Luberon

French Style Seen On Luc Productions web site.

French Style Decorating -Seen On Luc Productions web site.

Louis XV Petite BenchBermingham & Co. Antiques

Manuel Canovas

Manuel Canovas

De Rohan Chabot French Chateau- Architectural Digest

The Rohan-Chabot Family’s French Chateau– Architectural Digest

French Louis XV Style Settee Stamped Jansen Greenwich livingGreenwich Living Antiques

Pair of Gilded and Painted Louis XV Style Chairs

The Antique andArtisan Center – Stamford, CT

French Style Decorating Seen On Luc Productions web site.

French Style Dining Seen on Luc Productions web site.

French Style Decorating Seen On Luc Productions web site.

French Style Dining Seen on Luc Productions web site.

European Chef Apron Red Stripe - FrenchGardenHouse

European Chef Apron Red Stripe – FrenchGardenHouse

Linda McDougald Mirror Table

An antique French painted and gilded mirror is set within the custom-designed paneled walls that are finished in the manner of old French blue created by Greenville artist Jeff Renow. In front of the mirror sits an antique French desk. – Found on hgtv.com

Manuel Canovas

Manuel Canovas

17th century country house of the Marquise Marie-Anne-Françoise de Beauharnais (1757-1822) (related to Josephine, future Empress ) in the old village of Sézanne, France.

17th century country house of the Marquise Marie-Anne-Françoise de Beauharnais (1757-1822) (related to Josephine, future Empress ) in the old village of Sézanne, France.

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France 2

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France 4

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France

Christiane De Nicolay-Mazery, Bernard Touillon

Christiane De Nicolay-Mazery, Bernard Touillon

John Hall Designs

 John Hall Designs – Fine Furniture since 1967

Château de Bresson ~ Moissieu-sur-Dolon ~ Isère ~ France

Château de Bresson ~ Moissieu-sur-Dolon ~ Isère ~ France

Chateau de Groussay

Chateau de Groussay

Chateau de Hautefort, Aquitaine

Chateau de Hautefort, Aquitaine


Bukowskis Auction

Chateau de Cheverny au beau milieu des chateaux de la Loire

Chateau de Cheverny au beau milieu des chateaux de la Loire

Don Ziebell.

Don Ziebell

Marie Claire

Marie Claire Maison



Top 7 Must-Have French Furniture Pieces

From the opulence of Louis XIV to the sophistication of the French countryside, every period throughout France’s turbulent history had a unique style. For those trying to recreate these looks in their own home, here are some of the most classic must-have furniture pieces with French origin.
1. Armoire 
Armoire is a word borrowed from the French language to mean wardrobe. The  armoire has a long history in French design, but its style has changed quite a bit throughout history and even differs based on region. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, when French style was quite opulent, armoires featured intricately carved doors.  French country furniture, which has the more traditional style of the French countryside, has more subdued armoires with simpler carvings.  Antique armoires are still popular, commonly sold in a variety of wood finishes.
2. Chaise Longue 
Literally translating to “long chair,” a  chaise longue is an upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair. Although many see the chaise longue as a luxurious but primarily decorative piece of furniture, it was not always this way. French craftsmen began making such furniture in the 16th century for aristocratic customers, who would relax on these sofas in sitting rooms as they greeted guests. In more modern times, many have used them to accent living rooms or as benches in master suites.

French Louis XVI Style (19/20th Cent.) Walnut Full Size Bed with a Cane Pane- Newel on eBay

3.  Louis Bed
When shopping for French furniture, one may often come across the term “Louis bed.” The “Louis” in “Louis bed” is likely referring to Louis XIV, Louis XV, or Louis XVI. The rules of these men span from the mid-1600’s to the late 1700’s and the French Revolution, and during this time, the popular style of bed was largely the same. The Louis bed commonly features intricate hand-carved head and footboards fit for a king. The wood comes either stained or painted, depending on one’s personal tastes.
4. Vitrine 
While people commonly use the word ” vitrine” in English, it is originally a French word for a display cabinet. Traditional  French vitrines feature glass doors so that one can display cherished items on glass shelves. Many also have mirrored backs, allowing for one to view both the front and back of the items on display inside. The vitrine dates back to 18th-century France, but they continued to grow in popularity throughout the following centuries.
Read more at Ebay


Antique 19th Century Hand Carved French Provincial Bookcase Cabinet –Scandinavian Antiques Co

Antique 19th Century French Morbier Grandfather Clock- Scandinavian Antiques Co

Habersham Plantation Large French Louis XV Style 3 Door Armoire-Bucks County Estates

Provincial Antiques

Vintage French Provincial

Beautiful Vintage Furniture Finds On Facebook

Vintage French cast iron scale with brass trays. Marked Forced 10 Kilos. Great accent piece for a kitchen shelf. Plates are 8" diameter Piece...

Artistic Re-Finished Furniture By Rhonda Steinmetz

Rhonda Steinmetz has such an incredible talent for picking out colors for her furniture restorations.  As you look through many of her pieces. you will...

French Antique Accessories For Your French Provincial Home

Rustic Wall Mirror - French Style With Floral Detail $175 Amazon Edouard French Provincial Style Console Table - $170 Amazon   French Hand Painted Faience Bretons Large...
Rhonda Steinmetz has such an incredible talent for picking out colors for her furniture restorations.  As you look through many of her pieces. you will see something different that you won't see on other restored pieces too often.  She highlights the architectural elements.  Sort of like highlights and contouring our faces with makeup- she does that with her furniture.  I...

French Decorating

Decorating Around A Neutral Interior – French Provincial Decorating

Historic Styled Lighting - 1stoplighting.com Cambridge - 18 Inch Two Light Wall Sconces Burnished Brass Finish $319.00 This beautiful French Provincial chest features a multi- finish...

French Provincial Style Rocking Chair

This beautiful white French styled rocker would make a perfect piece for a living room or nursery.  The upholstery looks to be a soft...

25 French Country Style Interiors – Elle Decor

There is something about rustic décor that makes a house feel like a home. Incorporating French country style into an interior space can make even the most urban house feel like it's tucked away in a tiny French village.
White is one of the most popular paint choices for painted furniture as it creates an atmosphere that is both soothing and tranquil. In particular, you are seeing a lot of French provincial furniture pieces painted in white. Here is how you can update that second hand find into something amazing.  Create a surface that paint can stick to. Sanding is a...


1950s French Provincial Commode by Cassard Chateau Romano NYC - Quality Is Key On Ebay Vintage French Provincial furniture can look fabulous when it is re-finished.  Chances are you have seen these pieces at thrift stores, garage sales, on craigslist and kijiji that with a little improvement, these pieces can look old and worn to fit into a Provincial decorating theme. Here...