With the French-themed February issue now on newsstands, we’re inspired by the petite cottages and grand chateaux featured in these glossy pages to discover more about importing the je ne sais quoi of French style into our own homes. And who better to turn to for inspiration and advice than our own brand leader and editor, Courtney Allison? Her signature interior style blends the timeless elegance of French décor with the fresh comforts of the cottage lifestyle, where simple pleasures are meaningfully embraced. Read on to get Courtney’s personal recipe for getting the French Country Cottage look!
What is so timelessly fascinating about French decor?
“I think there is a romance and charm that instantly comes to mind when you think of France and French decor. It is a style that is has rich history interwoven with delicate details and traditional elegance. For me, the biggest attraction to the style is the elegant paired with rustic. The gilded details and dramatic carvings on an armoire that is wearing an old chipped painted finish, or an over the top chandelier in a rustic room- for example.”
What are your must-haves for the French Country look?
“A couple of must haves for getting the look in a room: First, a piece with patina- such as an armoire or dresser. Then add stacks of old books, some gilded candlesticks and a beautiful mirror to reflect a crystal covered chandelier. I think with just a few elements, even one or two wisely chosen ones, you can achieve that warm French Country feeling.”
How do you customize the look to suite your own taste?
“I bring in fabrics and colors that speak to my aesthetic in the pillows, throws and other bits of color in the room. While I love neutral and the soft textures that linen brings, I also like to add a bit of softness with a pale blush, gray or faded florals on the pillows.”
What practical encouragement can you give to someone who wants to decorate in this style?
“Scour flea markets, thrift stores and Craigslist for those vintage pieces. I have found some of my favorite antique French pieces second hand– such as the mirror and the buffet deux corps in my living room. And it takes time to collect and curate the look in your home- a French Country style home is not one that you will usually find all the elements at one time. It is a style that has a sense that is has been collected over time. And there are no rules- focus on finding the pieces that speak to you and start there.”
The February issue is currently on newsstands and available online! Pick up your copy to explore chic cottages, a royal chateau and learn how to import the timeless elegance of French décor into your own home, wherever it may be!