Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What is French Country?

What is Country French? Or is it French Country? Anyway, whether you call it Country French or French Country, you may wonder what it is? What makes a piece of furniture, fabric, rug, etc. specifically French Country? I will try to help you recognize this style of decorating by attempting to identify some of the key elements of this style. Hint: If you like First Fruit Collection, and our style portrayed in our store, you already like the style.

My first experience with French Country style was about 17 years ago. I had tired of the Queen Ann cherry furniture I had purchased for my home. I started feeling it was too dressy, too glossy and gave my home a very uninviting appearance. I feared using my dining room table with the smooth cherry top. What if someone scratched it, or left a wet glass there too long. It would be ruined for sure! I wanted furniture that I could use, where the scratches didn’t matter . . . but what would give me the dressy look without looking too dressy? I wanted casual elegance . . . I’m still a very polished girl, so I was not comfortable with shabby chic or cottage . . . not dressy enough! Oh, the dilemma I was in. What was I looking for? It was French Country!

I started looking at all the local furniture stores and decorating shops. I searched for over two years. I found a little french furniture, but it was very expensive and not exactly as casual as I wanted. There weren’t any shops specializing in the look I had grown to love. I couldn’t believe
it was that hard to find . . . was I the only one out there looking for this look?

This was the beginning of First Fruit Collection, 11 years ago. I longed to put together all those things I had been searching for. More than anything I wanted to be able to offer them at an affordable price. So now, all you have to do is come and visit us at First Fruit Collection, if you like French Country.

So, what makes something French Country?

• Bonnet tops on cupboards
• Barrel hinges on cabinet doors
• Carved arches on cabinet doors
• Carved scallop aprons on the base of cabinets
• Rush or cane seats on chairs or benches
• Ladder backs on seating pieces
• Curved legs on furniture, usually fatter than a queen ann leg
• Chicken wire on doors instead of glass
• Toile Fabric
• Provence fabric prints, (small rosettes, paisleys, little ditsy prints)
• French wire pieces, usually fine wire in a trellis pattern
• Rooster motifs
• Mini check prints, especially when mixed with toile or provence prints

These are just a few of the obvious characteristics of what I love. These are the elements that give First Fruit Collection our “Look”. These are the things that turn my head and give me that adrenaline rush. This is what I purchase on buying trips for the store. I hope you love them as much as I do. Happy Decorating! Lisa


Miss Janice said...

Lisa, I love that you have a blog and I'm definitely a follower!

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