Black Wall Clock

French country decorating is one of the most popular forms of country decorating today, yet many are confused about how to introduce this look into their homes.

French country decorating need not be expensive or difficult, and you donÂ’t need to go out and purchase a whole new room. It is easy to introduce touches of the French country style without changing your entire decorating scheme.

French country style is a European version of our own American country style that has been popular for generations. French country however, adds more elegance, curved lines, and contrasts with weathered finishes and lots of texture. It is NOT a Parisian apartment! It is a style of the wonderful people of Provence, who work hard, play hard, and love the colors, textures and scents of the outdoors. Common colors in the French country style are golden yellows, deep reds, French blues and saturated greens. Color is vibrant in Provence because of the harsh sunlight. (Hey, the grapes love it!) Themes are not necessary for a French country room, but some common ones are roosters, grapes and wine, lavender and other herbs. Here are some great ideas for introducing the French country style into your present décor.

*Ironwork or metalwork is very popular in French country design, and you can easily find such material in candleholders, wall grilles, and wire baskets.

*Paint a couple of your furniture pieces with a crackle finish. Pair the weathered finish with an elegant fabric table runner. Try using satin black paint on a piece or two for an elegant look.

*Details are important in the French countrysideÂ…add trim to your draperies, dress up your throw pillows with ribbon, buttons, or even old beads and jewelry, and make sure comfort abounds in soft throws and well read books.

*Use fabrics that are traditional French country fabric. Toile is quintessentially French country, and depicts country scenes in one color over a neutral background. Red and yellow florals and small geometric prints look fantastic, and black and white checks are fun!

*Use candles, flowers and fabric lavishly.

*The French love to entertain; make it easy to invite loved ones over for an impromptu celebration. Start collecting pretty plates you love, mix and match them at the table, just keep a common color theme and they will blend beautifully. Stoneware and pottery pieces are very French country. Table linens are colorful, and flowers and candles are a must.

*Finally, donÂ’t forget the rule of contrast with French country decorating. Pair weathered paint or metal with formal fabrics or beading trim, cozy up a more formal dining chair with a black, red or blue checked fabric. Bring in baskets to hang and use, and hang elegant copper pots off a rustic pot rack sporting a wonderful old patina. Rub a glaze over a curvy lamp base to antique and distress its finish, or better yet, glaze those white kitchen cabinets. Add chicken wire to cabinet doors that hold your best china and wineglasses, and make sure you find a French landscape or floral print to hang somewhere in the room.

Adding French country style to your existing décor can add that sense of elegance you’ve been looking for, is fun, and can be done gradually and with purpose. Enjoy sharing the style of family, friends, and good food and wine!

Kathy Wilson is an author, home decorating columnist for, and editor of several popular home and garden websites. For hundreds of free do it yourself home and garden ideas, please visit her websites now at, and Also visit her work at home site at where ANY woman can learn to make money on the internet!

Ideas for decorating the walls in our family room; black & white pictures of the kids, or artwork?

I'd like to update our family room walls a bit, but can't decide if I should put pictures of our kids all over or artwork? If artwork, should it be all from the same artist? Also, thoughts on the large iron barn stars, too country? Our a large wall clock? The room is kind of small...

I have brown suede couches, goldish-tan paint on the walls. In particular I have a four foot space above the couch which is in between two large windows - this could be a space for a barn star, or clock, or ? Also, we have one large wall without couches underneath, just a leather chair/side table at the edge of the wall. How do I make something look like it belongs there and not just floating?

My style is kind of modern country, I like the look in Pottery Barn. Any ideas on how to make a room look together? Thank you!

I disagree with the bit about kids' pictures only being in the hallways. Why would you put pics of your loved ones only in a narrow hidden space that isn't shown off regularly?

You could scan the pics of your kids and any family photos (if they are color-copies) into a scanner and re-print them with an older, brown antiqued look (think it's called "Sepia"). Most pic programs have that capability. Then the tint of the pics would all match and would coordinate well with your brown couches.

You didn't mention money or much about buying new things but for me a way to save money and to get a neat look was to cut pictures out of an artist's book. I love Ansel Adams and my dad happened to have received his book by one of his employees a while back (this was when I first moved out on my own). My dad gave it to me and I just took some of the best pictures from the book - actually several...about 20 - and framed them all over my apartment. Most were black and white which fit well with my color scheme. And, they look like I went and bought all the pics from somewhere else. I have several different sizes framed all over. Several apartments later and I still have most of the photos on my walls.

If you like several artists I think you could do something sort of the same but maybe finding a book that shows various artists' art work. No one will know whether the pictures on your walls are from the same artists nor would they care if they did know.

I think it'd be cute to frame some of your kids' artwork too. Just depends on how you really arrange everything. You could use just a few frames for the kids' artwork and change out the pics every few months or so.

Not sure if any of this helps but hope so. Good luck.

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