Do you dream of going to France because you love French style? You might think that the French country style is out of reach if you have a limited budget, but you will be surprised.
The more shopping I do the more surprised I am at the number of reasonably priced great looking pieces of furniture there are. Sure you could spend a lot of money getting antiques or vintage pieces to get that one of a kind look, but what if you don’t have the time to wait searching for these things?
Maybe you just want to move in and enjoy your home now. Plus, vintage finds can be added over time. If you want a French country living room in just a few weeks, this post is for you. You CAN decorate your living room in the French country style on a budget.
Recipe for a French Country Living Room
French country style is all about simplicity and elegance. There are lots of luxurious fabrics and the colors are subtle and muted. Furnishings in a french country home are a little rustic, with dull woods and lots of fabrics to add that cozy, comfortable feeling.
As with all living rooms, focus first on a sofa since this is the largest expense and the biggest part of your room. The typical French country sofa has an exposed wood leg, a tufted back or both. It’s hard to find both for a reasonable price.
I found a few French country sofas that were one OR the other. In French country homes the furnishings tends to be smaller scale. You don’t see any giant French country sectionals. Both of the sofas I found are more of a loveseat size.
The first loveseat has wood legs AND a tufted back. It has no arms, so not great for lounging but the price is low enough that you could afford two. It comes in several colors, but I like the oatmeal. The other sofa/loveseat has spindle wood legs, loose cushions and a higher price tag.
- Lauren Tufted love seat on Wayfair – This loveseat is on sale for $279 and it comes in four colors. It’s so affordable you could buy two and either have them face each other, depending on the shape of your room, or put them in an “L” shape.
- Columbia Loveseat on Birch Lane – This loveseat has beautiful wood work and it’s $630. It comes in 124 colors, one is bound to work for you. White is the cheapest, and I’ve said before that a white sofa can be bleached if you stain it unlike any other color. I highly recommend a white sofa.
If you choose to go with one loveseat or two, it will make a difference which chairs you choose. Since I chose the more expensive of the two sofa/loveseat options, I had less to spend on chairs. Wing chairs have a very french look and Target has an affordable option in an oatmeal linen fabric. I also like the tufted chair I found on Wayfair.
- Jackson Wingback Chair from Target – only $185 each. I like the nail-head detail and the wood legs. It doesn’t look as comfortable as the other chair, but it looks very elegant.
- Parmelee Tufted Chair from Wayfair – $211 each. It looks pretty comfortable and comes in a few colors, grey, blue, white and purple (what?).
My favorite place to find rugs for a steal is Overstock. To get that French country feel look for muted colors in the rug. I found a rug that pulls together the blue in the upholstery. If you are not a fan of blue, you can choose the chair in grey or white and go with a similar rug in neutral colors. Both rugs are Nuloom brand. Nuloom makes so many beautiful rugs.
For the television, I really wanted something that would fade into the background. This Ikea TV console has a white-washed look to it and it’s very light (and inexpensive). It’s also made of wood.
For a French Country rooms are always filled with fabric. Use as much fabric as you can afford. The fuller you can get the drapes, the better. For the curtains you will want something that lets as much light into your space as possible. Light fabrics like linen or a cotton gauze work best. I like these linen ones from Bed Bath and Beyond.
- Bed Bath and Beyond Linen off-white drapes for $30. These curtains come in many different colors. The linen fabric allows lots of light to come through so they have an airy feel.
Every room can use a floor lamp to provide more light, especially living rooms. If you have the budget for it, two lamps are better than one. Experts say every room should have at least three light sources. For floor lamps on a tight budget I like Target, Walmart and Lamps Plus.
- Walmart Adjustable Floor Lamp – This lamp is only $58 including the shade, always look to see if the shade is included.
Target is my favorite place for throw pillows. Muted stripes and ticking are very popular fabric choices for a French country style. There are lots of great striped pillows, not bright, but muted stripes. Check fabric is also very common in French homes.
Botanical prints have a very French look, maybe because France is known for lavender fields. On Etsy you can get great deals on botanical prints. This set of six botanicals below is only $60.
- Striped pillow from Target for $17 – This pillow comes in blue, grey, neutral and red.
- Set of Six Botanicals from Bellmaisonart – Even the name sounds French. This seller has over a thousand good reviews. Not surprisingly, most of the art in this seller’s store is very French looking. If you don’t like blue, check out the other artwork in this shop.
- Plants from Home Depot – The budget on this one is pretty tight, so I would use a real plant. Real plants are less expensive. I like to pot all my real plants in terra-cotta pots because they let air through.
Now that you have the basics for a French Country living room you can start to add accessories you love over time. Look for vintage pieces at flea markets, like a vintage end table or some vintage picture frames. These smaller, one of a kind items will give your space a more designed feel.
Add to your French country living room over time, now that you have these building blocks.