How to Turn a Ranch-Style Home Into French Country

Ranch-style homes are typically one-story with a gabled or hipped roof.

Distressed wood is often seen in French country decor.Distressed wood is often seen in French country decor.
It is often in a box-, L- or U-shaped configuration. Many styles have open living room, dining and family room areas with an adjacent kitchen. It is not difficult to transform this style of home to reflect a French country ambiance. Using colors often found in nature, distressed wood and the correct accessories are key to decorating in this style. French country decor is often seen in the cottages and farmhouses of Provence, France.

Invest in wood furniture that has a Shabby Chic or distressed wood look. This accentuates the comfortable, yet elegant French country decor. Select oversized furnishings that sit low to the floor and are chunky or slightly curved in style. Wicker and rattan are well suited to the casual atmosphere of French country decorations.

Select fabrics that exude a comfortable, classic look. Soft prints, floral patterns and checks in natural fabrics such as linen, cotton and wool are wise choices. Use colors found in nature, such as bright yellow, shades of green, blues or reds. Off-white, cream or other neutral colors provide a soothing backdrop to the brighter shades.

Cover your floor with light wood tones, floor cloths or area rugs. Install carpeting with a low pile, such as Berber or sisal. The use of stone, tile or stained concrete suits this type of home as well.

Incorporate plants and flowers throughout the room areas. These add softness and a outdoorsy ambiance to the home.

Place wrought iron or wooden accessories throughout the rooms to add a rustic, warm appearance. Decorative finials on your curtain rods or lamps in whimsical birdhouse shapes or made from ginger or Mason jars add a casual touch to the room. Display porcelain plates or bowls of earthenware pottery to accentuate the homey look of the room.

Hang pictures that depict the French countryside or that have a cottage look to them.

Drape soft afghans or quilts over the upholstered furniture or beds to add coziness to the rooms.

Things You Will Need

  • Oversized, distressed wood furniture
  • Fabrics with soft prints
  • Floor coverings
  • Plants and flowers
  • Wrought iron or wooden accessories
  • Countryside or cottage-style framed pictures
  • Afghans or quilts

Warning

  • Stay away from shiny fabrics. French country styles give a feeling of bringing the outdoors inside, therefore natural-looking fabrics are the best choice.

About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.