French Farmhouse Elements

Sep 11, 2016 | French Farmhouse Design, Parisienne Farmhouse Design | 31 comments


French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma

So here it is.

My living room. In all, it’s so-called glory. I’ve been sitting on the post for three weeks because… confession…

I’m a perfectionist.

There. I said it. As if you didn’t know. Maybe I didn’t really know. Maybe my desire to do this stupid post made it pretty darn clear to me. I’ve got “issues”. (Said in my best Christ Farley voice).

So here’s the thing: In this post, you will be exposed to the following…

  • Fuzzy photos that were taken with an iPhone that was so full it would not take high res images and I was too lazy to get out my pro camera or clear my phone
  • Horrible editing because I forgot to shove my stupid brown lamp cords up behind the bookcase
  • Junk on my white floors because it took me an hour to fluff the room as it was when I should have been folding laundry
  • Stains and holes on my white sofa because friggen IKEA is an hour away and I have six kids
  • Books askew (totally annoying)
  • The dresser the computer is on is missing a ton of hardware (you can thank my children for that)
  • If you look hard enough you could probably play a fun game of “find the Legos on the floor”
  • I forgot to straighten the piano books and there are two broken piano keys that make me nuts
  • Did I mention fuzzy photographs???

So there. All of the above have been stopping me for weeks. Not to mention, this is the age of Pinterest where gorgeous, magazine quality inspiration is at everyone’s fingertips. As a blogger who enjoys sharing her life, it’s VERY difficult to not compare, to wonder WHY would anyone want to see MY mangy, garage sale living room???

Hello everyone, my name is Parisienne Farmgirl and I like things perfect. They never are. And thus, I live a tortured existence.

Geesh, Ang, you’re thinking. All I wanted was some damn tips on French-inspired decorating. Some French Farmhouse Elements for crying out loud.

Fine. You got it, girlfriend.

So… There is a HUGE trend towards white white white and clean clean clean with the label of French Farmhouse but the über white trend seems more Swedish or Danish in influence to me.   French Farmhouse from my mind’s eye is not nearly so perfect. It’s rustic, layered, colourful…

Here are some French Farmhouse Elements that I love to incorporate:

The French Colonies.

France has colonies around the world and if you look at French décor magazines you will see the influence of those colonies. I don’t have anything like that displayed right now (because I rotate stuff) but when decorating with a “French” style it’s totally cool to have a touch, ever so lightly, of Moroccan, African or Polynesian. Just a little. Once, for me, it was a very ornamental pepper grinder that looked like I had found it at a bazaar in Marrakech.


Family heirlooms and books with cool titles.

Stumble upon some old oil painting of some old dude? Buy it. Hang it up. Because hey – instant history. Seriously…. display your family treasures as simple as they may be. In the photographs below you will see a quilt made by my Great Gramma draped over my china cabinet, family photos shoved here and there, Aidan’s Great Great Grandpa’s violin on display and more. And nerd alert…. I’ve got a LOT of old books about. Like some who pick wine bottles for their cool label, I pick my old books for their interesting topics. I like to pick ones that reflect my particular hobbies so I have a lot of old books on etiquette, opera, music, Marie Antoinette, etc.


A variety of fabrics.

Is toile outdated? Well, I’d steer clear of that typical Waverly print if I were you, but by all means. Go toile.   Toile de Jouey. A little. A lot. I love it and don’t think you can go wrong. My toile drapes from the old house are being used here to separate the living room from a little piano/book nook I made. The tie backs are from a Paris flea market. I miss them in my bedroom like the old house (here) but they are ratty and wonderful and I can’t box them away.

I love velour, velvet and silk and so I’ve got chairs and sofas covered in all three but when you look at a LOT of French homes, be they in town or a farmhouse, there is a whole lot of IKEA going on there and so to add a casualness to the room and to accommodate my crazy children, I bought a big white IKEA sofa a couple years ago. (I’ve been called nuts for going with white… but you can’t bleach beige now can you?) Providing that our living room is bigger at the next house I will be buying a matching chair and/or another sofa.



I like a lot of different textures as seen in my love for baskets, barn wood, rattan, fabrics, chicken wire…



I love the walls of our piano nook covered in family photos (I need to add more. That’s my winter project) and I love the stacks of books just piled up on the floor. It is what it is. We don’t have room for bookshelves and “making it work” is super French. Seriously. Whether it’s a lack of closet space or dining room tables that double as desks, they know how to make it work.


The unexpected.

Joel got me a butcherblock for Christmas a few years back. It’s the size of a Volkswagon and this house is the size of a conversion van. What was I going to do? Store that beautiful thing in the barn? Aw heck no. I made it an end table. Boom.

So anyways… you get it. Go rustic, go fancy, go international and mush it all together and you’ve got some serious French Farmhouse Elements. Says I.


Shall we proceed with the tour?

French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements my favourites: Oil Paintings, Old Wood, Tattered books, Rich fabrics French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma French Farmhouse Elements: How To Ideas from a Real Life Momma



  1. Christi {Jealous Hands}

    Your home is lovely! Decorating with what you love – French County/Farmhouse or otherwise – is what makes our houses homes. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

  2. Robin

    Oh my. Auto corrected something I wrote to homeboys Hilarious! Anyway. I love love your home ! Thanks for sharing !

  3. Terri Smith

    As i have learned, the most important elements in designing your home should be to celebrate your passions, surround yourself with things that you and your family love, and make your home “welcoming” to others. When you design with your heart, no matter what your STYLE is, your home will be amazing.
    P.S. Your home is AMAZING . . .bien joué

  4. deanna

    I really like your piano behind the curtain and the groupings of photos . Touches of decorating that make your home a special reflexion of your personality and style. Love peeking into others home environments so I can get a look at how others live. Glad you shared…I’d say you are a eclectic diva! Enjoy your babes. They grow up so quickly and then you wish they were still young. Whah.

    Blessings to you always,

  5. meme

    you have such style!!

  6. Geneen

    In my eyes this IS perfection.

  7. Gaylin

    Such a cozy ,family,beautifully inviting room!
    You have the style girl ! You have energy to spare?
    I love your piano nook!
    You got it right,the value of family. It’s beautiful.
    Guest cottage um yes!sign me up! I would love to sit and have wine with you,listening to the children play.

  8. Joannah

    It’s very charming. I love it!

  9. Becca

    The problem with most French farmhouse pics on Pinterest is that they don’t look livable, attainable, or maintainable.
    Your pics, however, look real, livable, lovable! The colors are life giving and charming. Your home pics speak life and peace instead of museum: don’t touch.
    Thanks for the inspiration to enjoy an honest French style.

    • Becca

      PS. I make a batch of your pasta sauce weekly. My family adores it on pasta, crostini, and wants to make pizza soon. I eat it over zucchini or other veggies. Scrumptious!

  10. Dani

    Oh Angela, your living room looks so comfy, relaxed, sophisticated, unique and absolutely french à mon avis;-))
    Love your pictures and inspirations so much! Just would like to sit down, enjoy, relax and be happy in that place. And the colors would be absolutely mine, warm and inviting like a hug of a well worn jacket. You are able to do the mix of an elegant but also relaxed style in perfection without being too perfect.
    Hope to see more of your home….
    xoxo from la Suisse


  11. Tonya

    Thank you I feel like I have just been to the South of France and if I were to look out the window I would see rows of lavender amongst the farm animals. What a treat!!!…And with a new baby, are you kidding me…and five other little ones…Cest’bonne

  12. Nita Hiltner

    Dear Angela, when I buy all the French decor or country French decor magazines, your living room is what I WANT to see, not all the brand new, industrial/Swedish/white rooms they show. I love your sense of style, your country rustic French. I remember your bedroom in your other house and how much I loved it too. Keep on decorating, and now I cannot wait to see your new home, your new kitchen, your new living and bedrooms!!!

  13. Alicia

    I really enjoyed this article! Great pics and style. I have been thinking of incorporating some French style in my home. Right now it’s all very traditional. I want to start with my bedroom. Any suggestions for master bedrooms? Also where do I start to find books and magazines? I really want to learn about French design. Do you have any favorite books?

  14. adrienne philp

    I am sick of seeing nothing but white…I love color, this is charming and much more authentic. thank you!

  15. Lisa

    I actually stayed in a French farmhouse in my youth. It was charming and far from being a white expanse with pops of Cath Kidston prints. It looked a bit like your house but ancient. Thanks for sharing your pretty home.

  16. Jules

    Your home is so lovely and charming. I don’t know what imperfections you are worried about. I love the pile of books beside the piano. But, then, like you, I love books. If that’s what you call a mangy, garage sale style then that’s my style!

  17. Dawna

    Love your home!
    We used to play find the legos too – ouch. (5 kids, now young adults).
    The piano nook is so cozy.

  18. Elizabeth Bennet

    But this is brilliant! These imperfections you mention are actually added charm. They show the room as it is lived in, with color and warmth and the suggestion of laughter and movement. I love it.

  19. Mandy

    Gorgeous my friend. Man could we have fun at a Paris flea market!

  20. kc

    Great post; thanks for opening your home to your readers. Wish you could post more often – love all the gardening and cooking info you share.

  21. catherine

    Beautiful textures, patina, fresh flowers and hidden vignettes. A place of wonder for your kids to have so many memories. I hope you can find a new farm with so much potential. I’m looking forward to seeing the farm you are looking for and a glimpse into how you do it.

  22. Summer

    Lovely! Very charming! Happy Sunday to you ♥

  23. Kristi

    Love this post!!! Totally love your home too! 🙂

  24. Nita Hiltner

    What color are the walls? They look green and also pinkish.

  25. Maria O.

    I love your style! It is refreshing to see a home that was created and decorated with love. There are so many blogs out there showing “perfect” homes that I feel are impersonal and cold. Your home is cozy and inviting. I also love decorating from flea market finds. It is wonderful incorporating history into our homes.

  26. Susan

    I have your cookbook and I hope so much that someday you will write a book about the transformation of the everyday chateau.

  27. kathryn M

    Funny, not one of your lonnng list of things we would be exposed to, though warned, jumped out at me. Your home is so warm and welcoming.

    Love your placement and design. Gave me a great idea where to relocate one of the two vintage wide mirrors that I have (similar to yours above the wooden shelf). It’s new home will be above the French Provincial sideboard in the front room 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your new home with us, it has been a lovely visit!

  28. Sandra

    Hiya lve been waiting to see your living room decor.its lovely, L only found out about you a few days ago so lm enjoying seeing your kitvhen niw living room lm a micture of things l love ,English French ,Rustic ,antiquey ,oh well


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