Imagine a meal served in a rustic country farmhouse in the middle of Provence. It conjures up images of a table laden with foods gathered from the harvested fields, wine pressed in local vineyards, and meats and cheeses purchased in local markets.
In all the scenes our minds create, the French Country dining room is the setting. The French Country dining room is a place for laughter and enjoyment in a relaxed, yet elegant setting. You can create this look in your own home with a few key pieces of furniture and some well placed accents.
The center of a French Country dining room is the dining table. Dining room tables in this genre are made of strong woods such as cherry, that evoke the strength and stability of the farming communities in which they exist. While in the kitchen area, a round or oval table is usually found; in a separate dining room, the table is usually large and rectangular, and more rarely, square. The table may be antique white or milk painted, but often these dining tables are darker woods. The French country tradition is brought out in the weathered, distressed, rustic aspects of the piece. The chairs that accompany the dining room table will usually be a sturdy look such as ladder back or school house chairs. In some looks, caned chairs are employed. One of the great things about the look is that, if desired, mismatched chairs can be used. Chair seats may also be covered in coordinating fabrics to tie the look together.
It is traditional that a French Country dining room have an armoire or chest for storage. This can be used for extra table linens, silverware, or serving pieces. The armoire should complement the style of the table. Armoires can be styled in many ways. The traditional wooden doors will feature carvings or perhaps even farmhouse motifs, or the panels of the doors may be replaced with fabric or fine mesh wire. Hardware should help to complete and warm the look- dark iron or bronze handles and pulls should be strongly considered.
Fabrics and lighting are the final considerations in the dining room area. A chandelier is usually placed over the table. Chandeliers used can vary in style. For more formal rooms, the chandelier will be made of bronze accents and lots of glass with several tiers. In more casual dining rooms, the chandelier will be simpler, with bronze or iron work arms and small mini-shades that coordinate with the other colors in the room. Keep in mind that the size of the chandelier should be relative to the total room size and the size of the dining table so it does not overpower or get lost in its setting.
Great meals are given their foundation in a well planned room with a comfortable decor. You can anticipate many years of service and memories from your French Country dining room.