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FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE

The FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE has always evoked an elusive and somewhat indefinable air of wonderful living at its relaxed and casual best. This land is diverse, with the rustic, half timbered cottages of Normandy, and the ancient stone farmhouses of Provence. Whether it is southern fields of blue/purple lavender scenting the summer air, or bright red poppies bobbing their heads on long slender stems near a hamlet in the Normandy countryside, there is always an awareness and appreciation of the generous bounty of nature. Seeing the beauty and uniqueness in the everyday and the natural world around us is one of the qualities that we associate with this look.

Everyday items with a organic persuasion, such as our botanical curtains and botanical pillows can add the right touch. A touch of the outdoors can be introduced with our “Whitewashed Bay Leaf” Curtain and matching “Whitewashed Bay Leaf” Pillow, which feature real leaves, lightly “whitewashed” and adhered to a crisp white, poly mix fabric. Add another natural touch by gently tyhing them back with one of the Caravan Jute Tassels for a wonderfully casual, yet elegant window treatment. Natural fibers, such as jute, raffia, and bamboo fit easily into this country décor.


The texture of clays and terracotta add the warm shades of russet, umber and ocher to the color palette. Items made from these earthy materials can add both practicality and ambiance. The small, practical Lavender Pot is made with the same clays, and in the same shape that it has been for the last few hundred years. The terracotta has a wonderful range of hues, from deep russet to a pale buttercream. This is a perfect piece for holding a handful of dried lavender, or my favorite use, as a paintbrush caddy for my artist’s brushes.


Lavender Pot

Organic materials play a large role in the FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE look. Bamboo, probably one of the world’s most versatile materials is right at home in this décor. Even the everyday necessities of life often are given a new panache in the FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE look as with our Bamboo Folding Rack, which adds a delightful way to display and use bath accessories. Try this piece in a guest bathroom, with lavender scented soaps and warm, earthy colored towels. Our Bamboo Display Shelf is compact, can be “dressed up” with scarves, fabric bits, etc., and can easily accommodate a variety of favorite things.

FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE embraces the old, the found, and the discarded, with the special talent of finding new uses for otherwise obsolete items. The patina of age adds value and desirability, particularly in those items fashioned from earth, clay or metal. Copper Wash Tea Chests in tin, and flooded with a copper wash have a warm, mellow look and are great for personal storage, or try them out as an usual gift “box” or “basket”! Matching Copper Wash Flower Cylinders look like they came right off a village flower vendor’s cart. Tin, copper and other everyday metals are perfect accents against other, softer organic materials.

The FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE look is achieved with causal groupings of objects or the addition of an unexpected accent. A selection of French Tin Bottles together on a windowsill, a small decorative birdhouse hanging in a window, these tiny touches add to the rural character. Our set of three diminutive Bird Huts will add a splash of colorful whimsy wherever you hang them.

Food, the growing, preparing and eating of the local harvest, plays a huge role in this lifestyle, and food, fake or faux food, can play a vital, decorative role in creating the mood. Hang a swag of faux Onion Braids from a pot rack or wall hook in the kitchen, or let them meander around a window or across the top of a doorway. Fill a Nigo Basket Tray with any of four different sizes of our Sprouting Onions (which you will never believe are fake, they are covered in actual onion skins!) for an incredible centerpiece, or leave the fake onions in their wooden crates for a wonderfully rustic look.

Normandy is apple country, apple blossoms in Mid April to mid May; and harvest time, from September to early December. Left as pure juice, or made into a sparkling fermented cider or the potent apple brandy, the apple represents this region in the same way that lavender fields and sunflower filled meadows bring the southern region of Provence to mind. France has embraced this versatile fruit as a decorating and design icon. Apples, especially the green ones, are seen on everything from paintings to place settings, linens to floral arrangements, and the green apples themselves are often arranged and used in the same manner as a favorite accessory. Our Wood Crated Green Apples are fakes, but look so real you may be tempted to take a bite. Whether left in their rustic crate, or used individually, they can instantly bring a touch of the FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE into your décor with this faux fruit. Or, try a big bowl filled with any of our other fake, but very realistic, Wood Crated Fruit.


Wood Crated Fruit

Look for other great faux food ideas in our Fake Fish, Food & Bugs.

An appreciation for the simplicity of things made by hand plays into this mood also, especially when the items are made from natural fibers. Utilitarian items, such as serving trays can be both functional, yet decorative. Our River Reed Trays are hand bound with a metal structure under the fibers for added strength. Just add a few pieces of fruit (real or faux) for a quick, easy way to add to your French Countryside decor.


River Reed Trays

Our FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE is an attitude, a state of mind, and above all, an approach to living that embraces an appreciation for the beauty and simplicity of nature. It is stone cottages tucked into hillsides dotted with ancient olive trees. It is winding roads that lead to small villages devoted to the cultivation of aromatic herbs. It is open skies, earthy colors, a blue/teal Mediterranean sea, and a people that take life at a more leisurely pace. You can bring this same ambiance into your own home with rustic accessories, the color of clays and terracotta, the patina of metals, the texture of organic fibers, and of course, the emotional warmth of food, used as a decorative element as well as sustenance.

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Phone (503) 390-2348 - E-mail: art@looseends.com


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