Windows in the French countryside are often adorned with flowerboxes overflowing with lush blooms.

How to Decorate a Home's Exterior to Make it Look French Country

by Gina Samarotto

The look of the French countryside is a romantic, universally appealing style that can be introduced to any home's exterior. No matter how far from Provence your home may be, French country style is within your reach.

1. Vive La Couleur

French country style has a distinctive color palette full of creamy whites, sunny yellows, deep pinks, greens and blues. Wake up your shutters with a fresh coat of paint or have guests arrive at a front door gleaming with French-inspired shades. Add even more French appeal by installing a door knocker with a fleur-de-lis motif.

2. Le Jardin

Bring all the beauty and scents of the French countryside to your home by planting a garden full of herbs and flowers. Lavender, Rose, Iris (the official flower of France), Rosemary and Mint are all examples of what you'd find growing in front of a typical French country cottage. Use these plants when designing your own French jardin. To give your garden an authentic French look, plant larger numbers of plants in tight groups creating a lush, full effect.

3. Le Détails

No French fashionista would never leave the house without the perfect accessories. Apply this penchant for pizazz to your home's exterior. Place a rustic basket atop a charming iron table to create a still life vignette at your door or stage a collection of vintage lanterns outfitted with pillar candles to give your porch a French country feeling. Adding a vintage birdbath to your garden bed or a welcome mat at the door that greets visitors with a cheery "Bonjour" are other ways to capture the warmth of a French country home.

4. Plante en Pot

Nothing says French country like a collection of potted plants. Whether on a windowsill, grouped on the porch or lining the front steps; the French love the look of potted plants to bring a dash of sunny welcome to their homes. Create your collection using clay pots, rustic baskets or even tin buckets to help layer on the French charm. Choose plant material including fragrant herbs, tumbling Ivy and neatly groomed miniature Boxwood to replicate the distinctive French style.

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