The Surprising Differences Between French Country and Farmhouse Style

Posted on October 6, 2020 at 10:00 AM by Deonna Adams


French Country vs Farmhouse Style

Farmhous style kitchen

One of the most exciting things about moving into a new home or redecorating your current home is the ability to start fresh. If you search the internet you might find that you become overwhelmed with all the different decor styles. 

So when decorating a house where do you start? American classic decor is very popular so let’s make it easier for you and talk about the distinction between french country and farmhouse style.

While these two decor styles are very similar they are definitely not the same. They both encompass neutral colors, antiques, and natural materials. Farmhouse is more casual and French country is more elegant.


Farmhouse Style

The modern farmhouse style is a mix of old and new. Furniture found at second-hand stores, complemented with new elements will give you a farmhouse look. It should feel warm, and cozy. With farmhouse style, it’s all about the character. 

French Country Style

French country style definition is a nice balance between rustic and elegant. With warm tones,  painted furniture, and simple lines. It should feel welcoming and comfortable.


1. Color Pallet 

Farmhouse living room

When you are looking through a magazine and you see a room decorated with the farmhouse style in mind you will notice two major colors. The true farmhouse will be decorated around white and gray. Of course, you can incorporate other colors into the decor but these should be part of the main color scheme.

 Add color to the room with a colorful area rug. American farmhouse furniture would include slipcover furniture. A sofa with a cheerful fabric is another way to introduce color into the room.

French country is slightly different. You will see more neutrals and blues, with maybe a hint of pastel colors like a warm purple or pink. American Country’s french pottery compliments this style well!


2. Patterns 

Buffalo check duvet cover and quilt

Farmhouse brings buffalo checks, plaids, and gingham to the table. Rural prints really bring in the farmhouse lifestyle and give your room character. Often buffalo check is found in black and white or red and black. These can be easily added to your decor if you have a neutral sofa. We recommend buying slipcover furniture to give you the flexibility in changing up your fabric.


FYI: American Country has a range of fabrics to choose from for your slipcover furniture. Not sure what it looks like on your computer monitor? Order fabric samples to get a better look with free shipping!


French country patterns, also include plaids and stripes, with floral prints. The most popular pattern however is toile. Notice how Home and Garden explains it


"Probably the fabric most associated with French Country design is toile. Toile, which translates as "cloth" in French, is fabric with a white or beige background adorned with repeating pictures. Generally, the pictures feature a scene - a couple in a boat or a couple sitting underneath the trees are both common - but images may also include churches, street scenes and more. The colors most often used for the print are red and blue, however, you may also find green, black or even brown. Toile has become hugely popular and is widely available in a variety of price ranges.

Roosters are another major motif in this style of design and can be found on everything from fabric to wallpaper."


3. Accessories

plaid throw blanket

Galvanized buckets or trays, and farmhouse prints are often found in a farmhouse. Farm style wall decor and reproduction clocks will also add nice farmhouse flair to your home. When shopping for french country accessories look for weathered and unique pieces of furniture. Cover the walls with big mirrors. Use recycled and repurposed decor items to help bring in the vintage French Country look into your space.

When thinking about putting all of these elements together to create a beautifully decorated home it can be overwhelming. Need some inspiration? 

For more ideas on how to incorporate the farmhouse look into your home read the blog post “How to Get a Farmhouse Look in No Time” 

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