Beginner’s Guide to French Country Patterns

My French Country home


I absolutely love patterns. I could spend hours admire fabrics in an haberdashery.

I bet you too. Am I wrong?

But that doesn’t mean we should choose them all for the decoration of our home, right?

Actually, less is more.

“Narrowing down our choices means less overwhelm, and more creativity” – Courtney Carver

You have to give yourself limits.

You need to have in mind the patterns that match the style you want to give to your home. Otherwise, your interior will just look like a mix of everything. A complete mess.

But do you know which patterns are most often found in French country homes?


Here are the 6 best French country patterns to use, how to mix them and where.


I. The 6 best French country patterns

1. Stripes

Stripes is a timeless pattern. It’s a subtle way to add texture to a room without drawing too much attention.

Belgian pearls

2. Checks

Check print never goes out of style. It’s easy to blend with anything.

Don’t choose too large checks.

Le Mas des Poiriers

3. Toile de Jouy

Toile de Jouy is a gorgeous pattern to decorate around. You just have to find the right way to use it.

To learn more, check my post about Toile de Jouy fabric.


4. French floral fabrics

Floral pattern can also be hard to use in a French country home. Favor liberty rather than big flowers patterns that can become a bit stuffy.

Cabbages and roses

Cabbages and roses

5. French writings

I absolutely love antique French papers such as advertising cards and music scores. They always have an amazing typography and drawings.

They are now used as a print for throw pillows for example. What do you think?


6. Damask

Damask is classic and classy, especially in neutral colors. It’s a perfect print for a wallpaper.

Pufik homes

7. Provence patterns

Provence has so much wonderful patterns to offer. But it’s better to use them sparingly. For outdoor tablecloth or for napkins for example.



II. Where to put patterns in your French country decor?

Patterns can be used in every room of your home. On linen, furniture and even walls.

Let’s see some examples.

1. Pillows


2. Bedding


3. Kitchen / Table linens

Hello Lovely Studio

4. Chairs upholstery


5. Wallpaper

French Country Cottage

6. Curtains

The Glam Pad

7. Dinnerware

Vibeke Design

III. How to mix French country patterns

When it comes to mixing patterns in our home, we could very well draw a parallel with our clothing style. You can’t mix all the patterns on the pretext you like them, right? There are 2 rules to respect:

1. Combine solid fabrics with simple geometric patterns (stripes and/or checks) and ONE fancy pattern (toile de Jouy, floral or damask)

As example:


2. Choose one or two colors max (+ neutrals). You can also mix only neutrals like beige and taupe.

When choosing two colors, opt for a shade reminder in the different patterns.

Find the right French country colors for your home here.

TIP: Be careful, the more patterns in your room, the smaller and darker your room will appear

Want to decorate the French way without breaking the bank? Check these 10 tips about decorating on a budget

5 thoughts on “Beginner’s Guide to French Country Patterns”

  1. Your beginning line “But that doesn’t mean we should choose them all for the decoration of our home, right?”, reminds me of a lesson I learned a few years ago that really resonated with me and changed the way I look at home decor. The author was talking about learning to recognize the difference between “appreciating” something (a decor item) and “loving it”, and wanting it in your home. Ever since then I always ask myself this question. This came on the tails of completing the Konmari method so I had learned about items bringing me joy or not. I see so many things now that I ultimately say “I appreciate that, but I know I don’t want to bring it into my house, i.e. I don’t love it!” It has really made a difference with impulse buying.

    1. Mathilde | Brocante Ma Jolie

      I totally agree, Jennifer! That’s also what I try to do when shopping, and that’s a great way to avoid costly mistakes.
      Thank you for your comment!

  2. My toile de jouy curtains are faded and I can’t get the same fabric which matches the walls. Any ideas of contrasting fabric would go?

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