These 7 design elements are the secret to achieving French country bedroom bliss

These French country bedroom ideas are calm, serene, inspired by nature and fit for a sumptuous slumber

french country bedroom design ideas
(Image credit: Kara Childress / TROVE by Studio Duggan / Lucas Eilers)

If you're in the process of designing a bedroom, you'll appreciate just how many decisions there are to make. From color schemes to fabric choices – and let's not forget the all-important bed. But there's one thing that is certain for all interior design styles: it must be a calming space to wind down and curl up. 

Instantly comforting, French country bedroom ideas do just that. With a focus on natural beauty and effortless elegance, these bedroom ideas blend the super sophisticated (think ancient chateaus) with rustic, rural farmhouse style to embody the well-loved French country decor

From weathered wood to delicate floral patterns, layered textures, plush linens, and timeless vintage finds, all on a bed of soft neutrals, here are interior designer's 7 top tips to help you evoke the romantic allure of the French countryside in your bedroom.

7 Ways To Achieve A French Country Look In Your Bedroom

pastel pink french country bedroom

(Image credit: Joshua Smith Interior Design)

Simultaneously rustic and refined, creating a French country bedroom can seem like a hard task. But while these expertly designed bedrooms might look picture-perfect, the scheme couldn't be simpler. It's all about creating an eclectic mix of texture, print, vintage, and generally, just pieces you love. With a keen eye for warmth, the space should be centered around a soft, plush, layered bedscape that invites you to linger a little longer. 

If you're feeling suitably inspired, good. Here we asked the experts for their 7 tips to nailing this welcoming bedroom aesthetic. A checklist if you will. Let us begin.

1. Start with a refined, statement bedframe

french country bedroom with printed upholstered headboard and vintage accessories

(Image credit: Lucas Eilers)

As the central spot in your bedroom, the bed frame should be the focal point of your room. The best bed frames for a French country aesthetic echo the quintessential nature of the design style. Vintage, upholstered, rustic wood, four-poster, canopied with flowing fabric, tufted and button-backed - so long as it has some defining character that makes it feel more charming than contemporary, you'll be fine.

'Start with a luxe bed frame replete with French country details, like intricate woodwork on the headboard, or a four-poster bed style,' suggests renowned interior designer Kathy Kuo. 'Complete the look with French linen duvets and sheets and lightweight woven throw blankets. Prints of muted florals and toile also help to accentuate a French country vibe,' she adds.

A statement bedframe not only anchors the room but also sets the tone for the entire aesthetic. Whether you prefer the romance of a fabric bed or the rustic charm of a distressed wooden frame, the key is to create a statement with your bed ideas that you can then build the rest of your scheme from.

2. Focus on romantic linens

layered up bed with a romantic set of bed linens and a floating valance sheet, rustic beams overhead

(Image credit: The Refined Group)

Once you've sorted your bedframe or headboard, the next step is to dress your bed with luxurious linens. Adding romantic fabrics and intricate patterns can instantly elevate the look and feel of a bedroom, creating a welcome bedscape.

Neutral and natural linens are popular with the French, with the best white bed sheets having delicate embroidery, lace, or monogrammed trim for a touch of luxury. Pastels are conducive to rest and relaxation, but don't forget to layer on soft quilts or coverlets with floral, toile, or stripe patterns. A bed skirt or valance is essential. Mixing and matching patterns and textures adds a sense of whimsy and personality to the bed, reflecting the eclectic feeling of French country style.

'For a romantic antique vibe, dress your bed with beautifully monogrammed lace-edged linen sheets,' suggests interior designer Benji Lewis who works on projects across the UK and France. 'They're lovely and cooling on a hot night, the brocante fairs are rammed with them. Complete your bed dressing with an antique quilt in a pretty floral print or ticking stripe,' says Benji.

3. Embrace a soft, tranquil color palette

rustic french country bedroom with wood ceiling beams and a gray color scheme below

(Image credit: Kara Childress)

A trademark of the style – no matter if you're designing a bedroom, a French country bathroom, a French country living room, or even a French country kitchen – is decorating with neutrals. Whether you choose a palette of warm neutrals like creams, hushed pinks, and decorating with beige, or cooler neutrals like grays, blues, and greens, soft pastel walls are a must.

'Starting with a soft, muted color palette creates a tranquil bedroom atmosphere,' says Denise Morrison of Morrison Interiors. 'Incorporate rustic elements like weathered wood furniture and wrought iron accents for a touch of vintage elegance, and layer linens with subtle floral patterns for a classic French aesthetic,' she suggests. By introducing these soothing tones on the walls, bedding, and accessories, you can create a soothing space that promotes relaxation at the end of a busy day.

'If you’re not into strong color and pattern, contain your palette to warm natural neutrals like ivory, tan, and soft gray but remember to include good textural interest – linen, cashmere, cotton, and wool with a rug laid on the floor,' suggests Benji. 'Texture is key in this look, so layering various woven materials in a neutral color palette is a great place to start.'

4. Create layers of textile and print

vintage blue bedroom with furniture skirts and lots of antique furniture and decor

(Image credit: Gray Walker Interiors)

From velvet to tapestries right through to whimsical floral prints, a mix of textures and patterns elevates the bedroom's aesthetic, infusing it with warmth and whimsy. A good floral is non-negotiable, so look to cottagecore ditsy prints and traditional garden florals, and get creative with classic ticking stripes. The key is to anchor the room with a neutral foundation and stick to a soft color palette when mixing and matching motifs so everything feels harmonious.

'A classic French country bedroom is layered in texture from fabrics to finishes in a mix of eras,' explains interior designer Gray Walker. 'Consider a mix of patterns from garden florals to tailored stripes with upholstery and an antique or two covered in their original tapestry.'

'Bedframes with an abundance of drapery are so charming and look very at home in a French country bedroom, be it in a farmhouse or a chateau, they just look splendid,' adds Benji. 'Additionally, use wallpaper, preferably in a pretty toile or a Directoire-style print.'

5. Lighting should play a starring role

four posted bed in a french style bedroom with layers of print and lots of different lighting

(Image credit: Margaret Ash Design / Photography Tim D Coy)

Good bedroom lighting can elevate the entire atmosphere of a room, adding warmth, depth, and drama to the overall design. From elegant chandeliers to rustic lamps, the right lighting fixtures can enhance the charm of a French country bedroom.

'Never assume overhead lighting alone is going to suffice,' notes Benji. 'In your bedroom, you absolutely want a predominance of low-level lamp light and a handy floor or table lamp beside the bed for reading,' he suggests. 'Pro-tip: a rustic, vintage chandelier is a great way to fast-track your transition to this style.'

Be sure to include a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to achieve a balanced lighting scheme. Ambient lighting, such as "the big light" or wall sconces, provides general illumination and sets the tone of the room. Task lighting, on the other hand, such as bedside lamps will cast a soft and inviting glow while spotlights above your vanity table can provide targeted light.

Consider installing a decorative chandelier or pendant light with vintage-inspired details to add a touch of elegance to the space. Opt for lamps with soft fabric shades and wood or metal bases in antique finishes to complement the country aesthetic.

6. Add in antique furniture and decor

french chateau bedroom with antiques and plenty of print with rustic beams overhead

(Image credit: Benji Lewis Design)

Look to gather and curate small pieces of antique furniture like a nightstand, lighting, picture frames, and ornaments from flea markets and antique shops for unique finds to create a French country bedroom that tells a story. Whatever you collect, it is guaranteed to add that transitional design feel that is such a hallmark of French style.

'No French bedroom is complete without a small antique sofa at the foot of the bed – even if the fabric has had it, give the seat pad or cushions you put on it a good plumping and it’ll look fantastic,' suggests Benji. 

'Antique commodes or chests of drawers are very much a French country bedroom thing,' he continues. 'And while they're not always in great condition, they can nevertheless be made good use of if you have a good carpenter in your phone book.'

From intricately carved armoires to vintage bedside tables, decorating with antiques adds a sense of authenticity to the space. 'Adding heritage pieces can contribute to the overall charm of French country style. This will create a space that feels deeply meaningful and uniquely yours,' adds Denise Morrison.

7. The finishing touches complete a French country bedroom

vintage wallpapered bedroom with a pink upholstered bed and vintage nightsand with fresh flowers

(Image credit: TROVE by Studio Duggan)

The finishing touches, such as accessories, artwork, and styling, play a crucial role in refining the aesthetic of a bedroom and creating an inviting ambiance. By considering thoughtful styling techniques, you can create a French country bedroom that feels curated and designed, with each small touch contributing to its overall charm. Vintage mirrors, porcelain figurines, and decorative trays are perfect for adding a touch of old-world charm to the bedroom.

Fresh flowers are also essential for French country decor. They add a beautiful touch to any room, but even more so when placed on your nightstand as the first thing you see when you wake up. 'Unquestionably allow for cut flowers, and showcase these in a crystal glass decanter or an antique porcelain vase,' says Benji. 'There’s nothing as charming as waking up to a posey of roses beside your bed.'

'I always put a sheepskin mat beside my bed so when you get up you’ve got something snuggly to put your feet on,' he adds. 'I also love a pared-back approach for window dressings like shutters or hung vintage linens.'

Finally, pay close attention to the placement of furniture, accessories, and textiles in the room to create a sense of balance in the space. Layering fabrics, arranging decorative pillows, and styling vignettes on bedside tables and dressers add personality to the room.

French country bedroom style is both effortlessly elegant and lived-in. Every element in a French country bedroom whispers soft, whimsical, and romantic. Far from matchy-matchy, it's a hodge podge of vintage, rustic textures, and breezy linens that you might already be using in your home. While the design style itself draws from rural, countryside French living, it's actually rather simple to achieve this side of the pond, too. 

Charlotte Olby
Content Editor

Charlotte is content editor at Homes and Gardens, having joined the team the week before Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she found herself working at many women's glossy magazines including: Grazia, Stylist and Hello and most recently working as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with Charlotte's passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome