Picture this: you’re sitting on your French country-inspired patio with a glass of champagne in one hand and a romantic novel in the other. Then suddenly, you hear “la vie en rose” playing in the background as a summer breeze grazes your cheek. Is this all a dream? Is this truly what the French mean by “la vie est belle”?
In summer 2023, the trends all point to Paris with Parisian-themed decor and French countryside flare. The renaissance of old-world aesthetics is upon us. But how do we achieve this level of understated opulence? Especially on a budget. Nothing adds character to a home like preloved pieces. Perhaps antique shopping is the way to go — however, items like these aren’t the easiest to find. Perchance you would like something fresh and new — there are a ton of online options to fulfill your French fantasy. Whatever your heart desires, one thing is certain — you can’t go wrong when choosing one of these French country-inspired patio ideas.
To fully embody the French fantasy, you’ll need to acquire some authentic plating. Sure, you could always purchase something from a big box store, but you end up losing what makes the French country-style decor special — the story. We suggest antique shopping for plates and cutlery, whether they are mismatched or not, it all adds to the character!
Plate Set, Joliette, $120.
Trees and Flowers
No French garden is complete without some beautiful foliage. The typical florals you’ll find in Southern France include lavender, mimosa and roses. If you’re looking to add some larger plants, we suggest hedges or even a gorgeous olive tree. Olive trees can thrive in Canadian summers, and when the weather starts to cool just transport them inside.
Olive Tree, Promise Supply Co., $105.
Aside from wood and linens, stone is a gorgeous way to evoke the French countryside. Much of the architecture in cities like Dijon, Avignon and Montpellier are made of cement and stone. Adding a few accent planting pots with neutral colours will further compliment the French countryside theme without feeling too old world.
Stone Planters, West Elm, $194.
Table linens are absolutely essential to any French country-inspired patio. They’re breathable, soft and come in a variety of stunning seasonal colours. If you’re looking to add some colour, we suggest choosing a shade in either sage or rose to compliment your backyard setting. Otherwise, a neutral oat colour is just as beautiful.
Table Linen, Cultiver, $198
Choosing a table style can always be challenging depending on the size of your patio. If you’re living in the suburbs, we suggest a larger wood table ideal for hosting large gatherings. If you’re a city dweller, a iron bistro set will do just fine and weather any unpredictable storms.
Bistro Set, Wayfair, $267.
Apart of emulating the French countryside experience includes adding a touch of romance. Adding multiple iron or wood candle holders with lit, unscented candles creates an ambiance that is unmatched. Whether you’re hosting a party or a special soiree for two, candles are a must.
Candle Holders, Crate and Barrel, $85.
One element often overlooked when creating a French inspired patio is the cooking elements. Many vintage homes in countryside will have stone ovens, perfect for making pizzas and other delicious dishes. That might not be realistic for city folk, so opting for this compact pizza oven will do the trick. Perfect for summer parties, or just a bit of self indulgence.
Pizza Oven, Crate and Barrel, $519.
Art Deco Refreshment Jug
Though art deco and contemporary style might not exactly fit the country theme, it is in good taste to add some quirky piece to the overall decor. Without committing too much, this jug perfectly balances against any country forward set up. Plus, it makes for a nice talking piece.
Green Wave Pitcher, SSENSE, $285.
French country living is nothing without comfort. Adding some accent or seat cushion will add that extra bit of relaxation needed in a typical French patio set up. Opt for something in an earth tone, to compliment the gardens. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, choose cushions that are bold and bright like a sunflower yellow or magenta.
Bistro Cushions, Amazon, $73.
Though a water can might not seem that important, it is an essential tool and decor piece to any French themed garden patio. Simplicity at it’s finest, a watering can adds that countryside element that keeps everything in theme.
Watering Can, Canadian Tire, $27.