French cottage style means refined and rustic

Copper pans are a must-have for an authentic rustic French kitchen

Courtney Allison reveals her passion for French country cottages and how to style your own home on a rural theme

One of the things that I struggled with when we bought our cottage was that it was just that – a cottage. It was built as a holiday house and, as such, had an informal floor plan, and I longed for more elegance and formal spaces rather than a more simple style.

With worn wood floors, rooms with awkward layouts and quirks, it was the farthest thing from elegant. I started out trying to embrace that more rustic style – and then a quick stop in a secondhand shop one day led to the first piece that gave me the confidence to follow my more elegant, French-inspired design dreams in this cottage.

It was a simple vintage chandelier with a brassy patina, lots of crystals, and candlestick holders yellowed with age. My heart pounded at the thought of hanging it in the kitchen. I imagined those crystals sending light through the room and how elegant it would be even in a more rustic space – and I turned around and bought a chandelier that I didn’t even know worked.

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