Adding Country French, Giving Traditional a New Warmth!!

Jul 13, 2011

I loved seeing how finishes and fabrics transformed this home! While remaining very traditional with architecture and furnishings, the homeowners wanted to create a fresh more inviting look by incorporating French antiques.  To achieve the transformation, they enlisted the help of Munger Interiors.


For inspiration, Elizabeth and Amy, the two sisters that comprise Munger Interiors, turned to the Charles Faudree’s style that the homeowners love.  By changing some of the color tones in fabrics, finishes and furnishings from room to room, they managed to eliminate some of the heaviness that existed in the architecture.  The formerly cream-colored entrance didn’t evoke the warm elegance that the homeowners hoped guests would feel. “While the fabrics and accessories played a big part in the overall goal,” Elizabeth noted, “the plastered walls were the game changer.”  Plastering the walls brought an overall glow and depth that you can’t accomplish with plain paint. They feel luminous no matter the time of day, and the room always looks candlelit.  The antique chair and sconces balance the newer furnishings in the home and create interest.

Prior to the redo, this nook in the entrance way felt very expected and formal.

By adding some French country antiques, the whole concept of mixing the old with the new comes to life.  The home begins to tell a story and become interesting.

The homeowners wanted to keep the damask wallpaper, chairs and table in the dining room, so the Mungers found a way to tie in these older pieces with the other rooms. The gray-blue rug from Carol Piper Rugs and new draperies balance the updated, French blue-toned study across the entrance.


The introduction of the sconces, confit pots and 18th century trumeau mirror in the dining room again brings in that country French flair while the addition of a smooth, porcelain plaster finish on the ceiling adds warmth and romance to the previously flat white painted ceiling.

This is actually where the project got its roots!!! For the study renovation, the homeowner wanted a place that she and her husband could both enjoy without the look being too feminine. As you can see, Elizabeth agreed that an update would make a big difference in the home!!! And Potter Construction did a great job bringing the plans to life.

The walls were fully paneled, and the existing bookcases were antiqued, increasing their character and patina. The addition of the reclaimed beams from Custom Floors Unlimited and the plastered ceiling furthered that old world charm. I always love a classic silk velvet like the one by Schumacher used on these study chairs. Rich and soft to the touch – it’s the perfect combination for a shared office space.  The camel tones of the Pierre Frey fabric used on the ottoman, draperies and desk chair appealed to the husband while the softness evoked from the worn, antiqued look and the bird pattern was a favorite of the wife’s. The light fixture and 18th century wine tasting table from the Gray Door are fabulous.

The finish on the cabinetry pulled the warm browns from the beams and floors and showcased a French feel.

All of the furniture in the study is new with the exception of the desk chair, a few accessories, and all the books in the shelves. As the husband says, “You can tell a lot about people by looking at what books they read”. Having their personal book collection displayed was really important to these homeowners, and luckily for the designers, much of their collection consisted of beautiful bound books!! The more reference-oriented titles were hidden behind the custom doors that also house the computer and work space.


In the living room, only a few key antique and country French accessories and lamps were blended in with existing pieces—the plaster was the major change!

This family room stays true to the same philosophy of the rest of the home’s design – they tried to reduce the number of heavy pieces and keep the furnishings that didn’t weight the room down. Just a few dark wood pieces and a lot of the beautiful French confit, Majolica and silver collections. To freshen up the reds and greens that the homeowners love, the Mungers added wheat tones to the family room area and eliminated the heavy greens and brown leathers. By integrating some existing fabrics, they were able to maintain consistency while still bringing in plaids and small prints to create interest.  To differentiate between the den, bar and kitchen area, a distressed, textured finish over the fruitwood colored cabinets allowed for a lighter look.

The hints of red in the new finish help to tie in the older fabrics as well.



Once the homeowners realized what a big impact the finish had in the den, they added the same finish on all the beams and molding in the bar.  I love the fabric behind the chicken wire that adds another layer to the space within the same country French feel.

Switching out lamps and other accessories also provided instant updates. Mixing the warmth of the existing French confit collection with some glass wine bottles, painted altar sticks and beautiful coffee table books created all the layers needed to make the room successful. The homeowners entertain frequently, so adding comfortable club chairs on casters really made the room inviting for any use.

Here you can see the original stain that was throughout the house combined with the front of the bar that lightens up the space. Elizabeth and Amy are huge believers in mixing finishes to create interest. “We get bored with rooms that are all the same. The most successful rooms, in our opinion, combine painted pieces, woods, mirrors, ceramics, etc.” I loved working with the Munger duo and design assistant Laura (  It was clear that they had such a great rapport with the homeowners, doing a wonderful job translating what the homeowners wanted in their forever home!!! Thanks gals for sharing this project–I loved the evolution of it all.   Next week we will see the final product of the home I showcased about move-in time.  Have a great week.


  • Amanda
    Posted at 21:44h, 18 July Reply

    love this!

  • Courtney
    Posted at 00:24h, 19 July Reply

    Stunning! Truly! The transformation is amazing! I have been following munger interiors for several years and they never disappoint. Thanks for sharing.

  • castors
    Posted at 09:56h, 02 December Reply

    A lovely place where you want to stay often,In these type of House you can really feel the warmth and comfy living.How I wish I can manage to stuff our home with beautiful furniture that also adds an attraction.

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