The Timeless Charm of French Farmhouse Tables

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Last updated: April 19, 2023

Many styles can work if you want your home to reflect the quiet and simple essence of 18th century France. I bought a piece of ground in the rural United States with the dream of peaceful evenings and natural beauty.  Using wood, metal, antiques, and natural colors, my home quickly took shape.

French farmhouse tables are a must for the simplicity and comfort of a kitchen or adjoining open area. Stone and pottery add to the atmosphere of Old World beauty. 

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) released a report in 2021 which outlined some key trends for bath and kitchens. Interestingly, the NKBA report also had a specific focus on furniture styles classified as rustic and traditional.

Key trends identify a shift towards personalization and a preference for:

  • natural wood finishes
  • textured materials
  • mixed metals
  • timeless designs
  • customization

In fact, I know so many of my own friends that have transformed their home decor to distressed and weather. This look is so popular and the NKBA report captures this trend. Besides, natural wood finishes paired with contemporary elements have become popular in achieving that modern rustic look. Look at many AirBNB rentals today. They’re warm and cozy because of this rustic, yet contemporary look.

french farmhouse table with natural wood table top and ornamental legs

I recommend mixing warm and cool metals, considering rough-hewn wood, stone, brick and even incorporating natural fibers like wool and leather to add texture and comfort to your space. The NKBA report simply validates what you and I already knew. Timeless designs, from shaker style cabinets to Windsor chairs and classic farmhouse tables, continue to rule the popularity contest. What is also shows is an increasing sense of individualization for home decor. Customization is increasingly important to homeowners.

Table of Contents

What is a French farmhouse table

A farmhouse kitchen table has always been the principal attraction and gathering place for families and friends. Made mainly from oak with a sizable overhang, long rectangular shapes are the most prominent. Solid wood delivers a good quality and robust presence that stands out with natural warmth. 

A 19th century farmhouse table will have a rustic design and little ornamentation. Slight variations to the four-leg table may include tiny curved or fluted frieze legs for decoration.  

french farmhouse table with centered potted plant

What is the highest quality wood table

I liked an antique farmhouse table more than one of brand-new originals. The quality of the different wood types will show the time and care of craftsmanship taken. Solid oak or solid mango wood lets you realize the lasting strength of antique tables.

I can find vintage large furniture items at reputable dealers like Sussex Antiques. Rustic tables, trestle tables, and cabinets with large frieze drawers will take your breath away with Old World quality and timeless appeal. Etsy and 1stdibs are sites that often carry raw antique dining room furniture. 

I knew that ordering online was a gamble in realizing the quality of the products. White glove service is usually a promise, but always check a company’s reputation and customer satisfaction ratings. In a perfect world, your antique piece would be everything you expected. However, do not set your expectations too high. 

Finding a local company specializing in antique tables lets you see the type and grade of wood for a given furniture item. You can notice any cracks or irregularities often hidden in a snapshot. Choosing a white glove delivery service can also guarantee your item’s care at home. 

What is the difference between farmhouse and French country

I have always had a problem with deciding between elegance and simple comfort. You don’t want to have a home where friends are afraid of damaging a perfect setting. On the other hand, a piece of furniture with a rough, primitive table top can take away from the beauty of a room. 

With French Farmhouse, you can have the best of both worlds. Farmhouse designs are straight, simple lines that capture the essence of early pioneer living. Kitchen tables are sturdy, solid wood and easy to maintain, and a damp cloth or dry cloth is all that is necessary to keep the wax finish looking fresh. 

French country decor is more feminine and draped in fabrics and textures. The lovely colors of rolling countryside with fruit trees are the color scheme of scenic or checkered patterns. A French oak farmhouse table with a trestle base or slight curves to the legs is typical in a French country dining table. 

I also noticed that the French country style could use original woods and time periods for various types. For instance, a long refectory table made of cherry wood was standard in the 19th century. Plenty of leg room and an end drawer make several activities possible. 

Can you mix farmhouse and French country

Looking at Farmhouse and French Country design features made me try something different. Why not mix up the two and see the results? For instance, a farmhouse kitchen island was my dream of providing seating. However, doubling as a prep area made it a bit crowded. By using a spare corner for extra seating, it solved the problem. 

I discovered a French pine vendange table I could neatly tilt when not in use. When not in use, I could tilt the table to fit my decor. I chose a 19th century antique wine-tasting model that blended nicely with the island and my cabinets. 

Farmhouse and French Country share many of the same characteristics, making it easy to share the same space. Both comprise functional, natural, and neutral backgrounds and furniture, and wood, vintage furniture, and highlights make the two styles conform naturally.  

french farmhouse table with three weathered chairs and bench

What are French farmhouse colors

I had decorated my kitchen in a rustic theme and it needed to be updated. Since I was thinking of the French Farmhouse for a light and airy appearance, I turned to the color palette. The additional cost for paint would not be extreme, as the fall colors of rustic already had a neutral background. Changing from dark green to light green and faded blue would make an immediate difference. 

I looked through French blue colors as a start to my remodeling project. Different shades of blue that I found at Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams paint stores made it simple to match my white walls. Ultimately, I chose the Denim Wash blue and repainted the walls in a creamier white color.  

Other dreamy colors included pale pink and lavender. Lightening up the rust to a faded rust version allowed a vintage presence to take hold. My transformation of colors was not as complex as one of a contemporary or modern style where cabinet faces might need to be replaced. Bring home several samples before deciding if you have a favorite color. 

French farmhouse tables can round out your new kitchen with history, nature, and a comforting appeal. Whether you select a long oak table or a French wine-tasting version, the natural feeling of the outdoors will come alive. Don’t be afraid to try different colors if they are not bright and bold. You can play with festive colors in small accessories.  

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