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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Fall | Elegant Gold and White

Monday, October 5, 2020

This fall, my new gold and white shelves we built in the garden shed in September inspired dressing them with French Country elegant fall style. As fall arrives with cooler temperatures and a changing landscape, it is only natural that our homes undergo changes also. 

Ideas for decorating open shelves with French Country inspired gold and white
Let me share with you ideas about how I added a fresh fall look to the new open shelves. 

The color palette was already determined... gold and white. 

The first steps for styling an area for me is to ANALYZE  

  • the space dimensions to see what sizes of objects are needed
  • what items I have that coordinate in color
  • how to add French Country design 
  • what flowers are available 
  • how to incorporate items for the season 
  • what object(s) can be focal points with PIZZAZZ

As you read through my process, think about how you can apply some of the same ideas to your home. 

As a retired educator, I attended a lot of workshops (too many to count) over the years. Something that I learned from one of the speakers was, "If you learn one new thing from this session, it was worth your time. You do not have to implement every suggestion to become a better teacher. If you implement one new idea, you are a better teacher." 

One new idea is all it takes to make progress! 

So, if you find one suggestion that helps you become a better decorator, gives you an idea you can modify for yourself, or sparks a flash of creativity, then today was a good day!  

F r e n c h   C o u n t r y   F a l l

E l e g a n t   G o l d   &   W h i t e 

These shelves are styled with 3 ideas: French Country, Fall, Elegant Gold & White.

French  Country 

White ceramic urns with raised French style medallions add French Country style to open shelves
White ceramic urns with raised French-style medallions add instant French design. I have several of these flower pots in three different sizes and use them all over the house. 

Look for items that instantly identify your home's style. As availability and budget allows, collect more than one in different sizes or colors that you can use in several different areas. Your style becomes timeless and cohesive. Think about how you can identify some interior designers' projects immediately as soon as you see their work before knowing who the designer is. You recognize their Signature Styles... 

Create your own signature style. 

Vintage French script ledger page is another item that adds instant French style and can be used in multiple ways in different rooms. Here, it is a vertical background, but it can also be used flat underneath plates, in baskets, rolled inside a cloche, framed, etc... 

Paper is inexpensive, easy to transport from vacation spots, and easy to store. Add interesting vintage style with a patina by using paper. Family letters, journals, old newspapers, magazine pages, book pages, old maps, and music are a few readily available paper items now, but are disappearing due to our ever-increasing paperless society. 

Stoneware crocks add French Country style to fall decorated open shelves
Crocks add country style whether it is French Country, America Country, Farmhouse, or Scandinavian. Crocks are another item with multiple uses beyond floral containers. In the kitchen, they can hold cooking utensils, rolling pins, or fresh fruit. 

Open shelves may seem to be a trendy look destined to fade away in time, but in reality open shelves were kitchen storage areas long before the introduction of closed upper cabinets. Built-in cabinets are a 20th century invention, first becoming popular in the 1920s.  

French Country kitchens have open shelves. Old French Provence farmhouses and grandiose French chateaux have open shelves above lower cabinets and counters. Open shelves are one way to add authentic French Country style to a new kitchen. 

Fleur de lis accents add French Country style instantly to a space
Gold fleur de lis mirror top is another French Country design element. No mistaking what the style is when a fleur de lis is part of the design. 

If you want to add your personal favorite style to your home, make a list of recurring design patterns you see in furniture, prints, and fabrics for your favorite decorating style. This helps you identify what patterns you like and helps you decide what to add to your home. 

Of course, Pinterest is a wonderful way to collect all your internet favorites onto one board so you can revisit your collection periodically. You can even make the board a 'secret board' that only you can see. 


Next in the list of 3 ideas for styling the new shelves is using things for the specific season, Fall. 

Chrysanthemums and wildflower goldenrod are beautiful ways to add fall style to open shelves
Flowers are a sure way to identify the season of the year. Some flowers bloom over several seasons, like roses blooming in spring, summer, and early fall. Other flowers only bloom during short periods of time during a specific season of the year. 

Chrysanthemums are a fall flower. While I love using hydrangeas any time of the year and look for them in grocery store florist departments out of season, I used mums on the open shelves to specifically identify the fall season. 

Flowers that bloom only in the fall are an elegant way to add French Country to open shelves
Wildflower goldenrods also identify the specific season as fall. Plus, they are abundant in our area. These grew wild in my naturalized backyard this year. Free and the right color for the elegant gold and white open shelves. 

Halloween messages in gold and white wood signs are elegant with just the right whimsical touch
Halloween messages in gold and white are elegant fall signs with just the right whimsical touch. 

Beware  the  Halloween  Scare

Not really scary, not gruesome, not too juvenile for adults... These wood boards add a little fun for the season. 

Repurposed owl paper placemats are a fresh unexpected design for Fall decor
Another fun nod to fall, and somewhat to Halloween, is a set of Owl Prints repurposed from paper placemats. 

Wood Halloween message boards and owl prints add unexpected pizzazz to open shelves for fall
Both the wood Halloween message boards and the owl prints add a little unexpected Pizzazz to the shelves. Not the usual fall colors or motifs, but a slightly different take for fresh decor, they are delightful focal points.  

Watch for creative paper prints of flowers, animals, designs, scenery that you enjoy all during the year. Collect them in a folder to repurpose for decorating during special holidays. Bunnies for Easter, hearts for Valentine's Day, red, white, & blue for patriotic dates, exotic birds and large wild cats for Halloween, pumpkins, pears, acorns for Thanksgiving, stars, trees, angels, bells, Santas for Christmas, clocks for New Year's Eve. 

Soon you begin to spot beautiful prints that offer an unusual twist to traditional holiday designs. 


Elegant gold and white is the third and final idea in the list of 3 ideas for styling the new shelves in the garden shed.

Use spray paint to change the color of terracotta flower pots to add beautiful gold color to a French Country open shelf
When the color of an item you already own is not the color you need, change the color with spray paint. On the top shelf the gold flower pot was originally red terracotta. Gold spray paint is inexpensive, easy to use, and dries quickly. In just a few minutes the flower pot was transformed from a basic clay color to the elegant gold color. 

Gold spray paint transforms metal shelf brackets into elegant supports for French Country open shelves
The same gold spray paint had been used to change the metal shelf brackets from a zinc finish to the shiny gold finish when the shelves were installed. 

Enhancing owl paper placemats with gold is a beautiful way to add an unexpected take on Fall and Halloween decor
Creating your own Do-It-Yourself wooden signs may be one of your special talents. When I spotted these gorgeous gold and white Halloween wood signs, I thought about making similar ones. But realized the elegant filigree embellishments on the top, bottom, and sides would require templates or skills I do not have. The embellishments are the beautiful designs that make these signs elegant with extra PIZZAZZ

On the other hand, enhancing owl paper placemats I already owned with gold was an easy DIY. 

Coming Soon 

Elegant Halloween Owl Prints

You can read about how I repurposed owl paper placemats for a different take on birds used in Halloween decorations in an upcoming post. So easy... you will not want to miss the post.  

Open shelves decorated for fall add elegant French Country style
Take one more look from top to bottom at the new gold and white open shelves in the garden shed that are styled for fall with French-inspired decor. 

Add elegant French Country style to open shelves by using gold and white fall decor
PIN ⥣ to your Boards 
Fall, French Country, Halloween, 
Garden Sheds, Kitchens, Design Ideas

I hope you found some ideas to help you in creating your own home. 

You may enjoy seeing some of my Pinterest boards related to this post. 
I would love for you to follow all my Pinterest boards! 

Related Posts 

Owl Paper Placemats - Hester & Cook 

Halloween White and Gold Signs - Botanic Bleu
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