France Home and Garden Furniture
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When you buy your home in France, if its in Brittany or in the mid Pyrenees, chances are you will buy your new house unfurnished. The house will look completely different from any other house you have made your home or holiday house and will probably want to keep it looking ‘French’ rather than ‘English’. If its your holiday home and you want to rent it out as a holiday Gite when you are not in France then you need to think carefully about what tourists will expect from their French holiday home. They won’t want to come to France, no matter if its Normandy or Provence, to find their French Gite fitted out in English MFI, will they.
You have a lot of choice, visit your local Brocantes, you might be able to strike a bargain if you want to purchase a lot of old French (local furniture of your region) or Breton items. There are many brocantes that are English owned so you won’t have to worry about the language if you are new to France. It’s a good idea to try to keep it in keeping with your local style. A lot of French furniture is dark so you might want to mix it a little with some lighter wood. Look out for local adverts that are selling pieces that might be ideal for you. If you are buying second hand furniture in France check carefully for woodworm and other termites.
If you want to fill your home with modern, light, furniture there are plenty of shops to choose from local French owned chains to worldwide now even an IKEA in Brittany. If you are selling your house in the UK to move to your new home in France then you will probably want to bring your furniture to France with you. You can buy beautiful French dressers here, and most people I know have one of these in their maison usually in their kitchen. In Brittany, I think every house has one and are ideal for storing everything! The old Breton style has a lot of carving (curved) in their design often telling a story. You can sometimes get a very good deal in the brocantes for these as the French, and Bretons, don’t want them any more because they don’t like all the polishing around the carvings. It was our local Breton brocante owner that informed me of this. This type of local French furniture was often given as wedding presents so they usually have an interesting story that goes with them.
There is a lot of wood furniture produced all over France and there are many outlets for hand made pieces including kitchens. So if you want that lovely authentic ‘French Country Kitchen’ you will have a lot of choice. A lot of the shops do offer a made to measure service so take your measurements into them and let them do the hard work for you. If your French isn’t great it might be a good idea to take along a French friend with you as you wont have any come back if you translate something wrong.
If you don’t have any French friends so early on in your move you can always hire someone to take with you. There are many services that offer translation and will go with you to sort out situations like this. Its worth paying that little bit more to get it right. There are many English businesses that offer made to measure furniture and kitchens so look on this website to see if there is something suitable for you and give them a ring. You will also be able to find translators to help too.