How to decorate in French country style

Learn from The Great Interior Design Challenge experts in this exclusive book extract

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Learn from The Great Interior Design Challenge experts in this exclusive book extract

In the fourth episode of BBC Two's The Great Interior Design Challenge, 55-year-old aspiring designer Dee tried out a French country living style for her sitting room scheme. The room in question was the long, thin sitting room of a converted mill in south London belonging to Anna.

In an extract from the new book of the series by Katherine Sorrell, here is a guide to achieving the same look in your own home…


Pale, neutral colours on walls and floors, a pretty mix of fabrics and refurbished vintage furniture give this living room a breath of French air.

Anna wanted a comfortable room in a French-influenced style that was good for entertaining – her lack of seating meant that her large sofa often became a bit crowded. She had acquired a number of pieces of vintage furniture that she had not yet been able to restore and needed help to bring them back to life. She was keen to see some colour on the walls but favoured a neutral scheme rather than brights. She wanted to replace her stark lighting with floor or table lamps and, although the floor was in good condition, she thought a rug would soften the look.


‘There’s a beautiful look here where there wasn’t one before. But I’m getting south of France rather than Parisian chic.’

This is an extract from The Great Interior Design Challenge by Katherine Sorrell (Pavilion, £20). Photography by Nicky Brewin and Holly Jolliffe