The irresistible insouciance and charm of the French aesthetic makes it an enduring inspiration for interior designers and purveyors of homewares. It is one which inspired interior designer Sonia Watts to launch French Country Collections thirty years ago from her home. She initially offered a small range of decoratives, including lamps, photo frames and other accessories that she decorated by hand.
Not long after, Sonia identified a gap in the market for elegant and timeless homewares and began importing from India and France. Throughout the growth of the business, Sonia’s passion for French antiques and objects d’art has been a constant theme.
It is a collection that cherishes the old while exploring the joys of travelling the world to experience the new. The products are relevant to modern day living yet imbued with the quality and nostalgia of years gone by.
Proportion, balance and a sense of the ‘unexpected’ underpin French Country Collections. The collections juxtaposes styles to create a sense of the unexpected. This ‘pared-back modern country’ aesthetic celebrates old-world grandeur married with a connection to the home. More recent collections have a sophisticated feel, one that incorporates individuality, bold lines, and lived-in luxury.
French Country Collections exhibited for the first time in Australia in 2000. Today they boast their own distribution, sales and customer service team in Melbourne, which have now been selling and distributing their products around Australia for over sixteen years.
We are delighted that they will be exhibiting at Decor + Design 2017, which launches on the 20th July in Melbourne. With the show imminent, we delved into their inspirations and what visitors can expect to see at the show.
Firstly, we’re delighted that French Country Collections will be returning to Decor + Design this year! Are there any pieces you’re particularly excited about in upcoming collections?
Our current Winter range has some fabulous design-led pieces of furniture and lighting, many of which will be on display at Decor + Design.
Our Summer collection will be launched in August and has a most definite nod to relaxed, summer living. Think over-sized, loose cover sofas, sensational rattan daybeds and a great new selection of chairs.
The mood is French boat shed, with a Moroccan vibe.
The continuing trend around Botanical is also a big theme for Summer ‘17/’18, and we are offering a large and varied range of planters, hanging baskets and garden accessories.
What inspires you? Is there a process behind sourcing pieces for your collections that you can share with us?
We always keep an eye on colour trends, shifts in interiors and the way we live in our homes. Colour is often the catalyst to creating new collections. We love combinations of new colours, combined with new finishes on materials – brushed brass finishes on side tables, and metal decorative have been a big part of our collection this year.
What can visitors expect to see at Decor + Design this July?
We will be showcasing the best of this year’s Winter Collection, our stunning Knox Velvet armchairs, chandeliers, plus our newest and latest side tables with bronze and brass finishes and statement decoratives. Being a designer show, we are keen to show design-led pieces of furniture and lighting.
Comme tout le Français? Well then, don’t miss French Country Collections at Stand K4 of Decor + Design from 20 – 23 July at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Registration to the exhibition is free for trade visitors. See over 250 exhibitors from across the Australian interiors industry, as well as the VIVID Design Competition and international thought leaders speaking as part of the International Seminar Series.