Home Inspiration of the Month: French Provincial Décor
Are you captured by the enchanting elegance of a flowing canopy draped over your bed? Is your idea of heaven thick, draped white curtains and luxury linen? Do you find yourself swooning over a Louis XV chair with an elegantly placed cushion carefully on the side?
If this description sounds like you, then you will find the charm and comfort of French Provincial décor to suit you perfectly. This home interior style is all white, neutral linen, lime washed woods and a range of fabric covered furniture. This trend is inspired by country living in Provence, Southern France and exhibits relaxed rural vibes. Your kitchen is likely to be filled with blue and white porcelain, creamy, milk jugs and antique watering cans. Your materials and natural and your colour palette contains clean and simple colour like cream, great, pale blue and green.
The History of French Provincial Décor
In the 1600s and 1700s, people living in French rural manors could not afford the extravagant furnishings of Paris, or the art that was showcased in aristocratic and royal homes. Instead many people began is adopt a simple and functional style that reflects the colour and the rustic, natural materials of the Southern France landscape.
French Provincial décor became highly popular after World War I. Soldiers returning home from war came back inspired by the fine, elegant 17th and 18th century country homes they had seen in Southern France. The interest created a revival of provincial style as it’s known.
The main reason why French Provincial décor experienced such a sudden revival in the twentieth century and why it continues to be extremely popular today is quite simple: This style of home décor is achievable, practical, beautiful and still elegant. French Provincial style is based on the lifestyle of the South of France. A well designed and finished French Provincial style homes is unlikely to date or show its age as quickly as a modern home might, adding another benefit of going classical.
French Provincial décor is all about a few key features, so what are some of the hallmarks of this style?
- Personal: Inspired by the French country homes, these houses were lived in and today’s homes are inspired by the same aesthetic are meant to reflect the personality and the history of the owner. French style commonly incorporates history and family, heirlooms and personal mementos on display which creates and authenticity and connection with the past.
- Warm and Inviting: There is a certain cosiness to this style, despite the use of cold colours and neutral palettes.
- Contrasts: French Provincial décor is pastoral, elegant, luxurious and charming. Although it is heavily rooted in agricultural lifestyle, there is still a strong sense of elegance, luxury and simplicity.
- Cohesive: A true French Provincial décor home is one with French country touches and signature pieces throughout. There are not a lot of any other influences incorporated into the style of any eclectic fashion.
When looking to decorate in the French Provincial décor, it is imperative to use the correct materials. Most should be natural materials in a raw or natural state, for instance, untreated or weathered wood and timbers, porcelain, stone, ceramic, linen and wicker. Steer clear of plastics and man-made materials. Minimalist, very glossy styles and busy patterns do not promote this style well.
Fabrics and materials and also extremely important when it comes to French Provincial décor furniture. Decorating with window treatments, linens and rugs creates a softer, more neutral look and also aligns with this style when thicker fabrics were used generously in the winter months for warmth. Thick cottons and linen in soft white, creams or rich blues look truly beautiful.
Use wallpaper with a vine pattern or tiles with a tasteful Fleur de Lis design to place your décor firmly in French Provincial style without being too overwhelming. The Provincial style is homely and warm but well-designed. Avoid using very bold prints or too many patterns, subtle designs used occasionally and correctly will go a long way.
It is possible to buy reproduction French Provincial style furniture. These items can be new or old as furniture in this style is simple, sturdy and often has a personal twist. Furniture may be carved or hand-painted and are usually solid wood, although they can vary from extremely simple to slightly more ornate. Farmhouse dining room tables you may prefer to be simple and solid but large armoires you may like to have more ornate, elegant details. Look for quality pieces that are made to last, you can antiquate your own furniture by using specialised paints or by strategically sanding furniture to allow the wood show through.
Talk to the Experts
If you are looking for some expert advice on how to determine your home design style, talk to our experts here at Mazzei Homes, a custom home builder Melbourne based. A team committed to delivering excellence. Whether it is the way our carpenters meticulously finish your house frame or how our building supervisors assess each home like it’s their own. Our team’s devotion to precision and service allows the shared vision of client and design to be fully realised to the highest standard.