apartment furniture

Be Inspired: French provincial

Warm and cosy, the French Provincial decorating style is a reflection of the homes in Provence in the South of France in the 17th and 18th century.

Think colours inspired by the landscape, sprawling farmhouse tables, stone floors and rough plastered walls. It remains one of the most popular interior design aesthetics in the world and can be integrated into any home. In this article, we share some helpful tips to show you how to bring a splash of French provincial into your home.

From our projects with our clients, it’s clear that the French provincial design style remains popular because it combines elegance with functionality. Those who lived in rural France during this period couldn’t afford ornate pieces of furniture found in many city dwellings, so for this reason French provincial furniture is sturdy and often beautifully simple. Signature pieces include armoires, buffets and of course farmhouse tables where the family can gather.

Today,  the popular and aspirational ‘Hampton’ style of homes draw much influence from the traditional French provincial designs. Adding hints of metallic, statement pendent lights and whites rather than creams can modernise the look.

10 ways to get the French Provincial look

  1. Feature an elegantly carved armoire in your home (a tall cupboard with shelving). You’d always find an armoire in a French house during this period because they did not have closets. Why? Well closets were considered a room and people were taxed according to the number of rooms they had.
  2. Mirrors are a wonderful French provincial accessory and a great way of reflecting light around the room. Choose a carved wood mirror or something gold.
  3. Shutters are a popular feature of these homes and were normally painted in cheery bright colours. White, however is a classic, timeless choice.
  4. Opt for natural raw materials. Natural stone floors look stunning in a French provincial home, as do distressed ceiling beams, rough plastered walls and lots of wooden details.
  5. The colour palette of a French provincial home is inspired by the landscape. Lean towards warm gold, earthly grass greens, brilliant cobalt blues, and russet reds. Base colours should be creams and whites.
  6. Another common characteristic of a French rural home is a fireplace which the family can gather around during the chilly months. Baskets full of wood add to this homely aesthetic.
  7. Women in France in the 17th and 18th century spent much of their time embroidering so include some of this lovely needlework in your home, whether it be an embroidered pillow, drapery or bed linen. Don’t forget plenty of upholstered furniture – we can recommend our expert upholsterer for this.
  8. When choosing textiles look out for traditional prints that take their cue from nature, such as vines, sunflowers, olives and roosters arranged in geometric patterns. A particularly famed French fabric is Toile de Jouy, a cotton or linen material with a white and beige colour scheme.
  9. A great deal of the charm of the French provincial style is how inviting and personal it looks.  Accessorise your home with rustic baskets, old copper pots, colourful ceramics, wrought iron and fresh flowers.
  10. For a modern look, mix French provincial pieces with modern furniture. You can always give antique furniture a contemporary twist by adding crystal knobs or having a sheet of glass or mirror fitted to the top.

Take a look at our favourite spaces below for inspiration

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to learn more about the French Provincial Design style and how it would work in your home please call Bernadette on 0417 088 602 to book a consultation.

10 ways to get the french provincial look

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We collect all our favourite interior design images, including those used in this post, on our Pinterest page.

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Celebrity Insider: Naomi Watts’ New York family apartment

From the big screen to magazine spreads, Naomi Watts exudes style, and now we know her home does too. Watts’ New York apartment is intimate, eclectic and a perfect balance between boldness and grace.

Watts shares the apartment with husband and fellow actor Liev Schreiber and their two sons. It’s no surprise therefore that the space has a homely and warm feel to it, with its bleached-walnut banquette in the kitchen, which the family huddle around for meals.

In the playroom, a Living Divani sectional sofa sits atop a custom-made John Robshaw rug, while hanging above are Flos pendants. And of course there’s the kids’ room with upholstered bedheads and photographs taken by Watts’ brother hanging above the twin beds.

Yet, there are distinct grown up spaces too. The Master bedroom features opulent wallpaper by Clarence House, Ralph Lauren Home bedside tables and a vintage Italian bench, while the living room is finished with a 19th-century Gabon mask, velvet covered sofas and a custom, hand-crafted Robert Pluhowski cocktail table.

Tucked further into the home is the most impressive use of space of all: the green-lacquer bar styled with its own artwork. It’s a tiny space that delivers plenty of impact and function.

Step inside Naomi Watts’ stylish, family-friendly New York apartment…
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Images from here.

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Celebrity Insider: Meg Ryan’s New York Loft

Actress turned director Meg Ryan has a lesser known passion: the world of interiors. Ryan recently completed the renovation of her ninth home – this time with the help of designer Monique Gibson and architect Joel Barkley.

Her sprawling New York loft was once Cindy Sherman‘s photo studio. Now, light floods through the huge windows and the former darkroom is Ryan’s cloakroom.

A neutral colour palette runs throughout the home, with texture and interest added in the way of intricate light hangings, Ryan’s collection of art and an eclectic mix of furniture gathered from many vintage stores.

The kitchen area sees an industrial light from a second hand store in Maine illuminate the area, while fabrics by Rogers & Goffigon wrap the living room’s sofas. These are complemented by a Stéphane Parmentier lava-stone stool, a painting of Ryan by John Mellencamp and a Pablo Avilla wire tree sculpture.

The dining room features a striking custom-made bronze table by Maison Gerard, which is surrounded by Bentwood chairs from Lee Calicchio. Overhead hangs a high impact, salvaged lantern and mantel from United House Wrecking.

Through to the monochrome bathroom and a Water Monopoly stand-alone tub sits above a tiled platform. Matching Urban Archaeology vanities are customised with Grigio Carnico marble tops creating a sophisticated space.

Take a look…

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Celebrity Insider: Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s Manhattan Loft

With floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, including the bathroom, the views are just as spectacular as the apartment itself in this celebrity home.

Moving into a larger home, sports star Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen are selling their 48th floor Flatiron home, designed by architect Peter Marino.

Framed by glass walls, the 4 bedroom home boasts views of the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, and the Hudson and East Rivers. The 3,310 square foot space even includes a floating marble tub in the master ensuite – perfect for looking out over the New York skyline.

The building’s four uppermost floors are owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and house an around-the-clock doorman, a private screening room, a private dining room with a full catering kitchen, and a gym fitted out with a lap pool and steam room.

Take a look at this loft-like space, which was listed for $17.25 million…

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Images from here.


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Celebrity Insider: Kim Kardashian’s $40 million Airbnb penthouse

Being a Kardashian, Kim certainly doesn’t hold back when it comes to travelling. She, husband Kanye West and their two daughters are staying in a five bedroom, six bathroom, three storey penthouse, overlooking the Hudson River in New York. However, this stay isn’t costing them a cent. In a clever PR stunt, international rental company Airbnb is putting up the Kardashian-West family in this $10,000-a-night triplex penthouse as Kanye travels the country on his Saint Pablo Tour.

With an outdoor kitchen, private rooftop pool, home gym, sauna and state-of-the art, marble-topped kitchen, the pad is worth $30 million. The 7,200 square foot triplex also features floor to ceiling windows to take in the New York’s signature skyline, while the kids can keep themselves entertained in the play area complete with a teepee, art easel and mini dining set. Take a look…

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The wonderful world of Bromley & Co

There really is nothing else quite like Bromley & Co. Spanning three stores along with collaborations with the likes of Kookai, Heston Blumenthal and Wolf Blass, this Australian company fuses art, homewares and fashion with large doses of originality, quirk and je ne sais quoi.

Bromley & Co brings together pieces from artists based across Australia and is run by husband and wife duo, artist David Bromley and fashion designer Yuge.

Despite having a gallery and retail space in Daylesford and Windsor, and now a space in The Block Arcade in Melbourne’s CBD, the pair haven’t stopped their many side projects and collaborations.

The pair worked with Eastland shopping centre in Melbourne to bring to life a creative and cultural vision. The result are murals throughout Eastland that measure up to 21 meters tall, creating a winding “art adventure on a grand scale amongst a retail development built to an international standard”.

Meanwhile, their collaboration with Wolf Blass has seen Bromley & Co create an exquisite interior and exterior of the Birdcage Marquee at the 2015 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and a portrait of Wolf himself.

David, who describes himself as an avid popular culture observer and consumer, has even painted Kendall and Kylie Jenner, along with Miranda Kerr and Kylie Minogue and Lily Allen.

Whatever it is that David and Yuge dream up, one thing is a given: the result will be a unique expression of creativity.

Take a scroll through the intriguing world of Bromley & Co below…

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The new Pantone colour designed by six brands: Single Malt

Not only has the leading international institute on colour, Pantone, released a new colour to its collection, but it was created through a first-time collaboration of six brands.

Designers from the ELEVATE Design Collective – a group of six home accent brands (Delta Faucet, Formica, Hunter Fans, Jeld-Wen, KitchenAid and Schlage) – met with the Pantone Colour Institute earlier this year.

Their aim was to create a colour that would be “both modern and stylish, with soothing and reassuring qualities that had the ability to work in a variety of settings from contemporary to traditional”.

Delta Faucet’s Judd Lord explains, “We split up in teams and scoured New York City to find inspiration for the color. We scraped rust off a beam in Chelsea and even found inspiration in the colour of a belt. Everything we liked came from a very organic palette, and after working on variations with Pantone, we settled on a hue we liked. The interior designer helped us bring it all together.”

The result? ‘Single Malt’: a  rich rustic neutral, that Pantone describes are “one whose comforting warmth blurs the line between nature and the manufactured world. Luxurious yet sedate, unfussy yet sophisticated.” It references leather, coffee and cognac.

Each of the six brands integrated Single Malt into a unique selection of products resulting in a suite of signature accents to outfit the loft space. For instance, in the kitchen, countertops were made from a large-scale 180fx® by Formica Group in a custom Bourbon Trail marble design, while each interior door was outfitted with Schlage’s decorative Northbrook Lever in Matte Black with a trim in ‘Rose’ to carry the design theme in every detail throughout the home.

The Single Malt fixtures were all created specifically for this showcase but larger releases for each brand may be coming next. Take a look…

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Celebrity insider: Gianni Versace’s former New York townhouse

One of the most ornate townhouses in New York’s Upper East side is up for rent – and it retains many of its former owner’s touches. It’s not hard to believe that this home once belonged to the world famous fashion designer Gianna Versace, with its interiors mirroring the style of many of the icon’s designs. From leopard prints, to rich, clashing colours and luxe materials, it’s a palatial townhouse fit for a style icon.

Versace bought the 14,000-square-foot home in 1993 and it’s now owned by Swedish hedge fund manager Thomas Sandell, who is asking for US$120,000 per month in rent. The 17-room neoclassical home was built in 1950 by architect Irving Margon, and was later renovated by Versace in true Italian luxe style.

Spread over six stories, which are connected by an elevator, the floors throughout are all unique, from marble to Australian parquet, to mosaic with classical motifs. In the foyer, a sweeping staircase with leopard print carpet is paired with a glamerous chandelier and an oversized piece of modern art. The animal print continues in the living room, where it is paired with a burgundy velvet lounge and an open fireplace.

The larger entertaining room has a wall of full-length windows, a fresco-ed ceiling and lounge suites upholstered in gold and burgundy material. This colour scheme continues in the master suite with the velvet canopy bed and full sized animal print rug, while the adjoining ensuite features a sunken Jacuzzi tub. The TV room is dressed in a Moroccan-style and gives access to the rooftop garden.

Take a look…

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Images: The Corcoran Group.

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Celebrity Insider: Charlize Theron’s Hollywood home

Celebrity actress Charlize Theron has always been known for her style in the fashion stakes. So it comes as no surprise that her home is equally as glamerous. Recently sold for a reported $1.75 million, Theron’s one-bedroom, two-bathroom home is far from your average single bedroom apartment.
Covering 2,350 square feet, it features a floating staircase that connects the living space with the master suite and outdoor terrace. Stand-out design features are the large steel-framed windows, glossy ebony wood floors and the high ceilings.
Theron has opted for a feminine, somewhat retro style throughout, with white and black as her base colours, offset with small touches of orange in the form of upholstered chairs and cushions. Ceiling to floor white curtains and shaggy rugs add softness, while an oversized clock, large exposed piping and an angled-shelf bookcase add quirk.

Take a look…

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Image Source: Partners Trust Beverly Hills

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Celebrity Insider: The Megan Hess-designed Melbourne penthouse


















Images from here.

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