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.

Take a look here.

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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: 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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A modern take on a Hamptons weekender

When a young Manhattan couple purchased their weekend home in the Hamptons, they had a vision in mind, but they also wanted their interior designer to bring new ideas.

The couple – a real estate investor and early education teacher – tasked James Huniford of Huniford Design Studio with creating a new identity for their 1910 shingled farmhouse in the town of Water Mill.

Often people dream of a white beach house, but the end result can feel quite sterile. In this home, the subtle use of patterns, timber features and the introduction of beige, grey and blue tones bring warmth and calmness to the space. It was this approach that enabled Huniford to establish a contemporary take on the traditional beach retreat; one that emphasised the home’s coastal location but also the sophisticated aesthetic that his clients desired.

Huniford set to work removing walls and built-in cabinetry along with ripping off wallpaper and tearing out carpets. During this stage, he discovered wooden beams across the full length of the living room ceiling and made the decision to keep these exposed as a design feature. Other quirks of the home are the sliding barn door, the claw foot bath and a 1940s rocker, which was found at a local antiques shop and re-upholstered in floral fabric.

These design features offer great inspiration for updating a home in the ever-popular Hamptons style. So, take a look at this chic, light-filled and character-rich family home…















Images from here.

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Celebrity Insider: Jennifer Lopez’s Los Angeles home

When one of the world’s biggest celebrities puts their house on the market, the reaction from many is pure intrigue of what’s inside. This curiosity grows even larger when the home belongs to the likes of superstar Jennifer Lopez.

Her 17,000-square-foot estate in Los Angeles’s Hidden Hills neighbourhood is on the market for $14.5 million. The singer, actress and dancer moved into the home in 2010 after allegedly purchasing it for $8.2 million with her ex-husband Marc Anthony.

The sprawling estate has nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, two ‘half bathrooms’, a wet bar, wine cellar and most importantly; a recording studio.

The interior design is Hamptons-esque with coastal tones, upholstered furniture and a pared-back sophistication.

A black Agar-style oven takes centre-stage in the kitchen and is softened with pastel blue cupboards, which carry through to the dining room.

Above the dining table sits an over-sized beaded pendant light which adds a touch of modern ‘bling’ and playfulness to the space.

The colour peach swathes the bedroom from the walls to curtains and accessories in contrast to the more masculine wine-toned wood-paneled bar.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Jennifer Lopez’s home without something extravagant and show-stopping. The floor-length ballgown on show does this perfectly.

See inside J Lo’s home below…














Images from here.

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How to style a sophisticated black and white bathroom

Black and white are always in style, especially when it comes to bathrooms. A monochrome colour scheme creates a sense of timeless luxury and sophistication. We have compiled our top tips (and a gallery of photos for inspiration) to help you create the perfect black and white bathroom – whether you are planning a full renovation or a simple tile update. 

1. Art work 

Add some character and style to your room. If you want a minimal touch of colour you can incorporate it through our choice of art or you may decide to add large mirrors as statement pieces instead.

2. Tiles. 

There are many textures and styles of tiles available and each combination will create a very different space. Ask for expert help if needed to select complimentary tiles for all those spaces in your bathroom – floors, splash-backs and so on. My favourite tiles for the bathroom are white marble, hexagonal tiles in white or black and patterned white and black tiles for the floor. Avoid using overly-patterned tiles on all walls as this can make a space feel small and claustrophobic.

3. Taps
Introducing black tap-ware can create a huge impact. Experiment by using black for your basin taps and shower heads. Choose matt black and position against white tiles for maximum impact.

4. Window shutters

Shutters add such a relaxed feel to your space: you can open them and let the sunshine in or leave them closed and light a candle. If you’re looking to add an extra feature, swap the traditional white shutters for statement black.

5. Black baths

Invest in a black bath and it will become the centrepiece for your bathroom  A black bath is very chic in white-based bathroom. Then pair with touches of black, oak, or metal accessories to finish the space or be bold with extravagant black on black.

6. Accessories

Bathrooms are not a place for clutter: think simple, complimentary, and functional when it comes to your accessories. Bath mats, soap and dispensers, lighting, vases, candles, and towels. Darker back drops with lighter accessories, charcoal shades can work well or golds/silvers, or a deep colour with your black and white theme.

Here are some of our favourite black and white bathrooms from our bathrooms Pinterest board – take a look:

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Images from Ferrari Interior’s bathrooms Pinterest board.

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The power of styling with neutrals and naturals

There is a style that never goes out of fashion. A look that is always classic, no matter what season or year. A colour palette that goes with everything and clashes with nothing. Can you think what it is?

Is is, of course, the neutral tones. Decorating using paints, fabrics and furnishings in these shades create a sense of warmth, space and light. But even better is pairing these whites, creams, browns and greys with materials naturally made in these tones. Natural fibres and textiles can help a room feel extremely organic.

Try introducing soft creams or greys into your living room, kitchen, bathroom or bedroom and add a statement piece –  lights, tables and chairs in wood, wicker and stone. It’s also a perfect look for nurseries or children’s rooms, ensuring a calming, nurturing energy compared to stimulating bright colours. But there is a risk that these rooms can look bland. So what it the trick?

Designer / entrepreneur / author and educator, Kelly Hoppen, has built a career on styling rooms. Neutral palettes, beautiful textures and an ‘East Meets West’ aesthetic are all parts of her signature look. Kelly says taupe is one of her favourite colours to use.

“It is the perfect neutral, neither being too warm, nor too cool. It is beautifully balanced, peaceful and calm. Due to the many available shades of taupe, it can be accessorised with subtle combinations of other colours and texture.”

So take a risk and use a combination of shades and textures and remember to have fun. Hanging chairs, feature wood panelling all assist in making a room feel homely and unique. There really are endless ways to create natural, neutral spaces, with only your imagination holding you back. Take a look below at some of our favourite natural and neutral rooms…

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Photos above from Ferrari Interiors on Pinterest.

Photos below from Kelly Hoppen.

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For help decorating, renovating or furnishing your home or investment property, contact Bernadette at

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Celebrity insider: Collette Dinnigan’s chic Sydney home

Arguably Australia’s lady of style, Collette Dinnigan‘s taste doesn’t end on the catwalk. Her former home in Sydney’s Paddington was effortlessly styled with plenty of je ne sais quoi.

The South African-born, New Zealand-raised business woman started her career in the costume department at the ABC. She went on to build a critically acclaimed label that sells world-wide and is particularly renowned for her high-end bridal and evening attire.

But Dinnigan recently announced that she will cease her highly-successful business at the end of this year in order to spend more time with her husband and two children.

The Collette Dinnigan boutiques in Sydney, Melbourne and London will close, whilst September’s stunning Paris runway show now stands as her last collection.

With her wearable designs set become collector’s items, Dinnigan’s houses are also in a league of their own.

Her Paddington home sold for a reported $7  million dollars in 2011. The resort-style home echoes similar qualities to those of Dinnigan’s designs – etherial, feminine and sophisticated.

Take a look…

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Images from Paddo to Palmy and Live Breathe Decor.

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Wish List: Beautiful Bathrooms

Revamping your bathroom is a sound investment, which can add countless dollars to the resale value of your home. When designing your bathroom, consider landscape of bath pieces, cabinet situation and your diversity of finishes.

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Top Ten Express Makeover Tips

Whether you wish to create a more aesthetically appealing home for you and your loved ones, or boost the resale value of your property before putting it on the market, Ferrari Interiors’ express makeover tips will not break the bank.

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