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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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 bernadette@ferrariinteriors.com.au.

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In the Spotlight: Shutters

shuttersNo matter how imaginative your architect was, no matter how unique your decorative windows and doors, chances are they can be enhanced by the addition of custom-made shutters.

Many of my customers request blinds and curtains because they believe quality shutters are out of their price range. Not true. Shutters are increasingly more affordable and have many design and functionality benefits. It is also important to note shutters are the only window treatment that can be considered a capital improvement. (more…)

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