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
- 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.
- 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.
- Shutters are a popular feature of these homes and were normally painted in cheery bright colours. White, however is a classic, timeless choice.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
We collect all our favourite interior design images, including those used in this post, on our Pinterest page.Read more
Worldwide, we have been spending a lot of time at home lately. Your bedroom should feel luxurious and like a place to escape. When choosing items for your bedroom it is important to consider room scale. “Hotel style is the feeling of luxury when you walk into a room. It doesn’t have to be done overnight, you can add elements gradually. The most important thing is that there’s something in the room that attracts your eye.” We will walk through how to style your bedroom to feel like a luxury hotel.
When it comes to creating a home sanctuary that you can escape to, it makes sense to borrow from the relaxed-yet-refined style of your favourite hotel retreats. At Ferrari Interiors we know a thing or two about recreating this look at home: It’s about introducing different elements to feast the eye on. Clients come to me with a home filled with brand new, top-end products; yet it doesn’t feel warm and they can’t work out why. By simply layering colours, textures and accessories you can create a room that looks expensive and inviting, and the best bit? It doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Know what you like. It’s tempting to think you have to have your interior style mapped out before meeting with a designer, it’s about knowing what you like and more importantly, not being scared about what you like. You’ve only got to have one key element for us to work with. Anything can be a starting point; a piece of furniture, a favourite colour, a photo you’ve seen online. It gets the ball rolling – I’ve worked a whole house around a piece of fabric! Headboards are the focal point of a bedroom. Whatever style of headboard you choose, it will set the stage for the rest of your decorating in the room.
Shop your house. The secret is to think beyond one focal point, and to have every area in the room accounted for: It’s not enough to have furniture, you need cushions, greenery, mirrors and accessories – they light up and turn on a room, and will set it apart from everybody else’s. I work hard to design an interior look in which all elements are interchangeable between rooms. By using the same palette, you can intermix furniture, rearrange the layout if you’re bored, or ‘shop your house’ for accessories you can swap from room to room.
Want to give your home the five-star treatment? These tips will help you sprinkle some of that hotel magic on your space.
1. Learn to Layer
Choose a simple monochrome palette for your home that will provide continuity and flow between rooms. Next up, layer the room with textures and patterns to ensure the room is cosy and welcoming. For example, mix luxe silky cushions with tactile furry throws. And don’t forget to add black-out curtains in the bedroom. The owner of this bedroom in Abbotsford was stuck. She had bought all the furniture, but the space was stark and she didn’t feel good in the room. We brought in a bold, black and gold wallpaper – it was a brave move but it brings the space to life. I used the print as a starting point, teaming it with a mix of textures from a shimmering golden curtain and plush carpet, to a metallic mirror and crisp white sheets. If a bold patterned wallpaper is too much for you, I suggest considering a textured wallpaper as an alternative to pattern. Grass-weaves or printed textures give warmth and personality and can bring a scheme to life. I like to use wallpaper in most of my projects, even if it’s only in a subtle way.
2. Add Greenery and Fresh Flowers
Drawing inspiration from the beautiful flower arrangements I see in top hotel foyers, I recommend introducing pops of greenery where possible: No matter how simple, fresh flowers and greenery add style and sensory fragrance to make your home feel luxe. Choose thick, waxy leaves for longer lasting arrangements. Orchids are elegant and timeless, and can look great in any room of the house – and if you’re on a budget, cut greenery from your own garden. In my own home, I group arrangements of cuttings in different height vases which work against any backdrop. I experiment with a look and edit; and then keep on editing.
3. Keep your Furniture to Scale
Bedside tables and lamps should be to scale for your space. Table height should be level with the top of the mattress not only for symmetry and style but also for functionality. Keep in mind as well what you want to go on your bedside table. Lighting is important in a bedroom, and a good bedside lamp will be both functional and stylish. Match the style of your bedside lamps to the style of your headboard. If you have a tall ornate headboard, a tall lamp will compliment it well. If your style is more sleek and modern, stick to a sleek modern lamp.
Our clients were looking to create a unique statement apartment that made their new two bedroom home stand out in this prestigious new development and to create a beautiful flexible interior. We will show you how you can think outside of the box and how to style your small living space.
The colour palette chosen for the project was soft and sophisticated using blues and taupe. This was enhanced by the use of textured wallpapers, luxe drapery and bed linen. High end furniture and custom upholstery was used throughout and striking accent mirrors in the living area increased the proportions of the room by reflecting light and opening the space.
A bookcase and an additional wardrobe were also custom made to provide extra storage options. Furniture selections were designed to be flexible allowing it to be moved around as needed offering greater flexibility and layout options within the limited space.
The unique aspects of the project are the use of textured wallpaper to compliment and bring out the best in the paint colours of the apartment and to compliment the luxe drapery and soft furnishings along with the use of an ethanol fire in the custom designed and Australian made entertainment unit.
Material, function and proportion were carefully considered throughout creating inviting areas that reflect the individual style and personality of the owners while carefully considering space and functionality in a small living space.Read more
Small living has become very popular over the years, there are even TV shows dedicated to tiny living. Home is a calm sanctuary and a place to feel secure and protected. We will walk you through how making the most of your small living room can create a calming space for you to unwind.
Small living rooms can look seriously stylish when you decorate well. You don’t need to compromise on taste just because there is less space to work with. Follow these decorating tips if you are looking for small living room ideas.
Create a Focal Point
Assess what your rooms assets are and make those the focal point. If it’s got great light, play that up with lighter colours to create a sense of expansiveness; if it has a stunning fireplace, draw attention to the fireplace. This space in my clients home has amazing windows which I played up by drawing attention with a statement chandelier and light colours.
Place Furniture Away From Walls
Place furniture away from the walls to add not only more walking space but also help give the illusion of a more roomy living room. Adding low sofas, chairs and tables will help add to a more spacious looking room. This is a great example from our clients small Toorak apartment.
In a small living room, multi-use furniture is key. The more uses each piece of furniture can serve, the better. Place a tray on an ottoman to turn it into a table when you aren’t using it as a seat. Use a console as a desk. Stylish seating can be placed beneath it to free up space. It will work as a stylish place to stash your keys and a perfect place to sit and get work done. Image from here.
Consider your Furniture
Less furniture is best when you have a small living room. Instead, choose a sofa that’s proportional to the size of the space, and if you’re still in need of more seating, use stools. Stools take up far less room than bulky armchairs, and can be easily moved around the space. Look for stowaway furniture, such as cube stools (pictured) that can be tucked under a coffee table or into a corner when you don’t need them.
Play With Scale
Don’t be afraid of making a big statement in a small space. You don’t want to clutter your space but a well curated collection can create lots of drama. We love how the over-the-top, formal chandelier in this space creates contrast and intrigue.
Free up Floor Space
Think furniture that takes up minimal space. Create your own media centre. A wall-mounted TV is always going to be the best option for small living rooms. Floating shelves above and/or below the TV will allow for storage without taking up too much needed space. Utilise every inch of space by adding extra storage for items such as drawer units or storage stools to make a difference as well. Image from here.
One of the most popular small living room ideas is the use of neutral colours throughout. A palette of off-whites or beiges will expand the look of the space. If the white-wash look isn’t your thing, add pops of colour through furnishings, accessories, and artwork. If you can’t live without colour, you aren’t out of luck. Dark bold colours in a small space can make a huge statement when done right. This living room is a perfect example of dramatic dark colour that doesn’t close the space in. The use of mirrors also opens up the space.
Take Advantage of High Ceilings
High ceilings can help make a small space feel large. To take advantage of vertical space, accentuate tall windows with high curtains and a bold wallpaper. When curtains are hung right they add height to a small room. Keep the curtain design simple but use extra fabric for fullness. Image from here.
Mirrors are one of the best ways to make your tiny space feel open and airy. Choose Glass Or Mirrored Furniture. Use reflective surfaces to your advantage. Hang large mirrors on the walls, ideally opposite a window or door to reflect the light. A living room will feel brighter and bigger with the correct use of mirrors, reflecting all light available in the room. The statement mirror in my clients living room creates the feeling of an extra window, creating an illusion of more space.
A few well-chosen accessories can complete the look and create a luxurious finish. Invest in some metallic photo frames or a designer candle votive and the whole room will look high-end. If you like more items and less of a minimalist look, group like items together to make the accessories more cohesive and less like clutter. The metallic details in my own home add a high-end look to my living room.
Some of my favourite projects have been designing small spaces to suit the needs of my clients, for assistance on making your small space work for you while looking chic contact me here.Read more
Easter can be a very colourful time of the year between plastic eggs, jelly beans and bright furry characters. Your house doesn’t have to become an Easter explosion. There are some simple updates you can make to bring some Easter cheer while staying stylish and understated.
Below we explore colour themes from light pastels to dark greys, and how they can be incorporated into your space this Easter.
Pinks, whites and teals are a great choice to update your space and bring in some pops of subtle colour. Doing so with items you already have around the house or purchasing items that can be used year round will save money and storage space.
If you love colour and want to add some bright pops, try keeping your brightest pops of colour in your flowers. It will save you having to keep an entire storage container with Easter decor stored away 11 months of the year. You can even dye your own eggs in bright pops or add some gold leaf to match your cutlery.
If you prefer more muted tones, stick with earthy tones for a linen tablecloth, simple branches, and pastel tableware. Tying some pastel ribbon in the branches can create an Easter themed centrepiece.
The whites and greys of Scandinavian style work in almost any space. Simple branches, speckled eggs, and a grey linen tablecloth completes the below look.
Accent grey walls with a bright white table scape and include babies breathe flowers for a delicate and romantic touch.
For a more masculine feel, stick to a focal piece like the brown ceramic bunny below, and accent with native branches and metal and ceramic dinnerware.Read more
Finding the right theme to decorate your home in for the big Christmas gathering can be anxiety inducing. You want a perfect combination of style without going over the top with seasonal features. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options available to you and difficult to even know where to begin.
Cue this guide.
We hope it’ll help guide you in the right direction for your party. You’ll always have the following year to try a different theme!
Focus on the table
The family dinner is a quintessential part of Christmas festivities and one of the easiest ways to spread Christmas décor. Feel free to deviate from the standard red-and-green colour scheme. “Rather than the traditional red and green scheme, try something new like a fabric in malachite and hot pink peonies,” says designer Grant Gibson. “Layer in black and white for a graphic pop. The plates [below] are antique French.”
For a more natural take on Christmas, dress up a dinner party with lush garland, silver candle holders, and wood chargers. Complete each setting with gold flatware and a cinnamon stick, as Lauren McBride did here, for a warm and inviting Christmas setting.
Make white your base
In this holiday vignette styled by Craftberry Bush, a white Fir tree, white walls, and plenty of fake snow make for a wintery wonderland and make the bold pops of red even more dazzling. This can be used in any room. Try a white table runner topped with green foliage in the kitchen, or cluster white candles near mirrors to spread light.
Opt for modern ornaments
Classic baubles in red, gold and green can sometimes come across as dated. Spruce it up (excuse the pun) with varying shapes, colour or texture. Have fun with a minimalist twist, such as the candle lights and geometric gold ornaments pictured below (styled by My Scandinavian Home).
Ornaments are not solely reserved for the tree! Use bookshelves as an opportunity to inject a bit of holiday flair!
For lovers of floral accessories, Take inspiration from nature for your decorating scheme. “Use fresh evergreen boughs, garlands and wreaths combined with in-season citrus like lemons, tangerines and oranges,” says designer Tobi Fairley.” It will give your home a beautiful natural look, and it smells heavenly.”
Don’t be afraid of artificial trees
If a real tree leaves a mess in your living room, don’t feel married to it. Besides, artificial trees often have wires that are easy to curve and bend to better hold ornaments. Not to mention they last much longer. Miss the scent of pine? A few scented candles (just not too close to the tree!) should do the job, or try out our natural pine needle idea above.
Don’t shy from green décor
If filling bowls with pinecones is beginning to get boring, check crafts and home stores for natural ornaments, and display them with seasonal greenery. Added perk: The greenery, such as pine needles, will add a fresh aroma to the room, a must-have if you have opted for an artificial tree.
Think in threes
For a beautiful statement decor piece, follow this easy formula. “Christmas means three things to me: paperwhites, citrus and magnolia. I go to the flower market (or the backyard) and cut magnolia and place it on mantles,” says designer Miles Redd. “I intersperse lemons or clementines (sometimes studded with cloves), and paperwhites — either the individual bulb — or just mossy pots of 6 bulbs. The smell of the combination is wonderful.”
Make it last
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Save ribbons from previous presents you have received, or reuse old fabric as a unique wrapping for presents. Or even make a custom wreath from different materials, fabric bows, small baubles… you get the idea. Making some DIY decorations can also be a fun way to spend some quality- time as a fun activity with little ones.
Make it magical with light
Spruce up both indoor and outdoor areas with some hanging lights. Weave in some natural evergreens and fabric straps to a staircase and hang strings of lights to have a magical floating effect.
For a warm climate, adding sparkle to unexpected places also makes for gorgeous outdoor entertaining. Play around with some scented candles, hanging fairy lights, or solar lanterns for varying strength of lights and different ambience.Read more
Have you always wanted to experiment with vivacious prints and elegant patterns in your home but don’t know how to begin?
We are in an amazing new age of production when it comes to textiles and wall coverings. Wallpapers are not just for your Grandma’s sitting room anymore and nor should they be. You can now achieve detailed ornamental patterns or gorgeous subtle textured patterns with high quality digital printed wallpapers.
So whatever your design vibe is, whether a lush flocked damask, or a minimal Japanese pattern, these new methods of production can cater to all tastes. Take a look at our five tips below to get you on your way to styling print and pattern confidently.
(Image credit: Homes & Gardens via Desire to Inspire)
Fabrics needn’t just be for upholstery. Think outside the box to create a bespoke feature. You can create a gorgeous wall hanging from textured patterned linens – simply cut a rectangle of fabric and get it professionally framed. Think of a luxurious textile as a piece of art and the options are endless.
Mix it up.
Select a bold pattern and support it with complementary elements. This could be a basic plain textured linen in a muted tone, used as a supportive element to a vibrant Moroccan pattern or Turkish rug.
Try before you buy.
Samples are your friend. Order the largest size sample possible or invest in a small quantity of fabric or wallpaper. If you don’t end up using it for a feature wall, I’m sure you can find a use for it later on. Place it in different areas of your home and see how it changes a room at different times of the day. Then, when you finally make your purchase, you will have peace of mind that it 100% works in your space.
Don’t be afraid.
Pattern and print are amazing features when styled correctly, adding instant visual value. They may take a little more workshopping to get right, but when done well, you won’t regret it and you’ll only get better at it with more experience. Don’t fear big or busy patterns in small spaces, they can take you into another world.
Are you ready to launch into the world of pattern? Contact us to see samples of our latest pattern and print swatches in a variety of styles to suit your individual style.
The perfect living room starts with the perfect sofa. Interior designers are perpetually on the hunt for the ideal sofa, the kind of piece that outlives fads in the same way that a classic tailored coat does. There is no other piece of household furniture that you spend countless hours using, so this staple purchase deserves attention.
A good sofa is a piece of furniture that extends beyond aesthetics. It goes without saying that it must be an object of beauty, but it also has to work hard. Choose something simple and top quality. But most importantly, make sure it’s comfortable. If it’s not comfy now, it never will be and you’ll be stuck with it. So just how do you go about securing the ideal sofa?
Some spaces are instantly engaging. They tell a story with every meticulously placed element – a trinket sitting on the edge of a mantle or an intricately patterned rug placed atop a seagrass mat. On first inspection, it’s difficult to pinpoint just what exact details make such a space so special. This is the magic of layering, the secret weapon of interior design.Read more
Finding the right accents to accessorise your interior can be a tiresome task. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options available to you and difficult to even know where to begin. This guide will give you clarity in finding the right pieces that define your interior style.Read more