If you’re looking for a timeless way to style your home, Provincial interior may be for you. Also known as French country, Provincial style evokes a sense of rustic elegance, warmth, character and charm. Inspired by the idyllic countryside homes of rural France, this style combines natural elements and vintage accents to create a warm, cosy atmosphere.
The French provincial style is classic and fits in nicely with other interior styles including English country and rustic farmhouse. With it’s simple, inexpensive furniture and basic colour palette, this timeless style is easy to achieve. In this article, we’ll run through the essential elements to bring this classic style to your home.
What is French Provincial Decorating Style?
The French provincial style blends both luxury and rustic charm. Think country style living with a luxurious spin and you have French provincial interior style. It’s a little shabby, a little coastal, but remains elegant and timeless.
The French provincial style came about in the 17th and 18th centuries and became a widespread style after World War I. Inspired by the look of rustic, country homes seen in France, French provincial interior combines ornate carvings, exposed timber and wrought iron with cosy textures and warm colour palettes and has easily adapted to more modern styles.
This style is easier to achieve in an older home with that rustic, old-time charm. If you live in a more modern space, consider the colour palette of your floors, walls and other interior. From marble kitchen benches to cream walls, the French provincial style can be achieved with a few changes.
What is French Provincial Style Furniture?
Simple and sturdy in design, French provincial style furniture blends the ornate feel of antiques and practical rustic farmhouse furniture. French provincial homes usually feature exposed timber with ornate, curved silhouettes and armoire. Blend with a chandelier, linens, wrought iron and fresh flowers and you’ve achieved the sophisticated and understated French provincial interior.
How to Decorate French Provincial Style
From rustic furniture to floral prints, French provincial style is all about rustic charm and vintage touches, creating a sophisticated, homely and warm shabby-chic style. To achieve the French provincial style, there are a few key elements, including a light and warm colour palette, distressed timber furniture, ornate details, florals and vintage touches. We’ll go through the basics you’ll need to bring this look to your home.
Warm Colour Palettes
- Earthy Neutrals: Embrace warm and earthy tones such as cream, beige, taupe and soft browns as your baseline.
- Soft Pastels: Introduce soft pastel shades like pale blues, light greens, and blush pinks to add a touch of freshness and serenity to your spaces. Also opt for colours like olive, lavender and muted greens. Add these shades with textiles, home decor or even painted furniture pieces.
- Rich Jewel Tones: Consider incorporating rich jewel tones like deep blues, emerald greens, or burgundy as accent colours to add more depth and elegance to your space.
Rustic Furniture and Natural Materials
- Weathered and Reclaimed Wood: Opt for furniture pieces made of natural, weathered or distressed wood to capture the rustic charm of French provincial style. Look for exposed grain, aged finishes and carved details.
- Farmhouse Tables: Include a farmhouse-style dining table with a sturdy, worn look and a distressed paint finish. Using a farmhouse style dining table will act as a centrepiece, anchoring your dining space and bringing a warm, welcoming feel to your home.
- Wicker and Rattan: Add texture with wicker or rattan furniture pieces, such as rattan chairs, baskets or side tables. Wicker and rattan complement the natural, organic and relaxed feel of French provincial interior style.
- Vintage Accents: Incorporate vintage or antique furniture pieces, such as a distressed dresser or a worn leather armchair to bring that lived-in, farmhouse look.
- Natural Stone and Brick: Integrate natural stone or exposed brick elements into your interiors, whether through accent walls, an exposed brick fireplace or flooring. You could also go for marble kitchen benches or wrought iron shelves.
- Exposed Beams: Just like exposed timber, exposed beams are commonly seen in French provincial homes, bringing an old-time charm to the space.
Cosy Textiles and Patterns
- Floral Prints: Embrace classic floral patterns in upholstery, curtains, or throw pillows to add rustic farmhouse charm and feminine touch. Look for light-coloured, delicate and traditional floral motifs that complement the colour palette of your space.
- Gingham and Plaid: Introduce gingham or plaid patterns in your textiles, such as tablecloths, tea towels or throw blankets to evoke a cosy and rustic ambiance reminiscent of the countryside.
- Natural Linens: Opt for natural linen fabrics for curtains, bedding, or tablecloths to bring a sense of simplicity and texture to your French provincial interior. Choose soft, muted colours like blush pink, pastel blue and pastel yellow.
- Knitted Throws and Crochet Details: Incorporate knitted and crochet throws, cushions or table runners. These handmade accents add warmth and a touch of nostalgia.
- Distressed Mirrors and Frames: Hang antique or distressed mirrors and frames on your walls to reflect light, create depth and add a vintage touch to your provincial spaces. Go for rounded mirrors and distressed frames.
- Iron Accents: Integrate wrought-iron details, such as chandeliers, candle holders or wall sconces for a hint of rustic elegance.
- Vintage Tableware: Display vintage china, ceramic pitchers or delicate teacups on open shelves or in glass-front cabinets for extra beauty and charm points.
- Fresh Flowers and Greenery: Adorn your space with fresh flowers and greenery planted in simple, vintage vases or ceramic pots. Choose simple arrangements of wildflowers, lavender sprigs or herbs in rustic vases or mason jars.
- Vintage Signs and Artwork: Incorporate vintage signs, botanical prints or countryside landscape paintings to add more character to your home.