How to achieve a French provincial bedroom look | For a certain je nais se quois
French provincial style originated from, as the name suggests, various provinces in France during the 1700’s. People in Bordeaux, Brittany, Normandy and Provence began to incorporate the opulence of chateaux and estates into their own homes, with the style now being known for its warmth and elegance.
Key components of the French provincial style include marble, wrought iron, carved or rustic timber, stone and lightly distressed materials, mirroring the materials found in French villages. French provincial style can be considered feminine, favouring muted, soft colours and textured fabrics. However, the style avoids gaudiness, opting for sophistication instead.
Soft, high-quality linen and textiles are a hallmark of the French provincial style. If you can, opt for authentic French linen, as it’s guaranteed to be a worthwhile investment. French provincial textiles will often give off a “romantic” feeling, but try to avoid excessive frills and ruffles.
French provincial style is synonymous with muted colours like ivory, taupe, sage and other natural tones, with black even being incorporated into many French provincial homes. This colour palette will instantly create a warm and soft environment that embodies the atmosphere of the French countryside.
Although French provincial style places an emphasis on subtlety, the furniture pieces are always prominent and commanding. Perhaps one of the best areas of the home to express the French provincial style is the bedroom. After all, no other area of the home is better suited to luxury, opulence and comfort than the bedroom. For this, invest in a French provincial bed as the statement piece in the room.
Eye for detail
Although showcase furniture items are key in the French provincial style, nuanced ornate moulding is also considered highly. This means fireplaces, walls, skirting boards or cornices with decorative details are preferred over bold prints and artworks. Furniture and cabinetry also tend to feature striking elements, which help to create an authentic vintage look.
Attention to detail is also important beyond just the furniture, with the French believing that everything in the home should be beautiful. Expect to find fresh flowers and thoughtful touches added to side tables throughout the home.
Wallpaper is something you can choose to skip if you like how your walls look currently, but can be used to great effect when added to a French provincial style home. A faded fleur-de-lis or damask pattern, stripes or even country scenes can all add a creative touch to your home, but remember that subtlety is key.
Like the colour scheme, shapes and lines are also soft in French provincial style. A distinctive feature of French provincial furniture are the curved legs, which provide a sense of elegance and femininity. French provincial chairs with curved, carved legs are particularly popular pieces.
Lighting is an element that is sometimes overlooked when decorating a space. Wrought iron scones, brass lamps and those capped with glass or fabric lampshades will all bring a touch of the French countryside to your home. The most complementary of all lighting options, however, has to be the classic chandelier. Opt for a statement chandelier that will be the dazzling centre of your room when lit up. Also make sure to dot candles around the home for a constant sense of warmth.
If adopting the French provincial style, ensure that each of your rooms tie together cohesively. Having just one room decorated in the style will look jarring and unsophisticated. Mix old and new items throughout the home to seamlessly blend the vintage style into the modern world.
A touch of the rustic
Of course, the French provincial style is not all about pomp and circumstance. Integrating rustic elements allows you to honour the rural origin of the style while allowing for a more natural look. Try incorporating stone, metal (particularly wrought-iron), timber and distressed painted furnishings to add interest while complementing the overall style.
Be eclectic, not matchy-matchy
Your home should not look like it’s been taken out of a furniture catalogue. Naturally curate items over time, as opposed to buying all the items from a vintage replica furniture store at once. Mismatched yet complementary items add the sense authenticity and merry happen chance evoked by the French provincial style.