Oct 6, 2015

French Provincial Decorating 101

Whenever you think about the French countryside and the Provence, a picture of lavender fields and bright sunshine comes into your mind. While there are many other elements that add to its beauty, traditional French Country style casts off an elegant, rustic old-world look that is warm and welcoming.

Bright black and dull grays tend to punctuate and contrast other bright colors used. Rusted metal furniture and lighting fixtures are just what you need to create graceful French chateaux look. Here are a few ways how you can capture the suave French provincial display in all your interiors:

Natural Materials

Unlike the trendy and cosmopolitan lifestyle of Paris, southern France is known for its country-like aura. This necessitates the need to use natural materials to create the perfect French provincial look. Pained plaster or rough stained walls, delicately carved wood, hefty beaming ceilings and walls and rush-woven chair seats make up for the ideal countryside look and feel. Add natural stone floors with cotton or woolen rugs to give your home the perfect finishing touch.

Neutral Palette

While neutral palette looks plain and boring in modern homes, it does bring an air of calm in your dwelling. Add accents of other colors. Use high-quality matte finishes. To capture the essence of France, use beige color for interior walls (especially your living room).

Stone Fireplace

No real French Country home is considered complete if it does not have a stone fireplace. Use a heavy beam at the top of the opening to serve as a mantle. Stone or ceramic tiles should form the border of the fireplace. The hearth can either be brick, clay or herbs. To complete the fireplace, you need to buy copper pots and iron accessory pieces. Hang them on the sidewall and your French fireplace is complete!

Dining Tables

For the French countryside, simplicity is beauty. This means that you need not invest in really expensive dinner tables. A large, rectangular or round dining table with dull-wax or low-sheen finish will suffice. Carved and curved details grace your dining. Similarly, the chairs need to be either ladderback or must have vertical slats, with rush seatings.


The beautiful colors of lavender fields make up for the captivating French countryside look. Use traditional fabrics that combine well with stripes, checks and basic plaids. Traditional provincial prints are often a combination of primary colors, in varying shades of bright orange, greens and lavenders.


Some of the most common traditional country motifs and products include sunflowers, lavenders, beetles, olives, grapes and roosters. The designs should be arranged at regular intervals and bordered by a wide panel of all motifs in different scales. This design is typical for all textile products, such as curtain panels and tablecloths.


Another important traditional design in the French countryside involves the theme of farm animals and Chinese patterns. Toile refers to white, cream or yellow grounds with large motifs offered in single contrasting colors, such as red, blue, black or green, with a depiction of courting scenes from the 18th century. Most of the toile patterns are printed on cotton or linen. Adding these to your home will complete your French display.

Complement all of the above display features with lots of flowers and pots, and you have officially brought home the French countryside beauty!

Tips offered by JC @ChristopheLiving.

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