There’s just something about the distressed, traditional, and sort of nostalgic provincial home interior vibe that makes us fall in love with it. French Provincial style started during the 17th century when furniture makers and craftsmen in the South of France created ornamented furniture and home décor pieces. These were characterized by wooden furnishings with detailed scalloped carving and cabriole-styled legs. The design style spread across the world after World war I when people started replicating the French provincial furniture style.
Whether you live in the middle of a crowded metropolis or remote countryside, you can definitely incorporate the French Provincial style in your home. It’s the perfect look if you want to create a relaxing, carefree, and laid-back traditional interior while maintaining sophistication and elegance.
French Provincial has evolved into many different styles as designers often mixed it with other design styles. But here, we crafted the ultimate guide to help you learn the basics and eventually incorporate the French Provincial style into your home.
One of the defining features of a French home is Parquetry flooring. Parquet flooring is the French way of styling the flooring by laying out geometric pieces of wood to form a pattern. The most common parquet pattern is the herringbone. It is called such because the pattern resembles the bones of a fish such as a herring. This flooring design technique can either be made up of brick or tile, but wood is the material commonly used for interior spaces.
The walls are usually painted in neutral colors such as whites and grays. The walls have wainscotting paneling like those often seen in Parisian homes. Walls are usually left bare white. Others also add a bit of ornamentation like paintings or mirrors to create a character and add depth.
French provincial ceilings have a resemblance to a rustic farmhouse vibe. You are often going to see exposed wooden ceiling beam structures or false wooden beams. You can also paint the beams white or keep the natural color of the wood and highlight the feature by painting the backdrop in white.
The Color Palette
The color palette is a combination of neutral colors and beiges accentuated with earth-toned hues from organic materials like the wooden flooring and ceiling. The kitchen shelves, bookshelves, and other furniture pieces are usually painted in clean white. It creates a distinguished elegant appeal because it highlights the other interior design feature with a significant color.
Furniture pieces are characterized by scalloped detailed carvings and cabriole legs. This style is light with a hint of Rococo, and more relaxed than the glaringly ornamented baroque. The furniture pieces are made of wood. Sofas are upholstered beautifully that evokes class and opulence. Other furniture includes armchairs, armoires, French dressers, center tables, side tables, coffee tables, and consoles.
The French Provincial interior style uses traditional accessories to complement and complete the design scheme. These accessories are paintings hung on the wall, flowers arranged in a vase to add a pop of color, table lamps, mirrors, sculptures, or other small ornaments usually made up of gold, brass, or iron to add that rustic provincial vibe.
The Lighting Fixtures
Lighting fixtures are usually overlooked when it comes to decorating in a particular style. But choosing the right lighting fixtures is very important because it is one of the design features that catches the attention of anyone who enters the room. Incorporate an elegant, yet not too grand chandelier in your French provincial living room. This will create a sophisticated vibe that will make you feel like you are transported to the 18th century Parisian home.
French provincial interior design carries a significant charm that never fails to transform every house into a story-filled, interior scene that almost always captivates the hearts of everyone who enters the home. You don’t need to be living in France or Europe if you wish to have this look. Simply take note of the basics and don’t forget to add your own interior decorating flair and you’ll definitely nail the look.