French Provincial Style – Joyous, Cozy Interiors

February 16, 2020
If you like country style houses with French themes, you're in the right place. We'll give you a few tips so you can recreate this style in your home. You'll love it!

Do you want to know the origins of the French provincial style? We’ll tell you here. It’s a style inspired by sunlight and fields of sunflowers and was developed in the area between the Mediterranean and the Rhone river.

It’s one of the most natural and rustic styles of France from the 18th century. Color and country life are the key themes to understand the way of life from this age.

Provincial houses were old country houses or farmhouses. Thick stone walls were typical and were crucial in protecting the house’s inhabitants from the strong winds, as well as the animals on the farm.

French provincial style: how to get it right

Light, upholstered furniture, flower jugs and natural timber

Who hasn’t heard of the French provincial style? This style with rural origins has survived the passing of time. Natural themes, joyful floral fabrics, and authentic objects from country life are some of the keys to its identity.

You might ask, how can I achieve this style in my home? Keep reading because we’re going to give you some tips on how to get it right.

Soft colors and happy prints

French provincial style rooms are distinguished by their luminosity. For walls and floors, choose light colors, such as pastel tones. White is also one of the most traditional colors in the different decor items around the home in this style.

Lavender and salmon pink are also common since they add a touch of softness and serenity. They are ideal to enhance the relaxed, rural air that you want to transmit.

Did you know that there is a type of print that relates to the French provincial style? You can recognize it by the floral patterns (wildflowers, lavender, etc) and bright colors, principally yellow and blue.

We should also point out that fabrics around the home and the upholstery of the furniture are also responsible for introducing fresh touches in French provincial style homes. You can decorate with checked patterns, stripes or floral patterns.

Timber floors

If you want to redo your floors, the best option for the French provincial style is to use timber, preferably aged or white painted pine. Hydraulic tiles and stone floors are also common.

Decorative details in French provincial style decor

Natural stone floor, ceramic flower pots and rustic ceiling beams

Plants and flowers, both natural and dry, are very characteristic decor items in this style. They are traditionally placed in decorated flower pots or in ceramic flower vases.

Door handles, window latches and handles on furniture can be of polished ceramic or porcelain. These can give a very distinctive and personal touch.

Other decorative details typical of this style are white or pastel-colored tablecloths, as well as china crockery and dinner sets, decorated with floral patterns.

What are other ways to decorate your home in the French provincial style? You can also use ceramics and pottery. Earthenware jugs and clay fruit bowls, generally with a smooth finish and painted in pastel colors, can fill the home with this style.

It’s also essential to place a few wicker baskets around the house, such as those used by French peasants around the 18th century. You can fill these baskets with branches and dried flowers. It will give a cozy country touch.

French provincial style – rural themed furniture

Thick oak beams, chairs with padded seats and backs and natural stone are keys to the French provincial style

Today, the essence of this unique style is still the same. It’s basically country or rural themed. However, on occasions, you can actually use some of the features of this style to add a bit of flavor to other decor styles such as the classic style. It can also be useful to brighten up small, dark rooms.

The furniture of this style features curved, soft, and clean lines since it represents antique or period pieces. One of the main characteristics of provincial timber furniture is that it should be durable and sturdy.

Think of large, solid pieces. A typical example would be a solid wooden chest. Another common feature are large timber dining tables and the classic dining chairs with woven rush seats.

We should point out that the most traditional woods for provincial furniture are pine, oak, and chestnut. These can be used throughout the decor.

Furniture finishes

Different timber finishes really distinguish provincial furniture from other styles. The finishes you’ll see the most are stripped, whitewashed, waxed, and stained.

Would you like to know more about one of these methods of timber finishing? Here are a few tips so you can choose the best one for your home:

  • Stripped finish: most of the paint is stripped off, leaving an irregular finish that gives a rustic, aged air to the piece of furniture.
  • Whitewashed: lightens the appearance of the timber, making it appear smaller.
  • Waxed finish: it’s the most common in provincial furniture. It means adding a couple of coats of timber wax to the piece.
  • Stained finish: this changes the look of the timber by adding a different, darker shade. This is especially good for pine furniture.

If you have a country house, we recommend the French provincial style thanks to its cozy feel. But of course, you’re the one who will have the last word!