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French Provincial styling - yes you can - it's beautiful, romantic, lux & so à la mode

There are few decorating styles more effortlessly chic and inviting than French Provincial. It is a look that can be easy to achieve.

18th century French monarchs favoured Louis XV furnishings, which were priced well out of the range of the common people. French Provincial furniture was much more affordable for Paris’ high society and was beautifully constructed as well as being functional. Local timber such as oak, beech and walnut was used and style variations developed in different regions. French provincial furniture often features cabriole legs and delicate carvings, often of a wheat sheaf, as well as rattan and wrought iron.

Very little original French Provincial furniture remains but it is not hard to find good quality reproductions & some stores even offer bespoke pieces of French style furniture & furnishings.

Pieces can be incorporated into just about any space, be it heritage or modern. Stone or wooden floors or walls form the perfect backdrop for delicate timber frames and neutral fabrics, which in turn provide an ideal base for plush and textured cushions, a chunky or fine throw and personalised trinkets. But even the most modern of homes can be softened with the sweeping curve of an armchair or the delicate reflections of a glass chandelier.

French chandelier above a lacquered table & dark brown lounge scattered with cushions. French Provincial furniture. French provincial lighting

Photo courtesy of - 11 Bay st Double Bay NSW 2028

Top off with a vase of fresh spring flowers or a potted topiary tree and the look is complete.

Starting with the heart of the home, the living room or “parlour” often features timber framed furniture with padded seats that beg to be sunk into, floral curtains or white plantation shutters and an elegant floor rug. The room can be transformed into stylish and understated sophistication with scatter cushions in the traditional colours of cream, ivory, grey or muted greens and blues, or pops of brighter colours like yellow or red can be introduced if a more theatrical look and feel is preferred. The true personality of the sitting room is probably defined by the individual’s taste and is created from the mirrors, artwork, knick knacks and photos that the home owner chooses to scatter around the room.

Photos courtesy of - 11 Bay st Double Bay NSW 2028

Bedrooms can be as feminine or masculine as you like. A four poster bed, wispy sheer curtains and floral bedspread makes for the prettiest of rooms, but if a less feminine feel is called for, contrast a sweeping chocolate leather (or faux leather) headboard or iron bedframe with navy and white bedspread, pair with mahogany bedside tables, tallboy and wardrobe and finish off with bedside lamps with a crystal or metal stand and dark lampshade.

French style - Hamptons look bed with white sheets, timber decorative frame, in front of a panelled wall, with a set of side draws, that have a large glass vase with pinkish white green flowers.

Photo courtesy of - 11 Bay st Double Bay NSW 2028

Perhaps the most fun can be had in the kitchen, where warm timber cabinets complement cool stone benches and copper pots hang from iron hooks on the wall. For a traditional look, go instead for matte white colours or, if you’re feeling bold, introduce grey or blue cupboards, to show of your treasured porcelain pieces & favourite galette.

If space allows hunt in your local antique stores for a rustic dining table teamed with cross-back timber dining chairs in contrasting colours for a casual but sophisticated look. Or introduce an island bench or butchers block highlighted with a feature pendant or two and punctuated with polished or satin tapware.

Designing your dream French Provincial bathroom is also a lot of fun. Black and white checkerboard tiles on the floor, a luxurious clawfoot bath, your choice of timber doors with a stone top or white gloss cabinetry topped with a wooden bench and polished gold tapware with curved necks and lever handles create the most inviting of bathing environments. You will want to soak for hours! Just add water – and some fluffy white towels and delicately scented candles.

Photos courtesy of - 11 Bay st Double Bay NSW 2028

Perhaps one of the reasons that the French Provincial style is so popular is because of its versatility. Many decorating styles are black and white and very distinct in their style and, as a result, it can be difficult to decorate to suit all inhabitants of the home.

For a truly authentic look consider installing decorative wall panels, also known as wainscoting. Decorative wall panels can break up & balance large surfaces & can draw attention to specific designs.

Photos courtesy of - 11 Bay st Double Bay NSW 2028

French Provincial theming can be traditional or modernised, feminine or masculine, cluttered or minimalist all to great effect.

White decorative panelled wall, with closed up fire place. Large rectangular clock above the fire place. Two French  black lounge chairs on either side of the fire place, with a white metal table in the middle, with a white vase with pink flowers. French decorative wall panels, French provincial furniture.

All photos are courtesy of Christophe Living, located at 11 Bay St Double Bay NSW 2028. Christophe Living, have been established for over 30 years, specialising in French furniture, offering custom furniture design, decorating/ consulting , Parisian wall panelling, moulding & much more, to get in touch visit : Christophe Living.

by Kate Chapley

Photo courtesy of


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