Look how they bought an extra set of white cushions and just sewed a back panel out of the same fabric for a cushioned back- So smart! Countryside Provence Style French Iron Garden Chairs
The theme of iron is one you see quite frequently in old world country French style decorating. If you are really enamored with the idea of re-designing your home around this style, you need to get rid of all the elements that simply don't pertain to this style.
While some people enjoy incorporating modern elements into their design, which they call "eclectic" ; to be honest I am not a big fan of it. I think a style should be pronounced and heading in one direction than a number of directions.
You have no idea how exciting it is for others to see a theme in a persons home than walk into a home that is just like every other home they have seen with a bunch of miss-matched furniture and decor. Can you imagine how exciting it would be to stay in a rustic log cabin in Aspen, or have a dinner in a formal french restaurant in France? Themes is perhaps the wrong word to use. I am not talking about a woman who collects endless kick knacks of all the same theme but rather a particular period style.
If you are modern sort of gal, than run with that style. If you like Italian looks, your dominate theme should be Italian. Granted, some of these themes overlap, such as 18th century Tuscan styles and French styles.
There is nothing more exciting that FINDING your style and going after mastering that look inside your personal living space.
How do you do this?
Consider slowly exchanging out furniture that is of a modern design with reproductions or antique finds at garage sales, ebay, craigslist and local thrift stores.
The quest doesn't need to be costly if you do it over time.
Most people cannot afford to do this all at once, but gradually, it is affordable.
I know for myself, I would buy furniture cheap at thrift stores, auctions and so forth, and sell them for a profit on our local craigslist, and the money I gained from the sale I would invest in new furnishings. I would sell our previous furniture for a profit, and exchange it out when I came across that was better and more of my period style.
Rustic French Provence Decorating Ideas From Atelier de Campagne
One thing I have learned, is the power of editing. I was attracted to a particular style for years, and finally I figured out what period it belonged to, and researched the various elements of that style and ran with it. The various layers of choosing the right furniture, to the right wall finishes, to the right flooring and textiles, it really has been a fun process for me. I don't have a perfect home, and nobody should go on a quest to make decorating their whole life, (family, food storage, and being debt free are things of more importance), but subtle changes with your furniture and the decor can make a big difference.
Getting rid of decor that just doesn't go with your period style can be freeing.
A girlfriend of mine had a huge garage sale in which she just got rid of all of her rose floral arrangements and colors that she wasn't decorating around anymore. It made an impact in her home, and the only reason she hung on to the items is because she spent a lot of money on them. Isn't that what happens? Selling the items you don't need anymore, can free up money to spend it where you want.
Sometimes LESS is more in a home, and the right appropriate elements can make all the difference in presenting a style, and I guarantee you, it will make all the difference in the world.
Iron is seen a lot in old world French decorating.
One thing I have learned with Provence French Decorating, in compared to Swedish decorating, is that country side French decorating is based around stone and iron, where as Swedish is all based around wood. In 17th and 18th century Swedish styles, you would see wood plank walls, often painted, and all wood floors painted. Wood was greatly available in this area of the world, so it is no wonder that every element of this style was based around wood. In compared to French decorating, stone is a very common theme. Stone floors, plaster walls, iron wall decor.
If you are wanting the Provence look, consider adding more stone elements in your home. Consider a tiled floor. Consider Plaster Wall finishes that replicate the look of stone in some way. Consider keeping distressed wood furniture, but work with a lot of iron decor. Put more effort into the architectural elements, and the little furniture that you do have that is French will POP.
Everyone has a concrete basement in America. Why not look into getting the concrete polished and stained? Use throw rugs instead of carpet in your basement. I am sure this idea would cost a lot less than carpet, or even hardwood floors.
If you have a patio, slowly try to collect furniture that has an iron or metal base. Think out of the box when it comes to this style. Everyone has seen these vintage sewing machine tables in their local classifieds. These sort of tables do come up quite frequent and they are listed at bargain prices. Some even for $20 dollars, depending on the style. Consider getting a new top made for them, or even take off the existing table top and use the iron to make a long bench for an outdoor table.
Southern Portico's photostream shows a table that is obviously vintage, but it would transfer extremely well in the countryside French look.
Avescape's photostream shows a rectangular table that could be used inside or out. Instead of a glass top, consider re-creating a weathered top made from wood. Your local home hardware store sells stripes of wood which you can fit and fit with a regular laser beam circular saw for straight cuts or a for rounded tables a jig saw. All you need to do is some natural distressing, and a rustic wood stain.
Check out This bleached wood furniture on my Swedish Site.
If you do stain your wood, I would highly suggest looking at Behr's wood stain line in Semi transparent colors. The color to the left is the solid stains, while the right provide a semi transparent look which I highly recommend. Wood is beautiful to look at, and staining it in a transparent look, allows you to get the natural wood, while having the wood a shade of the color of your choice.
I stripped a dresser and stained it using the color Willow Mist, and it turned out perfect. I think Willow mist is gray while at the same time is WARM than most of the grays which tend to be black. The Royal Hayden is very French, and could be used along with a white paint which is painted on and wiped off to create a very distressed look.
I focused above on colors that you would use on a table top, exterior Provence wood shutters would be an entirely different set of colors all together.
Circle Set of Two Leather Top Nesting Tables- Featuring leather finish tops with hand-tooled borders on curvaceous iron bases, these nesting tables are a beautiful addition to your decor- $299
Safavieh Winston Black Iron Vanity Bench $155. Black Iron Vanity Bench features a beautiful iron construction and a soft grey cushion
Scrollwork Console Table With A marble Top- $310The sturdy base is made of hand forged iron with a curling, scrolled design. The curved brown and white marble top has a beautiful, rich grain, and a beveled outer edge
SEI Iron Blanket Rack-The perfect spot to showcase the heirloom quilt -3 hang bars allow you to hang more than one blanket in view.
Renaissance Wrought Iron Wine Jail - Ornate scrollwork with antique bronze finish evokes the artistry of the Renaissance a fitting setting for your wine. Holds 45 standard Bordeaux-size bottles behind the slide-lock door. $140
Hudson Iron Crib- Beautifully Handcrafted Iron Crib $700
Antique French Looking Daybed- $1782 This hand forged iron bed by Corsican has a classic style and timeless appeal. Made by skilled craftsmen who uphold a tradition of handcrafted beauty, attention to detail and a commitment to quality.
Iron & Brass Sleigh Bed - Black By Charles P. Rogers - Queen Headboard $800 Iron and Brass Sleigh Bed. Decorative accents are cast by hand directly onto the iron framework in the traditional manner. The crest rail and decorative turning are pure; solid brass with an exclusive antique finish. Stock finishes offer a choice of black with silver highlights or vintage white iron.
Cottage Wrought Iron Day Bed-$475 Made to accommodate any twin mattress it combines the comfort of a couch with the convenience of a spare bed. Offered with an antiqued finish, it is coated with a protective clear lacquer for durability. Double the options with a twin pop-up trundle. Easy to raise and lower with the touch of a lever, it rolls back under the bed for storage. Takes a twin mattress
French Rustic Decorating Ideas- Craft Table with Paper Roll Holder by America RetoldProvence Decorating Ideas- Marble Brasserie Table by America RetoldItalia Accent Table Round Top $285- The sturdy four-legged structure provide a steady tabletop, and the hand-crafted wrought iron base with fired copper top create a strong and enduring piece of furniture.- Additional Pieces, Alexander End Table, Console Table, Dining Table
Set of Three Wrought iron nesting tables with flower design tabletops- Imax $146