Grand Provence Style-maison-deco.com
French furniture in the 17th and 18th centuries has been considered to be some of the most breathtaking furniture in history. In 1610 when Louis XIII took the throne, the furniture styles around the regions of France started developing their own signature styles. In Provence, furnishings were carved from walnut, while in Normandy, oak was popular for making armoires, buffets, and vaisseliers.
The Provencal style has always been inspired by the beautiful colors of France. The atmosphere of the countryside picks up the bright colors of lavender, yellow, mint and blue. Provencal style changes with the colors of the seasons. The dirt and natural settings seen around France has been the inspiration for earthenware and ceramic hand-painted pottery.
Some of the key elements of this style are stone flooring, rustic furniture,wrought iron accessories, tin enamel, painted pottery, raw cotton and linen. Architectural elements such as beams and alcoves, basin sinks, concrete corbels bring in the antique elements we all desire and admire. Soft, linen curtains and heavy linen upholstery has been a timeless choice for sofas, side chairs, slipcovers and cushions. The perfection of raw-wood furniture has been thought to be a noble choice for furnishings for centuries. Working with rustic hardware, such as wrought iron brings to mind the pastoral, country living that many people find refuge in. It is not only a style, but a way of life that is deeply anchored in a traditional way of life.
Old World French Provence Homes- maison-deco.com
There are so many ways to decorate with green, where do you start? One starting point is to find a shade that you love. Borrow color combination ideas from vintage packaging. French packaging often pairs together colors that just work with one another.
Here are just a few of the colors that are found in France……
– Artichoke – the color of fresh uncooked artichoke.
– Fern Green is a vivid shade of green that resembles ferns. Fern green was used in 1902.
–Laurel green is a medium light hue of greenish gray, first used as a color in 1705.
–Myrtle green, represents the color of the leaves of the Myrtle plant, first used as a color in 1835
–Teal is a dark cyan color that is seen on the neck of a duck. – Colors From Wikipedia
How To Decorate With Shades of Green
– Add In Green Foliage – Don’t forget the blossoms, says Nicole Sforza. “Consider green (or greenish) flowers. Forsythia branches, which bloom yellow before sprouting bright green leaves, look great on the console. The Billy buttons, arranged in a light green vase on the table, can last up to two weeks. Also try Lenten roses, which have soft green flowers and foliage.” Real Simple Magazine
– Use Muted Shades of Green– In this link, Martha Stewart shows off 24 of the best rooms decorated around green that were originally featured in her magazines over the years. In all the pictures, one common trait exists, – she uses old world colors that are muted.
– Pair Natural Wood With Lighter Blues and Green Painted Walls Natural Wood Tones– Stephanie Hoppen says “sandy beiges, and limewash finishes balance barely-there blue rooms. And don’t forget about paint finishes. Chalky flat finishes are warm, while shiny blues will give a bit of a chill”
– Use Muted Softer Colors In Main Rooms, And Brighter Ones In Less Used Rooms– Sasha Emerson, an interior designer says “When choosing a blue hue, consider how often you’re in the room. For example, don’t choose a very bold blue for a living room — you might tire of the color. Save it for a den or a playroom and pick a more serene tone for central living spaces”
– Cooler Tones Can Work With Glass or Mirrors -Stephanie Hoppen says “Frosty blues are elegant with soft creams and shiny accents such as glass. Take the chill off icy colors by teaming them with warm browns, reds, or oranges”
– Pair Jewel Tones Together -Jennifer Flanders says, “The color emerald is synonymous with wealth, prosperity and luxury, so I think it naturally works with other colors that evoke the same air of richness and elegance. Many other jewel tones mix well with emerald green, but in particular I love this color with deep blues and shimmery golds.”
Color Combinations- Real Simple Magazine gives us 4 color combinations.
- Pair together moss green and soft blue. Think about colors that play off nature. The soft colors found in trees, and sky. You can go bolder with both colors, or really soft subtle shades in the ligher hues.
- Sea Foam Green and Chocolate. Think about darker floors, with painted green distressed furniture. Chocolate walls, with lighter green accessories. Sea-foam wall colors, with darker rustic WOOD accessories.
- Consider the classic Rugby- Kelly green and bright white. Go for a bit of a bold contrast with the brilliant Kelly green and white as an accent.
- Pair together lime green and soft pink. These two colors can give a soft appearance. Consider filling an over-sized glass vase with pink cherry blossoms.
Home Beautiful’s Color Selections
The Oprah Winfrey Collection
Check out my favorite pieces from Oprah’s collection here
Joseph Bonnier de la Mosson (1702 – 1744), was a French aristocrat who loved science and began collecting exotic insects, snakes, shells and birds. These wooden cases were acquired in 1744 when they were auctioned off following the death of Joseph Bonnier de la Maison, whom was an extremely knowledgeable amateur scientist and connoisseur of art.
They were installed in the King’s Garden Room. Inside these five units made from Dutch wood decorated with serpents a collection of preserved [“dried”] animals. In 1935, the cabinets were disassembled, and were installed permanently in the the Museum of Natural History in the Jardin des Plantes central library in 1979. They are considered an “Historic Monument.”
Borrow this look for yourself, by painting your French furniture a muted shade of light green, and use a shade of white paint to bring out the carved features in your french furniture….
French Provincial Carved Oak Linen Dining Chair–
Vtg Link Taylor 12 Drawer French Provincial Dresser
So you bought a vintage set of French Provincial furniture, and it looks as though it hasn’t been touched for 40 years. Is it salvageable? The answer is yes, heck yes! We show you the best techniques to update this style of furniture that will make it look like several hundred dollars.
1. Strip Your Set and Go All Natural
Raw wood has always looked good, and has never looked better. Over the summer I took all the furniture in my basement and united the finishes by removing the paint. Most of all the furniture I had in this one room was all miss-matched sets, but interesting enough, they all had the exact same wood underneath. The sofas we bought came with a mahogany finish, but underneath they were pine. After removing the paint from 6 pieces, I had a fully united set. I could then introduce color with the slipcovers and the paint finish on the walls.
Inspiration- A Louis XV Limed Oak Chest- here
Instead of Using a non-toxic stripping agent to get rid of the old paint or stain is the greenest way to go. Products like Franmar’s Soy Gel Paint and Urethane Remover work well to remove all types of abrasive paint and stain , while still being gentle on the environment. This product is also 100 percent biodegradable. It works by trapping particles within itself and keeping you from being exposed to them.
Soy Gel Paint Reviews:
Garden Web– “My current fave is Soy-Gel, which I got from the Real Milk Paint Co., though it can be ordered from the manufacturer and other suppliers. I added it to a recent order more out of curiosity, and without much hope. But holy smokes, it works like gang busters if left alone to do its thing. I haven’t done a big project with it yet, but I plan on stripping a pine floor. My test patches have been great! I have tried just about every chemical and mechanical method, and So far Soy-Gel is the best I’ve found.”
My Experience With Stippers:
After using many of the most popular strippers on the market and having very limited success, I decided to try out other methods, which lead me to Heat Guns.
After purchasing a Wagner Heat Gun for about $20 dollars, I was thrilled with the results. Not only did it work fast, it also saved me a great deal of money with chemical stripper. The heat gun I purchased has two settings, one high, and one low. After the heat gun starts heating up, you will notice the paint start to bubble, which you can scrape off with little effort. The best technique for removing paint is to slowly move the paint gun along the paint, for an even amount of heat in each section. Heat guns can also ruin wood if they are left on the wood too long, so you don’t want your heat gun positioned in one area for two long. The wood can turn dark, which can be impossible to sand out. While some suggest wood tools, instead of metal tools, I enjoy working with a multi purpose metal tool, such as this one from Shur-Line. Working with heat guns for stripping paint, it is imperative to buy a Respirator made for fumes. One of the draw backs of heating up the paint, is the fumes they produce, so a respirator is a must have when using this technique.
Products That Might Be Worth Trying:
– Wagner Power PaintEater – $59 Removes paint, ergonomic handle, and may be better than those attachments meant for your drill.
–Electric Paint Remover Sold through Chicago $63
–TruePower Electric Paint Remover-$39-
- Removes paint, paint chips, paint oxides and mildew, and feather finishes paint edges.
- Use on wood, masonite, concrete and steel
- Will not abrade surfaces – Perfect for large, flat, solid surfaces
MUST Have- Safety Gear
Breathing in fumes from stripper, stain or paint can create heath problems that can effect your lungs long term. If you have a garage, workshop, or even a storage shed, working from within it will help contain any harmful dust or debris from being let out into your yard or the surrounding area. Purchase a heavy duty respirator designed for paint fumes. I am so glad to come across the MSA Safety works Paint and Pesticide Respirator because it is comfortable to wear for several hours straight, and it will save your lungs for today and long term.
2. Old World Patina – Paint Or Stain?
After centuries of trying to perfect our furniture, it comes at no surprise that many companies are selling the all natural chalk paint and milk paint products that our ancestors used. Milk and chalk paints can be a sensational source of color. If you are after an old world Provence look, consider either stripping your furniture and staining it, or painting it, and distressing it.
Take the Finish Off
I have found for my furniture, stripping the existing finishes off allows the piece to age naturally over time without seeing several layers of existing paint. I sit at a beautiful curvy French desk all day long, and one of the areas where my arm hits as I type on my keyboard shows the white paint that the desk was painted in originally. The desk is blue, and the white just sticks out like a sore thumb. If I would have put the extra work into the desk, and removed the paint, then over time, the natural ware would show the wood. Wood or existing paint? Wood is so much more attractive.
Distressing looks so much nicer with the natural raw wood. Something about having the all natural wood showing through the finish allows for a nicer aged finish than simply painting over the existing paint or varnish. Working with the raw wood really can go a long way for creating the old world distressed finishes. Stripping all the existing paint gives you a raw look, rather than working over a poly finish.
Layer Your Colors:
Layering paint can produce a sensational old world effect. Try several tones of blue, and combine it with a layer of white. Consider several layers of paint which you can then hand sand, adding the right amount of distressing. Layer on a translucent glaze, or wax to complete the look.
Work With Stain Finishes:
Consider doing a “wash” instead of a solid color. After removing your paint finish, consider mixing your paint with part water, and applying a stain. You can also buy semi transparent stains through your local hardware store. Using a beige, and then white stain would produce the aged old world looks that are so well loved.
In this article we show a chest with beautiful texture on the drawers. A gray toned blue is used under a creamy white, with beautiful texture that shows off an old world paint finish. Adding texture can be easier than you think. Simply get a box of un-sanded grout. Paint your furniture using a base coat with NO grout added. Once it is dry, mix together a bit of grout with the existing paint. Next stipple on the finish with your paint brush and let it dry over night, or for two days. Once it is dry, lightly sand it, and add your top coat. Using the same technique, mix together half and half paint and un-sanded grout and paint on an even coat of paint. Using two colors like the picture shown in the article will produce the best results. For a subtle effect, consider using a creamy beige and white together. The colors don’t have to be opposites to work well. Once the dresser has dried over night, take a hand sander and start sanding the finish. The texture from the first coat will show through to the second coat. Add additional wax, or glaze to make the finish pop, or leave it as it is.
Old World Techniques -Additional Articles:
3. Go New And Modern With Color :
Do you like vibrant colors? The lines found in the French styled furniture can powerfully pull off the sensational bright colors. There are so many bright colors that I admire but don’t have the guts to put up on the walls, so why not put it on a piece of furniture.
Do you like the brighter colors, or the patterned printed chests? You might want to just buy spray paint for those high gloss mirrored finishes.
In the past I have hand painted gloss only to find paint lines from my brushes. With brighter red, or yellow, it can take up to 7 or 8 coats of paint, so spraying your paint just makes more sense. Often times the gloss you find in spray paint can be so much more vibrant and glossy than regular gloss paint in the quart size. Oil paint can produce sensational glossy finishes. Overall, I have found for those really glossy finishes, it is worth buying the spray paint, than hand painting. The coverage is faster, and the gloss is so much more vibrant and glass like.
Glossy finishes are best achieved with spray paint, and why not buy a case of your favorite color online? For some of my last couple projects, I have been really impressed with Krylon’s Paint and Primer sprays. I started looking online when my local hardware stores spray paint failed to impress me. Never do I see the lavenders, the soft grays, or light blues. The nicer colors are online, and many companies are starting to sell by the case.
French Chests From Cote France
Color Master Colors By Krylon. These colors above come from their website, and if you look on their website, you can toggle over the colors for the name of the paint swatch that you love. Type the specific paint name in Amazon, and you can buy it in cases of 6 with free shipping.
– Go Bold With Red- Part 1 Grand Sophisticated Interiors – The Swedish Furniture
– Go Bold With Red- Part 2 Country Interiors- The Swedish Furniture
– High Gloss Painted Furniture – The Painted Furniture Online
– Absolutely Breathtaking French Painted Furniture- French Style Authority
– How To Paint Black Furniture-A Dozen Examples Of Exceptional Black Painted Furniture- French Style Authority
– 10 Ways To Use Pink, Orange and Coral In Your Home- French Style Authority
– Decorating With Pastels For A French Styled Home- French Style Authority
4. Add Furniture Jewelry
Ormolu is the jewelry of the furniture trade. Antique and reproduction furniture ormolu can be found on ebay making it easier than ever to dress up that worn antique, or that vintage chest that is outdated.
Reproduction ormolu can be found in bronze, and there are sellers out there who also produce these beautiful appliques in stain-able wood filler. Being able to buy appliques in unlimited quantities allows you to dress up the chest of your dreams.
The high gloss looks found on bombe chests are often accented with heavy ormolu or furniture appliques.
Add Furniture Escutcheons
Dress up your chest with keyholes, or otherwise known as escutcheons. Buy a set of identical keyholes for each drawer of your chest. Keyholes can be gold leafed, or painted the same color as the chest. Consider dating your metal furniture appliques or keyholes with aging solutions. In this post ” 9 DIY Recipes For Rusty Hardware” From Hersite, you can get the look of aged hardware in your own home.
-French Furniture Restoration ~Gold Leafing Tips- French Style Authority
5. Pattern Your Furniture
Patterns can look so wonderful in a space lacking interest. There are several ways to get the look of a pattern on your chest, which range from complicated approaches to simple techniques.
One of the harder techniques would be hand painting furniture. For those who have the gifted talent of hand drawing, this may be a project that you can accomplish over a weekend. For those who don’t have the natural abilities of drawing, there are several other approaches that can give you a professional look without much try.
One of those ways is an overhead projector. An overhead projector may be your new best friend after seeing how simple it is to copy a design without much work than having a marker in your hand. With this chest, I simply photocopied a flower pattern from a cardboard box that I bought from Ikea. I had gold paint in one hand, and outlined the flower, and painted it in after I traced out the design. This zebra painted dresser was traced using an overhead projector, as well as this dresser. Overhead projectors allow you to trace a perfect, proportionate design right the first time. They also allow you to match up the existing pattern which has been already traced on to your furniture, allowing for even spacing for the next pattern. This also works quite nicely on walls. Take your favorite comic book, custom graphics from books and be able to re-produce them with ease.
When it comes to expensive antique or vintage furniture, you want to keep your furniture in good shape for as long as you can. Upholstery can get messed up fast, especially if you have kids. Their sticky fingers and accidental spills can leave your furniture looking beat up and grungy. However there are some ways to keep your furniture looking nice:
1. Fix scratches – Scratches on wood can easily be fixed with something you probably already have. No it is not a chemical or stain. Instead rub the scratch with a walnut. Somehow the nut removes scratches faster and better than anything you can buy at the store.
Also consider getting Minwax wood finish stain marker to fix those small scratches on wood based furniture.
2. Remove stains – Some stains seem impossible to remove, but have no fear. Almost every satin can come out if you have the right stuff. My first go to for stains is Oxyclean. Safe to use on almost all fabrics and carpets, this miraculous cleaner helps me to get out stains like blood, wine, and even grape juice. This works well for stains in the car also, so it is well worth investing in a bucket of the wonder powder.
– You would be surprised how well plain white soap works. With a bit of water, and white soap, stains usually lift right away.
-If your upholstery starts to look dingy, or has developed stains and spots, before you do anything, it is important to vacuum it. This will lift the dirt up off the upholstery so that when you go to remove the stains with water, you won’t be grinding in dirt and dust which, when wet, can further dirty your couches and chairs.
– When a spill occurs, blot the spot, don’t scrub or rub. Clean up the spill with a dry white cloth as quickly as possible to prevent the stain from spreading. Blotting is perhaps the most crucial, and also common sense part of how to clean upholstery.
3. Use Tablecloths –The best way to keep your dining room table looking new is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. When kids are around try to keep delicate fabrics and woods covered. A thick tablecloth will help to keep your table shiny and new looking. Exchanging out tablecloths will keep your kitchen and dining areas looking fresh. Use white linen for special dinners and beige linen for every day use.
4. Use Satin Wall Paint- This French interior walls are painted in a vibrant shade of red. This living room, designed by Miles Redd, shows the red interior we all dream about. Redd adds a feminine feel by using pelmets around the window. A red upholstered French chair brings this red room together. Use Satin Paint which can be cleaned yearly, which can brighten up dull wall paint. While flat wall paint is quite lovely to look at, it cannot be cleaned. Satin has a bit of a sheen to it, allowing you to gently wipe down the walls year to year.
5. Use The Right Outdoor Paint. Rich rattan furniture can be seen through out the French cafes. Copy this style for your own patio, by updating it with a rich cherry red. Outdoor paint is formulated differently than indoor paint and often extends the life of your furniture. Many more additives are used in outdoor paint to keep the color rich through sun exposure, and rain and the winter season. Painting wicker furniture can take a lot of time, so it is important to use the right paint. Using a paint sprayer that hooks up to a compressor will allow even coverage, as well as be able to paint all the areas the brush cannot get to. A sprayer will allow you to paint all 6 or 8 chairs in an afternoon. Spending a bit more for the right paint will ensure your furniture will last for years without peeling, or loosing its color.
6. Save Your Paint For Touch Ups. Over time, furniture will need touch ups. Save your furniture paint for future re-painting. From year to year, patio furniture will scratch or flake off. Having the extra paint on hand will allow you to re-paint table tops or areas of the furniture which tend to scratch. If you are thinking about adding an additional piece to your collection, your stored paint will save you time from matching paint and making another run to the hardware store.
7. Invest In A High Quality Vacuum Cleaner– These old fashioned mattresses have become very popular with Zentique, Home Decorators Collection and Restoration Hardware. Although this style presents a primitive look, you truly don’t want to keep mattresses exposed over time, as dust and dirt settles in quickly. Mattresses are often not cleaned in most homes, yet we spend 8 hours on them in a day. In this video, you can see how much dirt a Kirby Vacuum picks up off a clean-looking mattress. Consider investing in a high quality vacuum cleaner that is of professional quality. Kirby vacuums and Dyson Vacuums are considered the best vacuums on the market. Check out both vacuums in this video. Cleaning your mattresses, furniture, and carpets will extend their lives restore the air quality in your home.
8. Invest In Slip Covers- Joni from Cote De Texas wrote an excellent article listing the top 6 must haves for the year, and slipcovers was one of them. Slipcovers are the covers that protect the furniture from dust and stain. They can be removed and are easy to wash and clean.
Slipcovers also allow you to exchange out one pattern for another. Perhaps having two slipcover sets – one for the winter and another for the summer.
9. Use Slipcovers For Your Dining Chairs- Your kitchen or dining table is used regularly, so consider making or purchasing slip covers for your chairs. Chair seat covers come in a variety of styles that fit with any décor. Even couches can have a blanket tossed over them to prevent sticky hands from ruining it. While a blanket can be tossed into the washing machine, a couch can’t. By taking precautions you can keep your furniture looking brand new.
Items to Consider:
-ViveVita Linen Dining Room Chair Covers in Sets of 2
-Sewing Slip Cover Patterns From McCalls, Vogue and Butterick on Amazon
–Simply Slipcovers: Stylish, Practical Solutions for Tried-but-True Furniture
–Custom Slipcovers Made Easy: Weekend Projects to Dress Up Your Decor
-The Complete Photo Guide to Slipcovers: Transform Your Furniture with Fitted or Casual Covers
Ruffled Slipcovers From Tumblr
Shannon Bowers Home – Featured On Cote De Texas
10. Keep Your Furniture Out Of The Sunlight.- If you have a choice in upholstery, consider upholstering the backs of your french chairs in a different fabric if they sit near a window with sun exposure. Over time the fabric which has been exposed will fade in color. Having the front upholstery different than the back will allow the back to fade naturally, without the front looking quite a bit different.
Light is important, and you don’t want to have to close your curtains just to preserve the furniture. Slipcovers can also allow you to exchange out linens over time, giving you fresh prints and fabrics to change up your home through the seasons.
These are just a few of the ways that you can preserve and protect your furniture. From antiques to words of modern art and design, it is much easier to prevent then it is to repair. So be alert to dangers and do not be afraid to cover up delicate pieces.
About the Author:
Ken Myers is an expert advisor on in-home care & related family safety issues to many websites and groups. He is a regular contributor to www.gonannies.com. You can get in touch with him at kmyers.ceo (at) gmail.com.
Photo Originally Appearing on Belgian Pearls Blog
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