3 Tips To Getting A French Look For Your Home

Picture Credit –themalibubergdorfblonde on ebay

18th Century Home Located in Located in Uzeste, France Maison-Deco

18th Century Home Located in Located in Uzeste, France  Maison-Deco

Here are three tips to get the French looks in your own home.

1.   Painted furniture shouldn’t look freshly painted.  Black furniture, can be left alone, although lighter colored furniture should have some sort of washed glaze over it.  Blue looks fabulous with a white wash.  Green paint looks great with a cigar glaze.  White looks great with distressing and a slight aged look.  It is amazing what a simple step of glaze can do for any painted piece of furniture.

2.  I never clued into sheens until several years after I started painting.  Your walls should always be eggshell, or matte.  Glossy walls don’t work with antique styled interiors, although work terrific in Hollywood Regency, or modern homes.   Matte walls show no flaws, because the light doesn’t reflect off of them, making them appear like fresh drywall.   Furniture on the other hand should never have a flat finish.  Even if you finish your furniture using a flat paint, furniture should be finished with wax, glaze, or polycrylic.  I have learned that an eggshell or a satin works the very best on furniture.  Glossy furniture should be very carefully selected for bombe pieces, or regency furniture that has a slight modern touch to it.  Again, specific styles call for specific finishes.  If you want your pieces to have a flat sheen to them, consider mixing a water based polycrylic with water.  Paint on a light coat, and the overall effect will look matte, but will stay protected.

3.  Architecture can be just as important as furniture.  Consider investing in faux finished walls that look like limestone, or washed plaster walls.  Brick, or stone flooring is a trademark design of the French Provence style.  Invest in anything with stone or metal.  Makeover that fireplace with rough white stone, or consider installing faux brick to 1/3 of the wall.  Find the elements of the French style and collect the main elements of the style, but also focus on the architectural elements.  Focusing on both elements will pull together your look with a designer edge.

Classic French Interiors

Classic French Interiors – classic-french-chateaux.co.uk/

Classic French Interiors

Classic French Interiors – classic-french-chateaux.co.uk/

2 Tips to Clean Old Outdoor Resin Furniture

In almost all households that take pride in owning a lawn or a backyard for recreational purposes, you will find that there are one or more pieces of old outdoor resin furniture. This type of furniture is preferred over the usually popular metal or wooden furniture (for indoor requirements) due to the fact that wood tends to decay when left in the sun and the rain and metal will tend to rust and undergo degradation.

This immense popularity of old resin furniture for outdoor requirements can be attributed to the fact that this discount furniture Los Angeles pieces have become quite popular and almost every household is buying it in order to save some money.

While resin furniture are more sustainable to the environmental degradation factor, there is no point denying that they will be needing their fair share of care and cleaning in order to stay in the peak condition. Here are 2 tips to get rid of the dirt on your old outdoor resin furniture:

1. Use The Right Type Of Brush

What do you use for dusting off dust and other form of debris from your old resin furniture? The obvious answer to this question will be a brush. But have you ever considered the type of brush that you are using for this purpose?

In case you didn’t know, the type of brush that you must use for brushing off the loose dust and debris from your old resin furniture is extremely important for the cleansing procedure as well as for the condition of the furniture.

This is why almost all furniture cleaning experts are of the opinion that you must use a long and stiff bristled brush for the purpose of getting rid of loose dirt from your old outdoor resin furniture. This will not only make your cleaning procedure more fruitful but will also ensure the long term longevity of the furniture.

2. Use Water Force

The fact that the outdoor furniture is made of resin and not wood or steel in contrast to the commonly found indoor furniture is kind of a boon in disguise when it comes to cleaning.

The stubborn dirt, grime and dust that you find on your old outdoor resin furniture can be eliminated by using the garden hose’s water power on the spot. Take the garden hose, point it at the spot where you find the stubborn grime and then use your fingers to increase the force of the garden hose and ensure that the grime is eradicated.

This way you can rest assured that your furniture Los Angeles is not being damaged but is being clean at the same time. Don’t forget to wipe it dry after this process.

These 2 tips for cleaning your old outdoor resin furniture is extremely helpful in case you are looking to add a few more years of usability to it and ensure that it stays clean and clear. Grime free furniture is a visual delight!

Cooper Rustic Reclaimed Wood Industrial Farmhouse Side Chair Kathy Kuo Designs

The Beauty Behind Château de Talcy In France

Chateau of TalcyChateau of Talcy

The Château de Talcy is a spectacular historical châteaux in Talcy, Loir-et-Cher, France, located on left bank of the Loire River. This 16th-century manor house was commissioned around 1520 by Bernardo Salviati.  Salviati was a Florentine contractor with connections to the Medici family; a political banking family, whom gathered prominence in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century.

The château has a Gothic presence to the exterior, which is expected for a structure built at the height of the Renaissance.  The outbuildings have been preserved from the 16th century, and one of the more charming aspects of the house is a traditional vegetable garden.  An aerial view seen below, shows just how spectacular the gardens are.  The Salviati retained the ownership of the estate until 1682.   A house was owned by succession of individuals, including Philipp Albert Stapfer, ( a Swiss politician and philosopher)  until 1932, when it was sold to the state, on condition that the 18th-century interiors would be left intact. The château is visited by 20,000 tourists annually.

Castle of Talcy- View Of The CourtChâteau de Talcy’s Gothic Exterior

How To Recreate A 17th Century French Provence Chateau Look In Your Own Home – Part 2

Here we see a new picture of the hallway from a different angle.  Bright yellow has always been a staple color for country French decorating.  Look how the trim is painted in a greenish gray tone.  White is used on the shutters while the walls feature a deep hue of yellow.  Linen drapes hang on the wall, where an antique bench sits with a white cushion.

Borrow some of these Provence elements of this home for yourself.

If you are looking for great set of candlesticks, check out Jack’s Candle Stands from IMAX.

The candlesticks are made of turned aluminum and finished in black sheen.  The candlesticks have a wonderful footed design with incredible shape.  The set of three feature graduating sizes, and would look terrific paired together for an impacting statement.  The dimensions of the candlesticks are 14-20H x 4.75-5.25D and have been discounted to $96 dollars from $175.

Candlesticks sold in sets should always be positioned together for a dramatic statement.  Place them on a bed stand ,console table or any where you need a punch of design.  Add ornate candle sticks in your home to get that primitive feel amongst your modern conveniences.

 

Commode – Moissonnier Furniture

Other Provence Decor Considerations:

-Buy this set for only $90 Dollars!  3Pc finial set – stone grey & gold leaf

-Thus Foreside prosecco pitcher, certainly looks Provincial!  By Foreside $34

-Make floral arrangements from this lovely set of three round bowl with Feet – Antique Silver Finish $30.  Use it as a candy bowl or to dress up your bathroom.  Store soaps or face cloths for guests.

-America Retold sells a set of 6 dish with cloche Set For $87

-America Retold sells this trophy centerpiece perfect for the center of the table.

– Decorate with this lovely planter which features and antique style garden chicken wire cloche for $32

-The Apollo pedestal is a great distressed stand perfect for an over-sized urn.  Sit it in front of a mirror or a window or at the end of a hallway.  This stand sells for $259

-This Lester Iron Glass Bar Cart is the perfect cart to display your dishware that is too nice to sit behind cabinet doors.  Stack your white table ware and wine glasses on for the perfect display of all your silver and glass accessories.

-Buy this Copperplated Revere Bowl for a centerpiece for $53.00

-Currey and Company Provencial White 4 Light Chandelier sells for $985 Currey and Company has a number of alternatives in this same style.

-These dentiled Platinum Chargers have a period flare.  This set of 4 sells for $23.60.  It is easy to collect, when the price point is so affordable!

-This medium metal cloche makes a great decorating piece for a counter or bathroom bookshelf.  It is for sale for $30

-This terrific console table has so much potential.  It can be painted and distressed to match your interior.  It features terrific detail and is one of the nicest demilunes on Amazon.  Universal Lighting And Decor sells this table for $329

-Decorate the outside of your home with this painted old fashioned watering can, sold for $53

-Imax sells this set of 5 candle-holders that have great painted patina for just over $100.  Imax also sells this set of 5 candle-holder set in rustic wood for $138.  Split them up into different rooms of your home.

-Hang this mini pot holder above your kitchen sink.  It has a metal finish, which fits perfectly into the Provincial decorating scheme.  It is only $20 dollars

-You will adore this lovely set of mini lion bowls.  The set of 6 sells for $10.99

-This topiary two tier large planter is a great planter to line up in a row outside your home.  This great planter sells for $40 dollars

Rustic Provence Decorating Ideas- Mr Aurélien Deleuze and his wife, Pascale Own This Captivating Chateau in France

In this photograph, you can see a closer look at the Pavé French terra cotta tile floors with a distinct classic Provencal appearance. Pave Tile Blog, located in Massachusetts, were the first to develop old world French and Italian terracotta tile flooring collections from old world designs.  It is surprising to know that the natural color of fired terra cottta is not naturally brown.  Brown terra cotta tile is usually a result after a treatment of either wax, oil or stain.

They mention that  many Americans are very predictable, when they order stone flooring.  They often stick to a neutral range of beige, cream and gray colors, while Europeans fully embrace the rich earthy colors.

Why is that?

America is a very young country, and much of our architecture is fairly new.  This can be said for most of the country, with exception the east coast where the earliest settled areas have a primitive British colonial heritage with respect to architecture and decorating.

Compare that to Europe.  Europe is much older and the architecture can be seen as very colorful and vibrant.   I have a passion for Swedish interiors particularly because of the painted finishes.  This pinterest board has over 100 pins of different painted buildings featuring the most beautiful period colors.  Take for example Switzerland, which borders France is rich in color.  In this picture you have roof tops with hues of red, and lovely tones of yellow.  In this picture of Austria, you see brighter tones of red, and light power blue in the architecture.

It can be said that when a culture is surrounded by strong colors, they also feel  comfortable decorating around those same tones.  People who lived in the countryside of France often decorated with the colors they saw in their backyard.  Yellow sunflowers, purple Lilac, and the greenery were tones they felt inspired by.

I believe the reason why the western culture chooses more earth tones is the  architecture is based around the same color ranges.  If you look anywhere in America, the color palette is pretty modern.  Concrete roads are gray and beige and architecture is modern rather than antique which you see in Europe.  As a person ventures into the country, more painted homes appear in various shades.

See additional photos at Gilles Trillard’s Website , Property’s website: Magie des Lieux. If you like this article, please leave a comment, and pin it on facebook and pinterest, and come again!

How To Recreate A 17th Century French Provence Chateau Look In Your Own Home – Part 3

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French Provincial Style Rocking Chair

This beautiful white French styled rocker would make a perfect piece for a living room or nursery.  The upholstery looks to be a soft pink linen. This sells for $228, or $287 here.

Book Review: French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg

With the pricy cost of books these days, often times, I like to try them out at my library before buying them.  If they are great, I tend to write up a post, because an exceptional book needs to be known.  This is a book worth buying!  I tend to enjoy the books that reveal more of the historical properties, because they provide a unique and fresh approach to decorating.  After looking at thousands of pictures for our many blogs, there are a few books in my library that I can look at over and over again, and they never become dull.  This is one of those books.   With close to 5 stars on Amazon, selling new for $32, and used from $8, this book can be a classic in your library.

There is a great beauty of discovering the old, the worn, something loved for years, and passed down through families.  Caroline Clifton Mogg writes a number of chapters, on the elements which make a home.

Page 12- Color, Page 24 Materials, Page 36 Furniture, Page 48 Fabrics, Page 60 Accessories, Page 72 Kitchen and Eating Areas, Page 86 Living Rooms, Page 100 Bedrooms, Page 112 Bathrooms, Page 122 Hallways & Other Spaces, Page 130 Outdoor Rooms

In this book, 140 pages covers 307 color photographs that illustrate the beauty of the French countryside.  City decorating is quite different from French country decorating for the most part.  The country approch is rustic, rough in some situations, and a bit more relaxed.

One review left this comment:

“If you are afraid of color, this book is for you. Don’t let it convince you, though, that french country is not about bold colors- every other book I’ve seen says the opposite. That said, it is a beatiful book, with lots of rustic elements.”

If you are looking for the saturated colorful interiors like this, this or this, this book covers more of the muted styles.  Intead of rich saturated colors, it works with colors that are muted.  This book certainly presents an elegant approch to the French countryside home, rather than the folk country looks with rich vibrant colors.  Certainly many of these looks that the author presents can be used in the city as well as the country. 

Pictures from the book featured on Blogs

– Trouvais Blog features page 57, 13, 122

-Painted Furniture – Page 46

-Brooke Giannetti- Page 14, 50, 102110, 12, 18, 96, 40, 49, 27

– Aged and Gilded Blog, Page 139, 138, 76

– Paris Apartment- Page 85,

-Zsa Zsa Bellagio Blog- Page 97

Here are a couple more pictures that I cannot locate in the book:

– Spectacular French Doors, here

-A Buttercup Yellow Wall Cabinet – here

Quotes From The Book:

“From gray also come mauve and lilac—either as bright as the color of violets or or closet to the quiet, almost musty tones that are quintessential French, and which look so winning when teamed with gray green, perhaps used on woodwork.  A more sophisticated combination that is sometimes seen is a gray mauve offset by a dark, almost terra-cotta red—the red known as sang de boeuf makes a particularly effective contrast. Pinks and peaches are also to be found among the range of
French country colors, but they are not childlike nursery tones—there is nothing of a sugary or sweet nature about them. Like so many French country colors, the pinks and peaches appear
almost organic, seeming as though they might have emerged from the color of the original plaster than applied on top of it,  and again, they often seem to include a hint of pale ancestry”

“A wide variety of woods is evident in rural interiors,but the woods used in different parts of France
were and are largely those from the trees growing in the surrounding countryside—fruit woods such as walnut and cherry, and traditional hardwoods such as oak and elm. Exotics such as mahogany or
maple will not be found in abundance here, for self-sufficiency is the name of the game”

Reviews:

By “Caroline Clifton-Mogg’s French Country Living is a delicious book to look at; the pages are filled with beautiful, airy rooms and the accompanying text does a good job of explaining how the effect is achieved–lots of grey in the colors, painted furniture, small-sized fabric prints, etc.

By Hollygolightly- “This is French country living in the Marie-Antoinette-at-Petit-Trianon style, not truly rural la France profonde, however. The exquisitely restored rooms are filled with priceless antiques, and a cursory glance over the photo credits suggests that the majority of houses shown are located in either Provence, or the richer departements near Paris (the most famous house in Yvelines is Versailles, if that gives you an idea of what’s in the neighborhood of some of the chateaux photographed). Having seen more than one room in a rural French house with vinyl wallpaper on the ceiling and door, I can only wish that all of French country life was this beautiful! ”

By John Matlock -“In this book, hundreds of color photographs by Christopher Drake, illustrate the essence of the French countryside. The book is in two parts, the first emphasizes the soft, non-contrasting colors and the natural materials and textures that are distinctly France. The second part of the book looks at the overall style. It looks at the French home, starting of course with the kitchen (this is after all France). Only then does it move on to the rest of the house, ending with the French garden. And this is France, so the garden also emphasises a place to eat and drink.”

By Julie BarrettZiegler- Fantastic photography, and a generous, diverse selection of beautiful interiors. From iconic over-the-top French decorating, to simple Provençal country style, this book celebrates the special environments for real living evoked by good French decorating style.

By D Thoden- I got this book as a Christmas present 3 yrs ago, and it is still one of the best decorating books I have ever owned. If you like whites, creams and soft, grayish colors, along with authentic chippy antiques shown in lovely old homes, you should love this book. It’s not LOOK AT ME decorating. It’s used, comfy, old furniture and fabrics, and it’s divine. This book ultimately changed the look of my home. The holidays were especially rough that year; I missed my Mother and was sick while at my in-laws over the holidays. This book got me thru it all!!! I just laid in bed and read it and looked at the photos over and over.

By Gerard Brady -Love this book. I have all kind of pages marked for ideas. Beautiful pictures, descriptions. The book is in great shape as advertised. It will become one of my “go to” books for decorating. Love it!

By Savannah, GA USA- By I love this book for ideas and inspiration. My favorite part of France is the Loire Valley and Sologne. The pictures in this book show that classic casual style. I also love Paris, but the Parisian style is more formal and ornate. I like the brick and terra cotta floors, the wood furniture, the lavender and sunflowers of the countryside. This will take you beyond chicken figurines and calico prints! Great read, great price. Great book for daydreaming! Enjoy!I have also bought Italian Country Living by the same author. Another wonderful book.

By T. Brashear “Dessa”- Sumptuous photos of sumptuous French provincial houses, with helpful guidelines about what characterizes French country decors (though I agree with one reviewer that not too many French country houses look like this). I particularly like the author’s emphasis on how livable the style is, and find this to be true too. Buyer beware however that French country may look a lot different in an American ranch house: a lot of the charm comes from plastered stone walls, old beams and well-worn tile floors.

By Stacey M Smith- Beautiful book. Inspiring photographs that capture French country style (obviously, note the title). My only complaint about Clifton-Mogg books is that the photos are recycled. I see the same photos is many other books. There are MANY wonderful estates, villas, and country properties out there – – – it would be nice to see more of them instead of these multi-used images. The “recycles photos” are no problem if you just have one of her books – – but if you buy many European decorating books, you may see repeat photos.

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg2

 Striking distressed doors with a neutral background

French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg 12

One common paint technique we don’t see today is the bottom half of a wall painted in a different color.  Perhaps this was done to clone the look of wood architectural wainscoting? 

It certainly looks amazing, and a look that can add a bit of color into a room,without having to paint an entire wall. 

Look how the pale pink on the walls picks up the beauty of the tile.  Spectacular!

Book review French Country Living By Caroline Clifton Mogg

This is the other part of this amazing room

Country Styled Home in Lourmarin, Provence

This serene house located in Lourmarin, south of France, belongs to Marie and Frédéric who fell in love with the home and the lifestyle they found in Provence.   The house was renovated with help from the locals, and most of the furniture for the home was also made from a local carpenter which added a  personal touch and a connection to the region itself.  The interior of the home was designed around the Provence style found in the countryside of France.  Concrete walls, metal window frames, stone tiled floors which were complemented with stone colours such as purples and pinks.  You won’t find anything unnecessary in this home; the furniture and decor has been well thought out.

This house was abandoned for decades before it was lovingly restored. The owners did a great job keeping the old features of the house authentic to the region.  Exposed brick walls, old wooden beams and stone floors added the elements found in old world France.  By adding a few modern architectural elements such as the staircase and plumbing, allowed this home to functional.   The muted colour palate which revolved around sand colours such as light blue, greens, greys and pinks worked with the authentic colors found in Provence.

Consider the color palette for your own home. Combinations of dusty pink and mauve work quite nicely with mink, grey, cream and milky coffee shades.  These tones can add warmth in a home decorated around the rustic elements found in the countryside of France.  Neutral tones and natural materials, such as stone and wicker add that country element, while the modern furniture give this home a happy mix of the new and old.

 

Photos from Cotemaison.fr   Photo: Nicolas Mathéus

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Historical French Provincial Color Palettes

French Provence Decorating Colors

French Provence Decorating Colors Flesh Pink, Burnt Orange, Beige, Washed Green- From Shabby Chic Mania

Today we see many modern day French inspired interiors bathed in grays and beige and natural woods.  A huge design trend has gravitated towards Greige, a color combination of both gray and beige.  Although, which these calming neutral shades, I truly believe we will see a trend historical colors come about, particularly with those who are passionate about French decorating.

The rustic details found in Provence are found in the rich colors of old world plaster walls, the details of the natural elements such as wood and stone and the distressing that occurs over time found in the French antiques.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape area is typical of the southern France countryside- Picture Credit

Looking through many historical French Provence homes, a wide range of pinks, and oranges hues are found in their exterior buildings.  Americans tend not to gravitate towards these colors because they are simply just not found in America’s heritage, but the color palette is very common to France.  Orange, pink and yellow are common colors found in France.

 Charles Spada Interiors Seen on The Boxwood Terrace Blog.

As you can see in the picture by Charles Spada, the color of orange with hues of pink really works just perfect with the wall cameos which merge together in the same color family of gold and beige.

Shades of orange, pink and yellow all work hand in hand in the French historical palette. What captured my attention is the Empire Chest. 

Empire chests are not normally painted because they often feature exquisite mahogany veneers, which are just as stunning to look at as Burl wood.

Though if you look at the color of the chest, it is a color often found in French Provence decorating that we often don’t include in our French decorating in the west.  Today, French decorating is so dominated by shades of gray and white.

Though there is such beauty in the  shades of orange, beige, blue and dark shades of rusty brown.

French Provence Decorating Colors

Beautiful Provence Colors In Pinks and Oranges From About.com

French Provence Decorating Colors

Provence Decorating Colors Using Pinks Oranges, Burnt Orange and Blue From Chic Provence Blog

Provence Decorating Colors

 French Provence Colors From Fuoriborgo

Elise Valdorcia Patina

 French Provence Colors –Elise Valdorcia & Patina

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

If you are hoping to add more of the warm reds, browns and oranges, consider terracotta  tiles, often found to be square in shape.

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

 Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

17th 18th Century Style French Provence Decorating

Provence Colors in Oranges Pinks and Reds From About.com

frenchstyleauthority.com-10 Ways To Use Pink Orange and Coral In Your Home

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All White French Provence Style Decorating

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012 line features a fabulous presentation of beautiful all white decorating schemes using beautiful rustic french furniture.  If you are looking for photos that detail 18th century French Provence decorating for your own inspiration, ……analyze these photos.

The interior seems to have a primitive feel.  You can see this in the all wood paneled walls, ceilings and primitive looking wood flooring.  Perhaps this building was at one time a barn because the ceilings are so high.  The cabinet is simply outstanding and uniquely tall with paned glass doors.  The inside of the cabinet looks to be painted a darker shade of gray compared to the exterior white paint.

If you look at some of the photos the white suggests to be a off gray, instead of a stark white.  Having an off gray as apposed to white suggests an aged look.  White ceiling paint that is often chosen in most modern day homes is a very modern color.  Antique finishes tend to have more of a beige tone, or a slightly off gray tone.  Distressing also goes a long way to suggest age, and the slight showing of the raw wood gives a room a bit more warmth as apposed to perfect painting without ware.

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012

If you look closely at the interior contents of this cabinet, they have displayed all white plates and platters, and antique silver cutlery, and tableware.  The antique books with leather covers add a bit of color to the all white display.

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012

A close up view shows the beautiful french bench displaying rustic leather books.  The bench with unfinished upholstery gives it a very rustic appearance.

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012

As you can see a closer view of the settee featured in one of their pictures.  The settee looks to be Gustavian in nature, and has a very rustic appeal, with the unfinished sides, and very primitive looking upholstery.  Lots of blue throws work well in this setting, keeping the color scheme to just a few colors.

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012

 

You have to love the display they have in this picture. A antique looking silver cloche is paired with white plates, and a white antique looking candle on a rustic wood table.  The overall look is outstanding.

Tine K Home Spring Summer 2012

Here you can see a close up of the stunning french chest with french hardware. The overall look has a blue/ gray tone to it.

Kidney Shaped French Louis XV Style Painted Window Bench – See it on ebay

thewhitedresser.com-7 Ways To Decorate With All White

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4 Ways To Get The French Provence Look For Less

French Style

 French Style Featured On The Essence Of Frenchness

Creating the Provencal country style in your home starts with the right colors, furnishings and decor. Here are some of the main must-haves to create this relaxed, elegant French Country decorating style.

1.  Go Bold With The Wall Colors

A home can be instantly transformed with color.  A color palette will govern all the other decorating considerations for your home.

French Provence style has always been known for their vibrant color choices.  The color palette has always been governed by the colors found in the flowers and landscape, so it is no wonder why vibrant blues, purples and greens have always been dominant colors in the Provence home.

You may want a muted palette with warm elegant furnishings, such as raw aged wicker, neutral ticking for upholstery, stone and raw wood to take the focal interest.  In this instance, consider accenting your home with the richer shades such as browns, found in the soils. Provence style was greatly influenced by the landscape of France, and inviting the colors found in nature  into your home will instantly change the tone.

2.  Architectural Elements

Consider introducing character into your home with architectural elements.  Ditch some of the modern looks in your home with something with age and old looks.  Exchange out your kitchen hardware, light switches, chandeliers, lamps, door hardware, sink faucets with older hardware with patina and age.  You can find brand new hardware with the old world patina and looks.

– Change out the lighting to a French crystal chandelier.  Consider investing the time into installing some antique sconces on the walls in your bathrooms, and bedroom.  Light from the wall will give your room the look of candles, than the overhead lighting we are used to.

-Consider hanging iron plaques above your stove.  Some of the plaques are quite large, and painted, making it a focal piece behind the stove, which is often hard to dress up.

-Wall Molding doesn’t have to be complicated.  Check out this easy DIY wall idea which could totally transform the look of your walls.

Interesting Articles:

-Buying Secondhand Cabinets: Yay or Nay? Cabinet Hardware Ideas

-Handles, Knobs, or Pulls: Which Type of Hardware Is Best for Your Room? Cabinet Hardware Ideas

-Using Cabinet Hardware to Bring Life to a Dull Kitchen or Bathroom – Cabinet Hardware Ideas

-5 Ways to Dress Up Worn-Out Furniture & Cabinetry- Cabinet Hardware Ideas

3.  Improve Vintage French Furniture

Invest in great pieces, and improve vintage furniture pieces with new upholstery.  My motto has always been “trade up”.  Fill your home with great inexpensive pieces, and as you find better ones, trade out the inexpensive pieces, with better quality furniture.  Your home can look fantastic with second hand furniture.  Often times some of the best pieces are the ones that you put some time and effort into.  A vintage French chair can be stripped of it’s paint, and re-painted, stained and upholstered.  A French sofa can be professionally upholstered and loved for 50 + years.  A side table and dresser can be the spotlight in a bedroom, and a small French side table can steal the attention with brighter paint and gold accents.  Collect pieces you love, and invest your time in making them better.

4.  Go With Solid Pecan Finishes

Balance out brighter wall colors with solid wood stained furniture.  You can buy vintage french furniture and strip it down to the solid wood.  You can find spectacular pieces on ebay, at garage sales or second hand stores.

One thing I have learned along the years, is stripping furniture paint is well worth the effort.  Wood can be painted, and then sanded down to look antique with the solid wood peeking through.  Stripping the paint down to the solid wood, also allows you to stain a piece a custom shade.  Consider investing in a heat gun.  This is one tool, I wish someone told me about years ago.  For less than $30 dollars, you can remove paint quicker without shelling out tons of money in stripper.  It enables you to use less stripper, remove more paint faster, making removing paint bearable.

Traditional Provence Furniture is usually made of walnut and either left a natural brown and polished to a high sheen, or painted. Pecan stains are found in the most elegant French homes.  For an authentic look, consider this stain first before others for that authentic Provence look.

Styled By:Mandy Keener Photographer:Nancy Nolan

At Home in Arkansas featured some beautiful photos of a home decorated around the old world interiors we see in Italy and France.  The house itself looks as if it were European, but in fact, this home is right here in the USA!  The homeowners wanted something country and rustic, borrowing from the classic looks found in France.

Here are some tips from the article:

“In the bath, we did limestone floors, but in a different way by insetting red Indian onyx. That red shows up in the French gothic revival altar from Avignon, which we used as a vanity. The kitchen island is inset with a single basin, extra-deep, bronze sink.”

The bathroom shows a fabulous cast iron bath with an exterior color matched to the paint on the bathroom walls.  ” We wanted it to appear old, as if it needed to be filled with water by hand. And the faucet is in the middle so you can lie on either end of the tub and look out over the balcony. That allowed us to take advantage of the wall space and to approach the bathroom in a different way. If it were my house, I’d enjoy a glass of wine there every evening.”

– Cottage Of The Week in France- Home Bunch

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