Home Provincial - Decorating

Provincial - Decorating

3 Easy Old World French Elements To Add To Your Home Part 1

This beautiful farmhouse was newly constructed and sits between the sea and mountains of the south of Catalonia, Spain.  The house is decorated in the French country style. Borrow the best looks from this house for your own home.  Below we offer three suggestions that will give you the biggest impact for gaining the French country look in your home.

1. Old Plastered Walls

Old Plastered walls will give you an old world look automatically.  Nothing will change the appearance of your home MORE than a faux wall finish.  While there are so many finishes to choose from, it doesn’t have to be complicated.  Today there are a large range of concrete/ plaster molds that are available to FAKE a stone wall in your home.  ALSO, applying plaster that is mixed with paint can be an easy faux finish that  any person can make.  It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Consider adding texture to your smooth walls to give a inexpensivecomparable look to stone walls.

Consider adding texture to the walls using joint compound. (It is important that you test this look on a sheet of wood before applying it to your walls to see of you like the appearance before adding plaster. Practice makes perfect)  Simply apply a thin coat (1/4″ thick) of compound to the wall, using the flat edge of the joint knife. A thicker coat of plaster might crack and fall off, so working with thinner coats is ideal.   Experiment with creating various surface textures. Use a broom to create a striated, or a paint brush to create texture in the plaster.  Experiment with textures that look genuine.  When the textured surface is complete, let the wall compound dry for about 24 hours.  With a paintbrush, apply pale-pink semigloss paint to the wall.   Apply two coats of paint to seal the drywall compound. After your wall has dried, apply a glaze onto the wall with a wide paintbrush. Your glaze should be a slightly darker color of the paint color on wall.  A very light muted  yellow mixed with glaze would also make a terrific glaze.   Simply paint the glaze on, and wipe off the excess glaze with a cotton cloth.  The glaze will collect in the crevices giving the appearance of an aged look.

A large amount of faux plaster stone molds are available.  Plaster is pretty inexpensive, making this project very affordable.  The only down side to these molds, is it will take you a long time to make enough to cover a wall.

To read more details about this beautiful home, visit Campagne Decoration.


Decorating With The Color Green French Provence Style

Color Inspiration

Color Inspiration from here, , here, here, and here

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.”

Farrow-and-Ball Paint

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.

Shades of Green

 Home Beautiful’s Color Selections

The Oprah Winfrey Collection

The Oprah Winfrey Collection

Check out my favorite pieces from Oprah’s collection here

Cabinet Bonnier de La MossonCabinet Bonnier de La Mosson

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….

Book Review: Provencal Interiors By Betty Lou Phillips

Betty Lou Phillips

If you are thinking about redecorating one room, or refreshing your entire home, and are looking for a more of a french provencial feel, Provencal Interiors: French Country Style in America may be the book for you.

New, this book cost close to $40 dollars, but you can get it from Amazon used from a staggering $1.50.  With 18 reviews of this book,  most site the book as very helpful for building ideas for their upcoming french provincial decorating projects.

While a few claim the book is far off base from genuine Provencal interiors, the pictures are stunning and quite inspiring.  The negitive reviews come from overly critical obvious designers which claim that the genuine interiors of Provence are NOT made up of wealthy and purposefully decorated rooms.

What I find refreshing about this book is the author guides the reader to find their own style; being either being formal or country, she provides the overall building blocks to french style.  For the vast majority of Americans, most are interested in the high end styles, than the peasant country interiors, this book applies to the majority of the public.

Phillips provides a range of inspiring pictures from both formal and informal.  The book consists of 144 pages and even goes to the trouble of adding a lengthy 204 contact list of designers who specifically sell French furnishings in the USA.

A review from Paul Johnson says it has been helpful for him while he was in the process of building a French Chateaux house.  The pictures in Phillips book allowed him to gain valuable insight for his decisions with colors, fabrics, moldings, furnishings, trim, cabinetry, and paint colors which he was able to present to his builder.

Provencal Interiors: French Country Style in America does give you great example of color schemes and architectural design which works together to create an overall great design.  The contents of the book are broken up into 12 sections.

The first and section section reviews color choices, scale, texture, with many inviting and vivid photos.  Section 3 talks about essentials in making a grand statement in a home.  I particularly enjoyed her review of plaster walls on page 33 which can essentially transform a room all on its own.  Brick, plasters faux finishes, old plank floors, glazed walls, and the charm of old craftsmanship can go a far way in designing a french inspired room.  Section 5 – 8 reviews in depth the ideals of furnishings and textile choices, to bedroom and bathrooms.

Phillips tells us there is no right or wrong way to decorate when approaching the french style.  Humble or grand, interiors are unpredictable and highly individual.  The spaces photographed in her book have a strong sense of beauty, but all classify as well- designed.  On page 44 Phillips suggests to buy the best you can afford, which I couldn’t agree with more.

Phillip states ” don’t forget about the well made, well-worn second hand reproductions that are superior to what you could purchase new, or vintage pieces that would look better painted

Many of us, including myself cannot afford genuine french Provencal furniture, so I opt for the reproductions which are affordable in my price range.  I collect them over time, and with the availability of paint and upholstery, it saves me thousands, and I can still attain the professional interiors featured in her book.  Collecting over time makes it affordable, and allows you to switch out your furniture for better quality as they years go by.

She begins by saying that a well planned room that is prioritized is essential.  If the plumbing and electrical are all in place, the furnishings, fabric and paint would be the prime considerations for a room.  Often times if existing furniture will work in a room, a new mirror, rug, or collectibles could alter a rooms character.  It is important that editing a few objects and focusing on the necessities  that have special meaning can start the rebuilding process.

Color is one of the most powerful elements in design, and when used in the right way, it can raise ceilings, lengthen walls, draw your eye to architectural details, and hide flaws.  Color can influence the atmosphere from a feeling of rest to refreshment.   Not everyone feels confident when working with color, especially when there are such a wide variety of choices to select.  Many people take rest in neutrals while wanting to venture into color, but just don’t know how to properly execute it.

Phillips suggests the first step to take is to identify the colors which are attractive to you or the client.  This is relatively easy to begin with.  Another starting point is to start around a favorite piece of furniture, such as a painted chest, or art work and work from the standpoint of picking complementary colors and additional furniture centered around one favorite focal point.

A general rule of thumb is to keep a color scheme to 3 colors and no more than 4 which unite the elements.  It is not necessarily to stick to the same three colors through out the home, but if a complementary color can be determined which links one room to another, an overall flow can unite them together.

A color wheel has been every decorators best secret, as it is a tool that can combine different color combinations for the best impact.  The color wheel is broken down into categories (monochromatic, analogous,triadic, and complementary) which can give a designer or homeowner an overall sense of direction.

Some tips from Betty Lou Phillips:

– Take advantage of what is already in your home such as baskets and greenery which most people own which has a french feel.  Consider existing fabrics that suggest a European influence.  Painting existing furniture can be a way of making a new statement.

– Arrange a similar mix of objects on a commode or dresser.  Arrange an uneven mix of groupings, such as three plates on stands, a stack of three old wooden boxes together which make a bigger impact than 2 or 4.  Consider grouping things together than staggering them around the room.

– Edit your belongings.  Having too much clutter will only subtract from a well designed room.

– Improve a chest with some paint.  The antique white, gray, green and soft aquamarine blue painted furniture.

– Consider fabrics as the second most essential ingredient to a French Provencal room next to having french furniture.  Layering rooms with french fabrics, specifically florals, stripes, and checks which all work together.  Gingham checks, and florals often balance each other out.

– While Americans tend to hide their clutter in the pantry, in France, wire baskets were used to store eggs, breads and utensils.  Old heavy copper pots, bowls and tin molds are very common in french styled homes.

– Fine damask table cloths, and linen are draped over tables.  Mixing patterns is common in french interiors.  Over-sized wine glasses are not reserved for special occasions, but used even for table water.

-Seagrass, and jute throw rugs loosen up formal looking sitting rooms making them less stuffy and more inviting and comfortable.  While some prefer bare wood floors, others like the ornate appeal of oriental rugs.

-Slipcovers can be one of the most useful ways to clean furniture especially with a growing family.  They protect luxurious fabrics, but can also be an inexpensive way of improving a french chair bought second hand.  Upholstery takes time and energy, and slipcovers can be a quick update instead of the expense of upholstering.

-When it comes to upholstery, nail heads can sharpen up a piece of furniture giving it more richness and elegance.  French are quick to note that Americans often space their nail heads too far apart, throwing the most perfect chair’s proportions out of balance.

– Common french elements are framed family portraits, stunning flower arrangements,memory photos in frames, well read antique books, framed old maps, decorative throw pillows, reading lights, warm throws,alcohol decanters, tole lamps, tole trays, and transferware hung on the wall.

We hope that Provencial Interiors By Betty Lou Phillips will be as inspiring as it was for me.

A Restored Farmhouse In Provence, France


When the three farm buildings merged to create a single luxurious home, the result was a functional, yet beautiful to live in.  A trio of worn 1850s structures in Provence was transformed into a single, spacious farmhouse. Renovating a trio of Provence farm buildings wasn’t an easy process. It all started with two decrepit houses and a gaping barn in between. Today the three buildings are linked together, which are seen as one whole home with all the modern comforts and old-world charm. Old beams and stonework were preserved, and the new stonework was created mimic the original.  A wisteria-shaded pergola is the perfect spot for taking in the tranquil scene of the stone-edged reflecting pool. The house’s original structural beams are displayed in the living room area, enhanced by the patina of generations of paint.   To add depth to these beams, the flaking and peeling layers were lightly sanded to reveal the wood with just a touch of subtle colour. Double living rooms bring an open floor plan to the main level of the home. These two rooms are linked by newly constructed arch.  A fruitwood-topped buffet running along the rear wall of the large living room provides display space for the homeowner’s antiques.

In the kitchen area, old stone gives this room an old Provence feel.  Wooden cupboard fronts, and limewash blends the shelving subtly with the rest of architecture.  An antique Italian mirror at the top of the stairs makes a strong statement.  A trumeau mirror is heavily distressed and works nicely with a rustic wood pedistal which sits am urn with a splash of red foliage.  One of the bedrooms shows an saturated blue painted ceiling and beams.  The bathroom shows off a pair of porcelain basins were mounted into a country table.


All images and information from Remodeling Center.

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating

French Provence Style Decorating



Drew Barrymore’s French Inspired LA Office

Drew Barrymore's French Inspired LA Office

Interior designer Ruthie Sommers designed this one of a kind office for super maga star Drew Barrymore seen in Domino Magazine.  “I’m not a paper pusher,” Barrymore says. “My goal is to be creative, which is why my work space is playful and full of images that are thought-provoking and inspire me.”

“Drew decorates intuitively. She falls in love with individual pieces—and somehow they always end up working together,” says designer Ruthie Sommers.

A linen-covered corkboard serves as a map of the actor-producer-director’s mind and inherently collage-y aesthetic.   Drew’s office is a mixture of her favorite things she says, and when it is all combined together, it just works!

Questions for Drew Barrymore – How did you connect with Ruthie?

From the first issue of domino. She was on the cover, holding her dog—she looked like a cool chick. I saw what she had done with her own home, and it was the exact same aesthetic I was drawn to, so we met and I realized we really did see eye to eye. That started the renovation process and a wonderful, inspiring friendship.

Ruthie says that all of you could open an interior-design company together.

Fun is always the first order of business. We get so much pleasure from having a vision and then seeing it through. To have something in your mind and then watch it come alive is so thrilling.

Your office incorporates a variety of styles. What’s your favorite piece?

I believe you can combine anything. I love my globe, record player and horseshoe, and I’m crazy for my antique gold scissors and my Lucite stepladder that has two bronze deer bookends on it.

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

36 French Landscaping Looks For Your Back Yard

French style decorating has become so popular because of beauty of the the old world looks that are associated with the style.  There are a couple of elements that you can incorporate into your landscaping and the type of furniture you choose which will give you the classic French looks found in Provence.

1.  Consider replacing your lawn with gravel.  It sounds like a bad idea right?  Create texture using raised garden beds, and add in patio furniture, water gardens, which adds a lot more texture than just plain grass.

Consider showcasing the lawn that you do have.  If you have rectangular backyard, consider cutting around your lawn, forming a circle shape in the center of your property. A circular or square pattern which you can edge with stone or coordinating greenery can give you more of a designer look.

2.  Add In Rustic Container Gardens- Garden style urns can really capture the old world romance that you see in Versailles.  Paint can do wonders to those new resin urns that you see at home depot.  To get a rustic look, start with painting your urn an oil paint in flat black.  After it dries, mix together sand and brown paint and apply it to the urn.  When it is almost dry, take the hose, and spray water on the urn.  The pressure of the water will create a natural distressed effect that doesn’t look like you painted it yourself.  Consider using this picture as your inspiration.

3. Create Order In Your Backyard- Pair common elements together to create a landscape that looks like it was designed by the pros.  Plant fruit trees, instead of regular trees that will mature and produce dozens of fruit from year to year.  Line up urns, and patio chairs along the edges.  Line up shrubs and hedges in a row to draw special attention to these selected areas.

4. Consider investing in metal furniture that you don’t have to shelter over the winter.  Having a large yard is a lot of maintenance.  Wood furniture over time can root if it is left in the snow, while metal furniture, does a lot better in winter conditions. If you can shelter your furniture, do!  If you cannot, purchase clear plastic shower curtains at your local dollar store to drape over some of your furniture.  Wood, and metal furniture can be touched up with paint from year to year.

5.  Folding outdoor furniture is really popular in France.  Consider investing in a set of folding chairs which you can paint.  Any sort of metal furniture will create the French mood you are after.  Don’t worry if the furniture you choose is vintage, as anything can be improved with paint.  Metal garden pots, posts, fences, chairs are all elements that are commonly seen in the French countryside.  You cannot go wrong with anything metal in your back yard if you are after the French look.



12 Ways To Bring The Rustic French Countryside Into Your Home

Château de Pintray Bed and Breakfast near Saint-Martin-le-Beau 

Château de Pintray : Bed and Breakfast near Saint-Martin-le-Beau –www.map-france.com

French country is a look that is comfortable and inviting. It is no wonder why it still remains to be one of the most popular styles to decorate around.

When you think about touring a French countryside home, you would expect to see classic printed drapery in the living room and natural stone floors throughout the house.  The walls would be finished in plaster and wooden furniture would be seen in a rough and distressed state.

Here are a few things you can do for your home to give it a classic French look:

Rough painted plaster walls are seen in most French interiors, and is a key element to achieving this style. Faux painters often start with an ivory base and use a sponge with darker shades of cream to give the look of plaster. Mixing translucent glaze with several shades of ivory softens the look, making it appear more realistic.

Natural stone floors can give the look of primitive France.  Architectural elements can be added such as a stone fireplace in the living room, iron lighting fixtures, and railings in staircases.  For tight budgets, consider polishing your concrete floors, instead of installing stone and using throw rugs which can bring back the warmth into the room.

Buy reproduction rustic furniture with raw or painted wood. A large dining table in a dull low-sheen finish gives the look of old age. Purchase ladderback, vertical slat chairs with rush seating for a provincial look. New upholstery or paint can update a vintage chair, so look for great chair frames which can be improved. The French style has always been one surrounded by natural elements of stone and brick and warm colors such as gold, burnt rust, and cobalt blue.  Furniture is featured in painted black, gray, corn yellow, deep grays.  Heirloom furniture with layers of patina show a history generations that have passed. Most important when buying a chair, buy a frame and style that you love!

Work With Opposite Colors– Typical French country interiors often have contrasting texture and color. Pale plaster walls and ceilings can be punctuated with dark rough wood beams. Colorful provincial printed fabrics can set against lighter-toned interiors.  If your interior is based around lighter colored walls and furniture, work with prints in blue and red, or purple and eggplant.  These warmer colors bring out the French country style.

Work With Copper– Think about accessorizing with copper pots, natural linens, and glass tableware for the kitchen areas.  Use a pot display rack in the windows above the sink or table to give that old world feel.

Decorate With Pottery- Colorful and muted pottery often adorns a French country table. Work with iron or wooden bowls for centerpieces, and iron candle stick holders to create the perfect centerpieces for your buffet tables.  Pottery, and colorful tablecloths are some of the classic marks of the French style.

La Valette Rouge Bleu cotton print by Braquenie - Pierre Frey. From the 18th century Chateau de Montgeoffroy in the French Loire Valley.

La Valette Rouge Bleu cotton print by Braquenie – Pierre Frey. From the 18th century Chateau de Montgeoffroy in the French Loire Valley.

Work With Traditional Printed Fabrics– The beautiful colors of the French countryside are seen in the traditional fabrics like basic plaids, checks, and stripes.  Classic prints combine shades of primary colors with greens, lavenders, and bright orange. Motifs include roosters, olives, sunflowers, grapes and lavender.  Often the most beautiful designs are arranged in intervals accompanied by a border.

Work With Toile – Toile has always been a traditional design seen in France.  Toile themes are often seen with animals, Chinese patterns and country scenes.  This classic 18th century look often is printed on linen or cotton.

Create Window Benches – Deeply cut window sills and benches are a feature in these old estates.  Tall, narrow windows with shutters were drawn to keep out the hot sun out in the summer. Windows and doorways often had wildly growing vines which added to the romantic aesthetic, but were functional in keeping things cool.  Create window seating which can be dressed up with bench upholstery and throw pillows.

Dried Flowers– Bright flowers are often seen in baskets, old pitchers and copper pots.  This is a fabulous way of bringing in the color lilac, orange or bright red into an interior.  Opt for the higher grade of faux flowers that have a wax type surface for your tables, or entry way consoles.  Consider installing window boxes outside to grow geraniums and lavender in the summer seasons.


Faux Ceiling Beams - Ana White

Ana White | Build a Beams of Light

Hefty beamed ceilings also are key architectural elements in old chateaus.  Styrofoam beams can be painted to look like real wood instead of going to the trouble and cost of the real thing.  Wood supports can be drilled into the ceiling, while thin plywood can be anchored into place to create a box, which then can be  faux painted.

Decorate With Baskets – Woven or wire baskets can hold magazines, plates, towels, bedding and so much more.  This natural element can be used for storage in the bathroom, on the floor in a bedroom to hold extra blankets.  Use it in the living room to contain throws or toys.  Baskets can be an inexpensive way of bring in the natural elements into the home.

Enjoy these inspirational photos of French Provincial style interiors below.


This reproduction Louis-style children’s desk from French company Jardin d’Ulysse comes with a matching chair and is aged to lend your child’s room an antique look. More furniture and accessories from Jardin d’Ulysse.

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

Inspiring Interiors blog featured some wonderful pictures of a 17th century farmhouse which is located in Catalonia, Spain. The home featured beautiful stone walls, and some beautiful white slip-covered sofas and dining room chairs. In the bedroom, sat some Louis XVI stools, and a Louis XVI antique french chair. In the living room area, a beautiful natural wood desk and a Louis XVI chair in white sit amongst white slip-covered furniture. Wood herringbone floors show throughout the home with plaster white walls. This home is very similar in style to those found in the countryside of France.

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

Home of designer Henri Quinta in Perpignan, France. Elle Decor.

Home of designer Henri Quinta in Perpignan, France. Elle Decor

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

18th Century Louis XVI SofaBermingham & Co. Antiques

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

17th Century Farmhouse With French Furniture

19th C. Louis XV Style Painted Armoire- Melissa Levinson Antiques

19th C. Louis XV Style Painted Armoire-  Melissa Levinson


Primitive Rustic Provence Decorating Ideas Shabby Chic Mania


A French Provincial Ebonized Oak Slant Front Bureau From Christies


Rustic Old World Decorating Ideas Marie Claire Maison

Colefax & Fowler 2010

Colefax and Fowler 2010


Old World Decorating Ideas Luc D’Hulst (source here)

Manuel Canovas From Mscott218 Photostream

Manuel Canovas From mscott218 – Flickr


17th and 18 Century Decorating Ideas Trouvais


Rustic Old World Decorating Ideas Bijsterveld


French Provence Decorating Ideas

French Sofa Sold by Karina Gentinetta

French Sofa  Sold by disegno Karina Gentinetta


French Provence Decorating Ideas – Axel Vervoordt


Swedish Bench French Country Decorating


French Country Decorating By Designer Betty Lou Phillips

French Provence

This beautiful French Provence interior with light plaster walls shows you that black furniture can really stand out against lighter interiors such as this. Stein World sells a really stunning black crackle finished chest that would be ideal in the bedroom, but also could double in a living room against a feature wall. Bombe chests like this are typically regarded as Italian, but also has some of the stunning features that French furniture is famous for.

A Fine Louis XV Painted and Parcel-Gilt CommodeA Fine Louis XV Painted and Parcel-Gilt Commode Bermingham & Co. Antiques

Laurel Painting Reproductions

Laurel Painting Reproductions, 1st-art-gallery.com

Le Grillon Voyageur

Le Grillon Voyageur, legrillonvoyageur.com

Architecture examples - Saint remy de Provence, Luberon

Architecture examples – Saint remy de Provence, Luberon

French Style Seen On Luc Productions web site.

French Style Decorating -Seen On Luc Productions web site.

Louis XV Petite BenchBermingham & Co. Antiques

Manuel Canovas

Manuel Canovas

De Rohan Chabot French Chateau- Architectural Digest

The Rohan-Chabot Family’s French Chateau– Architectural Digest

French Louis XV Style Settee Stamped Jansen Greenwich livingGreenwich Living Antiques

Pair of Gilded and Painted Louis XV Style Chairs

The Antique andArtisan Center – Stamford, CT

French Style Decorating Seen On Luc Productions web site.

French Style Dining Seen on Luc Productions web site.

French Style Decorating Seen On Luc Productions web site.

French Style Dining Seen on Luc Productions web site.

European Chef Apron Red Stripe - FrenchGardenHouse

European Chef Apron Red Stripe – FrenchGardenHouse

Linda McDougald Mirror Table

An antique French painted and gilded mirror is set within the custom-designed paneled walls that are finished in the manner of old French blue created by Greenville artist Jeff Renow. In front of the mirror sits an antique French desk. – Found on hgtv.com

Manuel Canovas

Manuel Canovas

17th century country house of the Marquise Marie-Anne-Françoise de Beauharnais (1757-1822) (related to Josephine, future Empress ) in the old village of Sézanne, France.

17th century country house of the Marquise Marie-Anne-Françoise de Beauharnais (1757-1822) (related to Josephine, future Empress ) in the old village of Sézanne, France.

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France 2

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France 4

Chateau de la Goujeonnerie outside of La Rochelle, France

Christiane De Nicolay-Mazery, Bernard Touillon

Christiane De Nicolay-Mazery, Bernard Touillon

John Hall Designs

 John Hall Designs – Fine Furniture since 1967

Château de Bresson ~ Moissieu-sur-Dolon ~ Isère ~ France

Château de Bresson ~ Moissieu-sur-Dolon ~ Isère ~ France

Chateau de Groussay

Chateau de Groussay

Chateau de Hautefort, Aquitaine

Chateau de Hautefort, Aquitaine


Bukowskis Auction

Chateau de Cheverny au beau milieu des chateaux de la Loire

Chateau de Cheverny au beau milieu des chateaux de la Loire

Don Ziebell.

Don Ziebell

Marie Claire

Marie Claire Maison



Top 7 Must-Have French Furniture Pieces

From the opulence of Louis XIV to the sophistication of the French countryside, every period throughout France’s turbulent history had a unique style. For those trying to recreate these looks in their own home, here are some of the most classic must-have furniture pieces with French origin.
1. Armoire 
Armoire is a word borrowed from the French language to mean wardrobe. The  armoire has a long history in French design, but its style has changed quite a bit throughout history and even differs based on region. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, when French style was quite opulent, armoires featured intricately carved doors.  French country furniture, which has the more traditional style of the French countryside, has more subdued armoires with simpler carvings.  Antique armoires are still popular, commonly sold in a variety of wood finishes.
2. Chaise Longue 
Literally translating to “long chair,” a  chaise longue is an upholstered sofa in the shape of a chair. Although many see the chaise longue as a luxurious but primarily decorative piece of furniture, it was not always this way. French craftsmen began making such furniture in the 16th century for aristocratic customers, who would relax on these sofas in sitting rooms as they greeted guests. In more modern times, many have used them to accent living rooms or as benches in master suites.

French Louis XVI Style (19/20th Cent.) Walnut Full Size Bed with a Cane Pane- Newel on eBay

3.  Louis Bed
When shopping for French furniture, one may often come across the term “Louis bed.” The “Louis” in “Louis bed” is likely referring to Louis XIV, Louis XV, or Louis XVI. The rules of these men span from the mid-1600’s to the late 1700’s and the French Revolution, and during this time, the popular style of bed was largely the same. The Louis bed commonly features intricate hand-carved head and footboards fit for a king. The wood comes either stained or painted, depending on one’s personal tastes.
4. Vitrine 
While people commonly use the word ” vitrine” in English, it is originally a French word for a display cabinet. Traditional  French vitrines feature glass doors so that one can display cherished items on glass shelves. Many also have mirrored backs, allowing for one to view both the front and back of the items on display inside. The vitrine dates back to 18th-century France, but they continued to grow in popularity throughout the following centuries.
Read more at Ebay


Antique 19th Century Hand Carved French Provincial Bookcase Cabinet –Scandinavian Antiques Co

Antique 19th Century French Morbier Grandfather Clock- Scandinavian Antiques Co

Habersham Plantation Large French Louis XV Style 3 Door Armoire-Bucks County Estates

Provincial Antiques

Vintage French Provincial

French Antique Accessories For Your French Provincial Home

Rustic Wall Mirror - French Style With Floral Detail $175 Amazon Edouard French Provincial Style Console Table - $170 Amazon   French Hand Painted Faience Bretons Large...

Unique French Furniture Finds On Craigslist

Pair of rare wrought iron Peacock Patio Chairs. - Fort Worth Dallas I cannot say I have ever seen anything like this before.  Rare French...

Rustic Hunter Green And Silver French Provincial Highboy

Taken from Milwaukee's Craigslist Tall French Provincial dresser by Drexel painted in dark green with silver accents. This quality piece is a perfect addition...
Next time you see that bookshelf that has no legs, consider this company.  Add stylish feet to bookshelves, dressers and nightstands.  See this set on Amazon 15 Pieces Mushroom Unfinished Knobs - $12 On Amazon Check out these beautiful options for new hardware pulls on Amazon.  If you are looking to update a country styled chest, consider this route.  Simply type...

French Decorating

Decorating Around A Neutral Interior – French Provincial Decorating

Historic Styled Lighting - 1stoplighting.com Cambridge - 18 Inch Two Light Wall Sconces Burnished Brass Finish $319.00 This beautiful French Provincial chest features a multi- finish...

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...

25 French Country Style Interiors – Elle Decor

There is something about rustic décor that makes a house feel like a home. Incorporating French country style into an interior space can make even the most urban house feel like it's tucked away in a tiny French village.
1950s French Provincial Commode by Cassard Chateau Romano NYC - Quality Is Key On Ebay Vintage French Provincial furniture can look fabulous when it is re-finished.  Chances are you have seen these pieces at thrift stores, garage sales, on craigslist and kijiji that with a little improvement, these pieces can look old and worn to fit into a Provincial decorating theme. Here...


 Countryside Provence Style French Iron Garden Chairs 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? If you are modern sort of gal, than run with that style.  If you like Italian looks, your dominate theme should be Italian. There is nothing more...