So, you’ve decided that French provincial style best complements your personality and lifestyle? I bet you are a laid back person who also enjoys a certain touch of refinement, because this style is just that – a blend of sophistication and relaxation. These seemingly opposite aspects of this style can best be seen in the living room which when done right can perfectly satisfy the eyes as well as the soul.
The classic French provincial living room looks airy and antique, and most of all welcoming. Evoking the warmth of country cottages of Provence, this living room invites you to slow down, leave your worries behind and enjoy the beauty of the present moment.
Casual, yet elegant, provincial living room furniture is hand carved from timbers and hand finished with particular attention to details. The worn off looks, contrasting a palette of mostly white, are a trademark and part of what makes this type of furniture so sought after to this day. Since everything goes well with white, these furniture pieces offer you enough freedom to play with splashes of bright colours, such as sunny yellow or sky blue on pillows, area rugs and ornaments meaning there’s plenty of space for layering.
Along with being aesthetically pleasing, the provincial living room furniture should also be practical considering it’s inspired by that of French manor houses of the 17th and 18th century where it lived up its purpose. Large armours with glass doors are some of the most characteristic furniture pieces of this style. They provide convenient housing for numerous items in the likes of books, glassware, mugs and teapots, and can be used as a case to display some of your favourite ornaments.
Moving on to the seating area, you should completely focus on comfort and relaxation. Having this in mind, you can’t have enough of large and soft pillows; they are never too much in a provincial living room. Feel free to scatter some on the floor for your pet to lounge in. Sitting choices can vary from an upholstered couch and chairs with wooden frames and curved edges to a simple rattan set with thick cushioning. You can tie it all together with a wide table with short legs that can be used as the spot for tea parties. Just think how chamomile tea bags would fill the room with a nice scent, enough to evoke the scent French cottages are filled with by the nearby fields.
Like furniture, natural materials should also be used for the architectural features of the room itself. Stone walls are perfect to create a cottage-like mood, while matched with wooden floors. Add to the warmth of the flooring with some wool or cotton throw rugs in lavender or butter yellow colours that remind of the lavender fields and warm sun rays of Southern France.
The French provincial living room, although humble and minimalistic, demands some ornamentation here and there. You can spice the simplicity up with antique decorative pieces such as wall mounted clocks or mirrors with carved wooden frames. You can count on nature here too; a woven basket full of fruit or a vase with sunflowers can serve as the perfect table décor.
It’s not rare to find iron roosters used as ornaments in French provincial homes, this is because the rooster is an unofficial symbol of France so don’t be afraid to give these ornaments a try. When it comes to lighting options, try to go rustic too. You can’t go wrong by adding wrought iron scones or brass lamps for accent and an antique chandelier as the main lighting above the coffee table in this sort of living room.
The reason French provincial style is popular in modern homes is because its achievable, affordable and practical while exhibiting a certain grace and finesse.