Provence style is a provincial French interior design that is related to light southern styles. It has absorbed centuries-old traditions of French country houses and the imperishable beauty of the Côte d’Azur. Provence, or “French country”, is very popular among people who seek to bring a touch of rural charm to their home, while preserving the elegance of the French house.
- Distinctive features of the Provence style in interior
- Color palette of French country
- Walls, floor and ceiling decoration
- Curtains, textiles and flowers
- Kitchen design
- Provence in bedroom interior
- Provence style living room
- Provence style kids room
- Hallway and corridor
- Provence country house
The style got its name in honor of the eponymous region in the south of France, famous for its picturesque seascapes, heady flower aromas, whitewashed streets and savoury cuisine. In the XVII century, representatives of the bourgeoisie in their attempts to escape from strict classical lines and urban fuss began to settle in a remote province. Inspired by local beauties and a measured village life, they arranged their new homes in a simple, but at the same time elegant way.
Provencal style in interior design was extraordinarily popular in Europe in the XIX century. First of all, it attracted by the atmosphere of simplicity, peace, and naturalness inherent in a village. And today the atmosphere of French countryside still fascinates many with its unique energy, which ensures relax and rest from the daily bustle. If you want to fill your home with a light Mediterranean charm, comfort, and harmony, the Provence style is the best choice for both a country house and modern city apartment.
Interiors in this style are filled with the freshness of the salty breeze, the piquancy of the Provencal herbs and the heady aroma of lavender. The charm of the provincial comfort and coziness in it are combined with old and luxury. In many respects, it is consonant with the country style, with the barely perceptible elegance of the French manor. So, what is Provence style?
Features of Provence style in decoration:
- Warm pastel colors;
- Stucco wall finishing;
- Natural materials with natural texture;
- Aged furniture with scuffs, patina, wood carvings;
- Abundance of fresh flowers and herbals;
- Porcelain and ceramic figurines;
- Ceiling with wooden beams;
- Forged decor elements;
- Sewing, ruches, Richelieu;
- Floral patterns.
French Provence in modern interiors is characterized by an abundance of light and warm, natural shades. This seemingly rustic style has long ceased to be the prerogative of only country houses and has become an integral part of urban dwellings.
Anyone can bring the atmosphere of Provence to his home. To do this, it’s not necessary to arrange major repairs or make redevelopment. It’s is enough just to add some distinctive details to the interior and create the necessary associations with the help of natural fabrics, natural materials and light color choices with small interspersions of bright colors.
Provence style has a feeling of hot seaside. In this country style, predominantly peaceful, pastel, sunburnt colors are used. The main colors of the Provence style are soft and tender. Among them the most popular are:
- muted yellow,
- light blue,
- pale green,
Special attention should be given to a shade of dried clay and a saturated color of the sea wave. It is important to follow this color palette in both wall decoration and decor and textile elements. At the same time the furniture should remain a little brighter, harmoniously standing out against the background of the pastel colors of the walls. Shabby items, unevenness and decorative cracks will help to create the necessary effect of aging and the impression of the surfaces scorched by the southern sun.
Stucco is the main way of wall decoration within Provence style. In order to get as close to the style as possible, the stucco finish is applied unevenly, with bulges and roughness. Burnt and bald spots are an absolute highlight in this interior. With the help of textured stucco, you can achieve the desired effect in a modern apartment or house.
Wallpapers are not common in a Provencal house. Nevertheless, they can be used for convenience if desired by the owner of the home. In this case, the illusion of an untreated surface can be achieved with traditional paper wallpaper with embossing imitating the stucco surface. Apartment design in Provence style also allows the use of wallpaper with a floral pattern.
Quite often wooden panels are used for wall finishing. The French country house interior suggests painting such panels mainly with white paint. This is a distinct difference between the Provence style and other country styles, where the natural shade of wood is mostly used. Kitchen finishing is quite different from the rest of the rooms. Here, natural stone, brick or multicolored mosaic is most often used for the decoration. In addition, stucco moldings in the form of branches and vines on the wall are common in this style.
Doors and window frames are always wooden, covered with white paint. They can be artificially aged or decorated with the help of floral paintings. In order to maximize the penetration of natural light, interior doors with glass inserts are used. French window doors are perfectly suited to this style. In an apartment design, they can be replaced by grid windows.
Tiles and wooden planks are a classic Provence style flooring. Typically one should use a light brown or terracotta tiles with chamfered corners. As for the wooden floors, they are painted or left untreated. Just like for walls and furniture, in the floor finishing the “aging” effect is applied. French country does not accept carpeting, parquet, linoleum or laminate. The ceilings in the Provence style is usually simply white or painted in a light tones. In the design of a country house or apartment with high ceilings decorative or original ceiling beams are often used. As a rule, they are covered with contrasting paint. Certainly, in a small bedroom with a low ceiling such a solution will look extremely inappropriate.
The lightness and simplicity of the Provence style can be clearly seen in the window decoration. Traditionally in the houses of this French region, there were small windows facing the garden. Curtains were not used because they simply were not necessary. Occasionally, the windows were decorated with gentle curtains that easily passed the streams of air and light. Paying tribute to the traditions, for window decorating it is better to choose weightless tulle, satin, chintz with a small floral print or beads.
Since Provence is country style, interiors are dominated by natural fabrics. Cotton, linen, muslin and wool are most often used in decor. The textile colors are usually muted or washed. When you are trying to create a provencal cosiness, do not forget about floral, striped and checkered fabrics. To emphasize the Mediterranean style line of Provence, it is appropriate to add shells and even fish nets to the design.
In an effort to get as close to nature as possible, French country style interior can have some living or dried plants as a decor. Vase with flowers will undoubtedly add freshness to an interior, sate it with colorful colors and enhance the feeling of a country living. Use flowers that are common in this region: irises, poppies, sunflowers, lavender. Along with wrought-iron partitions and wooden shelves, a flowerpot with plants, you can also zonate space. Flower motifs and green leaves will look great on curtains, bedspreads and paintings.
Provence styled furniture combines two features: elegance and functionality. The main focus is alwys on the material of which the furniture is made. The advantage is given to light-toned wood: walnut, chestnut, ash, oak. Use of wicker and forged elements is allowed. But you should definitely not use modern synthetic materials.
Chests, cupboards with legs, chairs with carved elements and various pedestals with lots of drawers are classic interior furnishings in the style of Provence. The most common colors are gray and white with elements of artificial aging (scuffs, cracks, chips). Upholstered big furniture items (sofas, armchairs and pouffes) are usually in muted shades with a color pattern.
As we know, kitchen is the heart and soul of the house. Nowadays, Provence style in kitchen design is very popular no matter it is a country house or urban dwelling. More and more elements of Provence are added into classic style interiors, and this allows to dilute the strict lines, as well as to achieve the desired coziness and atmosphere of hospitality.
Provencal style is always about special attention to detail. Therefore, it is very important to fill bright kitchen with bright accents:
- kitchenware in country style,
- decorative painted plates,
- pots with flowers,
- clay pots,
- jars with spices and herbs,
- baskets with sprigs of lavender,
- fancy bottles of oil,
- culinary books, etc.
A statue of a cock as a symbol of France will give a special charm to a kitchen interior.
Provence style kitchen decoration is not only beautiful and cozy, but also multifunctional. For example, open shelves, depending on the location, can serve as a decor or be a storage place for kitchen utensils. Modern equipment usually hides behind the facades. A microwave and an electric kettle in such a rustic atmosphere will look a little ridiculous.
Provencal bedroom is ideal for romantics. Features of sunny Mediterranean charm are traced in every detail.
For big bedroom decoration use paintings, textiles, flowers and plants in abundance. Pendant lighting will add elegance. Chandelier with a light control is the most convenient and practical lighting option for such a room.
The style of Provence in the living room is characterized by sunshine, openness and saturation. Here the rough walls and aged furniture are harmoniously interlaced with porcelain figurines, weightless wicker baskets, boxes, “bird cages” and frames with family photos. The country charm will be achieved with a help of an old kettle, buckets and jugs as a vase or pot for indoor plants.
As for the lighting in the living room, the appearance of the fixtures is very important. As a rule, forged designs (chandeliers, sconces and floor lamps) will look most harmoniously. LED backlight and dot system are taboos for the style of Provence.
The Provence style in a bathroom, as well as in the interior of the whole house, means an abundance of bright sunlight. Therefore, the window in the bathroom is a must. It can have any shape and size.
All interior items and furniture in a bathroom must match the rustic style. This can be wooden stools and benches with the effect of peeling paint. The furniture color palette consists of white, blue, and olive shades with the use of metal parts. Exclude the elements of plastic and stainless steel.
Supplement the interior with appropriate plumbing fixtures: a curved bathroom on forged legs and oval sinks with bronze mixers. Ideal addition will be wooden shelves with wicker baskets for storage of hygiene items.
Creating a kids room in the Provence style opens up an unlimited space for creativity. Here you can place a small library or tea zone with cute small accessories.
In color palette, pastel shades are welcome. If the room’s windows face east, it is recommended to decorate the space in cool blue and lavender tones. For a room with windows to the west, use a warmer finish. You can also experiment and select one of the walls with wallpaper with a floral print or decorative painting.
In nursery interior it’s better to us wicker baskets for toys. Curtains, bedspreads and pillows should be chosen only of natural materials. The semi-circular canopy at the head of the bed will look pretty elegant.
Provence is ideal for a small hallway, because its inherent light colors that visually expand the area. A long corridor will also look no less advantageous.
In a minimalistic rustic space, hangers, a bench and a small closet are enough. An even greater charm will be introduced by an large standing mirror in a wooden frame.
A Provence style country cottage is a win-win combination. Wooden elements, tiles, stone, and brick are the main components in the implementation of French country. Metal parts are allowed in the form of stands, candlesticks and furniture handles. A forged metal chandelier will look rough but at the same time noble.
Creating a Provencal interior is not a simple and time-consuming task. But, adhering to the basic rules, you will certainly create an unusual, cozy and comfortable home that will delight you and your guests.
Lets take a virtual tour of the magnificent villa La CAVALERIE, located in the French region of Provence:
Let’s now see the real examples of what the Provence style homes look like:
- Magnificent stone villa in Provence
- Cozy simplicity in French countryside
- The Pearl of Saint-Tropez
- New French traditions collection by Maisons du Monde