Elegance; simplicity; functionality and style. Welcoming; comforting and organic. Yes, you’ve got it: it’s French Provincial style! It’s all about the fine detail. From flooring to splash-back materials, every element has a purpose and is characterized by beauty and rustic charm. However, if you want to nail this style in your home, it’s important that you understand the history behind it and the elements that make up the French Provincial style.
Let’s take a step back in time. French Provincial style became a big hit in the 1950s, after WW1. Soldiers returning
home from the battlefields of Europe were inspired by the rustic charm of country homes they had been in during their time in southern France. Upon their return, they used these ideas in styling their own homes. In a time when budgets were tight, this quaint and charming style was an affordable way to add that touch of luxury to many otherwise simple, family homes – people could mix the old and the new to create a look and feel that was both elegant and practical.
And it’s still popular today. Many homeowners are installing or renovating kitchens, and indeed whole homes with French Provincial designs. Why? Because they don’t go out of date. They’re always beautiful, always charming and always intensely practical.
Here are 4 tips for achieving the French Provincial style in your home:
Think nature: wood, stone, porcelain, wicker, linen, rattan, enamel, tin and wrought iron. Because it has its roots in a farming community, this style leans heavily to the organic and rustic charm. Painted wooden cabinetry, tiled and pressed tin splash-back materials and stone benchtops are common in features in French Provincial kitchens. Parquetry flooring, thick woolen rugs, soft and delicate linens and beautiful wallpaper.
The traditional French opinion was that the eyes should behold nothing but beauty inside the house! And that’s why fresh flowers and other pretty items here and there are quintessential to this style. Books, floral upholstery and curtains, chinaware and family heirlooms are all common and thoughtful additions to the French Provincial home.
Again, the colors of the French Provincial palette revert to nature: ivory, white, cream, blue, olive, pink, taupe, lavender, grey and even black. Gentle, soothing and refined. It both sets the stage for the elegant chandelier and the rustic wooden coffee table. And that’s exactly what sets French Provincial apart from other farmhouse styles: the tasteful blending of the old and the new, the elegant and the organic.
You simply can’t mistake a classic French Provincial kitchen: ornate lever taps, large freestanding cooker, generous island bench and plenty of storage space. In short, it’s a kitchen that’s been designed around feeding a family and entertaining friends. The addition of delicately carved mantle piece over the cooker is common and adds its own touch of rustic beauty. Wooden corbels, stone bench tops, and elegant hardware… it’s one of our favorite styles!
At Wonderful Kitchens, we love the French Provincial style as much as you do. With years of experience, our team designs and installs French Provincial kitchens to suit a huge range of customers, homes, and budgets. Call us today on (02) 9772 2988 for more tips on how to create this style in your home.