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There’s something a bit special about anything French. Although we are about 15 thousand kilometres from the home of the city of lights, we love their fashion, pastries and interiors. Regarding the latter, we often leave it at admiration for the style, rather than using it in our homes. Why? It could be that the Australian lifestyle doesn’t seem, at first, to fit in with the opulent French aesthetic. However, there are ways to embrace French Provincial, marrying its timeless elegance with Australian sensibilities perfectly. Although sourcing its look from homes in Provence in the South of France, particularly around the 17th and 18th century, there’s a new age in French Provincial that’s fresh, contemporary and easy to implement in your new home build. Here are our top suggestions for seamlessly bringing French Provincial luxe to your modern new home.
You don’t need to go all-in right away. French Provincial beautifully suits kids' bedrooms (particularly for younger ones or older kids who like a ‘prettier’ feel to their room). You can play around with these rooms because there are so few large-ticket items to commit to. In fact, you don’t need to swap or change anything you already own, just start with a corner. Create a Frenchy sitting/play nook with a few floral wall decals, soft, draping materials in shades of smokey pastels and an antique-inspired mirror to finish it off. From there, you can expand onto bed covers and even pick up second-hand furniture to repurpose for a true old-to-new feel to the space.
@kascey_ellen via Instagram
The beauty about French Provincial is that it can be just as effective with small nods here and there as it is going all-in with the style. If a full burst of francophilia antique decor and over-the-top feminine fare aren't your thing, keep modern additions to pair with French styling – they work surprisingly well together. The trick is making the palette complementary, weaving modern and throwback Provincial seamlessly. Wall art and hangings with an 18th century French feel can be brought to the 21st Century with contemporary cushions, modern vases and greenery or florals to tie it all together.
Sasha Stories via Unsplash
This is your most investment-heavy option when injecting French Provincial into your new home: furnishings as a feature in the home. Sure, it requires dedication to the style and commitment to the direction of your home’s overall look, but it can really pay off. Investing in key pieces of furniture brings a luxury quality to the French Provincial look. Armchairs are an especially good choice as they can be placed in various rooms of the home (living, study, bedroom) and is as much about the experience as it is the look (there’s nothing quite like curling up on a comfy armchair to envelope you while you have some quiet time). The French Provincial armchair is generally high-backed and a far cry from the, albeit clean-lined, scandy chair of decor past. Read: immense comfort.
@Ferarriinteriors via Pinterest
Although French Provincial calls from very over-the-top 17th and 18th Century homesteads of the privileged, you don’t need to abandon a simple approach to decor. Tiny accents on bedheads, lamps, cushions and decorative items like vases and frames are as much an ode to the style as any. Opt for muted tones and simple fabrics, with interesting design accents, to achieve the French Provincial look in a more laid back way, that is best suited for the Australian lifestyle. Linens, soft cottons and matte finishes work best with this Aussie French style.
@aliwaightstylist via Instagram