Artisanal craftsmanship and local produce are the hallmarks of French Provincial living. More than a lifestyle or aesthetic, the French Provincial is a state of mind. For foreigners, a brief taste of it can be enough to trigger lifelong cravings. Bring the joie de vivre of Provence into your home with these 5 simple projects.
1. Color Me French
To achieve the rustic charm of the French Provincial in your home, start with a neutral wall color that will reflect the light and create a sense of space.
The south of France is mostly brushed with a Mediterranean palette of sun-faded beige, sky blue, crisp whites, and hints of yellow and lavender. A simple, unassuming wall color creates the perfect neutral backdrop for your French Provincial furnishings and decorative accents.
2. Whitewash The Furniture
Many contemporary furniture stores sell furnishings that evoke the French Provincial look. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to create the same effect in your home.
With a simple coat of white paint, your old wooden chairs, wardrobes, dressing tables and cabinets can be transformed into French Provincial décor. If you want to go all out, you can even add moldings and ornate handles to your cabinetry.
If your existing furniture is altogether wrong for the project, shop around for additional second-hand furnishings that have the right basic shape.
3. Let There Be Light
An ornate crystal chandelier is the quintessential French mood lighting solution. In the daylight, it serves as an elegant decoration. When darkness falls, it casts a sophisticated glow over your home.
Chandeliers look impressive over dining tables, in formal living spaces, or even in an airy bathroom. You can often pick them up second-hand or at auction. Restore their sparkle with warm, soapy water.
4. Wicker Accents
Nothing says ‘French countryside’ more than a wicker basket. Once you have the crisp whites and neutral hues in place, introduce some warm wicker accents, to give your French Provincial home an extra touch of rustic charm.
If you want to stick to the breezy, neutral color theme, you can seal the raw wicker with a light wash of white or pale beige paint. Otherwise, natural wicker boxes and baskets are great for storing things in every room of the home, whether it’s dirty laundry in the bedroom or farm fresh produce in the kitchen.
5. Laced With Lavender
No French Provincial picture is complete without a few sprigs of fresh lavender. The sweet-smelling purple flowers are synonymous with the Provence region.
Lavender is a Mediterranean herb that thrives in hot sunny conditions. It is quite easy to grow so don’t buy it from the florist – grow your own. Fill your planters or window flower boxes with seedlings. Once you have your lavender patch up and running, the plants should flower year-round – your vases will never be without fresh lavender.
Author Bio: Katie is a blogger, digital marketing specialist and community manager for Airtasker, a community-based marketplace. People post and receive offers for handyman services from Airtasker in Australia. Katie is a great cook and also enjoys interior design, especially DIY. Living next to the beach, she’s always there (on weekends) swimming, catching up with friends or volunteering as a lifesaver.