Also known as ‘shabby chic’ or ‘French farmhouse’, the French provincial style offers the surprisingly harmonious pairing of relaxed country living with lavish fixtures and finishes. Widely celebrated in beautiful modern Australian homes, it is defined by ornate craftsmanship, rustic timber, soft muted tones, cabriole legs, parquetry and luxe accessories, like marble and crystal chandeliers.
Originating in 17th-century Europe, furnituremakers in the South of France began replicating the lavish furniture seen in Paris at the time, yet with local materials and a laidback country flavour. Yet you don’t have to live in Normandy or Bordeaux to achieve this luxe look in your home. We’ve got some great ideas for mastering the French provincial style to bring the oh là là to your interiors.
Subdued shades of such as ivory, cream, taupe and vanilla offer a neutral backdrop for your French provincial rooms. Use muted pops of blue, green or blush to accessorise and add warmth, and texture with soft varied fabrics such as linen, faux fur, velvet and knit.
Anchor your dining room with reclaimed timber, natural oak or beautifully grained wood. A black or white base with a natural timber top and cabriole or turned post legs epitomises the style.
Parquetry flooring is often seen in French provincial style homes. It’s an ornate style of laying timber using short strips or blocks of wood to create an intricate pattern, such as herringbone. You can get the look without reflooring your entire living room with a parquetry table.
The French farmhouse aesthetic is all about pairing laidback living with a little bit of luxury. If funds allow, opt for granite or marble countertops in your kitchen or bathroom. Or get the luxe look with some marble side tables.
In the bedroom, create a space fit for queen with a lavish king or queen-size bed. Timber is timeless, warm and welcoming, while iron captures the eloquence of the original French provincial era.
Contrast natural materials such as timber, linen and wool against premium homewares and accent pieces to really make a statement. Think stunning ceramics, a wool rug, sparkling chandelier, ornate mirror or floral prints to capture the French countryside vibe.
Finally, nothing brings the bling quite like metallic accents. Whether an antique-look mirror, jewel-like hanging pendant lighting or a golden statue, a touch of silver or brass takes your shabby chic interior to the next level.