With regard to the fact that the lifestyle of our ancestors did not allow for any special frills, the interior was corresponding – simplicity and comfort – these were the determining features. The descendants-designers named it correspondingly – the country style. But as it was already mentioned, with each people it had its own peculiarities and, correspondingly, received its name. Provence is one of those ancient folk styles.
Provence originates from France. Its name, translated from French, means “province”, i.e. village. The very name uncovers its essence. Beautiful nature of the coast of Mediterranean Sea, an abundance of sun – everything is reflected in the Provence style and helped to acquire popularity amongst other styles and maintain it till this day.
Having read this article, you will learn how the house looks like outside and inside, peculiarities of the style, etc.
Facade of the Provence house
First of all, the front elevation of the Provence house is differentiated by its exterior. The house should be light. This will be the so-called reflection of the light and sun warmth atmosphere, abundant in the country of the style origin. Otherwise, this will be any other style but for Provence.
This style allows for the contrast underlining of certain parts of the façade (windows, doors, certain parts of the façade walls, cornices, etc.). Besides, the dark colors dominate over the light ones, which somewhat violates the general concept of the Provence color, but does not violate the general façade harmony. This allows giving certain precision to the facade which decorates it by the simplicity of execution.
The Provence style is characterized by the house facade made of different finishing materials. Here you may see the harmonious combination of the “crude stone” and “lining” which undoubtedly underlines the creative character of the house owner.
Speaking about the Provence style, you cannot but mention the peculiarities of the windows. The window frame has very practical and at the same time beautiful construction. It is full of small bindings, which allow minimizing the losses in case of the glass damage. Quite frequently the window aperture is lowered to the level of the floor. By the way, the blinds serve for protection against damage and at the same time as a modest décor.
As to the windows décor, it is represented by the plasterwork, quite modest from an artistic point of view. Simplicity and no frills is a differentiating feature of Provence windows.
The doors should be massive and have a large inspection window.
You can hardly imagine the Provence house without the street lamp at the entrance. Such street lamp should look like ancient lantern characteristic of old France. The beaten street lamp is considered a special luxury.
Now it’s high time we speak about the elements which ensure the traditional color concept of the Provence style, i.e. what materials are used when finishing the house facade.
Materials for finishing the house front
The main requirement for the materials used for finishing the façade, is their naturalness, in extreme case, its high-quality imitation. Surely, modern Provence houses have the facades imitating the ancient buildings, as the natural stone finishing of the walls is unnecessary.
Traditionally, the houses in France were made of stone or rag stone. But evolution made its adjustments and the houses are now constructed using some other technologies. However, people did not want to lose the traditional appearance of the house where their ancestors lived. Therefore, in order to preserve this appearance, people started imitating the stone work of the house front. This is how the “crude stone” coating appeared. This coating presupposes the façade coating with the pebble, ragstone or slate stone. Modern technologies allow imitating the natural stone or rag stone coating of the walls. The gypsum panels, slabs completely imitate the color, texture of stone. Due to such slabs, the façade of your house coated in such way will convey the atmosphere of previous epochs. At the same time, this technique is quite affordable for your budget.
Natural wood. “Lining”
Wood has always been the key construction element, which, with the time was forced out by the other material (brick, wall panels, etc.).
But modern interior increasingly returns to the natural materials, and, in particular, to the wood. The eco-friendliness played not the last role here. By the way, all these qualities were and will always be characteristic features of the Provence style. Therefore, natural wood is still popular for finishing the house façade in this style.
Most frequently, the “lining” is used – wooden panels with the special longitudinal slots. Due to such form, the panels are fitted tight to each other, which ensures high quality of the house coating and its beautiful design.
Now, knowing the external features of the Provence style, you will certainly not mix it with any other style. But how does it look from the interior, what is peculiar to it? You will see below.
Provence in the rooms interior
It would be strange, entering the house, the façade of which is in the Provence style not to find its continuation in the room’s interior. So what should we see? Let us get acquainted with the peculiarities of the Provence room’s interior.
This style differs from other styles by its laconism. With minimum components it allows arranging quite diverse rooms interior, remaining committed to your conception.
First of all, the abundance of light in the room catches your attention. This is achieved through the color background which should be definitely light, which allows reinforcing the effect of the sun presence in the room. Light colors are present everywhere.
In order for the interior not to be monotonous, there are also some other colors in the room, but they rather play the role of accents, close to the main color, although, contrast colors are also possible. Besides, contrast colors always successfully outline the sunny atmosphere of the room.
Is predominantly arranged using the plasterwork coated with the light painting. The wallpapers are also possible, but they should be light and the patterns should not stand out against this background. This will help to convey the atmosphere of the sea coast. In this case, everything which is in the Provence room should have the traces of impact of the salty sea climate, i.e. have slightly discolored paints.
But there are no rules without exclusions. And this is fully applicable to the Provence style.
As an example, there may be the wall with the stone work or its imitation. This solution allows preserving the atmosphere of antiquity in the room, which is a compulsory attribute of the Provence style. Most frequently, this is the interior of the sitting room, although, the bedroom will also be suitable. The stone wall should always look pristine. It does not stand any coatings.
The room flooring
The classical Provence floor is laid with the slabs of natural stone, preferably terracotta color. But with regard to the sophisticated work and high cost of the materials, the floor of the modern room may be laid with the ceramic tiles, corresponding to the stone texture. The deviations from the classical look are possible, both of color and texture and form, but still the imitation of the brickwork should be considered.
Sometimes the laminate flooring is possible, but still its classical terracotta color should be observed.
The room ceiling
The Provence style always presupposes the beam construction. This is natural as this is peculiar of all country styles. The color of beams should always be contrasted with regard to the general background. Usually, the beams are painted terracotta. But the monochrome ceiling is also possible. The main idea of the ceiling design is to underline its natural origin.
Furniture in the Provence House
Like in any country style furniture, it should bear the traces of previous life. And the explanation is simple: since old times furniture has been passed from generation to generation. Therefore, there is nothing reprehensible that certain furniture will have any abrasions, worn color, simple configuration. This way the spirit of our ancestors will be preserved. In the furniture you will not find any traces of even the smallest luxury, grandiosity. Everything is simple and rational, but this is the charm of the style. Besides, we should not forget that the furniture color should harmonize with the general interior color, i.e. predominantly light.
Should be within the same conception of color and material as the whole room interior – no bright colors and artificial materials, only linen and cotton. Everything should have slightly faded colors. No other textile is acceptable in this style.
It would be inexcusable not to outline one unique peculiarity of the Provence style – compulsory use of the plants, flowers in the rooms. Designers do not imagine this style without them as it is grounded on the nature of the Mediterranean Sea.
If you are reading these lines, you got fascinated with this style and you want to realize it at your house. This is perfect. But do not be afraid of certain difficulties and your efforts will be rewarded by a beautiful house in the folk Provence style, possibly even on the sea shore. Good luck!