Do you remember the historical novels by A. Dumas where the French provinces were frequently mentioned? Provence is one of them. It is located in the South France. The unique coloring, unchangingly beautiful nature, bright hot sun, the amazing diversity of vegetation, closeness of the sea and vineyards. The dizzying odor of blooming plants. The tough working day of the peasants, at the end of which the most delicious home-made food and deserved rest are waiting at home. And the work in the open air boosts the appetite!
The name is translated as “province”. In the application to the interior style, the name “Provence” means one of the country style directions. The unique fascination of the home comfort, style of the provincial house of the Southern France.
The archaism of habits and traditions established during centuries of the ancient lifestyle where the novelties and spirit of times come far too late. This is where the village commonness, simplicity, absence of sophistication, natural simplicity, closeness to nature, an abundance of colors and herbariums are reflected. The natural colors over-faded in the sun. And the unique charm, even some romance of previous centuries. The Provence style is time-stamped and does not stand any novelties, modern elements.
The Provence style is also characterized by abundance in accessories. Beaten mirror and clock frames, curtain holders and candlesticks, different cane bins, baskets. The abundance of cushions on the sofas, beds, stools. Many bouquets in combination with ceramic or glass pots, fruit vases, statuettes. Ceramic cock figurine will always remind of the motherland of the Provence style – France, as a symbol of this country.
Massive beaten or cast lamps with the glass lamp shades will harmoniously fit the interior. Open sections of the walls decorated with the Mediterranean landscapes, still-life paintings, decorative ceramics with paintings.
Cloth – cotton and linen of soft colors and shades: curtains, rug runners, napkins with the light ornament or traditionally colorful stripes. Items of textile should look like the hand-made. A compulsory condition is the village naivety – plants on the windowsill. And the hanged bunches of aromatic herbs at the kitchen.
The Mediterranean theme in the bathroom will also be not useless in the Provence style. The white and blue colors in the finishing of Dutch ware, bathtub, curtains and towels. The gulls painted on the Dutch ware will become real attention grabbers.
Colors of the style
The Provence style presupposes increased attention to the color gamma – only pacifying, comfortable, light shades, no bright colors. This is the most differentiating feature from the ordinary country style with the domination of bright color solutions. The subtle pastel colors creating the impression of the sun-faded different surfaces. It is not compulsory to paint the ceilings and walls white. The suggested assortment of the finishing colors for the Provence style interiors is quite diverse: dimmed (faded) colors of the sunflower petals, aquamarine, blue sky, greenery, lemon, dry clay. The compulsory presence of white, beige, cream, orange-pale. And, of course, the elements of artificial aging.
The same colors are used for finishing the furniture, painting of dishes and cloth.
The premises finishing
Walls and ceiling. No wallpapers. Only natural materials, the colorful texture plasterwork will suit as the walls finishing in the Provence style, besides, the work should look like made by the amateur or slacker — rough, with blotchiness, bald patches, through which the brick laying and roofing may be sometimes seen. The wood finishing is also possible – use the finishing boards painted white, as a rule. The ceiling, most frequently, white, decorated with beams of contrast dark colors. If the ceiling is not white, the beams, in contrast, may be whitened.
The doors and windows are traditionally white. Artificially aged white doors may be covered with paintings. And large French windows (surely, in the city apartment this is not real, but in your own detached house – why not) sector-type, divided by bindings.
The curtains may be made of beads or light airy tissue. The Provence premises may be zoned using the partitions or flooring material, the beaten grating, wooden racks, decorative pots with the live plants may also serve as the partitions.
For the flooring of premises in such style, it is strictly prohibited to use the parquet, linoleum, laminate, carpets. Usually, these are rough (sometimes) painted boards. For the Provance kitchen and corridor – rough wood or floor tiles with the canted corners of terra-cotta colors.
Despite the rooms, the kitchen is arranged differently: the walls are made of the natural stone, colorful mosaic, tiles a la brick or brick. A collection of the country dishes made of elegant ceramics with paintings embroidered linen napkins will complement the creation of the Provence style.
In modern life you can’t do without the household appliances. Here you may build them into the furniture, having covered it behind the doors or facades. And the hardly visible smoke effect on the light ceiling will reinforce the associations with the village life.
Furniture in the Provence style
The essential village (beaten, wooden or cane) rough furniture in the Provence style may not have the glass, nickel plated or modern finishing. It looks like it served people for several generations. It preserves the texture and color of wood, but may be painted light. The artificial aging of furniture is achieved by the small cracks, chips or abrasions.
Chests, stools with the carved legs, cupboards with shelves, large spacious beds. For the furniture use the light wood species: oak, walnut tree, ash tree, chestnut tree, cherry tree. The beaten bed-heads and legs, curved legs of massive round dining table in the center of the room.
Open cupboards – the unique attention-grabbers of the Provence style. The dishes placed in them are a complementing element of the interior. In order for the dishes not to collect dust and dirt, the cupboards and buffets may be made with the glass doors.
Finishing of the soft furniture – tissues of subtle coloring with the colorful paintings.
General arrangement recommendations
The clocks and pictures arranged in the classical French style. Such things attract the visitor’s attention and place the correct accents in the apartment or house facade in the Provance room. If the elements of this style are already used in it, the clock (or pictures) will complement the interior.
Right approach to the bedroom arrangement. To arrange the bedroom in the French style you need to use the ready-made Provence items: curtains, framed with the ornaments, bedspread, pictures and decorative cushions.
The decorative pictures instead of wallpapers, room plants. You may paint the picture on your own on the light walls: for instance, the tree, butterflies or birds. The retro lamp and cushions placed on the bed will be a perfect complement to the room.
Wooden furniture. Use the ancient wooden furniture, for instance, the worn old chairs are normal for the Provence interior.
The decorative table strip. It will look perfect in the dining room or sitting room, and should be made of beautiful and easily washed cloth.
Provence in the country house. The knowledge received may be used also for the cottage house. For instance, the flowers painted on the white bench and cushions as a décor.
The curtains framed with the flower ornament. This is a very important element of the apartment décor in the , so you should choose the curtains made of the soft texture a la suede, to wash them easily, they will also look beautiful and protect the room against the light.
Accent on the natural ornament and natural colors. The most suitable will be pastel and natural colors. The pictures with birds, flowers and butterflies look perfectly on all decorative elements.
For modern apartment with its small size, in case of Provence arrangement, it is not necessary to thoroughly use all the listed elements of finishing and décor (and indeed, you will hardly manage it), it will be enough to take basic and add some cute details – and you will achieve the desired result.