French Provincial Furniture
Incorporating French Provincial Furniture In The Home
French provincial furniture refers to pieces that were used by the middle and lower classes in France. This style emerged during the 17th century and was also prominent during the 18th century. A lot of provincial furnishings contained styles from the specific cultures and location where the pieces were created. This was especially true for items made in Liege and Lyon.
This style of furnishings followed the trends produced in luxury furnishings created in Paris. However there was normally a time lag between the availability of these furnishings outside of Paris. This trend very much mirrored that of fashion produced in Paris. It took some time for styles to reach other areas of France and Europe.
Liege, Lyon, Orleans and Blois were the provincial centers of France. The items were created using local timber, including walnut, beech, oak and fruit trees. The color palate was taken from the surrounding environment created in rustic but understated style. Quite the opposite of the ornate furniture styles in Paris that were created with exotic timber and bright colors. Where the pieces were created can be determined by the symbols and carvings on the pieces. Each region had their own styles.
French provincial furniture should look slight worn or have the look that it was hand made. Many times decorators tend to be a bit to neat and clean when trying to replicate the style. The pieces were mainly used in villages and local farmhouses, where very ornate pieces would look out of place. The style became so popular that it was used by those that lived outside of this region.
Real French provincial furniture are considered antiques, which can be very expensive. Therefore reproductions of pieces have become a plausible option to obtain pieces in this style. To own and use these types of furnishings, the home owner does not need to have a completely French provincial home. In fact many interior decorators suggest mixing and matching French provincial pieces with other styles.
Designing a home in the French provincial style incorporates bringing nature into all aspects of the home. Wooden detailing, distressing coarse plastic pieces and rough stone walls should all feature prominently. In particular it is important to mix textures and materials. Chairs will have carvings on the back. Pieces will not be overly shiny but have a low sheen or wax finish.
No matter what type of French provincial furniture you are interested in, make sure that you like it. Go for reproductions if you are on a budget. Alternatively you can take the time to search out a real antique.