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French Country, Country French Decorating or French Provincial —What’s Different?

By Karan Jain 5 years ago 750 Views No comments

Looking towards buying French home accessories, wall décor, furniture or art from a museum retail store? What follows below will guide your purchase

Today, some of the most sought after interior design trends in the market relate to French styled shabbily made chics. Utilizing elements from the classic French country house design; this style is elegant and adds a romantic appeal to your interiors. Yes, French art décor pieces, furniture and home accessories are found everywhere—from beds, storage pieces and sofas to wardrobes, paintings and mirrors…… the list is indeed endless!

All in all, the act of transforming your home into a French country palace, with a small budget in place, is actually quite simple. Here, we take a quick look at the differences between French Provincial décor, and French Country decor or Country French decorating.

French Provincial Décor

In the days gone by, French Provincial referred to the general style belonging to rural France, wherein the name was associated with Provence. In this region, rural life had succeeded in remaining relatively unchanged with rich colors, rustic textures, and most primitive furnishings, all well inspired by a beautiful countryside. In fact, as a result of association, all of rural France was termed as Provincial.

The Diverse Nature of French Country Side

However, there is a lot more to the well-known French country side than rural Provence. As a huge nation, France experiences different home décor styles and ideas in line with its climatic zones. While the southern regions of Provence are warm and pleasant, the places up north experience colder winters and milder summers that obviously affect the elements of home decor. Also, natural light play and landscapes are vastly different as one travels towards the north, east, or west.

This in turn influences the choice of palette, especially as far as furnishings, decorations and other home accessories are concerned. For instance, with paler colors dominating the northern skies, which are in absolute contrast to the vibrant and strong colors of the sunnier south, there appears a natural difference in the style and hues in these regions. Additionally, regional and historical influences also vary across the country to a large extent.

Living with French Country Decoration

Along with the regional influences, French decoration has also been influenced by societal setups. In those times, homes were considered way above cottages or farmhouses and were ranked as a gentleman's home, manor, or middle class villa. It was but natural that the effects of Chateau style living trickled down to most homes. At some places, even the basic furniture belonging to a peasant farmer would match up with the refined embellishments of a chateau; thereby making the interiors of some country homes quite different from the interiors of working farmhouses nearby.

French Country Decoration—Rustic yet Dignified

French Country is a term used for denoting all the styles and colors of France's rural regions, from the sunny and vibrant southern Provence to the cool and calm northern regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais; from all that's within a farm cottage to the décor of a country manor. Basically, it is all about a casual style fringed by a subtle crossover that reflects the simplicity and beauty of rustic France along with defining the refined living of French chateaus.

Traditional Values Guiding French Decoration

Even though the regions in France are varied in color, style and texture, they are deeply united by the same traditional values such as:

  • Respect and love for time proven and honored craftsmanship/traditions;
  • Genuine love for the countryside and all natural materials associated with the same;
  • Re-inventing decors instead of discarding;
  • A classy and sophisticated simplicity;
  • Scale, harmony and balance.

In conclusion, French Country refers to a 'catch all' term for all kinds of décor related to the rural regions belonging to France, which incorporates both the refined manor style, rustic farms and more – with the terms Country French or French Provincial interwoven in it too!