WHITE ON WHITE
For the glamorous French Provincial look
, first explore white in all its glory — from crisp white to warm grey to cream and beige and everything in between. (A little blue in there isn’t against the rules!) Then get wild with raw materials such as timber and copper. Experiment with textures — woven, knotted and silky or pristine. And voila: you’ll have created a comfy, cosy haven that will never get old. And history just keeps making this look better: there is no more timeless, nourishing décor than French Provincial in all its adorned, bucolic glory. White is for Rustic Chairs
, cabinets, side tables, sideboards, nightstands, stools: with all these essential side pieces, embrace the spectrum of white painted looks: from polished and glossy to designer pieces that might be peeling just so, or are elegantly streaked white surfaces that let just enough of the neutral base seep through.
TIMBER IS A GIVEN
It might just be one feature piece: a grand, wooden dining table
that seats families from all your important life moments and is beautifully at home in a room made for bonding. Or a timber bedframe, polished or left raw and then made up with layers of silky white bed clothing in a room decorated from ceiling to floorboards (which are also perfect in timber) with neutral tones from white to grey to beige and cream.
GATHER LOTS OF SOFT AND TEXTURED WHITES
One key to cosy in French country is to go wild with the soft furnishings like cushions and rugs and push the limit of white while you’re at it. Mix and match whites and greys, creams and beiges, and choose fabrics embossed and embroidered with shaded stripes, florals, dots and curlicue designs. Throw these all about on lounges and beds, armchairs and stools and create a maze of cosy accessories all throughout your home.
CANDLES DON'T NEED TO BURN OUT
It’s not all about lighting — but almost. Lamps,
spotlights, fairy lights and especially candles are as much accessories as they are the heart of atmosphere, brightening some rustic nooks and lending shadow and romance and perhaps a little drama to vast spaces where life unfolds. No need to stray from the whites and raw materials throughout the décor — though why not bring in a colourful or exotic vintage piece in a room here or there. We also suggest stocking up on elegant long, white candles and glass or ceramic holders to line on bare sideboards, on shelves and chance of some natural light. They look gorgeous just standing and are the symbols of endless opportunity for just a touch more glamour or drama.
FLOWERS AND VASES
The wildflowers of France are the stuff of great art — and glorious home life! This quietly glamorous décor comes to life with endless top-ups of floral bunches that are feminine and fragrant and so soft you’ll want to pick them up and pamper yourself endlessly. And don’t skimp on the homes for these arrangements: gather vases wherever you go, from fine vintage ceramic vases to more slick contemporary designs that bring in a bit of ‘now’ to the age-old décor.
MIRRORS MEAN ENDLESS SUNLIGHT
Hang them in each room to bring more natural light in and to reflect your gorgeous décor and its many subtle elements from different angles. A beautiful painted, framed mirror
doesn’t need to be fancy or innovative — and the more it’s peeling, the more lovable! Hang it like it’s a work of art and keep it clean so that it sparkles even when the sun has gone down.
GET OBSESSIVE WITH BASKETS
are a classic French Provincial accessory and serve so many purposes: they add texture, character and colour to predominantly white décor and their rich, natural tone could come from a whole array of eras and places, bringing intrigue without dominating. Of course, they are also utterly practical so that no toy, magazine, blanket or knick-knack needs go astray even when life feels difficult to keep neat. (They’re also fabulous in a bathroom.)