The most wonderful quality of custom design homes is that your every wish can be transformed into reality through architecture and decor. Rich design elements can whisk you away to other countries, cultures, and heritage. One breathtaking style, Provencal or Provence, is inspired by rural living in the European countryside and share certain commonalities.
Provence style is based in simplicity, beauty and usefulness. Gardens full of fragrant blooms in many colors are a glorious complement to the grace and quietude of utilitarian architecture. Two completely different approaches may be applied when creating your Provence style interior since the origination is from farmhouses and villas in various European countries.
In custom design homes, color is the key to creating an essence of time or location. Traditional Provencal style decorating begins with delicate colors and light earth tones as a backdrop. French Provencal prints may be used in upholstery or tapestries, or warm and vivid colors with inspirations from spices, clay, or flowers can be used to contrast the subtlety of the paler shades. When color is applied, it may be with chalk paint or a technique that applies paint unevenly, to mimic the variations of how old stucco and plaster absorbed paint. Use accent pieces with contrasting shades to complement wall and floor colors or provide other desirable color notes that may be too intense to use in large quantities.
Textures and Materials
While color is perhaps the most important element of creating Provence style in custom design homes, texture and material are also critical factors. Villas and farmhouses were built of stone, plaster, and wood, and these should be present in your representation. Faux finishes using plaster and other additives can provide a stone-like wall texture that is easy to achieve, creating a rich surface for the colors in your own Provence. Tapestries and upholstery using beautifully woven fabrics will lend additional richness to the textural palette of the home. Incorporating wrought iron, exposed wooden beams (whether structural or simply decorative), wooden shutters, and pottery items are other ways to add interest. Flooring is typically tile of earthenware or stone, which kept the home cooler in the heat of summer.
When furnishing Provence style custom design homes, items built from organic materials such as wood, wicker, and straw are typically a good fit, however iron is also appropriate for the period. Beautiful wooden pieces such as armoires and scrollwork shelving are often whitewashed or painted in a “distressed” fashion, adding age and history. Furniture was sparse and simply constructed, using as few parts as were necessary, but with graceful lines.
Accents and Accessories
When choosing accents for your Provence style home, try to find pieces that share a commonality. Perhaps the delicate fleur-de-lis or the treasured honeybee is found in many of the pieces you love, or maybe the lines of the objects are similar. Items made from the same material, for example, earthenware pottery, will come together in a stunning way. When assembling your collection, using harmonious elements will complete the design beautifully.
Part of the beauty of creating a Provence style interior is that you can be as basic or as ornate as you like. Whether you desire the simplicity of tan and taupe or the drama of saffron-colored accent walls, your Provence style design will be a wonderful representation of your style and personality.