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How To Decorate – Modern Provincial Design Style

The Provincial design style has always been a popular style to decorate with throughout the years, but in today’s post we are sharing how you can modernise this classic way of decorating. When taking this classic design style and adapting it to a modern interior, there are certain elements that stay focal and others that are take a backseat. Today we are sharing with you a brief history on the design style and how you can incorporate this beautiful and classic way of decorating into your modern interior today.

The History

The Provincial design style started in the late 17th and early 18th century in the south of France as local makers began imitating pieces coming out of Paris and adapting them in their own way. The style grew in popularity hugely after World War I as people wanted to incorporate an elevated, yet earthy and rustic feel to their homes. The style can sometimes be referred to as ‘French Country’ due to its history and roots stemming from the area of France where it began. The design style blends both an elegant and sophisticated look with handmade and rustic pieces to create an overall ‘homely’ feel.


The Key Elements

Like any design style, there are certain key elements that are essential when creating and executing the look. With a Provincial design style, it is important to have a mixture of natural wooden materials to create an earthy and artisanal feel. Rustic and imperfect timbers are preferred in furniture pieces such as dining tables and coffee tables, the arms and legs of chairs, lighting, and decorative accessories. Our gorgeous retailers Provincial Home Living and James Lane do some beautiful furniture pieces that suit this design style perfectly so be sure to head in store to check them out. Another key element is ornate detailing that can be seen in Provincial style furniture pieces and more specifically the cabriole leg where the upper leg curves out before curving in at the bottom. Feature flooring is also a huge element of this interior design style with timber floors in a chevron or herringbone lay being the most popular.

The Colour palette

As the Provincial design style began in the French countryside the use of natural colours and tones are evident throughout. The overall colour palette includes warm tones of beige, brown, linen and flax, blended together to create an inviting and relaxed feel. The colour palette allows for the rustic timbers to do the talking and gives focus to craftsmanship and statement elements of the furniture pieces. Colour is added in subtle ways in shades of powder blue, sage green, or warm terracotta through the use of decorative accessories and soft furnishings. Contrast can be created through accent elements of charcoal and black in items such as the leg of a chair, the base of a lamp or the frame of an artwork. When choosing your metals, we recommend opting for a more rustic feel with tarnished gold or bronze accents in doorknobs, mirror frames and candlestick holders.


A Modern Take

The Provincial design style is a classic and traditional look, but we can take key elements from this and incorporate them seamlessly with a contemporary interior to create an overall stylised look. When creating a modern provincial design style it is important to keep the colour palette as close to traditional as possible; think warm neutral tones with pops of subtle, washed out colour. The furniture and decorative accessories are where you can have fun with blending two styles together. We love the look of a rustic farmhouse table paired with a more modern style dining chair and simple contemporary rug. Try pairing a table from Provincial Home Living with modern dining chairs from Nick Scali or Domayne. We also love using a rustic timber console table paired with a sleek round mirror and beautiful large table lamp to create a statement in your entryway. The key to making the Provincial design style blend with the contemporary style is to keep a simple colour palette and ensure you include natural, rustic timbers and ornate detailing with sleek, yet simple modern pieces.

If you’d like some help creating a modern provincial look in your home, you can click here to book in for your complimentary styling session with our resident stylist, Eliza. Just click the link about or head to the ‘styling inspiration’ menu on our website to find a time that works for you!

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