No interior design style exudes timeless elegance and charm better than the French – it’s no wonder the French provincial country style home is still relevant and predominant across Sydney suburbs and Australia.

The French provincial draws inspiration from the French country style, embracing a rustic feel and look but with a twist of chic and sophistication. If you’re looking to spruce up your home with a touch of French provincial, understanding the key elements of the French style will help achieve authentic and timeless aesthetics.

Unique features like vaulted ceilings, parquetry floorings and symmetrical windows are just some of the standout elements. However, it’s the exquisite details that distinguish the French provincial style – neutral colours, linen embroidery, oak wood, damask pattern and cabriole legs, to name a few – that truly stand the test of time.

Incorporating these French provincial attributes into your living spaces, such as the kitchen, family room, and dining room, can bring out cohesiveness throughout the home, maintaining harmony between cosy, warmth and luxury.

Interior Elements to Incorporate for a French Provincial Look

Metallic Embellishments 

Accents such as antique gold, brass and silver are apparent across the French provincial-style homes, from farmhouse-style dressers to vintage velvet Louis XV wing armchairs and crystal chandeliers to ornate wall mirrors.

Decorating your interior with these classics infuses your living space with refined elegance, panache and style and imbues a sense of uniformity, accentuating the overall French-inspired design.

Project: Amore

French country-style Linen Embroidery

Going back to its original natural character, the French provincial primarily utilises linen, a type of fabric made from the fibres of the flax plant, for soft furnishings. With the addition of handcrafted embroidery, this interior design style makes rugs, tablecloths and bedding throughout the home look and feel warm, chic, and with a delicate touch.

If you’re after simple, straightforward French provincial decor, opt for natural, subtle hues such as white, light blues and greens to match the colour of the wood furniture in the home.

Fun fact: Embroidery is a distinctive element of French provincial decor, as during the 1700s, women had the opportunity to learn the skill, allowing each home to incorporate unique features that were exclusive to them.

Project: Leo

Natural Woods 

Wood remains another prominent feature of the French provincial style, introducing a variety of textures and natural elements into the space. Versatile and durable, peasants and soldiers in the French countryside locally sourced accessible materials such as oak, walnut, and apple to replicate dining sets, bed frames, and wardrobes similar to those used by aristocrats in Paris in the 1700s because they were much more affordable than timber.

Inadequate equipment at the time lends a unique charm and aesthetic to these French provincial style furnishings lacking specific details – they exude a rustic and distressed texture, imbuing them with character rather than plain elegance.

While features like exposed wooden beams are uncommon in modern Australian homes, the timeless allure and rustic charm of furniture inspired by the French country style remain prevalent and trendy in contemporary interior design.

Project: Alma

Damask Pattern

A Damask is a fabric pattern formed by weaving. Well-known for its intricate and reversible designs, it is typically found on silk, wool, or linen fabrics. It was ubiquitous in French provincial interiors and considered traditional and upscale in the 17th and 18th centuries in Normandy, Brittany, and Provence of the French provinces before being introduced to Australia much later.

Damask entails very detailed craftsmanship, with floral patterns being a common representation. Widely used for wallpaper, drapes, curtains, and upholstery, damask is suitable for formal settings around a French provincial home.

First adopted by European royalty for its luxurious and opulent qualities, damask continues to be prevalent even after its adaptation to the modern French provincial style.

One simple tip is to merge damask patterns in neutral colours with stripes or checks for a French provincial interior influenced by the French country style.

Toile de Jouy

When recreating the French Provincial interior, you can’t overlook this enduring classic element, toile de Jouy fabric. Toile translates to ‘cloth’, and de Jouy refers to a location in the southwest of Paris, Versailles, where French kings, including Louis XIV and Louis XVI, resided. Toile de Jouy essentially means cloth from the mentioned place.

Traditionally, toile comes in white with floral or pastoral patterns, but in modern French provincial interior design, cream colour has become widely popular. Intricate designs would be printed in a single colour, typically red or blue on a white linen to produce that luxurious, exclusive effect that was only accessible to the elite.

Toile de Jouy remains an essence of the French provincial style, timeless and popular in Australian homes. You can easily incorporate toile in upholstery, beddings or even as decor for tea gatherings to create a cosy opulence.

French Country style cabriole legs and armoires 

The French provincial interior isn’t complete without cabriole legs and armoire furniture. First introduced in the 18th century, cabriole legs mimic the animal physique, with all four legs of the upper part facing outwards and the lower facing inwards.

Also inspired by the French country-style interior, an armoire is a wooden wardrobe traditionally used for keeping weapons, hence the name. The intricate ornate carvings on the armoire ooze enduring sophistication and timeless design while retaining its rustic farmhouse country style.

Owing to its durability, today, many Australian households still have decades-old armoires in the home, perhaps with subtle modifications such as colour paintings with the distressed texture of the wood remaining.

Project: Evelyn

Ideas to Experiment the French Provincial Decor in Your Living Spaces

If you haven’t already noticed, the French Provincial style is all about incorporating natural elements like wood and linen to create a classic, rustic charm yet maintain a cohesive opulence and cosiness in the home through features like metallic accents and embroidery. Here are three simple ideas to make a statement in your living spaces with a French provincial interior.

Living Room

The possibilities are endless for a truly French provincial look. For example, installing parquet flooring in a mosaic sunshine pattern can achieve a quaint look, although the herringbone pattern is now more common in modern Australian homes. As for the walls, go for muted colour palettes like light grey and beige to contrast with the space.

Symmetrical windows, along with treatments such as toile drape curtains and shutters – are a must-have feature to evoke grandeur and cosiness, completing your French Provincial home. You can’t leave out the fireplace too. Any classic French provincial home boasts an ornate marble fireplace to give the home extra warmth.

Project: Evelyn

Dining Room

The French provincial home design is centred on fine details, textures and rustic. Distressed timber, skirting boards and cornices are the hallmarks of the 18th-century French-inspired style.

For instance, Louis XV’s dining table creates an opulence ambience while bringing out an inviting and homey feel. Pairing statement pieces like wall clocks and crystal chandeliers with pitchers and candlesticks gives your dining area an antique look.

Project: Amore


A French provincial kitchen is very similar to a French country-style one, except it has a formal and luxurious vibe. Usually built from brick or natural stone, French provincial-style kitchens are usually in pastel colours and feature an oakwood island with a marble top.

Match the cabinets with the island for a cohesive look, and include an armoire as well to keep your Chinaware for a French provincial home design.

Project: Lira


French provincial style epitomises an enduring interior design that is still adopted in many Australian households today. If you’re embarking on a home-building journey or undergoing a makeover soon, spice up your home with timeless elegance and a homey feel with the French provincial style. Seeking help from a professional designer can transform your space from an ordinary to an extraordinary French provincial masterpiece.

Fyffe Design has established a team of qualified designers well-versed in residential projects of all styles and sizes. They are a household name in Sydney, delivering over 40 years of consistent dedication. Get in touch with the Fyffe Design team today at 02 9634 3600 or message to unlock the possibilities and make your dream home come true.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the French Provincial style?

French Provincial style is an elegant and rustic interior design trend that combines the charm of French countryside aesthetics with chic sophistication. It features unique elements like vaulted ceilings, parquetry flooring, and symmetrical windows, enhanced by neutral colours, linen embroidery, oak wood, damask patterns, and cabriole legs.

How can I incorporate French Provincial elements into my modern home?

To infuse your home with a French Provincial look, consider incorporating metallic embellishments in antique gold, brass, or silver, using linen with handcrafted embroidery for soft furnishings, and selecting furniture made from natural woods like oak or walnut. Damask patterns and toile de Jouy fabrics can add a touch of elegance to wallpapers, drapes, and upholstery.

What are some key furniture pieces in a French Provincial interior?

Key furniture pieces include:

  • Farmhouse-style dressers.
  • Vintage velvet Louis XV wing armchairs.
  • Crystal chandeliers.
  • Ornate wall mirrors.
  • Dining sets.
  • Armoires with cabriole legs.

These pieces contribute to French Provincial interiors’ rustic yet sophisticated atmosphere.

Can the French Provincial style be achieved on a budget?

Yes, achieving a French Provincial style on a budget is possible by focusing on key elements like colour schemes, fabric choices, and selective furniture pieces that embody the style’s essence. Shopping for vintage or second-hand pieces, updating existing furniture with paint, and using DIY decorative elements can also help create the look for less.

How do I choose the right colours for a French Provincial interior?

Opt for neutral, subtle hues such as whites, light blues, greens, and cream colours that match the natural wood furniture typical of the style. These colours complement the rustic elements while maintaining a fresh, sophisticated look.

Is the French Provincial style suitable for all areas of the home?

Absolutely! The French Provincial style can be seamlessly integrated into various areas of the home, from the kitchen and dining room to the living room and bedrooms. The key is maintaining harmony and cohesiveness by using consistent elements and colours throughout the spaces.

How can I ensure my French Provincial decor looks modern?

Mix classic elements with modern touches to keep your French Provincial decor timeless. For example, pair traditional damask or toile patterns with contemporary furniture lines or modern lighting fixtures. Keeping the colour palette fresh and neutral also helps avoid an outdated look.

Where can I find inspiration for French Provincial interiors?

Look for inspiration in design magazines, online interior design blogs, and social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Historical French countryside estates and modern interpretations of the style in home decor showcases, or design exhibitions can also provide valuable ideas.

Can I mix the French Provincial style with other design styles?

Yes, the French Provincial style can be beautifully mixed with other design styles, such as modern, minimalist, or coastal, to create a unique and personal interior. The key to a successful mix is to balance the rustic and refined elements of French Provincial with the simplicity or thematic elements of the other styles.

How can I transform my home into a French Provincial-style?

Start by identifying the key elements of the French Provincial style you wish to incorporate. Begin with a neutral colour scheme and gradually add furniture, textiles, and decorative pieces that reflect the style. Consider consulting a professional designer for tailored advice and ideas to bring your vision to life.