The last decade has seen the return of French style homes with shabby-chic decor. Shops have popped up in certain areas where rusty iron furniture and old chipped furniture is sold to the affluent. The French look became popular in the mid 1980’s with limewashes that created that unique country look.
Limestone or stucco houses are particularly beautiful and authentic when decorated in this fashion. The roofs on these houses are generally tiled. In addition to this, the inner walls can either be finished with thick plaster and then painted or limewashed. Great colors for inside walls include shades ranging from rich cream, to bright yellow, green, terra cotta and vibrant shades of blue.
Modern homes replicate this using faux-finish textures. The choice is dependent on the climate of the region where the house is located. The beauty of such a home is enhanced by wrought-iron balconies and soft blue doors and shutters on the outside. These houses exude warmth, luxury, comfort and romance.
This nation is known to combine style and comfort in perfect harmony. Floors can be concrete polished with a tinted polish or burgundy stone can be used or oak flooring or flagstone. Handmade tiles can bring authenticity to kitchens or bathrooms. Alternatively, simply scaffolding boards can be laid and painted if one so chooses.
Soft furnishings in earth colors reflect the colors of the stone. Canvas is a popular material used in this type of decor. Accents in the form of 18th century Provincial furnishings can be placed around the home to add romantic flair.
Natural colors are beautiful and can be highlighted by darker objects trouves in darker, brighter colors. Whites, off-whites, creams and beiges accented with grey and shades of blue, purple, green or red can create a beautifully classy look. Disrepair is style in this form of decor. Both light and bright colors wok beautifully with dark wood. An antique throw can be draped over the back of a new chair to instantly make it fit in. The chairs should all have footstools or ottomans to serve as a wordless invitation to get comfortable.
While timeless furnishings are best, this is not as important as the charm, beauty and utility of the items. What is most important is that the furnishings have excellent design. Accessories such as handmade pottery, an assortment of copper pieces and toleware, also known as painted-tin. An authentic touch is added with paintings of farm animals, seascapes and rural landscapes. Whether the paintings are impressionistic or realistic is not of relevance.
Accent pieces can be picked up at local dealers or at flea markets and yard sales. Old, dented, chipped and worn items are ideal for creating this look. Gilded mirrors and iron chandeliers are combined with oversized furniture to complement the Provincial homes beautifully and exude that unique romance. Antique fabrics and laces complement these homes. A bright floral or plain tablecloth could be draped diagonally over a table with a pottery or glass pitcher and bright flowers that are arranged loosely.