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11 Tips to Styling a French Provincial Bedroom

Learn how to transform your bedroom into a safe haven with the tincture of timeless French decor.

Most of us have a flair for interior design. We like to shop for our furniture and move these according to the style and perceived functionality. We aim for a room or house design that evokes positive emotions, like happiness, comfort, safety, romance, and pride. And sometimes, we want a home fit for royalty like a French and an English monarchy. There are a plethora of designs that can help you achieve this aristocratic way of life. Among these is the French Provincial Style. What is the provincial style? How can you incorporate it into your sleeping chamber?

A Little History for you!

In history, many themes, such as furniture styles, interior designs, and architecture, can describe the reign of a monarchy. Esther Singleton, the author of French and English Furniture, defined Louis XV's rule as "the most exquisite and perfect period of the history of furniture in France." During this Golden Age, French Provincial Style became popular. Furniture production suited the needs of both the city and provincial aristocrats, which created a signature vintage quality, a remarkable fusion of elegance, muted sophistication, and comfort, and apathy towards rigid rules of symmetry. How did these characteristics translate into the physical motifs of the furniture and furnishing? 

French Provincial Furniture: Key Elements

1. Curved Geometry

Everything is curved - curved lines, curved seats, curved legs. The distinctiveness of the provincial style is inherent to its aversion to symmetry. J. A. Meissonier was the most influential designer and the master of curved decorations during the reign of Louis XV. To quote Singleton, "He was the abomination of all who held the angular and dry in reverence. [He] began by destroying all the straight lines. He curved the cornices and made them bulge in every way. He curved them above and below, before and behind, gave curves to all, even to the moldings that seemed least susceptible of them; he invented contrasts;—that is to say, he banished symmetry and made no two sides of the panels alike." Curved legs are known as cabriole, while curved chest drawers are famous as commodes.

French Provincial Style Key Element #1 Curved Legs or Cabriole
Hudson Furniture Versaille Armchair with ottoman MCHA04Hudson Furniture Chateaux 2 Drawer Bedside MCAB160WOHudson Furniture Marcella Bergere Chair MCHA246WO

2. Oriental Influence

This style also used three different elements that manifested the influence of trade with the people from the Eastern part of the world. Singerie, the monkey design, is the first decorative technique. "Monkeys climb up piers, swing on garlands in panels, and not only play their usual malicious tricks, but musical instruments also. They appear in all attitudes and combinations," Esther stated. Chinese and Japanese art became noticeable, too. And the most remarkable element was the Rocaille design that followed a shell or irregular pattern of a rock garden. Parisians followed these elements for their chattels but not the provincial aristocrats. The country-style was a creative pursuit of the noblemen from rural areas to replicate Louis XV's decorative artistry without lightening their wallets. So, instead of including the intricate elements of monkey, Chinese arts, and shell patterns, they resorted to only following the cabriole legs, which are evident today.

3. Furniture of comfort and conversation

Louis XV prioritized comfort more than anything else that the creators added springs and more care for upholstery work. Also, because it is smaller and lower, armchairs for the king were suited for conversation and interaction. King's chair, known as "bergère," is "a curved armchair with a low seat and an exposed wood frame that was highly carved and often gilded, and included fabric-covered panels between the arms and chair." The word warmth is associated with the French Provincial style and maybe because artisans carefully fashioned furniture appropriate for a friendly and inviting atmosphere. 

French Provincial Chair - Louis XV BergereFlorabelle Living Grace Wingback Chair Natural Linen FUR199NAT

4. Effeminate designs

Unlike the previous period of the Sun King, Louis XIV, which celebrated grandiose, and luxurious life, this period found peace and serenity in apartments divided into smaller chummy rooms and petite lower furniture with unique decorations. Designers, at the time, discovered how profitable the market segment of the woman was and crafted pieces following the size, work, and lifestyle of the ladies. That is why vanity and dressing tables were fashionable. This subtle but classy aesthetic makes the French provincial style a good choice for bedroom décor for women. 

Hudson Furniture Paris Dressing Table + STOOL MST04KD

The unique features of the provincial style have the perfect fusion of functionality and elegance. Now that we know what makes the French country style unique among the many ideas of interior designing and furnishings, it is now your turn to create your elegant, luxurious French Provincial bedroom without being too flashy.

How do you style your bedroom in Louis XV’s way?

Decorating your bedroom in the French provincial manner is not a lavish affair. With a modest budget, you can still mimic this classic method of interior décor. It is time to exercise your creativity and resourcefulness by blending the provincial colors with the provincial chattels and accessories. 
The following is a detailed guide on how you can recreate the magic of rural France and make your bedroom a homely but elegant sanctuary you will always look forward to being inside. 

Pay attention to the choice and coordination of your colors. 

If you like to design your room like you hired a professional interior designer, color is among the seven key elements of interior designing. A perfect harmony of a color palette is cardinal in that it can determine the success of your decorative style. It sets the mood and the effect you want from your design. Moreover, it lays a visual foundation upon which you can easily experiment with items of other colors without ruining the overall classic quality of the room.

Of course, the provincial style has its color combinations that depict the mood of a French rustical bedroom. These colors set the mood of achieving a tastefully restrained elegance and a welcoming, friendly, and rustic ambiance. The palette also manifests the colors of southern France. Mathilde of Brocante Ma Jolie sketched French country decor as the style that epitomizes the sun, the singing accent, and the Southern French landscapes. 

The preferred color scheme for a provincial style is the combination of either ocher and green or ocher and lavender. Ocher is an earthy pigment that is usually in saffron yellow to orange-red. The green and lavender colors reflect the fields of olive and lavender trees. 

French Provincial Style Color Scheme

Though suggested, you can always use other sets of color palettes. This style requires you to look and get inspiration from nature. A neutral base with warm undertones colors is perfect for your provincial look. You can always try to create mood boards with color swatches.

French Provincial Paint Color Palette for Wall Colors


Color the walls with these subdued, neutral colors, which will act as a canvas for structuring the rest of the room details. It is suitable in bringing out the unique provincial aesthetic as they imitate the general color texture of the rural landscape outside. Painting your walls in a neutral color, whether warm or cool, is an essential step in the French provincial style.

Select the appropriate headboard for your bed.

The essential furniture piece in a sleeping chamber is your bed. To embrace a French provincial bed is to select the headboard that is most likely to grab the interest of your eye because of its visible prominence. It is an essential piece in employing the French provincial style. The headboard has an effective influence on the rustic attitude and structure of your haven. Make sure your headboard has individual and seamless qualities that blend with the rest of the room. 

You can experiment with various styles: The selection process depends on several factors, like the finesse of your bed style. It is either a canopy bed, sleigh bed, or a four-poster bed. In the case of a four-poster bed, bed curtains will further enhance the royal theme of the décor style.

Use your beddings to add to the royal appeal of your room.

As noted earlier, the bed is the centerpiece of your bedroom. As such, it has to be imposingly elegant and regal in its appearance. It not only applies to the bedhead but your beddings as well. Use bedding fabric that creates a homely and intimate atmosphere. Like in the case of curtains, linen and cotton are suitable fabric options.

Woven wool can also work well. You have the latitude to explore various themes for your sheets and comforters as well. Snow white and floral-patterned themes are workable color schemes for your beddings. However, white is much more reliable as it has that elegant, warm, and inviting aura.

Also, you can use layered beddings to give your bed texture and a more solid and robust appearance. Layers of cushions of different sizes and matching and blending cases with other accessories can also exude the definite character of the room.

Cultured, antique furniture is indispensable.

It is impossible to speak of the French provincial style and any other classic décor design without mentioning furniture. Furniture pieces are the single most influential items in creating that rustic, vintage aesthetic you seek. They embody that aged, classic value through their color and structural design. 

You can choose from collections of sophisticated vintage furniture pieces to achieve your desired French provincial aesthetic. From your bedside tables, shelves, and benches to the console tablecoffee table, chaise lounge, or love chair, you can explore various provincial colors and designs.

Most antique pieces are in deep brown colors or weathered hues that bring out that aged aesthetic. Always remember that an antique piece of furniture does not automatically make it a good candidate for your bedroom. With your creativity and eye for furnishings, you can always select oeuvres with an overall vision of how they will fit and blend into the provincial color and structural scheme of your room.

Hudson Furniture Louis Bedside MTAB147WO

Hang curtains made in fabric and colors that support the theme.

Besides the paint and furniture, the fabric is the other critical element that significantly defines a French provincial aesthetic. It makes curtains a central component to the overall styling of your bedroom.

To best achieve that provincial aesthetic, use curtains made from linen as it is a traditional staple. Sometimes, linen curtains are not accessible. As an alternative, you may use cotton curtains, a functional alternative to linen. 
When it comes to the color of your curtains, the French provincial style is not very restrictive. You can experiment with gentle, pastel hues or take a bolder approach. Colors like purple, blue, white, and cream are workable solutions.

For a more country feel, you can also experiment with floral patterned curtains.
To further enhance the gracefulness of your window, you can use a beautiful, gilded valance. Pleated curtains also offer better visual texture and subtle elegance that many love.

If you go about it the right way, your curtains can be the most imposing highlight of your entire room.

Chandeliers are hanging strokes of magnificence. 

As said earlier, the desire of the provincial aristocrats to emulate the Parisian lifestyle inspired the creation of this interior decor. It contains many ornate elements that all fuse together to project a stately regal aura. And when it comes to all matters royal, always think chandeliers. Candelabras provide lighting to a room, but their allure lies in their ornate design. They imbue a bedroom with a sleek and classy effect that conventional lighting mechanisms cannot replicate. They also break the monotony of the ceiling design

As such, we dare say chandeliers are a no-brainer if you are considering styling your bedroom in the French provincial style. They will serve as a centerpiece that will balance off the color profile of the rest of your room.

You can play around with different colors, including silver, grey, or gilded chandeliers. They are versatile and can easily blend into the dominant scheme of the rest of the items in your room. You can also choose from crystal, globe, cluster, glass, or candle chandeliers.

Florabelle Living Rococo Chandelier ELZR40198AY

How about a lampshade or two?

Just like chandeliers, lampshades are both functional and decorative. They possess the classic aura of eras gone past that will enhance your overall décor. Unlike before, there are many more lampshades that come in well, different shades and colors. French provincial lampshade exudes simplicity and cultivated beauty. 

Use wall mirrors to add to the flare of your décor.

Wall decorations are also crucial in recreating a French Provincial Bedroom. And mirrors are the ways to go in this style. They have established a reputable position in classical interior design - a timeless household staple. Their shape and frames embody the antique aesthetic of most defining eras in the history of interior décor. You can never go wrong with mirrors if you employ the appropriate technique in selecting and mounting them. You can place them over dressing tables or beside the bed above a bedside table or embedded on the armoire.

Purely decorative mirrors can be mounted directly above the headboard. Their framing can be silver, wooded, or gilded in ornate designs to accentuate the room. Take advantage of both the functional and decorative aspects of mirrors to achieve your desired goal of a provincial-style bedroom.

Cafe lighting and living Elizabeth Floor Mirror - White 40445

Do not forget that the flooring matters too!

It is easy to get lost in the details of French provincial décor and forget a foundational aspect of this particular design - the floor. Just because we step upon it, it does not mean we have to ignore it.

To have flooring with character, explore options from wood panel flooring to marble-tiled floors and strip flooring. Parquetry lets your flooring have more vibrancy and presence.

To top it all off, experiment with various rugs, like wool or bamboo viscose blend rugs, to give your room more character and exotic culture. All this will go a long way in making it possible to recreate that enviable French style.

It never gets much better than with a fireplace.

French Provincial Style

From the prehistoric days when humans were still living non-sedentary lifestyles, the fireplace has always been an essential part of our lives. The functional role of the fireplace as a room section providing warmth and a center for communion allowed it to transcend as an integral component of interior décor.

A fireplace gives any room structural quality in which other items like furniture are organized. Depending on the style, fireplaces are aesthetic accents as well. 

Add some flowers to complete the style.

The French provincial design mainly embodies the vintage room setup while mimicking aspects of the landscape outside as much as possible. And what better way of bringing a piece of nature from outside back into your bedroom than with flowers? With these, you have a lot of leeways when it comes to your choice of color.

Different flowers with multiple color combinations can blend into the visual scheme of your décor. You can choose to use real flowers or artificial ones. While the range from which you can select appropriate flowers for your room is essentially infinite, lavender, peonies, roses, and hydrangea are easy options. You can then place these flowers with ornate vases atop the bureau, bedside tables, or above the fireplace. Consider potted plants, too.                                  

Restyle your sanctuary today!

The bedroom is an endeared room both symbolically and functionally. It is the most intimate private room where we all retire to rest or have some personal time. As such, the bedroom needs to be a calm, peaceful sanctuary that offers optimal comfort, luxury, splendor, and lovability.

And what better way of achieving this than by emulating the French provincial style and using it to turn your bedroom into a stylish, sassy paradise?
Try it out today! And if you need to explore some furniture, visit Prime Furniture. Choose your highest quality furniture that creates the space you only dreamed of and a place you can call your home.

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Singleton, Esther. French and English Furniture. New York: McClure Phillips & CO, 1903; Project Gutenberg, 2017.

"Timeline of French Furniture Periods." Lolo French Antiques