Tres jolie: Six steps to French Provincial style

Loving a little French flair in your kitchen? Here's how to get the look
Simon Whitbread

Warm, inviting, with lots of Gallic flair, French provincial style melds opulent detail with a fresh farmhouse feel for a truly timeless look. Here’s how to get this striking, traditional look in your own home…

Cabinetry (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

1. The door profile (a 60mm rail with beading inside) is key. The other main detail is tongue-and-groove boarding, and decorative elements include carved timber corbels and pilasters, turned legs, open shelving and glass-fronted cabinets.

Paint colour (Credit: Sue Stubbs)

2. There’s an innate warmth to the look, so aim for whites with soft, coffee-coloured undertones, advises Dominique McAdam, owner of Sydney-based Provincial Kitchens. For handles, Dominique suggests pewter or porcelain in a bale handle or a knob.

Splashback (Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

3. Tiled or stone splashbacks work best for this look. “Use square or subway tiles and add some decorative detail in the centre above the cooktop,” suggests Dominique.

Material matters (Credit: Marcel Aucar)

4. The ideal material for benchtops is either stone or timber, while timber boards are the classic choice for floors, as above. A natural oak or lime-washed finish will create a contemporary feel.

Lighting (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

5. Pendants or a chandelier above the island work beautifully in a home with French flair, with all-but-hidden, under-cabinet lighting the choice for functional tasks. Discreet downlights inside glass cabinets (highlighting your decorative items) also work.

Furniture and accessories (Credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis)

6. Traditional-look timber and upholstered stools – with or without backs – suit this style, while old-fashioned pot racks, the ideal place to house your set of copper pans, will whisk you off to Provence in a heartbeat. Oversized vintage-style clocks tick the right decor boxes, too.

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