French Country Cottage
Although rustic, the French Country cottage in Provence is bright, fresh and airy, taking its cue from the rich colors of the Provence countryside with its bright blue skies, endless lavender fields, olive groves, and sunflower fields.
A good example of a very rustic image of Provence was portrayed in Van Gogh's painting of his bedroom in Arles, Southern France.
The bedroom has a wooden floor and furnished with a chunky, simple wooden bed, table and rush-seated chairs.
Clothes are hung low down on a row of hooks fixed to the wall.
The walls are a soft pale blue and there are no curtains at the window, only shutters to keep out the strong sun.
Lavender, yellow ochre, terra-cotta reds, earthy greens and strong blues are the most predominant colors found in Provence.
Yellow ochre walls are much favored, inside and out.
Fabrics and Linen
Bright Indian inspired cotton fabrics in flower prints or paisleys, based on traditional 'Indiennes' originally imported from India through the port of Marseille, as well as simple floral patterns teamed with plain linens.
Plenty of soft white voile which is used for curtains and hanging inside cabinet doors.
Cool white cotton or mattis sheets and a traditional white boutis, like the fine examples once made by the women of Marseilles which are decorated with raised patterns of pineapples, leaves, vines and flowers, taking pride of place on the bed.
Plenty of traditional earthenware pottery in the form of platters, pitchers and bowls, decorated with yellow, green and terra-cotta red glazes.
Old cooking pots like the 'marmite', a large cooking pot with handles and a lid are also nice to display.
Motives, like baskets of lavender, fruit and the cicada, a national emblem of Provence, lightly stenciled on walls and furniture.
French Country cottage furniture can either be natural wood or painted.
When painting, use strong blues and turquoise greens, along with smoky grays and white. Give texture through gentle distressing to allow the background color or wood to show through.
Wrought iron work is also popular, probably because Provence lies close to Spain and North Africa where iron work has been crafted for ages.
Natural, rough and earthy textures. Terra-cotta or yellow ochre stone floors spreading from the house into the garden.
To compare other styles of French Country decor take a look at Farmhouse decorating and the French Country Manor.