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    Design Elements to Achieve a French Provincial Home

    June 29, 2022


    Embracing history can help you achieve this classic style.

    As early as the 1600's this provincial style of home has been popular. First established in the popular French provinces of Normandy, Brittany and Provence, these regional areas began designing and building country homes with an aristocratic style.

    Traditional features like brick and stone facades, steeply pitched roofs and arched windows were popular however Australian French Provincial style has evolved taking the best features and creating wonderful street-scapes. The interior design is just as important to complete the style.


    The Look

    The top 12 design elements in a French provincial home.

    1. Rendered Walls - Typically in grey tones, rendered (plastered) walls to the exterior provide clean textures that allow the architectural features to be even more pronounced.

    2. Corbels and Mouldings - Often found under the eaves line skirting the entire home and surrounding windows and door frames, corbels and mouldings become design highlights.

    3. Dark Roof Tiles - Capping on each home are dark roof tiles, often with flat profiles that also enhance a minimalist roof line. The dark tiles complement the light grey render and white corbel architecture.

    4. Wrought Iron - Ranging from plain square styles to ornate curved balustrades on Juliette balconies, the black wrought iron balustrades are commonly included on the facade (though not always), however almost always internally on the stairwell and void areas with a capped timber handrail.

    5. Roof Gables - It's common for brick gables to extend above the eaves line, either in a square or curved fashion making an entry portico even more grand and inviting. Gables often give a country style to the design.

    6. Rustic Wood - Timber flooring throughout the main living room zones adds to the flavour of a French provincial style. Often in warmer tones using straight, wider boards or parquetry design. The flooring is also often complimented throughout the home with wooden rustic and antique furniture.

    7. Natural Colour Tones - Simple contrasting colour schemes are most common, without any splashes of unnecessary colour. Whites, greys and blacks make for clean styles but creams can also be utilised instead of grey. Gold highlights on picture frames, mirrors and decorative art fit beautifully with the earthy tones throughout the home.

    8. Carved Kitchen Cabinets - The kitchen is often the hub of the home so it's important to carry a French Provincial interior design style here too. This is often described as country style or farmhouse and is popular in country homes. Typically most will include carved cabinet doors, stone benchtops and an island bench that is often on legs or with corner columns. Don't be afraid to include timber elements here too as a timber benchtop on the island bench works very nicely.

    9.  2PAC Paint - If you're not restricted by budget, a 2PAC (two-pack) paint finish on the French provincial kitchen cabinets and doors provide a premium finish that is easily differentiated from vinyl or laminate. This is a popular choice in both Hamptons style and French Provincial.

    10. Stone Flooring - A feature that is often seen is a section of stone flooring in the kitchen area, replacing the timber floors. This can create a design outline for the kitchen zone and will often match the colour and texture of the stone benchtops. 

    11. Pendant lighting - Black or gold pendant lighting in central positions of living rooms or above the island benchtop in the kitchen adds to the French Provincial flavour and provides as much aesthetic as function use. Downlights are still used throughout the home, with the pendant light fittings being a feature.

    12. Doors & Windows - It almost goes without saying, but French provincial doors are a must and often used externally and internally with either 8 or 10 panels of glass. Glazing bars on external windows can be fully timber or stuck on aluminium. 


    The Ascot - a bold, elegant, new-world Provincial home combining elegance, beauty and warmth.

    Nothing says warmth and elegance quite like Provincial design. Clean lines and simple, strong features are offset by a warm colour palette and natural materials such as deeply hued timbers and unhewn stone. Exposed beam ceilings, wrought iron balustrades and colonial bar windows add the Provincial feel, for a truly spectacular award-winning home.

    Clean lines and simple, strong features in the Ascot are offset by a warm colour palette and natural materials such as deeply hued timbers and unhewn stone. It strips away unnecessary features while still creating warmth.

    High ceilings give the Ascot a sense of grandeur, with elegant touches such as a raised feature ceiling in the family room at the rear of the house.

    However, this is very much a family home. Designed in collaboration with leading design practice DKO Architecture, a synergy has been created between all of the key living areas to facilitate easy daily living and effortless entertaining.

    One of Hall & Hart’s directors, Nick Rawson, says that the Ascot is “bold and elegant…it’s where new world functionality meets elegant Provincial design.”

    “The kitchen, dining and alfresco areas are connected, and there is a correlating symmetry between the kitchen, laundry and butler’s pantry,” says Nick.  

    This connection creates a natural warmth throughout. With plenty of light and space, the Ascot is the perfect home for the Upper North Shore of Sydney, perhaps for those building their third or fourth home.


    Stunning Modern Provincial Design

    While the traditional French Provincial aesthetic evolved from 17th and 18th-century farmhouses, our Ascot home has a ‘Modern Provincial’ feel.

    “Pattern timber flooring is a key feature of a Provincial home, as are a statement kitchen and kitchen island,” says Nick Rawson. “While that’s brought to life in the Ascot through features such as blonde oak flooring laid in herringbone, the design is updated by modern features such as square-set ceiling junctions and Bankston Berlin door furnishings.”

    Coffered or exposed beam ceilings add the French Provincial feel, as do wrought iron balustrades and the colonial bar windows.

    The look is completed by natural stone and timber finishes, for a spectacular home.



    Discover a recent outstanding Hall & Hart Provincial custom residence in East Lindfield.