French Provincial style reflects the 17th century trends found in the South of France, when countryside homes began to evoke the luxury fittings of upper-class estates. Discover the secrets behind Shaynna Blaze's makeover below!
French Provincial style evokes a warm, welcoming style of luxury that combines sophisticated materials such as wrought iron and marble with more rustic timbers and stone facades. Ornate furnishings, quality fabrics and muted colours are all key touches.
Teresa and Martin wanted a sophisticated country-house feel. This meant plenty of light timbers and neutral tones to evoke that classic elegant feel. The main areas of renovation were the kitchen and lounge area, the master bedroom and the children’s bedrooms.
The centre of the house, a large kitchen-living-dining area, needed a dramatic redesign. With an awkward layout, it just wasn’t serving its intended purpose as the family headquarters.
Moving the kitchen island created more benchspace and opened up the lounge area so that a sizeable dining table could be installed. White cabinetry and a marble splashback crafted an elegant kitchen theme, with the exposed brick touches adding a rustic flair. And with a gorgeous range installed, Teresa no longer has to try and cook family meals on the barbecue. The icing on the cake: a butler’s pantry tucked away behind the fridge, which dramatically increased storage. And with the addition of a desk it also functions as an office!
In the living area, shifting the storage to under the staircase meant more room to fit in the TV, creating an informal, relaxed space for the family to spend time together in. Charcoal walls might sound like a risk, and Teresa and Martin were certainly skittish of the idea. But their trust in Shaynna paid off; the dark walls create intimacy and make the new white French doors pop, drawing the eye towards the greens of the garden.
The master bedroom was a great space but tired and uninspired. Shaynna updated it with a graceful blue and white colour scheme to evoke a luxury countryside retreat, topped off with the creation of a walk-in robe and ensuite bathroom for true comfort. Removing the dark timber brightened the whole room without any additional need for lighting. An embroidered yellow and grey curtain added a warm touch of colour and a soft grey bedhead completed the five-star look.
The house had the unusual situation of a bedroom without a window and heritage status meant big changes couldn’t be made to the exteriors. Instead, Shaynna opted for an attic conversion. The windowless bedroom became the stairwell and the attic divided up into two bedrooms, an ensuite bathroom and a small music room. White walls and sloping ceilings were offset by Yas’s custom- commissioned wall murals to draw the eye up, creating the illusion of a lofty space. The addition of skylights lets in plenty of natural light.
Sitting and Dining
Elegant neutrals let the timber accents stand out in the sophisticated formal living and dining rooms. Drawing on the provincial love of soft linens and beautiful fabrics created a sumptuous feeling to the joining rooms, the perfect suite for hosting.
There’s nothing designers like better than a good optical illusion. Clever use of paint can direct the eye, cheating the size of a room, hiding awkward parts and bringing beauty to attention. In the family room the charcoal walls contrast with the lush green of the garden and the white trims make the new doors stand out. A more conventional, lighter colour scheme would see the garden fade into the background.
Upstairs in the attic, the contrasting colours and diagonal lines draw the eye upwards to make the roof look taller. Leaving it plain white would make the ceiling feel lower, and the space would be simply boring.