Creating a Dining Room That Says Oui

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Many years ago, my mother’s side of the family settled here from the magical region of Provence, France. I have always taken pride in being half French. But it’s during our Sunday family lunches at my grandma’s when I feel fully French and love it! It’s the complete atmosphere – savouring the deliciousness of the food between long talks filled with laughter and wine. And all of this is further enhanced by the sweet Provence-like setting my grandma tries to create as much as she can.

Many of you might not be into this slow eating pace, but I’m sure you cannot stay indifferent to the unique rural charm of the French Provincial dining room furniture. I know I couldn’t, so I decided to replicate it when I moved into my first home. Here’s what I’ve learned about the essentials of a French provincial dining room.

French Provincial dining room furnitureFurniture

Following the ways of traditional French country houses, all furniture pieces should be constructed out of raw natural materials. Dining tables and chairs made of high-quality oak, maple or cherry timber are very common for this dining room. New or handed-down pieces should be adorned with the rustic charm of smooth, worn out edges and hand carved decorations. And there’s not much dilemma concerning colour – white is the ultimate choice for French Provincial dining room furniture. White is perfect to splash on hints of lively colours such as light green and navy blue on chair pillows, and certainly goes well with traditional plaid tablecloths.

The dining table, specifically, needs to be large to seat the whole family and have a low-sheen finish. The more distressing on it the better – for it will look like it had gone through hundreds of happy family meals as tradition and family are the focus of the French dining room. An interesting twist would be to use rattan chairs in combination with a white timber table.

And no French provincial dining area would be complete without a large glass pantry where you can keep your fancy china and tablecloths to spruce up the table whenever quests arrive. A small console table for keeping aromatic spices, such as lavender, can be the finishing touch that ties all furniture pieces together.

Small Decor Pieces

The right artwork and ornaments can be the finishing touch that completes the soothing French Provincial story. Wooden frames with refreshing countryside scenes of lavender fields and natural subjects are very common. Old brass kitchen utensils and antiques, woven baskets, and even rusted garden forks are all parts of the traditional rural French appeal. And the most characteristic element of all? The rooster. It’s not rare that you find iron roosters in genuine French countryside dining rooms. This animal is the unofficial national symbol of France, so don’t be afraid to include these cute ornaments.