Monaco, Nice, Saint-Tropex, Cannes, Antibbes, Aix-en-Provence -- these glittering cities are among the beloved vistas of one of France's most renowned regions. Provence-Alps-Côte d'Azur is famous worldwide for its beauty, celebrities, and sensualities. Sitting between the Mediterranean sea coast and the mountains of the Alps, Provence has drawn attention since ancient times. From the Celts to the Romans to Van Gogh, Cezanne and Princess Grace, the allure of Provence is reflected in modern home design and decor.
White and Black
White is commonly seen as a whitewash on exteriors in many French Provencal homes. Interiors may contain white, too, but they are often accented with other muted colors or with black trim. Black is typically used for accents and higher contrast touches and may be seen in floor tiles of kitchens rather than painted on walls. Cream, sand and ivory that appear quite aged or textured work very well for interiors in Provencal designs.
Browns and Gray
Pale colors are quite common in French Provencal interiors. Ochre is hugely popular in Provence. Among other choices are light shades of gray and variations of the beige family. While woodwork may be darker browns, the best choices for wall colors are in very light tan or light beige. Dappling, texturing and sponging techniques to blend different shades can lead to the right look of rustic Provence.
Blue, Green and Purple
Blues, purples and greens should also be in the paler shades. Blues and greens are more commonly seen, but a very light lavender can suggest the famous lavender fields of Provence. Doors and window frames, both interior and exterior, work well in blue or green of any shade. Very pale blue and a light sage or sea green works in both bedrooms and living areas. Find the right shade of these colors to match your Provencal furnishings or accents. Combining them will give the feeling of living near the sea -- a permanent fixture in the region.
Yellow and Red
Extremely subtle uses of red and yellow can be found in certain wall applications. You'll need to be careful in choosing and using these colors. Kitchen, bath or bedroom walls painted with hints of yellow or tangerine can work when the accents strongly suggest France. Bright red is more in use in Paris; however, trim work in subtle brick-red paint can help frame a room that has cream, beige or white walls.
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