French provincial living room
hp1986
October 31, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi everyone,

I want to decorate my living room ( to begin with) in a French provincial style. I have attached a couple of photos of the lounge suite I've purchased and a photo of my living room from 2 angles. Can you please give me some advise curtains, coffee table, side table , whether I should leave the red colour on the wall or reprint it to a different colour. I think the colour kinda matches the lounge but I could be wrong. Anyway thanks in advance!
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decoenthusiaste
Somehow neither your room nor your lounge set says "French Provincial" to me. Don't know where I'd take this but here is my concept of the style. I could be wrong!
Living Room 4
Slate Bergere Chair & Ottoman
October 31, 2012 at 3:41PM     
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hp1986
Oops well then I obviously have the wrong idea of what French provincial is. Do you have any idea what kind of lounge that is and what I can do with it?
October 31, 2012 at 4:01PM   
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Aggie Purvinska
The furniture is a very floral and a busy version of it, the room, however, is not. Are you sure this is what you want for the room? Have you bought this furniture? You would have to make some major changes to the room to go with the furniture.
October 31, 2012 at 4:15PM   
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hp1986
I have put a deposit on it but it can be withdrawn. Saying that I kinda like the way it looks. In terms of changing the room what would we be talking about? This is how I got the room as I just bought the place. I don't mind repainting if needed.or if you can think of a different style of furniture that would give it the antique look that would fit the room as is or with little modifications.
October 31, 2012 at 4:19PM   
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Aggie Purvinska
It's a modern house, you would have to do major changes to make it look antique or traditional. Trim flooring, doors, windows, etc. Don't fight the style of the house, you can incorporate the antiques within an eclectic design... You could easily move away from the pink by painting the walls gray. The red is confusing, the gray will be simple and will bring this room to the next level..and you won't have to fight the floors. You can bring in white and gray french provincial elements, chairs, a buffet, a mirror within a modern layout and furnishings.
October 31, 2012 at 4:31PM     
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karen paul interiors
Several questions....What attracts you most to this house? What attracts you most to your furnishings? What might you find unattractive or wish you could change or alter? Can you post photos of living rooms (on Houzz) that you especially enjoy? Answering these questions will be perfect input for Houzzers so they can give you good advice and direction.
October 31, 2012 at 5:01PM   
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hp1986
I like the layout of the room. Not very happy with the colour of the walls but my intention was to repaint all the walls before buying anyway. I am not very sure what style I am looking for but I to be completely honest I want the living room to look ancient. I always have been attracted to antiques and I have a huge collection of radios, coins, stamps etc from different eras. The house is purchased but the couch isn't yet. Ill look into the eclectic style now. I don't mind going modern but prefer the old look. Suggestions?
October 31, 2012 at 5:28PM   
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nevadan
The furniture seems to border on Victorian. It is a type of furniture one often seen in France. Not the best choice. Can you shop in antique shops where you live? You might find some wonderful pieces. For your upholstered furniture, keep it simple and comfortable. Plain colors, no pattern. You can always add patterned throw pillows if you want roses.
October 31, 2012 at 5:52PM   
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hp1986
I live in Melbourne. Not sure where to start looking or what to go ask for. Any particular style of antique furniture I should be hunting for based on the look of my living room?
October 31, 2012 at 6:07PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Please return the furniture. It is far too ornate for the house. I think you will want to replace the existing flooring with hardwood flooring. That will give you a start in changing the character of the house to more suit what you want. But you must realize that you have bought a modern house and the modern will not completely go away. So embrace it, change it slightly, but don't forget its origins.

It would be helpful if you could find an interior designer to assist you. It's going to be expensive to do what needs to be done in your new home. The cost of expert advice is small compared with what you will need to spend, PLUS expert advice will usually save you money in the long run.
October 31, 2012 at 6:25PM     
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hp1986
I think you're right. I might lose a few hundred dollars worth of deposit on that lounge but it might be worth it. Considering I am going to spend a fortune,I probably need to get the right advise every step of the way. Thanks for all your help guys! Really appreciate it.
October 31, 2012 at 6:46PM     
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victorianbungalowranch
Your house has a strong mid-century modern vibe and a very stong pattern on the floor in the kitchen. I agree a grey might be a good color on the walls to pull the French Provincial theme together, with or without the dark wall color. The dark wall color is only on two walls and might work and goes with what is in the kitchen. I like the little dark accent in the arch and would keep that.. A lighter grey would look terrific with the floors, and I would consider painting the screen to blend in, and maybe the baseboard too. It just looks too thin and not the right color--or go white or light grey or dark grey to go with the floor border.

I would go for simple solid drapes, especially if you keep the dark color. Is that tall thing in the corner a heater? Do you plan on keeping the strong color in the kitchen?

Basically t I would go with a comfy simple more modern couch in a light color with the elaborate armchairs and a streamlined coffee table for a warm eclectic look. Your room is so big that I would consider a large sectional, or two matching couches. Then I would pull some of the reds/pinks/browns from the upholstery, maybe some bluesor yellows, for the pillows, add texture and something and something rustic. I think you need a dash of modern or mid-century modern and something oversized, perhaps some bold art, to go with the architecture of your house. Maybe even a little chrome too to have it tilt toward Hollywood Regency.

Provincial was a mid-century style, BTW and with restraint, can work with other styles, I think. To me, the set has more of a Victorian circa 1870 feel to it, but that can work too. For Provencial, you could mix in some stripes, checks or foulard patterns in the same color family. Maybe you can bring an armchair cover or a cushion to a fabric shop to get the right color harmony because it will be tricky. Some vintage barkcloth, maybe a cabbage rose pattern, could work too.

It will take some looking around to find something that will work both with the room and the furniture, and it will be much easier if you don't get everything to match. Plus contrast will bring the special curves of the chairs out. You must love the set, so I think it can work, but all three pieces is too much. Also, I'm wondering how feminine you would want it to be.

I don't think the table pictured works with the chairs. What other furniture do you have already?

Perhaps a large sisal type rug would help ground the room and warm the colors up a bit. The tile is nice, but very cold looking for a living room, and the big diamond is distracting.

Here are a few things that might work--for simplicity's sake, I looked just at WorldMarket.com, which has a mix of exotic and midcentury inspired things at pretty reasonable prices, but I'm not sure where you live. Couldn't find the kind of sofa I had in mind. Perhaps IKEA would work too because a lot of their stuff has a similar vibe, although it tends to be a bit more modern and funky..
October 31, 2012 at 6:48PM     
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carolannr
I guess I'm way out because I like the red walls with your furniture. Add lots of pale grey silk heavy drapery with jabots, draped headings and bullion fringe, a soft, a large, plushy grey rug over that white spot of tile and remove ( or replace) that room divider. To replace it, I would add something in the oriental style, dark wood carvings, etc. Add some palms to the corners and your favorite collectibles. I'm hoping that coffee table is not included. I don't think it really goes and it probably won't fit. Use round table covered with floor length coordinated color cloth to add more to the drama. The eating area floor can also translate as victorian with dark wood furniture and more palms.
October 31, 2012 at 6:53PM     
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karen paul interiors
One of the more important aspects of the design process is for you to understand what you like and to have the opportunity with the guidance of a good designer to figure out what that is. I always recommend (now that we have Houzz) that the client go through the photos and post into their ideabook (which they have created) everything that has appeal. It is important you pay no attention to whether the photos depict modern or traditional rooms. Also, it is important to make no attempts to "guide" the process. Once you have a collection, the designer will go through and find threads of continuity and this will be the basis for initial research and the "discovery" process. The more information that is revealed to the designer the more successful the project. So, I concur with Carolyn you will save time, money and your sanity if you can find a professional who is a good listener and with whom you feel comfortable after seeing a portfolio and having spoken with former clients. I wish you good luck....and don't forget to have fun! :)
October 31, 2012 at 7:11PM   
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hp1986
firstly...thanks for all the overwhelming response....I didn't realise how helpful people are on this site. will definitely recommend. Secondly, carolannr that what I was going for ...and when I pictured it in my head it looked good..but i guess I am not an expert ... but saying that, it does feel good to know someone's thoughts on it matched mine :) ... also since most people think I should hire an interior designer...I'm going to try and find someone in my area this weekend. Please let me know anyone knows of someone good with Melbourne's metropolitan. Cheers.
October 31, 2012 at 8:18PM   
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carolannr
Decorators on the whole are a pretty opinionated bunch. But, it is definitely important for you to have the look you want - that's what you will feel comfortable with for years to come. Showing a decorator the kind of things you like will help her help you.
November 1, 2012 at 11:06AM     
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Aggie Purvinska
Decorators are opinionated because they are constantly asked to have an opinion and come up with ideas on the spot. I think if a customer asks you: "What do you think I should do with this furniture?" The decorator should better have something else to say than: "You should go with what you like". :)
November 1, 2012 at 11:13AM     
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carolannr
Some of us are a little more so than others. I have always felt it's consideration for those customer's choices that starts a successful dialogue.
November 1, 2012 at 12:49PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
It's for our opinions that we designers are hired.
November 1, 2012 at 1:57PM     
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Darzy
I agree to NOT buy the furniture as suggested. But I do think it's okay to have a different style than the house architecture. HP1986 wants the house to look "ancient" so shouldn't a designer make it work with the house style? I cringe when tv designers use a fabric or wallpaper that the clients clearly says they absolutely do not like but install it anyway because "they will learn to love it". I'm not a Victorian furniture person, but if I was it would be something like this.

November 1, 2012 at 2:28PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
If she puts together some Ideabooks before meeting with the interior designers she wants to interview, then she'll have something to show the selected designer. That will be a big help to both of them.
November 1, 2012 at 5:34PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I'm thinking that if she makes that Ideabook that we will see what she means by "ancient" and "French Provincial". We designers have long experience with these terms, but she may not. So it would be good to see pictures of what she likes. And with 20 pictures, there might be enough to better inform her designer than just the 3 words in "ancient" and "French Provincial". Hey, with each picture worth a thousand words, that's a good headstart!
November 1, 2012 at 6:15PM     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I'm thinking that if she makes that Ideabook that we will see what she means by "ancient" and "French Provincial". We designers have long experience with these terms, but she may not. So it would be good to see pictures of what she likes. And with 20 pictures, there might be enough to better inform her designer than just the 3 words in "ancient" and "French Provincial". Hey, with each picture worth a thousand words, that's a good headstart!
November 1, 2012 at 6:15PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Despite what I said in the previous post, I actually don't know what she means by "ancient".
November 1, 2012 at 6:17PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You're right! We do agree, as we frequently do! :)
November 1, 2012 at 7:22PM   
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Darzy
Yes, we do!
November 1, 2012 at 8:50PM   
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Shawn Lagemann
Hi, I'm going to throw this out there, not because I think this is something you may want to do, but I do think that there are many Australians in the same boat. The style of your home is not unusual for Australia, regardless of the geographic location. In the U.S. this style tends to be more prevalant in Florida, Arizona and California. Semi-contemporary with tile flooring and laminate cabinets. However, the influx of immigration into Australia was of an era very Victorian in style.

If you had one of Australia's beautiful Victorians or even a Queenlander, the lounge suite you chose would work well as is. However, I'm sure there are many people who have family heirlooms such as the lounge suite you chose. You can incorporate them into the style of architecture you have, however, this may feel a little "tall poppy" for you.

I will refer to the photo of the house you posted as a reference. For the house, I'd cut out the center of the front door and put in a simple pane of glass, and remove the screen "entryway" panel. I see you have a furnace unit in the corner, I'd build a screen from a decorative expanded metal (as we use over radiators) to cover it. I'd paint all of the wood (doors and base) to match the white crown.

Now, for the furniture: I'd paint the wood frame in a high gloss color (for your house I'd use either black or white) but, you could use aubergine or green or whatever. I'd reupholster the pieces in a simple solid (that would be my taste, but you could use an animal print if you wanted) then use patterned pillows as accent pieces. Or use a contrasting fabric (like the animal print) on the chairs. A little goes a long way. What you're moving toward is more of a "Hollywood Glam" style. Tables in the room, keep them very simple in design, no more ornateness. Metal and glass or mirrored surfaces. I'd stay away from wood pieces, unless you paint them too, add a mirrored top etc. An upholstered tuffted ottoman with a silver tray would be a nice coffee table too. Keep the accessories simple and to a minimum.

Ground the space for the furniture placement with a simple rug. A solid shag, for example. Lamps made from glass and metal with simple drum type shades. The light fixtures, 2 small chandeliers to replace the the ceiling fixtures in the main room, and a complimentary fixture for the entry. You can redifine the entry space with a couple of chests back to back or a console table.

Moving into the dining area: A simple rug again. I'd look for a glass top table with an ornate base that could be painted. Painted Chippendale style chairs with upholstered seats that coordinate back to the living area. A great light fixture. Paint the walls whatever color you'd like to compliment the fabrics you choose.
November 2, 2012 at 6:41AM   
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V.I.P. Kitchens, LLC.
if she decides to go through with a designer make sure they are a "designer" and not a "decorator" there is a difference!! Also the designer will have possibly a prject board prepared after they have a meeting to give her a preview of the possible future living space. best of luck and make sure that you get someone who isn't a phoney..
November 2, 2012 at 7:18AM   
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At Home Modern
Your home is mid century, and if you furnish it properly with clean, neutral, well tailored furniture your collections will fit in just fine. Mid century furniture can be a wonderful backdrop for eclectic collections.
November 4, 2012 at 2:35PM   
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