French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
Part I: South & East

"Design your own French provincial bedroom: Shopping resources, ideas and pictures of real country French bedrooms."

On this page:

Further reading:

Excellent Shopping Resources
For French Provincial Bedroom Furniture

It doesn't have to be antique - even French country reproduction furniture can make a French provincial bedroom look "authentic" - even if your toile  fabric was printed somewhere in Asia and none of the contents of your 'country French' bedroom have ever touched French soil.

For antique country French bedroom furniture, or a mix of old and new elements, try

  • Garage and yard sales,
  • Flea markets,
  • Estate sales,
  • Antiques dealers, or
  • Antiques auctions.

Alternatively, get lucky and find exactly what you're looking for on ebay:

Authentic French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
In The South Of France

rustic bedroom in southern France

Our first French bedroom decorating example (above) is located in Haut Languedoc (to the west of Provence, an hour's drive inland from the Mediterranean coast). This is a very simple, sparse country French bedroom, typical of the the mountain villages in this part of France.

rustic table & chair in southern France

Many stone houses of Provence and Languedoc are hundreds of years old, and bedrooms just have a simple wooden platform bed or an iron bedstead (pictured further down).

The white bedcover is a matelassé weave, made to look like the quilted boutis coverlets from Provence.

The photo left shows the same bedroom from a different angle.  A rough-hewn stone washbasin was inserted into the wall when the house got running water.  (There's only one tap -  cold ! )   [More about French country bathrooms here].

When you compare the rush-seated chair and simple table under the window to the furniture in the painting below ...

van Gogh's bedroom

... it seems that French bedroom design in the South of France hasn't changed that much since Vincent van Gogh painted his own bedroom in 1888 (with a bit of added color).

Occasionally, you'll come across black or white metal bedsteads in antique French bedrooms. Here's an example:

rustic bedroom in southern France

  • whitewashed walls,
  • exposed beams,
  • terracotta/stone flooring
  • no armoire!

Apart from the bed, the only other pieces of French provincial bedroom furniture are the large oak chest and built-in shelving.

(The piece of fabric in the foreground is a hammock strung between the rafters and the doorframe.)

This may look austere, but the reality is that life in the Mediterranean parts of France takes place outdoors.  Have your dinner on a terrace shaded by roses, looking out over lavender fields and pasture - and you won't mind sparse interiors that much.

On the other hand, there are more French provincial bedroom styles than the antique version above.  For example these fun, contemporary  Provençal bedroom designs.  (Check them out, or continue your current trip around France to our next stop, Burgundy!)

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A Country French Bedroom
In Bourgogne

Burgundy, in eastern France, extends all the way to the Swiss border. It is known for its stunning medieval villages, ancient Romanesque churches and abbeys, and it is also a place of pilgrimage for food & wine aficionados.

attic bedroom in Burgundy, France
Country French bedroom in the Burgundy region
(Central/Eastern France);   Photo © Toprural

This attic bedroom is furnished quite simply, but it's the details that make it so charming, and they're easy to copy (well, apart from the warped old beams):

  • Roses. On the quilt, in a vase and/or frame.
  • A straw hat. Or, collect several old straw hats, and you'll have a wonderful French-style wall display.
  • Decorate the straw hats with ribbons in co-ordinated colors, add a few old-fashioned silk flowers and ... you've created wall art.
  • Apart from that, keep it simple. This bedroom has simple bedcovers and unfussy furniture.
  • The color scheme (white, pink, burgundy, dark brown & a little green) works so well because the brown flooring and furniture and the white walls serve as a neutral backdrop for sparse color accents.

For the next country French bedroom, we'll stay on the eastern side of France but move 300 miles further north, to the green forests and rolling hills of the Ardennes mountains.

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French Provincial Bedroom Furniture
In The Ardennes

This country French bedroom (the last one on this page) is the epitome of traditionalist French country decorating.

elegant French bedroom
Country French bedroom in the Champagne-Ardenne region
(North-eastern France);   Photo © Toprural

Filled with French country reproduction furniture, this bedroom has it all:

  • Gilded antique-style chandelier,
  • Louis XV-inspired demi-corbeille bedstead,
  • Château-style half-tester with heavy silk bed curtains,
  • Desk, desk chair and armchair with cabriole legs along 18th-century (Louis XV) lines,
  • 18th-century medaillon gilt picture frame.

The warm color scheme gives the room a wonderfully cosy, 'country' feel, even though the furniture would be equally at home in an elegant aristocratic retreat anywhere in France.

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