France is a country where a lot of history stems from especially when it comes to furniture. It is a country where monarchs reigned for centuries. It is also a country where there was quite a big gap between the royals and the common subjects. As such, the furniture that you were to find in these two social setups was quite starkly different.
French provincial furniture basically comprised of all the furniture that was made by people outside of Paris. This means that such furniture was neither Parisian or kingly. Many of the artisans that made provincial furniture lived and worked in a region called Loire valley outside of Paris.
It is important to point out that modern furniture items are complicated both in design and the materials used to make them. However, the French provincial furniture that was quite popular at around 17th and 18th centuries was by no means plain. It was adorned with great carvings. However, compared to the other types of French furniture of the time, you will notice that these ones were rather bland in styling. The main thing that used to and still does differentiate the provincial furniture from the rest is the decorations and the styling employed.
Characteristics of French provincial furniture
The provincial style did not just come to be all on its own. It borrowed heavily from the styling of Brittany, Provence and Bordeaux. Most of the styles found in these areas were simple and streamlined. With a combination of simplicity, class, provincial artisans were able to marry the different styles to come up with a definitive simple style that fitted the lifestyle of the countryside.
Provincial in France essentially means countryside. When you find a piece of bedroom furniture tagged provincial, then you can easily tell that it’s from outside the metropolitan regions, especially Paris.
Naming of French furniture was more in the line of style, functionality and the era it was from. If you were to consider the Parisian furniture, you would realize that it was trendy, elegant and more forward oriented. As for the French provincial furniture, functionality was a primary concern. A bed would first have to accomplish its purpose before any add-ons were to be considered.
The target market for provincial bedroom furniture was the ordinary citizen. This meant that while aesthetics would be appreciated a lot, they were not the driving force behind the making of the items. For this reason, such furniture was designed to be durable. It was quite easy to replace a broken headboard or dressing chair because it was affordable.
The antique furniture of the French people has always been a fascination for many people. Intricate designs and patterns were used to make furniture. For the provincial French bedroom furniture, it was and still is common to find some rather rustic designs such as wheat or corn fields. At other times, artisans would use mythological and biblical patterns to depict a story or a scene. There were instances when flowers or simply life happenings which touched on the common folk would be a theme in a piece of bedroom furniture.
The most common material used in the making of the provincial furniture was simple but polished wood. Just as it is easy to carve a pattern in wood today, so was it then. In the metal category, iron was the most commonly used material.
It is easy to identify French provincial furniture today. All you have to check is whether the item carries some gothic or renaissance themes. In most of the items from the countryside, carving was almost a must. The carvings were simple and not as sophisticated as the Parisians’.
Over time, the carvings on the items would give it a definitive identity. This was mainly because of accumulation of repainted varnish or just grime. An item of provincial ancestry will therefore look distinct and revealing at any time.
Today, when buying any French provincial furniture item for your bedroom, you will need to consider a number of factors. You will need to consider the fact that antique furniture, whether with a palatial or countryside history, was not designed with space saving intents in mind. Beauty, elegance, functionality were some of the things that a furniture maker concentrated on. Rarely would they design something in order to save on space.
There are a couple of advantages that will definitely come to be whenever you invest in a provincial furniture item. They include;
The furniture is beautiful. Whether you opt to pick a bed, a headboard or a chest of drawers, the one fundamental thing that you will realize is the excellence of craftsmanship applied in making it. Many antique lovers go for the provincial items because of the sheer beauty with which they adorn a room. It is not wrong to say that the least decorated item of the 16th century is immensely decorated by today’s standards.
French provincial furniture items are regarded in high esteem because they were made to last for a long time. Time was spent in making any item because functionality was what the artisan was after. Most of the items that you will find in this category are sturdy and are still in pretty good shape even now.
Functionality is one of the things that the artisans worked on when they were designing the French provincial furniture items. Surprisingly, even by today’s standards, these items still serve a lot of functions. A French Provincial dressing table, for example, continues to serve its primary function today even as it awes with its aesthetics.
If you are a person who loves elegance, class and style, then the French provincial furniture category is for you. Here, you will find a range of bedroom items which are both exotic and appealing. The uniqueness about these antique items is that they are functional, beautiful but above all, help accentuate your personality.
One good thing about old French Provincial bedroom furniture items is that they are not as rare as many other French and other European items. You will have a relatively easy time furnishing your bedroom using these all time unique and practical bedroom furniture items.