Francophile author (of My French Life and French Essence), blogger, influencer and international style reference for chic living at any age, Vicki Archer’s followers trust her judgment and rely on her to be ahead of (and keep them up to date on) all the latest trends.
For our upcoming July/August 21 issue, we feature her gorgeous townhouse in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – a chambre d’hôte (guest house) fondly dubbed “Le Petit Bijou” (“Little Gem”), where Vicki has sought to create an idyllic Provençal interior for her visitors. We tapped into her wealth of regional design knowledge, and she graciously provided us with 10 tips for achieving Provençal style. See what she has to say below!
Provence has a distinctive style all of its own – that is undeniable. How could the wild natural beauty of the region and the relaxed lifestyle of its inhabitants not influence home décor?
My Provençal interiors are a mix of things that I personally love and things I’ve discovered from years spent visiting Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Here are my rules of Provençal style that I can’t live without:
A Neutral Palette
This simple colorway, beloved by the southern region of France, works as much from a practical perspective as well as a visual one. I gravitate towards linen upholstery and curtains, with a dash of color thrown in for accent.
A Mix of Old & New
Vintage fabrics set against a crisp “greige” linen. A contemporary sofa paired with a set of French antique armchairs. A modern lampshade with a vintage base. The contrast of old and new creates interest.
Flea Market Finds
The French flea market is a great source of authentic Provençal style, whether it is decorative objects or substantial furnishings. Most of the furniture in Le Petit Bijou was sourced at local markets. My personal favorite is Villeneuve-les-Avignon on a Saturday morning.
Market flowers are essential and available most Wednesdays of the year in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
A must for me in Provence (and wherever I am!). Vintage French linens are so underrated. Sleep in them, upholster with them or dine on them; I use them daily, in so many ways.
The fragrances of Provence are extraordinary. We burn fig and lavender in the summer, orange blossom in springtime and “wood smoke” candles in winter. These are all evocative scents of the region.
French décor books are a wonderful addition to any interior.
Provence is known for its artisanal confectionary. Calissons, caramels and nougat are my favorite sweets.
Coupe de Champagne
A Provencal interior wouldn’t be Provence without a bubble or two.
Wherever you are, comfort is paramount. Crisp sheets, plenty of pillows, cozy bathrobes – it all comes together to make for a home away from home experience.
Photography of Le Petit Bijou © Elena Augier