The dining table has always, and will always, be one of the most important items of furniture in the home. It is a centre for warmth and nourishment; a place where family and relatives enjoy each other’s company and share good food and wine.
With its warm natural colours and textures, a French provincial dining table has a resonance to the touch, and contains both the laughter and tears of the entire house within its pores. The aged and worn surfaces of an old French farmhouse table speaks to us through its visible history of wear.
It shows to us the habits of where people before us sat, chopped food and rested their feet. As we touch it, the waxed timber seems to resonate with the echo of all the lives that have touched it and lived around it. No metal and glass modern table can give us that sense of belonging.
Busy city life has had the effect of separating the food we eat from our environment. When I make a table or design a kitchen in the French provincial style, I hope to re-integrate the two. It is not surprising that when a fast food outlet advertises its food, the food is always photographed in a traditional rustic setting, such as a block of parmesan cheese on a thick chopping board next to an old metal grater that might belong in a French farmhouse. Images such as these are congruent with where food originally comes from.
French provincial style is both earthy and convivial. It utilises earthy vibrant colours and rich textures to create a ‘lived in’ look. Born from the natural colours and textures of the countryside in the south of France, the French provincial style exudes an authenticity that makes it comfortable and inviting.