Two of my all-time FAVES. 

When it comes to interior design styles, French Provincial and English Cottage are unique in that they evoke varying levels of opulence and cozy at the same time. While both styles feature charming and elegant designs, they also have key features that set them apart. 

Let’s take a closer look at the French Provincial and English Cottage styles and help you decide which one might be the best fit for your home. 

(I know, how is it possible to choose just one?!)

english cottage living room

French Provincial Interior Design Style

French Provincial design originated in the rural areas of France in the mid to late 1700s. The style is inspired by the elegance of the French countryside and is characterized by its rustic charm, muted colours, and natural materials. 

Here are some of the key features of French Provincial interior design:

Muted Colours

French Provincial style typically features soft, muted colours such as beiges, greys, whites, creams, and pastel shades.

french provincial living room

Natural Materials

Wood and stone are commonly used in French Provincial interiors. Natural textures such as rattan, linen, and cotton are also often incorporated into the design.

Antique Furniture

French Provincial interiors typically feature antique furniture pieces such as distressed wood tables, armoires, and cabinets.

Decorative Details

Decorative details such as intricate woodwork, ornate mirrors, and floral prints are common in French Provincial interiors.

English Cottage Interior Design Style

The English Cottage style is inspired by traditional cottages, farmhouses, and barns found in the English countryside. It’s a cozy and inviting aesthetic known for its warm colours, floral patterns, and vintage charm. 

Here are a few characteristics of English Cottage interior design:

Warm Colours

English Cottage interiors often feature warm colours and hues with pops of colour.

english cottage kitchen

Floral Patterns

Floral patterns are a staple of English Cottage interiors. You’ll often see floral prints on curtains, upholstery, and wallpaper.

Vintage Furniture

English Cottage interiors often feature vintage furniture pieces such as wingback chairs, slip-covered sofas, and wooden tables.

Shop our pre-loved consignment decor to find your perfect pieces!

Natural Materials

Natural materials such as wood and stone are commonly used in English Cottage interiors.

French Provincial & English Cottage Interior Design Style Comparison

While both French Provincial and English Cottage interiors feature rustic charm and ‘lived-in’ elements, there are also some key differences between the two styles. 

Let’s explore a breakdown of the similarities and differences between these two designs:

french provincial bedroom

Similarities

  • Both styles feature neutral, inviting colours
  • Both styles include natural materials such as wood and stone
  • Both styles often incorporate vintage or antique furniture pieces and decorative details
  • Both styles embrace ‘wear and tear’ qualities
  • Neither style is considered minimalist

Differences

  • French Provincial interiors tend to have a more muted colour palette, while English Cottage interiors feature warmer colours, patterns, and pops of colour
  • French Provincial interiors tend to be more ornate and upscale, while English Cottage interiors have a simpler, more casual feel
  • French Provincial interiors tend to feature more intricate design details when compared to English Cottage interiors

French Provincial and English Cottage interior design styles both offer a charming and inviting look for your home. While they share many similarities, there are also distinct differences between the two styles. 

Ultimately, the best style for your home depends on your personal preferences and the overall look and feel you want to create. That said, if the goal is to create the cozy oasis of your dreams, you can’t go wrong with either of these interior designs!

Interested in more interior design trends? Make sure you follow the Unshelf Blog or contact me for help with style questions!