Yesterday I was speaking with my grandmother who has always had a strong influence on my focus with design. She finds herself drawn to the “French Country” style of interiors. As we were talking, it occurred to me that French Provencal is not often thought of as rustic french country style… it is thought of as more refined and more elegant than the raw farmhouse look. It got me thinking though… if Provence is rural France, then why would the French Provencal style not be the “country” look too. After doing some research, I found that on the whole, “Provencal” refers to that of southern rural France known as Provence. It is the southern part of France that has been known for the farming lifestyle. The affluent would own manors in the south of France for their summer homes and they brought the “château” style with them. So you could find the “château” influence being brought into the country manors with a less formal touch. Next door one would find a true farmhouse with rustic and primitive interiors. This blended the refinement of the elite France with the rustic of rural France. So, we have come to know French Provencal as a combination of the refined and formal Chateau with simple and country-style of Provence. If you are using the term French Country, it more directly refers to the casual and rustic Farmhouse feel of Provence.