Time For A Change – The Provençal Palette


Provençal Palette

It dawned on me the other day that I’d been feeling a little bit out of sorts. Not unwell. But certainly not my sparkly best.

It didn’t take too long for me to work out what was going on. 

I was bored. 

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the isolated situations we’ve all found ourselves in of late. There isn’t much contrast when you can’t go anywhere aside from your office. Or catch up face-to-face with anyone other than your housemates. Even video catch ups have lost their novelty for most of us.

But surprised I was. Boredom isn’t something that comes up for me too often. Between a busy day job and a stack of creative hobbies, I rarely have time to even think about being bored. 

There was only one thing for this new state of affairs. Action was required.

Now clearly, I can’t change the circumstances we’re in. And because I’m a lifelong rule follower, I wasn’t likely to start looking for distraction outside of home. So I did the obvious thing. I started to modify the things around me.

First in line for an upgrade were the recipes I was cooking. I trawled through my cookbooks. I utilised the power of the internet. And I introduced a whole lot of new flavour combinations to our tastebuds. 

With more interesting meals on our plates, I turned my attention to our home environment. No flat surface or cushion was safe. I didn’t necessarily buy anything new – rather I combined things we owned already in new and different ways. (Ok, so there were a couple of online purchases – but not many.)

With the home front revamped, I gave myself the green light to focus on myself. I started out by playing with my hair and makeup. A somewhat lighter shade for my hair. The blending of some different eyeshades. And suddenly all this had me wondering if it was time to reconsider the colours I was wearing.

Now regular readers will know, this is a big thing for me think about. I’ve been a fan of the Parisian Palette for a long, long time. Like years and years. A well curated colour palette is a foundational step in making style easy. And my wardrobe, inspired by the colours of Paris has served me very well.

But my need for change was enough to at least start me curiously playing with colour. And soon I realised there was room for another colour palette in my life. A palette I’m calling the Provençal Palette.

The Provençal Palette

If you’ve ever visited Provence, you might be imagining that I’ve started dressing in bright shades. You know, like that yellow and blue combo that feature in the souvenir shops. 

But no, the colours I’ve introduced from the Provençal Palette are far more muted than that. 

Think washed out siennas and terracottas. Sun baked olives and sages. Faded sands and salmons. Oceans and ceruleans – but pretend someone has taken to them with peroxide. Which is exactly how I always seem to think about the shutters on French homes. And don’t forget the cloud greys. (I’m sure by now that you are getting the picture – we’re not looking for the stormy kind here.)

These colours can be found in shades that flatter everyone, regardless of your colouring. Just like the Parisian Palette. And while they’re perfectly suited to warmer months, they also create a fresh look when temperatures drop. 

One Final Thought

Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve not replaced every item in my wardrobe with something of different hue. You see, many of the colours that are integral to the Parisian Palette also feature in the Provençal Palette. Particularly the stones, coppers and dove greys. The trick has been in creating outfits that omit those darker colours that are so natural in Paris. 

The items I have introduced have been primarily in the accessories space. Scarves and earrings mainly. I’ve also added a few key pieces that suit the current mood (ie working from home) for good measure. 

Have you ever let France inspire your colour choices? Do you think you might like the Provençal Palette? I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.


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6 thoughts on “Time For A Change – The Provençal Palette

  • Gill

    I get this – after talking about ‘when I get some time I will….’ for years, I suddenly found myself in lockdown. I struggled with all the free time. Love your ideas about changing meals, your look and your colours. Bravo

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Gill, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. And yes, they’re interesting times we are in. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found themselves bored by things they’ve loved for years. And you won’t be alone in wondering what to do with the ‘additional’ time. I’m curious as to what we’ll all think about this once we’ve reached the end.

  • Bonnie Phelan

    Thanks Janelle. With the virus and political upheaval here things have been on the dreary side here. Thanks for a mood brightener idea.

  • Kairosia

    Love your color choices: melon and pale olive are a couple of my go-to summer tones. I also find myself mixing in horizontal striped long-sleeved tees and white ankle pants, of course. I recently have my eye on some ochre colored sandals.

    • Janelle Post author

      Melon and pale olive sound like perfect shades Kairosia. Especially for someone who is ‘locked down’ in the middle of a dreary, and (for us) particularly cold Melbourne winter. And they are exactly the sort of Provençal colours I was thinking of when I wrote this piece. Something tells me I’m not the only looking for a change of scenery this year – even if it only in my wardrobe!! Also, I love your latest blog post – such a romantic and fabulous story. Congratulations!!