When it comes to fashion and interior design, the French have that certain je ne sais quoi that can elevate even the humblest of homes and apartments to jealousy-inducing style levels. When it comes to French style, it’s all about embracing, and making the most of, imperfections. From the architectural or dated style of your home, to reusing second-hand or vintage furniture, the French know just the way to play up the right features to find the perfect balance between oh-so-chic and effortless.
Respect the space
If your home has interesting architectural features or a cute yet quirky bathroom design, make the most of it and play them up. It’ll add interest to your home and set it apart from the rest.
Keep it classic
Keep your main pieces of furniture to timeless shapes and classic designs so they withstand the test of time and trends, if you’re shopping for vintage or antique furniture, look for designs that have consistently reappeared in homes over the decades, and still don’t look out of place. Steer clear of anything too themed, such as provincial or character furniture. Then pick one piece of statement furniture, such as an armchair, floor lamp, mirror or coffee table, in a bold colour or design style that will act as a focal point in the room. Large gilded mirrors are a French decorating mainstay.
Embrace the ‘undone’ vibe
French interiors are rarely dressed and polished to the nines, rather, bed linens are simple and wrinkled, curtains are long and puddle on the floor, furniture is often vintage and worn. It’s the style, colour and accessories that bring it all together.
Add a little sparkle
French interiors are rarely flashy and filled with glitzy items, however the sparkly, ornate chandelier that looks as though it’s been around for years is a common feature in many French homes, Try one in your space, or integrate a little sparkle by way of a couple low-key sparkly decorative items, and lamps or fixtures in metallic finishes.
Keep the colour muted
A subdued colour palette is common to nearly all French homes, bright, bold colours are kept to a minimum and used only as a style statement. While no colour is off limits, white walls and parquet floors are a French home ideal, while pale, muted greens, blues, beiges and creams are other excellent selections.
Put your personality on display
French interiors all have one thing in common: none are too precious. Family photos adorn walls and side-tables while treasures and trinkets sit on shelves and coffee tables. Decorate your home with art and books for a personalized finish.
Indoor plants are an absolute must for any stylish interior, and French homes are no different. Crotons and peace lilies are hardy options, while the fiddle leaf fig is still enjoying its moment in the limelight.
Add finishing touches
The finishing touch for any French-inspired home is, of course, a bunch of fresh flowers arranged into a simple vase and popped on a mantelpiece, dining or coffee table. Add a few scented candles to the mix to really complete the atmosphere, and ensure the windows are uncovered for maximum natural light.