There’s a certain je ne sais quois about the French–whether it’s their fine wines or elegant fashion taste, there’s something truly enchanting about French culture. It’s no surprise, then, that so many people in other countries find themselves inspired by the French. Our music, our literature, and even our architecture–French doors, anyone?–have been influenced by this cultural powerhouse. And, of course, French-style decor.
If you’re feeling fabulous, and glamorous, if you want to really treat yourself and pretend that when you wake up, all you have to do is get out of bed, open the window, and see the Eiffel Tower glimmering in the gentle Parisian light–there’s no need to actually travel to Paris. Sure, you can always book a trip if you like, to elegant Paris or regal Versailles, but why not feel this way every day?
Follow this list of tips for ways to change the look of your home with French-inspired decor, and you’ll get to feel French every day. Voila!
1 First of all, if you have any modern furniture, you have a few options: sell, refurbish, or donate. If you choose to sell, there’s always the classic yard sale, but there’s always the option, too, of selling online through a merchant or selling products on your own. If you choose to refurbish, then I’d recommend you paint any wooden furniture with your new color scheme in mind. You can also keep any furniture made from glass, as well–following the French tradition of mixing modern style with the classically antique. And, of course, you can always donate! Charity never goes out of style.
2 Once you’ve cleared out your home, it’s time to think about what color scheme you want. If you’re more interested in French Country–think more fairytale, more homey–then this guide’s the way to go. If you want the style to be more Parisian–think refined, a little bit of chic attitude–then check out this article on choosing moody, Parisian colour palettes. Once you’ve chosen your colors, you can choose what paints or wallpapers to use before the next step: furniture.
3 Find the right furniture, and you’ll suddenly find yourself in France. The French love old-world, classic, sturdy furniture–the kind that’s durable enough to last for years and heavy enough for you to wonder how you were able to get it inside in the first place. Think vintage wardrobes, high-framed beds, standalone (and hopefully claw-footed!) bathtubs. If you want to be a teensy bit modern, that’s fine–a simple glass table, for example, will add some delicacy and balance to a room.
4 Select the right decor to match everything else–but also to shine. For the French, details are very important–they’re what secretly set the mood. If you can afford it, a French chandelier’s always a great idea, but there are easier ways to add to the mood of a home: for example, adding decorative accents, extra colors, or a splash of gold with the careful addition of a framed mirror. And, of course, drapes and curtains will make you feel like a French princess or prince–so don’t forget to pick ones to match your color scheme!
These are the main rules to go by, but with a subject as extensive as French style, there’s a few important rules to remember. If you want your look to be more Parisian, then the style has to seem effortless–for example, there can be one extravagant piece of furniture in one room, and long drapes, but not too much else to distract from the glamor that they exude. Another rule is to respect the architecture of your house–so if there are hardwood floors, don’t cover them up! If you’ve got a bit more to spend, it may even be worth it to hire or consult with an interior designer–you can look at this list by Houzz to find one near you.
But there’s no need to spend as much money as an employer does finding insurance for his employees–there are plenty of strategies that will make any redecorating affordable. The Spruce has a list of items that are easy to save money on, from rugs to throw pillows. Here’s an article that lists 11 websites that will help you save on decorating ideas, and here’s a list of tips–both chic and cheap–that will guarantee you glamor at any price. In the age of Pinterest and Instagram, and bloggers who are passionate about making your decor dreams come true, there are always new ways for you to learn and get creative. So slip on those rosé-colored glasses, do some online research, and start your new vie en rose.
Have you re-decorated your home in the French style? How did it go? What were your greatest challenges, and what was the best part? Send us pictures, too! We want to see your personalized version of French-inspired decor!