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When we think of French interior design, the words ‘chic’ and ‘stylish’ immediately come to mind. It is indeed these things, but there is a lot more to it. French interior design is effortless and beautiful; a wonderful mixture of the modern and the vintage. Its signature is confidence – the confidence to do what you want how you want to do it. If you can get this right, you’re halfway there. So what else do you need to look out for when it comes to French interior design in a British home that makes it so popular?
France has a lot of history, and much of it is told through the different furniture styles that are available to you when you are redecorating your home in the French way. It’s important to decide on a story that intrigues you, and ensure that your furniture matches the tale you want to tell. It doesn’t have to be something that anyone else even needs to know about, but if you have a period of history in your mind when you are choosing items, you will know what fits and what doesn’t.
Of course, there are many modern reproduction pieces that work just as well as the real thing if your budget won’t stretch or there isn’t room to house these large, imposing pieces of furniture.
Despite its reputation for class and elegance, French interior design is also – or can be when done right – playful. By adopting an eclectic approach that tells your story in a slightly different way, you can include that playfulness in your own interior design ideas. If you go down this route, make sure that nothing you have in your home is too stable or arranged; it needs to look as though you could change everything around at a moment’s notice if you need to. This is a lovely idea because it is amusing and interesting; no wonder French interior design is so popular.
As we all know, France is the world capital of fashion; it’s where all the best ideas seem to come from, and it all feels so effortless and free. Take this as inspiration for your interior design and look at how the French dress, what they wear, and how they move when wearing it. It’s fascinating and beautiful to watch, but it can also really help with the inspiration for your new interior design. The key thing to remember is that in many cases one of the defining elements of French fashion is that it is never too perfect, and never too ‘put together’. If you look as though you are trying too hard, you really are trying too hard!
Try to relax, and to let your thoughts and feelings guide you rather than a set plan or particular aesthetic. This ‘laissez-faire’ way of thinking will pay off, and you will have a chic and lovely home that looks impressive and definitely has a French flavour to it all.
There will be some items that you want to buy brand new, and if that is the case then searching for something with a bit of French flair to it makes sense. Then there will be items that you want to take some time searching for in antique shops and second hand stores. This is a fun thing to do, and will make your entire interior design project much more enjoyable, and it might even mean your budget is reduced too. Plus, you’ll be re-using and upcycling a lot of pieces of furniture, and that means you’re using sustainable products and being kinder to the environment too – everyone wins.
There is definitely something very chic and therefore very French about having all white interiors, but an all white interior is not often particularly homely or comfortable. If you want to add some colour, don’t worry; French interior design has splashes of colour all over it, so you don’t have to stick to the neutral tones you may instantly think of when you’re trying to work out how to get started. When you do your research, you’ll soon notice that there is colour everywhere, and that the French designers are absolutely not afraid of using it. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid either.
French design is popular because it offers a glimpse (or more than a glimpse) of a certain lifestyle – a lifestyle that is stylish and confident, chic and classy. If you bear this idea of the ideal French lifestyle in mind as you search for components to your new design, you should be able to replicate it easily and impressively in your own home.