All The Things About French Interior Design
French interior design is known for its sophistication as well as its light-hearted approach. French style in interior designs blends regal with rustic. For example, rococo is an 18th-century French art and furniture style that is ornately elegant and it is often combined with a rustic decor look that dates back to the earliest peasant farmers living in the country sides of France. This style of casual elegance is known as French Country and it’s still a popular type of decor that is now used worldwide.
French Interior Design Ideas
Architectural Elements – Exquisite architectural elements make French interiors lovely before they’re graced with a single stick of furniture. Details like crown and cornice molding, raised wall panels, pilasters and pediments, mullioned doors and casement windows are fairly common. Emulate the look by adding stock and specialty moldings, French doors and new hardware, such as decorative door plates.
Cozy French Interior Design
Floors – French interiors have beautiful floors—gleaming hardwoods or cool expanses of elegant marble. There’s no need to cover every inch with rugs and carpets. Remove all but your finest rugs. If you have a hardwood floor, wax it until it glows. Pull up that wall-to-wall carpet and faux paint large marble squares on the concrete sub-floor or install wood in a herringbone or parquet pattern.
Colors – Color schemes vary, but classic combinations include black and white, white on white, and the pale palette of white, cream, light gray, pale butter yellow and French blue. For deeper color, use combinations of deep rose, red, bottle green, ochre, peacock blue and black.
Furniture – French furniture spans many styles and periods. French interiors often include pieces from a number of periods, including Baroque, Regency, Rococo and Empire—perhaps even with a bit of Art Nouveau and Art Deco tossed in the mix. Collect antiques, or good reproductions, in historical French styles. Mix them all together, as if you inherited several centuries’ worth of family pieces. Don’t be afraid to add a few modern touches, like a contemporary sofa covered in plush velvet or an abstract painting.
Lighting – Interior lighting is crucial for any room. In France, it’s an art form. Scour antique stores and online auctions for chandeliers, wall sconces and candelabra in historical French styles. Look for shapely branches, gilt and crystal baubles. For even more ambiance, add black, red or bottle green shades to your table lamps.
Floral French Interior Design
Details – Ornate gilt, carving and ormolu are common details in French decorating. Mix them with sleek lacquered or mirrored finishes. Use lush, opulent fabrics on your upholstery, pillows and windows. Replace plain hardware with antique or reproduction pieces.
Accessories – Complete your French inspired interior with the right accessories, from fine antiques to those you might have picked up for pennies at a Paris flea market. Hang gilt-framed mirrors and paintings. Toss a pair of plump silk pillows on the sofa. Invest in an antique clock or a marble bust and pedestal. Place an elegant screen in a corner. Fill a fine porcelain or crystal vase with fresh flowers.
Essential Rules of French Interior Design
Rule #1: Under-decorate – Flamboyance’ and ‘flair’ doesn’t mean filling your home with loads of impressive, attention-grabbing things. After the excesses of the French royal court in the 18th century, French home decor took a route of (comparative) restraint, and has stuck to it ever since.’Underdecorating’ can take many forms, and you can show your French decorating savvy by using some (or all) of them: leave some walls completely bare – without pictures or ornaments, use simple, natural fabrics: raw linen, cotton duck, cheesecloth, go easy on the frills: stay away from ruffles, tasseled fringes or an overdose of floral fabrics, and pair baroque curves with straight line.
French Interior Design in Wallpaper Ideas
Rule #2: Be Bold – This may sound like a contradiction to Rule #1, but it isn’t. Although French home decor can be many things, timid isn’t one of them. So bring just one oversized or otherwise spectacular item into your French style interiors: a sensationally colorful, extravagantly large ceramic bowl on the coffee table, or a piece of wall art the size of an entire wall, that sort of thing.
Rule #3: Mix Old & New – If you have a Louis XV chair, don’t surround it with more Louis XV chairs. An antique piece comes across with more weight and dignity when you contrast it with simple contemporary, modernist or even minimalist furniture.
Green French Interior Design
Rule #4: Mix Raw & Refined – One important thing about French interior design is the playful attitude towards the past. There is so much gorgeous old stuff sitting around in people’s homes that it doesn’t need any ‘packaging’ to make it look even more special, gorgeous, or old.
Rule #5: Mix Country & Court -Just because you’re not in Paris doesn’t mean you don’t do things with a flair … and just because you’re in the country doesn’t mean you can’t have a living room or bedroom that is elegant and, well, regal.
Interior Design with French Canopy
Rule #6: Look Up – Castles are a special case of interior decorating – after all, they’re built to show off wealth and power. So really, having gorgeous ceilings is the least you can do if you’re a castle, French or not French!
Rule #7: A Bit Of Gold Never Hurt Anyone – Obviously, French interior decorating isn’t all about gold or castles. To be sure, contemporary French interior design doesn’t generally go to these lengths, and that’s not just for the current lack of kings. But if you’re into French home decor, something gilded, or at least something polished to a high sheen, will never go amiss. French interior decorating is much more interested in gracious living than in Parisian uber chic.
The Traditional French House Bathroom Interior Design
French interior design is bold, sophisticated, and chic. It’s about the art of making everyday life really, really enjoyable.