French style is the most mimicked around the world. Sure Sweden may have the planet under its Ikea grip, but it’s the French je ne sais quoi that has everyone mesmerized and trying to master the art of shabby chic. French design is the perfect mélange of sophisticated and comfortable. Want to take a stab at it? Here are three great starting points.
The most common theme you’ll find in French design starts with white. This means a fresh and clean palette where you can artfully add in soft pastels to bring color. Walls are often white with white wainscoted detailing and crown molding. Plush white sofas are also a must. Don’t overwhelm a room with color, keep white the clear theme – the ultimate goal is a clean palette. To keep things from going too white and mod, the toiles and florals come in….
It’s a Toile World After All.
Nothing says French faster than a toile print. For anyone who loves whimsy, these are your dream fabrics. Fairy-tale-esque scenes are printed in repeat and can be used as curtains, throw blankets, pillows and more. If the farm scene isn’t your thing, try the Chinoiserie toile.
Pillows and Flowers and Armchairs - oh my!
French design is nothing short of sophisticated yet it simultaneously should invite you to step in and have a seat, a comfy seat that is! Why? Because they understand the power of decorative pillows. Pillows invite but also make statements. If white is your overarching palette, you need pillows to provide your pops of color and break up the monotony. The French are known for choosing quality fabrics so don’t cheat yourself here, a cheap pillow will look cheap. Williams Sonoma has top notch options.
Perusing Paris you’ll remark upon how many flower shops there are, this is because the French love to bring life into their homes and what better way to do so with flowers? Try it out for a month and I’m sure you’ll soon get addicted to this little indulgence, this joie de vivre.
Finally, the French armchair is a staple in any French home. Often called the Louis XV chair, these delicate but sturdy chairs anchor a room and add the final touch. These chairs come at a price however so shop around. You can easily find a great option at Restoration Hardware but you may save yourself some money by scouring antique shops first. Consider having the chair reupholstered to suit your taste. The chair seen here was refinished and reupholstered by Time Treasures Antiques & Restoration.
Bon, you have a great starting point for French-ifying your home, bonne chance! And s’il vous plaÎt, share your favorite French design tips as well!