Katherine Belle

French Interior Design: The 5 Essential Rules You Need to Follow

French anything has always been an object of desire for lots of people decorating their homes. From wealthy Parisian decor to luxurious and opulent pieces of furniture. The charm and the allure of French interior decor cannot be denied.

There may be innumerable guides on how to dress up like a French woman, but being interested in how effortless chic French interior decor appears, never fails to amaze us. It's like one part casual, and one part monarchy-level elegance.

Well, here's how you can master French interior decor in your own home -- especially if you live in the land of the French.

5 Rules You Need to Follow for French Interior Design

It's all about effortless elegance. From the way they dress themselves up to decorating their homes, the French somehow have the innate ability to produce the right amounts of flamboyance and finesse in everything they do.

In essence, French interior design combines the old with the new. It's all about staying true to established interior decor principles and still manage to include a healthy dose of a homeowner's personality into the interior space.

#1 Think about the French lifestyle

French interior decor is as much about design as they are about lifestyle. French interior decor appears effortless only because it's made to accommodate the way a homeowner moves throughout the room.

There's space for creative storage to keep all of your mementos, and comfy nooks to lounge in -- all of it to make your daily life a breeze.

Good French decor is all about space that's well-thought-out in terms of use. Both aesthetics and furniture should have specific functions.

Decor must reflect the life and the personality of the homeowner. Hanging wall art is just one way of showcasing the owner of the house’s personality. You don't need to go overboard with the knickknacks.

The fewer elements there are, the better. Handcrafted objects and beautiful vintage pieces are great.

#2 Don't hesitate to deviate from neutral colors

It's no secret that the French have an affinity for chic all-white interior decor. But it's through color that they're capable of forming a bridge between the old and the new. Don't be afraid to blend colors, time periods, and any design style that you'd prefer.

Wink Deco, a contemporary French interior design blog has this to say to Elle Decor about using colors in French interior design:

"We like the mix up the furniture of the 50’s with more contemporary pieces. In order to unify the objects from various time periods in a room, we use a few strong and complementary colors that give uniformity to the set. The color connects the styles."

#3 Respect architecture and history

France's history is rich and rife with drama and the hum-drum of daily life. It's not far fetched to see lots of structures dating back to centuries old.

As for decorating your own home, observe the architecture. For apartment buildings, each of them has their own interesting story and architectural charm that needs to be respected.

Great French designs bring together elegance and iconic character of a space with practical luxury.

Let's say for instance, that you live in an apartment building with gorgeous indoor friezes -- carefully carved and layered. You might want to opt-out of using recess lighting. Instead, you could choose dramatic floor lamps.

#4 Recycle and reuse more than just furniture

Aside from being eco-friendly -- decorating sustainably, recycling and reusing furniture is fun and lends a certain amount of character to a room. It's like bringing a piece of someone else's history with you.

You're going to need some time as you look through different secondhand shops, thrift stores, or visit flea markets to find the right piece. What's more, you can also reinvent secondhand items and give them a different purpose.

#5 Don't rely heavily on trends

Trends are everywhere; in politics, sayings, clothing fashion, etc. They come and go, but the fundamentals of life are the same, and they're dependable. After each generation has passed, they contribute to how homes are modernized.

Yet even then, houses remain the same. If you live in an ancestral home, you can improve it while respecting what the older generations did.

Try Out French Decor

French interior design is sophisticated, bold, and chic. But at the same time, it's also fairly quirky and personal -- true to the homeowners' tastes and aesthetics. Visiting France, you'll find that no two French homes will ever feel or seem alike.

So, what's the key to pulling off this kind of flair? A confident interior design vision.

This type of interior design is well within anyone's budget. So let your personality shape the decor, and at the same time, still create a room with classical French appeal.

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