Summer is upon us, and we look forward to warmer days, relaxing and enjoying summertime activities with friends and family. We also look forward to a well earned holiday. Many head south to France to enjoy fine food, wine and the countryside. French markets are a popular destination, and whilst falling in love with the many goods on offer, that we regret travelling by plane with one cabin bag allowance and should have bought the car, or better still a van, so as to take all these wonderful items home with us. Antique furniture, lace and linen fabrics which would look wonderful to create the French style in your home. Thankfully there are many suppliers online and nearer to home of French furniture and furnishings which solves the heartache! Etsy, and eBay are always good for sourcing. Or visit Lille in September when they hold an event selling an array of goods, just take your car!
So how do you recreate the French chic style? Keep it simple, pared down with a few well chosen pieces of furniture, furnishings and fabrics. ‘Less is more’ to quote Coco Chanel. French interiors do not look too contrived, but lived in. Lots of gilding and Baroque interiors may have looked amazing in the French Chateau, but could look rather over the top in a suburban home, so use only on mirrors, picture frames and key items of furniture. Likewise, you may long for a French Boudoir style bedroom. Avoid too much red other wise it could look like the Moulin Rouge.
Key Colours – In Provence you will find sunny yellows and bight blue. Elsewhere reds, blues, gentle sludgy earthy tones. Colour’s like French grey’s and linen are popular, especially in rural areas. These soft colour’s suit the British climate too, always appear calm and are good base colour’s to start from. Paint your floor boards if you have them a neutral colour to reflect the light and enhance the decor, or leave bare for a more rustic vibe. Lay a natural sisal or jute carpet for comfort.
Key Fabrics – French linens, gingham, Toil de Jouy and striped ticking in the key colours add to the laid back style. Use for curtains, cushions or upholstery. Delicate French lace panels to create privacy, and add a feminine feel, and can be added as an extra layer to dress a window.
Key Furniture – French antique furniture like an Armoire for storing linen and spare bedding can be a focal point on a landing. Or fill with a china display in your kitchen or dining room. A statement, decorative bed with simple bedding and accessories with a painted chest of drawers could be all that is required to recreate your bedroom from your holiday. Paint an old or outdated piece of furniture, and perhaps hand gild and distress slightly, which suits the French style chic.
Accessories – Baskets, china and cushions make decorative displays of everyday items.
Key Lighting – Chandeliers are very French, and suit both the country style and grander interpretations of French interiors. Lampshades covered in plain linen or Toile. For a more contemporary look try a galvanized or metal floor lamp.
Pictures from Pinterest