Photography credit to The Spaces
You may not have heard, a little thing called the World Cup final happened this past weekend. The relatively quiet affair was won by France in their first victory on the footballing world stage since 1998. But long before the French were being lauded for their football ability, they were notoriously stylish trendsetters in both the fashion and the interior design world. The effortlessness and ease with which the French seem to pull off a seductive cool has been examined the world over. The real catch 22 is navigating how to emulate an effortless style without putting effort into it. Nobody wants to be the try-hard wielding a baguette and a beret. Is it possible that the only way to truly pull off French style is to just be genuinely French? Our overambitious need to prove this theory wrong lead us to curate this list of the five details we think you need to consider when you attempt to mimic French interior design.
Photography credit to A+B Kasha
Photography credit to Thibault Charpentier
If Paris is the city of love, then it stands to reason that the French would be the most romantic. After all, the concept of preserving the historical features of a building in order to protect the stories it has held is so sentimental that it's practically unthinkable to the British stiff upper-lippers. The same degree of romanticism is taken with the French approach to furniture. Unlike traditional interior design, known for its strict design schemes and symmetrical furnishings, the French approach is significantly more eclectic. There's no need to worry about matching in a French home. Furniture from various different styles and decades, in an abundance of different finishes and fabrics, form a coordinated chaos that has the effect of making a relaxed and welcoming home. Collecting individual pieces of furniture that you've fallen in love with, that have significance to you and that function as a part of your story is a sure-fire way to be certain you'll love it forever.
Photography credit to The Village
French eclecticism is what makes it so easy to keep interior design effortless. French homes are not overly curated, nor overly pristine. This doesn't mean you should stop washing your dishes or cleaning your toilets, but only means to suggest that some dishevelment in furnishings can be beneficial in adding character to space. The French impress the same laissez-faire attitude onto interiors as they do to their fashion, they keep it simple and don't try too hard. Vintage pieces with some wear and tear are not to be sneered at, particularly when shopping second hand is a sustainable and economical way to decorate your home. The French value chiner, the concept of hunting down preloved furniture and giving it a second life. Reusing and recycling is an environmentally conscious, and effortlessly fun way to revamp your interior design.
French homes are designed to accommodate the resident's lifestyle. The intention is to make daily life as easy as humanly possible. It's no wonder the French always appear so relaxed. French interior design appears effortless due to one primary question. At the start of the design process consider how you move through your room. This simple question can inform your buying process exponentially. It can give you an idea of exactly how much furniture you need to purchase before you purchase it. Are you keen to have free and easy movement or do you prefer to fill a space with trinkets and sentimental items? Great, effortless French decor is achieved when a space has been primarily considered with its usage in mind. Once you know this, the rest will come effortlessly.
Photography credit to The Village
The polar opposite of living and decorating effortlessly is to live your life dictated by trends. It's important to remember when decorating and furnishing your house, that you are creating a sanctuary for yourself. You are supposed to feel a sense of tranquillity. Pressure to move with the ever-shifting tide of trends is not conducive to feeling at home in a property. As the French so famously say "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."- the more things change, the more they stay the same. Whilst it is 99% certain that trends will shift out of public favour, staple pieces of furniture that you hold personally dear to you will be rooted in you forever.