Who among us hasn’t dreamed of having one of our own? emily in paris Do you live in an apartment in the 5th arrondissement with a nice view? For most of us, moving to the City of Love isn’t on the cards, but you can still bring a touch of Parisian flair to your home, no matter where you are.
In fact, 2023 may be the year of French-inspired design, says Jade Joyner, co-founder and lead designer at interior design firm Metal + Petal.
“2023 will bring us a lot of French-inspired design trends,” says Joyner. evie magazine. “From the use of marble to gold-plated antique mirrors to a mix of heirloom and ready-made items, French interiors are all the rage right now. You can also incorporate new and antique items to add character and charm. I also love the charm that the interior brings.”
But what goes beyond adding gold mirrors and vintage furniture to an existing space to achieve French decor? American author Daniel Postel Vinay explores this question in his 2018 book I’m digging. Home Sweet Maison.
“Every living space in France is an expression of French culture and follows, consciously or unconsciously, certain rituals and rules,” she writes. “From city apartments in Paris to country houses in Brittany, ancient buildings in Languedoc and prefabricated houses in Provence, these qualities are evident in every home I have visited in France. The result? Beauty, tranquility, purpose, Sensuality, and order. After living in a French house and experiencing the joys of the French way of life, I was forever changed.”
Keep reading to find out how to bring some French magic into your space.
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Know the purpose of each room
The French value two things above all else. It’s about delicious food and fun times with family and friends. Their home reflects that. French homes are designed to not only give the whole family space to do their own thing under one roof, but also to bring everyone together.
Part of knowing what each room is for is knowing what each room is do not have for. The kitchen is not for entertaining guests, but for preparing meals. The bedroom isn’t just for watching TV, it’s for sleeping and connecting with your partner. Americans tend to make each room everything to everyone, which is the opposite of how the French think.
“There is a connection between a room and its essential purpose,” Postel Vinay writes. “Each space has its own characteristics.” the meaning to exist, a reason for its existence that other rooms do not have. A harmonious environment is created by living according to the function and purpose of each room. ”
If you feel like your space is too cluttered or disjointed, keep this advice in mind. Start thinking of your living room as a gathering room for family and friends, even if you treat it as an office, gym, and playroom. Go from there. You’ll quickly know which elements to remove and which to keep.
Gold leaf the lily with a gold leaf mirror
This second tip may be the easiest way to give your space a French look. You’ll need mirrors, mirrors, and more mirrors.in Home Sweet Maison, Postel Vinay recalls the first time her French sister-in-law visited her New York apartment. The French woman was unhappy that she didn’t have a mirror. Postel-Vignet noticed that the French are used to having lots of mirrors in their homes, both to check their appearance and to give the space a bright and airy feel.
“In every restaurant, in every home, you stack mirrors on mirrors. I’ve never seriously thought of mirrors as being particularly French, but traditional gold-plated mirrors have a lot to do with baguettes and the Eiffel Tower. It’s probably one of the most famous French objects, apart from the 1980s. One look at the carved scrolls, acanthus rosettes, and silvery glass and you know you’re standing in a French salon.” Postel-Vinay writes.
So look for decorated mirrors at your local thrift store or flea market. The more antique it is, the better. A large mirror can act as a focal point for a vignette above a mantel or sofa, or you can collect mirrors to create a unique gallery wall. The possibilities are endless!
Of course, you don’t have to go to an antique shop in Paris to find the perfect mirror. Get this viral mirror from Anthropologie or check out Wayfair’s more budget-friendly options here.
Neutral colors and classic prints are best
Neutrals are never boring in French homes. “French style can be summed up in one word: timeless,” says Artem Kropovinsky, founder of interior design studio Arsight.
“Another important aspect of French design is the use of natural materials and finishes,” says Kropovinsky. evie magazine. “Consider incorporating wood, stone, and marble into your space to add texture and depth. Soft, neutral colors are also a staple of French design, so use light, airy colors like white, beige, and gray throughout the space. Consider using shades.”
You might quickly get tired of brightly colored sofas and walls. After all, interior trends change as quickly as fashion trends.However, a modest yet sophisticated living room or salon As the French say, it can stand the test of time.
“Salon walls should be a muted, natural color, such as cream, linen, bone, pewter, parma gray, or eggshell blue. Also, the texture of the emulsion should be chalky or matte, with a glossy finish. There should be no reflections or reflections,” Postel Vinay wrote. “One of the finishes that gives French walls a very chalky texture is found in Farrow & Ball’s Estate Emulsion. The key is to minimize distractions unless they are planned. Every choice you make should serve the purpose of your living room: to bring you closer to the people in your life. there is no.”
You can check out our selection of Farrow & Ball paint colors here. I’m personally a big fan of Setting Plaster.
All about vintage and personal details
Recreating French style isn’t as easy as going to your local furniture store. French homes are often built over many generations and are filled with items inherited from parents and grandparents, as well as meaningful items acquired by the residents themselves over their lifetimes. The American tendency to pick out a bunch of decorations at Target or Hobby Lobby and call it a day is anathema to the French.
So what do you do if you don’t have a family collection of heirloom furniture or a home with all the details of a quaint 19th century cottage? Get creative, that’s what!
“Recently, we’ve been seeing a return to more classic interiors, with a focus on spaces that combine traditional items with contemporary elements,” says Joyner, co-founder of Metal + Petal. evie magazine. “I think this is a trend right now because people want to add a little bit of antiquity and history to their homes. With new furniture in high demand and less readily available, bedroom design Incorporating antique or vintage furniture throughout adds accessibility and extra personality. It’s a great way to add French inspiration to your design.”
So take Joyner’s advice and start shopping second-hand. You never know what you’ll find on Facebook Marketplace. If you’re into DIY, there are also plenty of ways to salvage furniture and improve your home with details like wall panels and ceiling medallions. TikToker Joanna Hamilton is a great example. She and her husband took the time to install ceiling medallions (like this one), chandelier light fixtures, and panels, transforming their townhome into a Parisian dream. They have now moved into a new home and will also share their transformation process. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find Hamilton’s account here.
Follow these rules in the bedroom
Feel a little more French by using a duvet cover on your bed! Almost all French bedrooms share some basic characteristics, such as an emphasis on cleanliness in the duvet cover, no matching prints or patterns, and an emphasis on simplicity and tranquility.
But the most important thing is the bed!
“In a French bedroom, the bed is the center of the room,” Postel-Vignet writes. Home Sweet Maison. “Modern beds are often simple, without elaborate headboards or frames, but antique beds (my personal favorite, the one I had at home in the South)… It’s more elaborate, with carved wood decorations. This kind of old-fashioned furniture isn’t a la mode at the moment, so I used an antique bed (with a headboard frame made of carved wood and a pattern). 3 demi-corbeil tapestry beds upholstered with panels of certain fabric) are comparable in price to: Salvation Army, Montpellier.
“Along with Provence boutique quilts, antique bed frames are my favorite French bedroom pieces. I especially love how they look in modern homes. A mix of old and new can be used in bedrooms. It gives it a unique texture. We have reproductions of all antique beds, from sleigh beds to four-poster beds to carved Gothic beds, as well as more rare originals.”
For the truly passionate…get rid of your TV.
One of the things that characterizes a French home is not what’s in it, but what’s in it. please do not have. Walk into a traditional French home and you won’t find a prominent TV like you would in the US. Many French people refuse to have a TV in their living room or bedroom, if at all. Closed cabinet. This is because when the French are at home, they value connecting with each other, whether it’s opening a bottle of good wine with friends or reading a good book with their spouse in bed. There’s simply no room for a television that takes away from the conversation. If you’re really interested in owning a French-style home, you might want to consider putting away your TV.
“My feeling is that if you want to create the atmosphere of a French salon at home, it’s time to get rid of the TV,” Postel-Vignet writes. “I’m not saying you should throw away books or read books just for entertainment. I love television as much as anyone. But television is incompatible with the purpose of a living room. A TV’s flashing lights, colors, and sounds can throw a room off balance. Even when turned off, a black screen can ruin the atmosphere. That black screen uses gravity to pull all the good energy from the universe. It would be a giant black hole. At best, it would eat up space where something beautiful could exist. At worst, it would pollute the environment.”
A good solution to this is to invest in a Samsung Frame TV if your budget allows.
There are many reasons why French design is often imitated around the world. Its timeless simplicity speaks to its fundamental purpose: to bring people together in a space that expresses homeowners themselves.
In his book, the author, Postel Vinay, talks about the first time he went to his friend Jacqueline’s house in France.
“Every room felt alien yet intimate, from the entryway to the salon to the reading nook to the dining room,” she writes. “Even though the house was filled with furniture and objects and plants and books and statues, it still felt spacious and elegant. There was nothing minimal or demanding about Jacqueline’s home. In fact. , the very idea of minimalism, the heartless abandonment of the past, was the exact opposite of what I found there. The rooms were formal yet bohemian, orderly yet casual, with oil paintings on the walls. on display, and a stack of Joni Mitchell albums on the couch. The air smelled clean and fresh, but there was still dust on her old books and a corner of the window. There were threads of the spider’s web. It seemed to me that her home was not just a place for her to eat and sleep, but also a vessel for expressing her outlook on life.”
So make your home more than just a place to eat and sleep. Enjoy the process of displaying your favorite objects and buying furniture and art that speak to you. Build a home that understands its purpose, like a French home.
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