French Interior Design Style

77 – Classic French style in interior architecture began in the late nineteenth century, and ever since then, it hasn’t gone amiss to declare the French interior a type of synthesis of the most elegant and regal styles of European history, including those of the Renaissance. It isn’t been amiss to state that the French interior design combines the regal styles of Baroque, Rococo, and Empire with a dash of Neoclassicism and Romanticism. The style exudes a sort of romanticism–one which makes it all the more grand and elegant. It’s all about the colors.

Tricks to Create a French Feel at Home

If you want to create a french feel in your home, you’ll have to begin with French furniture. When you think of French furniture, what do you think of? If you’re from France, you probably envision Versailles–or the huge palaces and furniture which line the Grand Casino in Paris. For many Americans who aren’t as rich as the people of France, however, French furniture can mean something a little bit different. The timeless appeal of antique furniture and French fashion have merged into a product that brings together the royal elegance of France with the cool, casual style of the United States.

As mentioned above, one of the hallmarks of French furniture is its palette. The palette is the collection of colors that the furniture is made from, and it is most commonly blue or gray. However, depending on the period the piece is in, some colors become yellow, red, green or purple. Because of this, French interiors often feature items with motifs of feathers, flowers, or even locks of hair.

Characteristics of Classic French Interior Design

Another hallmark of French classic interior design is the use of light. Lighting fixtures are almost always a dimmer than in the United States, and lighting is done to create an atmosphere of warmth, tranquility and calmness. This is why you often find a warm glow emanating from the walls and ceiling of a French home. This is also one reason why many homeowners who are trying to give their home a French feel (or at least give it a “francais” vibe) opt for a light control system that has controls that switch the light fixtures between a warm glow and a romantic glow.

One of the hallmarks of French classic interior design is the use of color in everything from the wallpaper to the curtains to the walls. Wallpaper in French homes is almost always done in muted shades of blues, greens and reds, with black or brown as the accents. The curtains used for the walls, whether in a traditional French style or in contemporary rococo style, are usually in deep, rich colors like burgundy, purples and emeralds. In fact, the colors of wallpapers might be so important to the overall feel of a home that some designers even suggest putting up pictures (with frames) of famous places, people and dishes as wallpaper for the walls. Wallpaper in a kitchen is even more important than in a bathroom because the two are used daily to clean the dishes and more often than not, dishes end up on the floor. Here too, the walls might be painted a crisp white wash, or a more colorful, floral-patterned wallpaper.

Choosing French-Style Classic Furniture

Roaring furnitures, especially in living rooms and bedrooms, are another hallmark of classic French interiors design. The furniture pieces could be long, low leather chairs with arms, loveseats and coffee tables, or tables with ornate legs and carvings (tapestries). If you want, you can go for more decorative pieces like mirrors (vertical or horizontal) or chandeliers. These can be suspended from the ceilings or simply from the sheer framework of the furniture, allowing the area to be lighted if needed. Colorful accent pillows on the sofa and colorful cushions on the coffee table add to the festive feel of French interiors.

Midcentury moderns, on the other hand, draw inspiration from the Eero Saarinen office designing style that emphasized simplicity and geometric elements. Elements from cubism, minimalism and repetitive patterns dominate the furniture and upholstery design of these elegant interiors. Bamboo furniture, simplistic glass paneling and rounded shapes dominate the upholstery. Cushions on the chairs add to the midcentury modern feel.

Color is again an essential part of French interiors. White, off-white or a neutral gray is usually used for furniture and accents, although depending on the theme, one could opt for more bold color schemes, like deep reds, maroon and even bright yellow. Solid color curtains, especially on the coffee table and on the walls can really make a huge difference. So go ahead, create your own cozy nook by following these French interior design style guidelines.


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