The French have a reputation as the purveyors of style and sophistication. Even in these days when casual living reigns supreme, French interior designs impart elegance and class to a home environment.
Most people are comfortable with the French Country style, which is rather rustic and endearing. If this is your style, give it a contemporary touch by adding the Baroque or Rococo period designs. A little Neo-classical design will upgrade the look too. All these designs will make your room luxurious, warm and inviting.
The French dcor style, just like the French, is all about glamour. You will want to begin with the walls so you can set everything else based on the wall colors. Use pale color palettes – combinations of mint, grey, robin’s eye blue or cream – to get your walls looking glamorous. For grater effect, throw in touches of gold, silver or shimmering gilt. If pale colors don’t do it for you, go for rich jewel tones – emerald green, red, teal and peacock blue look great. You can accent these with gold, white or black.
With the walls set, you can now focus on the floor. Use area rugs to add warmth to your floor. If you’ve used patterns on the walls, choose a rug in a solid color. There are different shades of blue rugs that look exquisite and a host of other glamorous colors to choose from. If you haven’t used patterns on the walls, choose floral area rugs instead.
Furniture also must reflect the decorative French style. Antique and vintage furniture often is an excellent way to find the quality carved arms, legs and backs that demonstrate this design. However, these pieces should never be shabby or in disrepair; they must be exquisitely elegant. Dark woods or dainty pieces painted in white or black with touches of gilt are ideal for this style. For the bedroom, search for vanity tables with fabric skirts, armoires and chaise lounges. In the dining room or a corner of the living room, elegant bistro tables and chairs make perfect places for a tte–tte with family or friends.
For furnishings, choose rich, luxurious fabrics. Velvet, silk, toile, satin, brocade, lace and damask are all opulent fabrics you can use. Use them on chairs and sofas as loose covers or seat covers. Use them on windows as draperies and match them up with gold tassel cords, tails or swags. Do not forget the bed linen. Duvets, pillows and throws made in silk and satin are extremely soft and rich. If you can, mix and match plain colors and patterns for a hot, exciting look.
Finally, accessories can be the elements that finish off a French interior design. Lighting should feature crystal chandeliers with lots of dangles, as well as gilt wall scones or wall lamps, and table lamps should be topped by silk lampshades decorate with fringe, beads or even feathers. Black silk lampshades can be a striking contrast that highlights the elegance of the overall design.
Other random accessories include wall hangings, paintings and posters. One or two art works by any famous Frenchman (Claude Monet, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Yves Klein, Gustave Courbet etc.) would be most appropriate. Put up framed pictures, clocks and decorative mirrors. Arrange your jewelry boxes, hat boxes, pillboxes, silver hand-mirrors and brushes on a shelf or table.
When you’re done, everyone coming through your front door should be awed by the sheer elegance of your interiors!
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