When it comes to interior design, the French are renowned for their timeless elegance, effortless chic, and impeccable taste. They seem to have an innate ability to create a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that captures the essence of their culture and heritage.

From the romantic charm of Parisian apartments to the rustic warmth of country homes, French interior styling exudes a sense of history, and authenticity that never goes out of fashion.

At French Bedroom, we celebrate the art of French furniture design, from Gustavian furniture to luxury French furniture, and we believe that there are some secrets of French interior styling that are worth sharing.

Read on to explore some of the key elements that make French interiors so enchanting, including the paint-on-paint pattern in French crockery, the use of pre-loved and patinated pieces, the simplicity of lighting, and the sumptuousness of fabric.

Paint-on-Paint Pattern

One of the subtle yet distinctive features of French crockery is the paint-on-paint pattern, which creates a delicate texture and depth that enhances the beauty of the piece. This technique involves applying a layer of paint on the base colour and then removing some of it with a brush or sponge to reveal the underlying colour.

The result is a subtle contrast that gives the crockery a handcrafted and unique look. This technique is often used in French porcelain, faience, earthenware, and ceramic French table lamps, and it brings sophistication and charm to any table setting, or bedside table.

Cherishing Precious Pieces

The French have a deep appreciation for their heritage, history, language, and culture, and they often express it through their homes. Rather than following trends or fads, the French tend to cherish precious pieces that have a personal or family connection. For example, a vintage dress from grandmother, pearls from great-grandmother (arrière grand-mère), or a chest of drawers from grandfather.

These heirlooms are not just decorative objects, but also carry emotional and sentimental value that connects the present with the past. By incorporating such pieces into their homes, the French create a sense of continuity and tradition that transcends fashion and time.

Embracing Patina

The French also have a love for patina, which refers to the natural wear and tear that comes with time and use. Rather than seeing it as a flaw or a sign of decay, the French embrace patina as a mark of character, history, and authenticity. The stronger the patina on furniture, the better. The more it is used, the more stories the piece contains, the more generations it has lived with, the better.

This is why you will often find pre-loved and vintage furniture in French homes, from Louis XV French armchairs to rustic wood wardrobes. These pieces not only have a soulful and distinctive aesthetic but also a practical and sustainable value, as they are often well-made and sturdy enough to last for generations. Gustavian Furniture and French bedroom furniture often have a distressed or weathered finish, giving them an authentic look that adds a touch of rustic charm to a space.

Simplicity of Lighting

In French interior styling, lighting plays a crucial role in creating ambiance and mood. A chandelier is a classic French lighting fixture; it lends opulence and sophistication to any space, whether it's a grand Parisian apartment or a cosy farmhouse.

However, it doesn't have to be a grand crystal chandelier; a simple metal arm and frame with single bulbs can create the same effect in a more rustic setting. The key is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that is both functional and charming.

Sumptuousness of Fabric

The French have a love affair with fabric, and their use of drapes, velvet, and silk is legendary. Floor to ceiling drapes add luxury and grandeur to a space, creating a soft and romantic ambiance. Velvet is a sumptuous fabric that adds depth and texture to a space, whether it's in the form of an upholstered chair or a plush luxury cushion.

Silk is another favourite fabric that the French love to use, especially in bedding and curtains. Silk bedding lends elegance and sophistication to any space and is perfect for creating a serene and tranquil bedroom.

In conclusion, French interior styling is all about embracing the beauty of heritage and tradition, creating a welcoming atmosphere with sumptuous fabrics and sophisticated lighting, and choosing quality pieces of French furniture that can become heirlooms of the future.