Arts / In Residence

How to style your home like a French girl

French interior style

French-girl beauty and French-girl fashion are among some of the most covetable looks. They're certainly a source of inspiration for us. But I'd argue there is one French aesthetic we need to add to the list - French interior design.

As we become more and more invested in creating the perfect, cosy nest to ride out isolation conditions, there's been a rise in interior inspiration circling the Internet. And certainly some of the most enviable spaces are fresh from the balconies of Paris.

Ornate, elegant and yet effortless, French-girl interior style is an enviable look - but actually rather easy to achieve. If you're looking to create Parisian-inspired haven of your very own, here's how to do it.

 

Start with a blank canvas

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If you have a habit of scrolling through French interior inspiration as much as I do, you'll notice that these spaces all start with a blank canvas. You won't find any purple paints or wall paper. French apartments always begin with white walls. Giving your place a lick of white paint is your first step to the French interior of your dreams. If you're renting, try and choose a place with lighter coloured walls - luckily, white is low maintenance, so most rentals will have white walls.

 

Always have a big, gilded mirror


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A French-girl staple, you'll see large statement mirrors in living rooms or bedrooms of the most covetable French interiors. It's an instant way to add flair and personality into your space, the perfect addition to a clean white wall. Your can hang these, or set them straight on the floor for an undone look.

 

Don't be afraid of coloured or statement furniture

While the walls are white, the furniture is not. Take a note from Kym Ellery's Parisian home and don't be afraid to play with coloured furniture - just keep it muted. Think burgundy, cream, olive and rust, nothing too bright. Just enough to give your space some character. Don't be scared. Adding simple pieces like faded red dining chairs or a cream marble coffee table or an olive lounge will add instant French flair.

 

Wooden floors are a must

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The one thing you will never find in a French apartment is carpet. Floorboards are superior to carpet in every way, and you can make the switch quite affordably these days. Bamboo flooring looks just like normal wood only less than half the price and far more environmentally sustainable. Wood-look vinyl is even more affordable than bamboo. But if you want to go all out, try oak parquetry. Nothing looks more quintessentially French than light-toned parquetry flooring.

If you're renting and not able to rip up your floors, try looking for an apartment with wood flooring already. It's easier to clean and you won't need to worry about losing your bond over an accidental red wine spill.

 

Don't match your woods

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One thing you'll notice in many French interiors is that no one seems to be too fussy about matching their woods. You'll see wooden stools, tall boys and floors all in different shades. It should look messy, but it doesn't. It's all about choosing pieces with character and matching the essence and spirit of your furniture, not the colour. Mismatched woods make a space feel warm and homely. Just make sure you're sticking to roughly the same aesthetic - modern with modern, mid-century with mid-century and so on.

 

Nothing should be too perfect

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French homes do not look like picture-perfect museums. Everything is neat but undone. Don't arrange things too perfectly. Embrace mismatched vases and trays of knick knacks. Bookshelves are for books, tables are for flowers. Allowing your space to look a little lived in is key. If you're a minimalist, that's fine too, but don't be too perfect in the way you arrange the pieces that you do have on display.

 

Embrace flowers and greenery with open arms

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If you scroll through all the photos in this list, you'll see flowers or greenery in every single space. Plants bring life and warmth into your home, they're an essential for any French-inspired interior. If you find fresh flowers are too extravagant for everyday, there are some wonderful dried flowers you can get. They'll last you for years. Or add a few house plants instead. Just remember not to arrange them too perfectly.

 

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