For centuries, the notion of ‘French style’ was associated with aristocratic opulence, especially when it came to home décor. Luxurious tapestries, gilded furniture, and sumptuous ornamental excess were all typical interior design hallmarks.
But things have moved on since the days of Louis XIV’s court!
In many ways, the modern French style is the antithesis of that historic assault on the senses. It's positively subdued by comparison. Excess has been superseded by understated sophistication, airy interiors, rustic charm and a hint of Parisian chic.
When it comes to décor, contemporary French style is beautifully contrary. Stylish but subtle, casual yet sleek, old and yet new. It’s a harmonious blend of simplistic country warmth with flashes of eclectic quirks here and there, but natural, cosy, and pared down.
And yet modern and sleek touches, such as slick flooring or a scandi-style furniture scheme wouldn’t be out of place against all that rustic charm.
Homes are typically set against a clean white or cream backdrop. Subdued walls set the stage to showcase feature pieces, which will often be antique or vintage. In general, neutral colour palettes are favoured, with muted pastel greys, beiges or warm lemon shades setting the tone.
Natural materials feature heavily in modern French homes, such as cosy linen throws, lovingly-used copper kitchenware (often found adorning the walls) and ever-so-slightly distressed wood throughout.
There are subtle nods to the past. It wouldn't be uncommon to find an imposing antique gilded mirror or an ornate chandelier amidst all the neutrality. That’s the beauty of modern French décor; a fusion between old and new seems effortless. Mismatched, and yet everything has its place.
Modern French décor is unashamedly perfectly imperfect. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about it all; It shouldn’t make sense, but it does, which makes it such an easy and fulfilling style to emulate in your own living space.
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