There is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ element to any home that has a French vintage style. The timeless elegance and romance associated with the French and their decorating history have bewitched us all. French decor has evolved from the elaborate and ornate Versailles and Renaissance decadence to a design solution that is practical, beautiful and sensual.
From French country chic to rustic minimalism, vintage pieces combine casual and regal in an effortless way. It is all about comfortable luxury pieces that everyone falls in love with.
French country decor is all about soft, muted colours, toile and floral fabrics, bleached, distressed or painted wooden antique furniture, natural materials, a chandelier (of course) and a touch of gold. The old-world charm is achieved by mixing and matching vintage pieces with a unique vintage flair. Layering with fabrics, textures, wallpaper and antique carpets, is the secret to French romanticism and a bespoke ambience that will make you feel at home. This is where an armoire, a chaise lounge or daybed and a painted and carved French-style bombe chest of drawers (reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast) are the perfect starting points for any space.
What sets French Vintage decor apart is the ability to get away with mixing and matching fabrics and antique furniture in a bold eclectic way. This more ‘Parisian’ influence loves to make a chic statement with ornate fabrics and tapestries, gallery walls and bold, moody colours. There is a definite sophisticated edge but without compromising on comfort and practicality as well as not being too perfect or formal. There may be a lot going on, but the multi-layered design narrative and subtle arrangement still exude a sense of calm.
When French vintage adds rustic elements into the mix, the result is relaxed and almost thrown together, but it just works. Exposed ceiling beams, rough walls, distressed floors, mismatched colourful fabrics and natural elements all tell a story that has you feeling you’ve stepped back in time, but in a good way. The secret to achieving this is ‘chiner’ – a French word meaning ‘to hunt for.’ Hunting for antique and vintage furniture pieces is the heart of French decor.
French Vintage at the Crown Collection
Your French affair starts at The Crown Collection, South Africa’s largest emporium of antique, vintage, contemporary and French-style furniture and accessories. Start your ‘chiner’ for the perfect French vintage and antique pieces to add that sense of handpicked ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your home. This is where comfortable and sophisticated French-style vintage charm lives from Louis XVI armchairs to gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers.