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5 Ways to add a little French style to your home

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If you are completely besotted with a French-style aesthetic for your interior spaces, then you don’t need a trip to Paris or Provence for inspiration. You just need to take a trip to The Crown Collection where a beautifully curated range of French furniture and accessories await. 

But what exactly is ‘French style’? If you had to ask the French to define their interior style choices, they would probably look at you askance and in a condescending French way – with a French accentsay, “You cannot define French style; you either have it or you don’t.”  

But we are going to try because it is not as elusive as the French make it out to be. There are certain quintessential characteristics that have come to reflect the French style in interior design circles and which you can simply add to your home. 

Although not French, Columbian interior designer, Juan Montoya, clearly articulates what we believe makes French-style interiors so special: “A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place. It should smile at you and create fantasy.”

French Style Bathroom with antique French mirrors

Follow our 5 decor tips for any space in your home to smile at you – French Style. 

#1 The colour palette

Before you even begin your journey into choosing antique or vintage French-style furniture pieces or decorative accessories, you need to arm yourself with some French colour therapy. 

Although bold pops of colour are not out of the question, they are minor accents to an overarching swatch card of softer and romantic neutrals: shades of white, beige, grey, sage, duck-egg blue and blush pink. These are the backdrop colours that will charm any interior and welcome you. (The French will not negotiate on this and once you start having fun with the eclectic side of French design, you will understand why).

Frech Style colour palette bedroom

Getting the colour palette right is the key to a successful decor story. And from this starting point, there are so many French styles you can experiment with to find your personal favourite that will give your home a  bespoke ‘ooh-la-la’ Parisian or French country feel. 

#2 The architectural details

Charles Eames (of the iconic Eames chair) said that “The details are not the details. They make the design.” 

This couldn’t be more true of French Style interiors. If your spaces don’t boast architectural details such as ornate pressed ceilings, crown moulding, exposed wooden beams, wainscotting or chevron-patterned wood floors, then antique or vintage French pieces are the solution. 

The decorative details in French armoires, bombe chests or linen presses are the perfect finishing touch to modern minimalistic architectural spaces. 

If space is limited, then shift your focus to little French chairs (gilded, of course), chaises, ornately shaped mirrors and decorative screens that will always fit the ‘details’ brief.

French Style armoires and screens

#3 The glittering gilded glam factor

No matter how many crystal chandeliers, gilded mirrors and shiny silver accessories feature in French style design, the French are nothing if they aren’t refined and subtle in their approach to interior design elements. So even though a room may house an ornate gilded mirror, gilded chairs and a chandelier, the effect will never be gaudy or over-the-top. Rather, there is an understated elegance that is harmonious and comfortable.

When done properly, French-styled rooms make you want to linger and just appreciate every beautifully placed piece. 

French Style gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers

#4 The distressed, aged look

It doesn’t really matter which style of French design is your favourite because when it comes to furniture pieces, the number one consideration is comfort and style (and a white-washed, distressed or aged finish). Somehow this aged patina – which draws on a historical decor narrative – still lends a sophisticated charm. 

These layered decor notes create a warm atmosphere; highlighting a space that is lived-in and well-loved. Another way to add an aged look is by adding an antique Aubusson carpet; the history, colours and patterns are the perfect soft furnishing in any room. 

“There are two things that make a room timeless: a sense of history and a piece of the future.” –Charlotte Moss, award-winning interior designer.

French Style distressed vintage pieces

#5 The eclectic charm 

French-style homes exude the epitome of casual elegance – almost as if they have been thrown together. (We say almost because an eclectic space still follows some clear decor principles that are adhered to achieve the ‘the look’). The secret to achieving this French eclectic cohesiveness is the fun factor of mixing and matching old and new pieces. This is where the French get interior design right. It is their ‘je ne sais quoi.’ A carefully curated aesthetic of antique and vintage items, scattered among contemporary pieces, adds personality and a French chicness. 

French style mix and match vintage and antique pieces

David Hicks, the English interior decorator and designer who was known for his bold mixing of antique and modern furnishings, needs to have the last word on this: “The best rooms have something to say about the people who live in them.”

Start your French-style transformation by popping in at The Crown Collection Emporium either online or in-store at 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. We deliver nationwide. 

Indulge your love of French styles at The Crown Collection antique emporium

Categories: Articles, Blog, Style|Tags: , , , , |

“Nous sommes amoureux des styles français”  – we are in love with French styles. (It only seemed appropriate to start this blog in French). There is no denying that when it comes to French food, wine, perfume, and fashion, the French flair and penchant for refinement are unmatched. And that quintessential “je ne sais quoi” seamlessly translates into their timeless interior decor trends. 

French styles of interior design tell a story that has been inspired over hundreds of years by culture, history, landscape and lifestyle. That is why it works in any home and why we cannot get enough of French furniture and accessories. 

The effortlessly chic way the French decorate their homes brings together the iconic character and elegance of the space with practical luxury.”  – Betsy Kasha

From a “pied-à-terre” (small apartment) to a grande maison” (large house), curating your space – French style – will always add a sense of casual sophistication. The allure is captivating and irresistible and it is so easy to bring the signature elements and lived-in warmth into your own home. 

If you are ready to start your hunt for antique French pieces, we highlight some of the key elements of three French styles

#1 French Farmhouse 

If you are looking for the epitome of rustic charm, then the French Farmhouse style is it. Exterior pastel shutters usher you into a welcoming interior with stone floors, light wood tones and simply shaped furniture. 

French Farmhouse Style with antique bird cage

Decorative bird cages, rattan storage baskets and rattan chairs will be casually placed to create a soulful balance and weathered comfort. The spaces almost look un-decorated and yet there is harmony and a subtle curated intent. Although the overall palette is muted and monochromatic, colour beckons under a glass cloche in the form of macarons or petit fours as well as oversized blooms randomly placed in glass vases.  

The French celebrate age and tradition which celebrates distressed furniture and scratches. And a faded or fraying Aubusson rug is the perfect floor covering in a French Farmhouse aesthetic. 

#2 French Provencal

 Anyone who has travelled to the region of Provence cannot depart without leaving part of their heart behind as fields of lavender and olive orchards weave their magical spell.  That landscape is beautifully translated into a French Provencal style aesthetic that includes exposed stones, whitewashed walls and a dreamy colour palette of ochres, lavender blues and olive greens. The overall finish is warm, friendly and cheerful – much like the people.

French Provencal Style furniture

intrinsic to the Provencal decor style is the blending of the French countryside with the Parisian elegance and dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when the peasant classes wanted to decorate their houses with furniture similar to the kings but on a smaller budget. This featured elements such as console tables, writing desks and ornate mirrors. Bleached wood is one of the signature elements of this style.  

Wrought iron is a material that features strongly French provencal decor – from beds and outdoor furniture to lanterns. Ceramic pottery, pitchers and concrete urns and planters are also key elements of French Provencal style decor. 

French Provencal antique style furniture

#3 French Chateau

Although all French styles are characterised by a relaxed and eclectic simplicity, the French chateau-style (aka Chateauesque) adds a touch of luxurious and ornate whimsy. The decor story originates in grand houses furnished with bronze accessories, crystal chandeliers and walls with mouldings, wallpaper, portraits and tapestries. 

Decadently patterned upholstered gilded armchairs, chaise lounges, clawfoot tub baths, elaborate mirrors and silver candelabras finish off the French chateau design brief. If you are going to go all out on French chateau-style, then quality antique pieces have to play a role and be centre stage. 

French Chateau style antique furniture

Visit the Crown Collection for some French-style inspiration

Your French-style decor passion – be that natural materials, muted colours, toile fabrics, extravagant lighting, touches of gold gilding on mirrors, chairs, settees or tapestries – will easily be satisfied at The Crown Collection

Whether your French look and feel is Farmhouse, Provencal, Chateau or an eclectic mix, we have the largest selection of antique French furniture, wall decor and accessories.  

Choose your items and buy them online or visit the store @ 20 Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston. We deliver to your door.



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