So here we are – mid February and still high on the infectious remains of St. Valentine’s Day… the day of love, unashamed romance and flamboyant amore in abundance. In honour of all the romantic hearts out there we thought we’d take this moment to shine a light on our favourite interiors trend: Say Ooh La La for all things French!
We’re not for a moment suggesting that you should update your interiors for this one day a year – far from it, in fact – no, we think this should be the go-to trend for the whole year round! The opulence; the glamour – what’s not to love!?
So where to begin? With chandeliers, armoires, gilding and trompe l’oeil to get your head around, the oh-so-chic trend can be a minefield to pull off with no shortage of that famous ‘je ne sais quoi’ the French do so incredibly well. To ensure you end up with chic, rather than cheap, we’ve asked a few interiors insiders for their top tips…
“Create an elegant yet relaxed Parisian style interior by teaming glamorous pieces like curvy gilt mirrors and glittering chandeliers with distressed antique-style elements like a French armoire, ticking fabrics and a beautiful calming colour palette.”
Sophie Warren-Smith, Interior stylist & journalist, www.dahliaonline.co.uk
“Although Coco Chanel was speaking in fashion terms when she said 'Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance’, I think it applies to French-inspired interiors too. Rather than filling your home with endless things, find key beautiful pieces such as a stunning chandelier or statement mantle mirror.
One way to create a chic interior with a French twist is to invest in an armoire - a free-standing storage piece with shelving to display treasured items or lovely vintage linens.”
Jo Bailey, Interior stylist, www.jobaileystudio.com
“The great thing about French furniture is it’s flexibility. If you choose something gilded, it can give a luxury touch to a neutral scheme. Or something painted in the shabby style can add a soft touch to a room. Out There Interiors Rattan Kingsize bed for instance is a really versatile piece, add some soft linen bedding and your bedroom is a rustic chateau, or add some velvet cushions and it becomes a glamorous Parisian boudoir.”
Harriet Loraine-Smith, Interior stylist, www.harrietlorainesmith.com
“The key to creating French inspired interiors is to keep everything classic and timeless-it's all about parred back elegance. Opt for tactile fabrics such thick linens and warm wood, simple plains and patterns such as ticking and faded toiles and keep your colour palette soft and neutral with the brightest tones being shots of inky indigos and pale crimson.”
Sarah Keady, Interior stylist, www.sarahkeady.co.uk
“The rustic French style, is a look that never seems to date. Maybe because its been tried and tested over ages and has proved it’s longevity with authentic elements that we just can’t live without. Think about a French style kitchen with a rustic table and chairs; some matching, some painted and all most definitely worn. Add piles of cream plates, natural linen napkins (un-ironed), an enamel jug with garden stems and we would all feel welcome and right at home. That’s even before we opened the wine to pour into faceted tumblers while checking on the delicious food cooking away in the Le Crueset cast iron pot, that has been passed down from granny, on the stove. French style has a certain feel of nostalgia, awakening happy emotions and and inspire gatherings of friends and family. It is a style perfect for entertaining and is very forgiving because of it’s imperfections, my favourite being crumpled linen. French linens are to be adored and treasured and at the same time used, best not to iron them and keep them in their natural form and shape, there is such a thing as an ‘expensive crease’, you know!
French style is about collecting pieces over time, everything with a story to tell.”
Theoda Solms Iles, Interior stylist, www.theoda.co.uk
To get you started, here are a few of our current favourite statement pieces that we’re lusting after…
- 1. Melina carved wooden bed £1495
- 2. Ostara mint green vase £325
- 3. Bellatrix chandelier £740
- 4. Rattan back lounge chair £1250
- 5. Fuschia Louis chest of drawers £1250
- 6. Maribel gilt mirror £357
- 7. Ria bedroom chair £239
You can shop the full French collection here.
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