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There is always a touch of casual grace and eclecticism within French designs. Image Source: Suzann Kletzien

It is common knowledge that the French have a special je ne sais quoi when it comes to fashion and style. Simply put—Parisians know how to dress. We are not sure why they have been blessed with such talent, but it seems that the French not only know how to dress themselves, but they also know how to dress their home interiors.

French interiors seem elegantly thrown together. We say ‘thrown together’ because their homes seem to have this understated elegance that is welcoming and invites one to sit and stay awhile—it’s equivalent to how french woman toss on a scarf on the way out the door,  effortlessly adding that last piece de resistance to their outfit.

Don’t we all want a home that is elegant and effortless?  Let’s take a few tips from French interiors and see what they can teach us about decorating our own homes.

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French interiors seem elegantly thrown together. We say ‘thrown together’ because their homes seem to have this understated elegance that is welcoming and invites one to sit and stay awhile. Image Source: Diane Burgoyne Interiors

Understated Elegance

Equivalent to that perfect belt, scarf or shoes— French people know how to add that exquisite touch to their outfits and their homes. It is never over-the-top, rather they manage to create an understated elegance that looks rich, but not boastful.

There are many ways that we can add that little flair to our own homes. Here are a few French tricks to try today:

  • Dress your windows with elegant floor-to-ceiling drapes. Think silk, linen or high-quality cotton
  • Layer your floors with area rugs
  • Invest in high-quality pieces—they make your home look expensive and elegant
  • Stick to the classics with just a few trendy pieces thrown in for good measure

These are just a few ways to imbibe your home with a touch of elegance. Use a sharp eye and try putting your home together with the same scrutiny that you use when putting together your outfits.

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tradtional interior

This room is the perfect example of understated elegance with its long drapes, gorgeous area rug, ornate mirror, and fur and velvet cushions. Image Source: Shop The French Mix

Invest in Top-Quality Pieces

It can be tempting, especially when money is tight, to rush into buying the bargain basement pieces for your home. This is the biggest mistake that most of us make when it comes to decorating our homes.

Even though money may be tight, invest in top-quality furnishings. This may mean that you live in a rather empty home that features one high-end couch, but over time, you will be able to add more investment pieces and fill your home with only the best.

In the long run this manner of decorating is most desirable because you will have life-long home decor that remains sturdy and stable, rather than living with a couch that sags after 6 months of use. So, stop wasting your hard-earned money on bargains and patiently invest in life-long pieces for your home—you will be so happy that you did.

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Skip the bargain basement furnishings and buy only investment pieces for your home. Sometimes antiques are the best bet when it comes to quality. Image Source: 3 Sixty Designs

French Antiques

There is a timeless elegance and essence of quality that French antiquities can offer your home.  Consider the curves of a Louis XV style buffet, or the glitz of a gilt-wood mirror, or the artisan appeal of an ancient tapestry—there is no doubt that you should add at least one French antique into your home.

It doesn’t matter if you are a minimalist or live in a cabin in the woods—French antiquities come in all shapes and styles, suiting all tastes while simultaneously adding french flair to your decor.

If you feel that these ancient pieces may be out of your price range, then consider looking to auction sites like Ebay or scour flea markets—these places tend to have some hidden gems at lower prices than an antique store would. Read our beginners guide to buying antiques for further help.

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There is a timeless elegance and essence of quality that French antiquities can offer your home. Image Source: Flavors Me

Add Some Glitz and Glamour

Gold and gilt equals glamour, and there is nothing more glamorous than a French home. Again, let’s consider how French women dress—they take a simple black dress and turn it into an original glamorous outfit by adding something unexpected— a thin leopard-print belt, red shoes, an elegant string of pearls, or a chunky gold cuff bracelet. French women know how to glitz-up their wardrobe by layering accessories in just the right manner—and they seem to do this to their homes just as well.

Their homes are glamorized through gilt mirrors, crystal chandeliers, classic furnishings covered in high-quality fabrics, and added touches of shine through accessories.

If glitz and gold are not for you, then try adding glamour to your modern home by adding bright, bold red pillows to your sofa or try a plush fur blanket tossed on the side of your bed or sofa. Glass and mirrors are also great ways to add sheen and glamour to your home.  Add mirrors to your decor, or try one of the modern mirror-covered side tables that are so popular as of late.

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elegant room black and gold

Gold and gilt equals glamour, and there is nothing more glamorous than a French home. Consider adding touches of gold to your home for an elegant look. Image Source: Oliver Burns

Are you fluent in French design now? Well, probably not, but if you add a few of these French design tricks to your home interior, you may feel a little less like a foreigner.

We have been mimicking French fashion for decades, so why not mimic their homes as well? They certainly have a lot of ideas that are worth copying.

Do you love French interiors? If so, how do you add a little Je ne sais quoi to your home?