French style in interiors – what distinguishes it?

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Interiors in the French taste hide many nuances. What shaped this style is the intensely changing historical background throughout history with the influence of monumental antiquity, serious Renaissance, fine and sumptuous epochs of the monarchy of Louis XIV and Louis, and then more modern, modernist

The style is characterized above all by decorativeness and good taste, and many have taken a liking to just such interiors. Check out the secrets behind this unique design style!

Value history as a base

The French are not overly extravagant – on the contrary, they admirably preserve the interior design they inherited from their ancestors, respecting their historical legacy. They profess that every building is unique because of its history and charm, especially when it comes to buildings from the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries. The quintessential aesthetic of this type combines elegance and timelessness with a practical sense, integrating them with gems of contemporary trends. It is a versatile style and will work well in rooms with high ceilings, preferably quite spacious with significant access to daylight. It is often a natural aesthetic solution when creating interiors of apartments in old buildings marked by history, where old-style architectural decorations – such as bay windows, slender pilasters with reliefs, fine cornices or baroque columns with decorated feet or engravings – instead of being hidden or eliminated, give the space a special grace and fantasy.


Contrary to global fashion trends that love an open plan apartment where partitions have been removed, the French prefer an original room layout with separate transition rooms and corridors. The spaciousness of the interiors is obtained thanks to high, decorated with stucco, baroque ceilings and the presence of the famous panoramic windows, coming directly “from the floor”, which, in a way, became the hallmark of the trend. They can play the role of not only an illuminating element, but also often hide a door leading to the balcony or winter garden. This is an extremely graceful solution that will delight every lover of good architecture.
With illumination, it is worth pointing out what makes the French interior make an impression, as if the whole shines and sparkles with light. Before you move on to filling the interior with accessories, it is worth putting emphasis on spicing up the space with auxiliary light sources. What is especially worth emphasizing here is a typical, large, glass or crystal chandelier placed in the central point. You won’t be able to take your eyes off it!

Accessories with a nonchalant flair

Deciding on the modern French style in your interior, we can confidently allow ourselves to combine a variety of patterns, materials and interweaving like in a kaleidoscope unusual historical styles – if we follow a few rules that determine the philosophy of forming such a style. Excessive luxury and glamour is too pretentious for our neighbors on the Seine. It is a sign of bad taste. Cheap materials will also be absolutely out of place here. What is important is consistency, elegance, balance of proportions and balanced, nonchalant mess in a good sense of the word. When it comes to flooring, the materials should be high quality but natural, bright. Both laminate and ceramic tiles will work well. Especially parquet flooring laid in a classic herringbone pattern will be in a good mood. As for the ceiling and walls, in addition to sublime historical remains, bet on simplicity. Paint them subtle shades of ivory or leave them whitewashed. They will harmonize beautifully with the light parquet. Remember to be careful with colors: avoid sharp contrasts, stick to elegant pastels. You can further sculpt the space by adding fine mouldings, the ubiquitous cornices, coffers on the walls and decorative rosettes on the ceiling will also blend in nicely. Don’t forget that doors are also part of the interior design, and an important addition to it. Add ornaments above them, and decorate the frames themselves with modeled profiles. The final, perfect finishing touch to the mass of the space will be a period fireplace or its imitation in the living room or bedroom. You can complete the walls by opting for art at its best. In addition to objects of tradition, such as decorative candlesticks, antique mirrors and painterly canvases in gilded frames, works of avant-garde designers will also do well here, which will give an interesting fresh and light touch to the interior.

Furniture infused with the ages

When dotting the i’s, it’s impossible to overlook the role played in a French interior by the furnishings, which in this case – and how! – is timeless and sublime. Decorated armchairs, padded with fabric or velvet, often inlaid, elegant consoles with candelabras and porcelain vases and vases. An elegant Louis XV style dressing table found at a flea market would be ideal, but more modernistic art déco designs with flowing lines and designer flair will also find a place here. A good example of applied art at its best is the famous “LC3” armchair signed by Le Corbusier or the unique “CM 131” chair by Pierre Paulin. Rare items from the Baroque and Rococo periods mix here with modern furniture, everything is refined and polished by betting on classics and proven values. The result is a sophisticated and elegant, graceful interior.

Photo by Alex Gian/Pexels

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