It’s hard not to love a classic French Style Interior with it’s soft muted colours and charming details. I find this rustic look so stylish and relaxing in one and I’ve always admired the naturally elegant appeal of French Style.
So how can you easily add these French Style touches using furnishings in your home? Well, it’s all in the curves! From side tables to armoires, it’s the rounded shapes and ornate carvings to look out for.
Here are 5 Key French Furniture Styles to shop when creating your French country style at home.
Banquette French Style Settees
Taking inspiration from the classic French Country Style farmhouse bench, these curvy settees are thankfully very much in fashion at the moment. The modern designs are very much more like a settee than a bench and are ten times more comfortable.
If you enjoy the challenge of mixing up classic and contemporary in a French Style Home then you might want to try one of these in a nice bright hue. I rather like the classic greys and beiges personally, just be sure to choose a style that boasts some natural wood carved details to echo back to the original banquette of days gone by. You’ll love the gentle shape of this in your home, feminine but sturdy – the perfect backdrop to your ticking striped and grain sack cushions.
Sideboards with Trestle Style Legs
I absolutely love a classic French enamel table with the curved cross over trestle style legs. These look so good in a simple hallway with a terracotta pot filled with wildflower pickings. Alas, I have found that these orgainal metal tables have become so much harder to come by since becoming so popular with antique hunters. Of course, not everyone also has access to the quirky little brocantes we have here in France either so sometimes it really is better to avoid paying through the nose for an original and try something a little different in the same style.
There are a few different takes and options on these lovely tables you could look at on the high street that give the same effect, some with added glam like this fabulous mirrored version.
I really like the combination of the curved rustic table legs with the shiny drawers, I think it works so well at combining old and new, perfect for a modern take on the classic French style.
Ornate Oversized Mirrors
Above a fireplace or as a centrepiece on a wood panelled wall, an oversized ornate mirror really does make a big statement. I really love a bit of carved detailing on the top of a vertical mirror like this one, it’s not overly fussy, just a gentle nod to the French antique look that you’d find in a maison bourgeoise over a stone fireplace.
I personally think that adding carved ornate pieces of furniture works best when they are limited to one or two per room and perhaps combined with other simpler styles like a natural wood dining table or in a small bathroom as a real focal point or perhaps to add glamour to an otherwise practical room like a utility or boot-room.
Its important not to overdo the curves or it can all just look a bit faux and girly.
With curves in all the right places, an elegant chair in classic rattan is a fabulous addition to your French Antique Interior Style. Look for a chair with a rounded back as the originals would have been, with sturdy arms and nicely turned out feet. I prefer this style of chair to be in natural or lime-washed wood for a more rustic look rather than the painted varieties.
Try putting two in front of your fireplace with some stylish cushions or around an otherwise modern kitchen table for a bit of bygone charm.
A Classic French Style Armoire
Finally, the armoire! One of my favourite pieces of French furniture. French homes by nature, with their tall ceilings have plenty of head height for some extremely large pieces of furniture. Often when I am inspecting for the holiday homes guide I work for I am taken aback by just how large some of these pieces of furniture are. Usually they become family heirlooms quite simply because they can’t usually be moved or rehoused due to their size, and they are often stuck on a landing or hallway on the first or second floor at the top of a very narrow stairwell!
These days, many reproduction furniture makers offer a more standard size with all the right curves and details and natural wood finishes so that even a very modern home can accommodate a French style armoire. Traditionally armoires were used to store belongings and treasures so don’t stop at just using them in the bedroom to store clothes. Many have shelves instead of a hanging rail inside so you can use them to house your favourite crockery or linens too. Look out for hinges with a natural finish, a nicely curved top and feet that turn out to the sides for an authentic looking piece.
Hopefully these simple tips will help you when putting together your French Style House. The key is to not overdo the ornate pieces but mix them up with other styles for a more rustic take on the French look.
Remember, where French chic is concerned, less is almost always more X