So much has been written about French women and their signature mystique, so effortless and ingrained that it appears to be inherited at birth. But while you can find zillions of articles detailing every beauty tip and fashion rule Parisians (allegedly) live by, there’s not a whole lot out there about how they style their homes. As with most things “French girl”, it seems that the key to achieving their trademark je ne sais quoi vibe is deceptively achievable. A cursory scroll through the Instagram accounts of these naturally stylish women reveals a few things their maisons have in common. From simple-but-sensible cheats like using white walls as a neutral base—all the better with which to showcase an eclectic selection of furniture and decor—to finding accessible ways to inject personality (see: adding dried flowers, candlesticks and gilded accents), it’s all pretty doable. Whether you’ve just moved in to a new place or are just considering giving your chateau a revamp, this French girl guide to decor is full of hacks anyone can make their own. (De rien.)
Classic Shapes Never Date
If you can afford to invest in designer furniture that has stood the test of time, you’re but a few purchases away from sourcing pieces that could last you a lifetime. If not, simply seeking out classic shapes (like the polished sideboard and woven dining chair pictured above) works just as well.
Mirrors Are Great for Lots of Things
French influencers have a thing for mirror selfies—and we’re here for it. But aside from the obvious perk of giving you a place to share your #OOTD, a statement mirror can make a room. For maximum impact choose one that’s a decent size (vintage stores are great for this) with a gilded edge.
You Can’t Go Wrong with White Walls
If you’re keeping track, every single home represented in this story has white walls. It may seem basic but there’s good reason for it—white creates the ultimate blank canvas. This is especially important when mixing different styles of furniture and decor because it prevents things from looking messy.
Gold Accents Never Go Unappreciated
What could be more simple than adding a few splashes of gold? Not much. An easy way to tie disparate objects together—especially if you’ve styled them in vignettes around the room—it creates a feeling of cohesiveness and makes your styling appear polished and pulled together (even if it’s not).
Chandeliers Are Seriously Underrated
If you’ve never about adding a chandelier to your home, it might be worth considering the idea. Regardless of which style you choose (crystal, pendant, candlestick…) they never fail to make a statement and add impact to a room. For extra French vibes scour your local flea market for something pre-loved.
Art Is What You Make of It
Another money-saving tip, this one is all about creating art out of just about anything. Framed vintage movie posters are cute, as are pretty retro tea towels, and there’s nothing more lovely than repurposing Polaroid-style photographs and sentimental postcards. You don’t even need to mount them.
When in Doubt: Add Flowers and Candlesticks
Maybe our favourite tip of all, adding flowers and candlesticks makes a house feel like a home. Market flowers are a nice idea (and keep costs down) but for the ultimate in long-lasting blooms opt for the dried variety. Pegged to take over from pampas grass and cotton flowers, they last even longer.