France… It has always been the land of fashion, design, and elegance. A name that if mentioned, a vibe of classiness and sophistication comes to mind. Modern French Interior Design -or the Parisian style- is not different at all. It is associated with both being chic, yet simple!
About Modern French Interior Design
It starts with the classic French interior design, which is one of the most famous styles worldwide. It has many styles within Baroque, Rococo, Empire, and other styles. Recently people came to admire the glamour and classiness associated with these styles, but the heavily decorated and extravagant looks became out of date. That’s why modern French interior design came into existence. It has both, the glamour of the old, and the minimalism of the new. As you might have guessed, it is an eclectic style to an extent. It allows you to mix modern and classic styles together, while striking the right balance of being chic, without being overdone.
So here are some simple tricks to give your house this effortless beauty, glamour, and elegance that you’ve always dreamed of. Allons-y!
Color It Right
Choosing the right colors for your spaces is extremely important in the Modern French style. You can even guess it without a single piece of furniture. The dominant color in most cases is a bright white –which is usually the color of the walls- along with pastel colors such as beige, light gray, light blue, and light pink. Although the style is highly associated with light colors, you will find some darker designs as well. They are chic and will work for you if you’re a lover of the darks. You might use a little bit of a pop-color in some artworks or pieces of furniture, to give the place an energetic and friendly atmosphere.
And here are some more specific colors tips:
Gold In French Design
The Gold color takes us back to the classic French styles especially the ”Baroque ” style. It was characterized by being Luxurious and extravagant, with heavily decorated ornaments. And because the modern French design is about simplicity, we still use some touches of gold in it to add elegance to the overall design. We can use it in a Gilded Mirror, lighting fixtures, accessories, or in contemporary furniture as well.
Red In French Design
Remember when we talked about adding a pop color? One of the most used colors in Parisian style is red, especially the darker shades of it like Bordeaux, or velvet red. This gives you the pop color you need, while at the same time, it keeps the classy vibe in the space. You can use it in furniture materials, or accessories. It can be used also as wall paint but not much of it. Choose a single wall you want to focus on and give it the pop color.
Photo Courtesy: James stokes photography
Black In French Design
Because the Parisian style is light-colored design in general, the use of black adds a significant contrast to the space. It helps in framing the points you want to focus on, and adds strong lines that define the objects in the space if needed. Moreover, it pairs up well with both, burgundy and gold.
Black and White Pattern
This even goes back to the Gothic period. The black and white checkers flooring was very common back then. It continued to exist in the later French designs as well. As for the modern French design, the designers -being loyal to the past- usually use black and white colors but in different patterns and in specific objects. You can find it on a flooring, rug, a pillow, or in a piece of furniture. But because of the strong contrast in the pattern, it needs delicate use so it won’t be overdone.
It’s The Moldings!
One of the spot-on features of the styles is the use of wall and/or ceiling moldings. Some Baroque or Rococo details will directly get your space into the style. Having simple paneled walls and doors, baseboards, and maybe some cornices or ornaments in the ceiling will help you a lot. But as we said don’t overdo it or it will be too much, you can leave some blank walls, and that’s perfectly normal. Just try to strike the right balance. And lastly, if you’re moving into a place that has classic history or ornaments here and there, keep them. This style is all about respecting history.
The most common flooring materials in the modern French interior design are Wood and Marble. Wood gives us an earthy warm color that has a cozy and friendly feeling we all need in our living spaces. While marble gives us the luxury and elegance of the French, it can be used in entrances, foyers, lobbies, or bathrooms, and sometimes in living spaces as well according to the feeling you want to deliver.
As we mentioned the ceiling’s moldings are spot-on in this style. But also this style is associated with vast verticality, because of the Parisian apartments. If you don’t have a high ceiling, then you can start by painting the ceiling with a brighter color than that of the walls, it will give you the required effect. Also, you might see coffered ceilings used in this style too, as they come from the classic French interior design.
Design by: Laplace Designs, Photography: Ariadna Bufi
When we come to furniture, this is where it gets tricky, creative, and fun all at once. Being an eclectic style, we can mix some contemporary, modern, or minimalist pieces, with classic ones. But concerning the classic furniture try to look for redesigned ones that look contemporary as well, with colors that fit your pallet. White painted wood pieces fit in easily. A “Sette” or “Burgere” chair with leather, velvet, cotton, or linen but without strong patterns –maybe some toile- are all welcomed. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use antique pieces, just be delicate when using them. These mixes along with contemporary ones, if done right, will certainly result in a masterpiece! But do not use too much. It is quality, not quantity.
Having something dramatic to catch your eye in the space is a must. Maybe a crystal chandelier or a large gilded mirror adds a lot to the design. Art deco pieces and modern French designs are close friends, as The golden and elegant design of the art deco helps it achieving luxury and elegance.
Here are some more tips for you:
It is a must-have when it comes to modern French design. Having a marble or a wood ornamented mantle piece adds luxury to the space, increases the dramatic effect, and unites the living space around one point.
The Sculptural pieces give us a great opportunity to bring in the contemporary style elegantly and without much effort. They also allow us to use the materials or the colors we want to have, moreover they add sophistication to the place. They don’t have to be “Sculptures”, they can be a coffee table, a chair, or even a bowl on a table.
Finally, Make It Spontaneous
The design follows your needs and not vice versa. This is a very important tip, and it is the key to being effortlessly chic. The good thing about all eclectic styles is its flexibility. You may add or remove anything according to your own taste, work on this! Make it feel natural, simple, warm, and functional at the same time. It is a place to live in, not just to be photographed. If you kept that in mind everything else will come out right, and you’ll live with this Parisian simple spirit always lingering around. Bonne Chance!
If you’re interested in interior design you might also want to check out more Design articles, here on Linesmag!