We know this makes us a cliché, but we’re obsessed with the French. We want to be like them. We don’t know why, but it’s just a thing, so much so that we recently put together a fairly comprehensive guide to being as French-girl as possible. And there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, right? Right, which is why we’ve now assembled a few—well, ten—tips for making your home look like the effortlessly cool, sexy den of a French dame, with a little help from luxury home rental company Onefinestay and its exquisite French properties.
The French Girl's Guide To Home Decor
Make It Messy
The French aren't as obsessed with perfection as we Americans are, and you'll rarely see their homes looking like furniture showrooms. A messy bed is a sign of life, so don't be afraid to slack off on the crisp corners—it's sexier this way. Bookshelves should likewise looked lived-in, as if you actually read their contents.
Gild Your Gallery
To make your place feel truly French, you'll need to throw a touch of gold into the mix. Says the team at Onefinestay, "Gold frames significantly up the ante on a traditional gallery wall, and make any room instantly elegant." The most magical element of French style is how it juxtaposes this luxe look with that devil-may-care, messy dorm-room vibe, so don't be afraid to contradict yourself.
Let Your Drapes Drag
"These add a sophisticated flair and drama to your windows," says the team at Onefinestay. We suggest going so far as to let them pool a bit at the bottom to achieve that perfectly imperfect, undone look.
When it comes to the fresh florals in your home, the wilder and less put-together, the better. Grab store-bought bouquets to mix or match or, better yet, pull from the yard.
Add Opulent Accents
The French aren't afraid to be a little over the top, in small doses. If there's a statement piece you're dying to add but you aren't sure it fits with your decor scheme, we say go for it. "You can always tell when someone is well-traveled by the way they decorate their home," the Onefinestay team reminds us. "Don't be afraid to show off where you've been!" We're assuming this means whoever owns this amazing Onefinestay home has been to the land of white peacocks, but regardless the takeaway is that nothing is too much as long as it's balanced with more neutral or sparse decor.
"This sumptuous type of seating is done especially well by the French," says the Onefinestay team. We're really fond of dusty rose or a bold jewel tone.
Roll Out Royal Rugs
"Bold carpeting pairs well with crown molding and parquet flooring," says Onefinestay. Try Anthropologie as a great resource for recreating this look.
"The streets of the City of Light are lined with quintessential Parisian Haussmann architecture: buildings lined with wrought-iron balconied windows, and garret windows on the top floor," says the Onefinestay team. "Any apartment or home with an outdoor space is perfect for a simple table and chair where one can enjoy coffee while watching the city down below." While you may not have as much people-watching on, say, a sleepy street in Los Angeles as you would in Paris, it's nice to take your coffee with a side of fresh air regardless. We're currently obsessed with this outdoor dining set from CB2.
French decor has a bit of a flea market feel, and literally anything can be used to populate shelves, walls, desk space and the like. Here, decor is made from old wine bottles and framed newspaper clippings. Here, a paperback book placed atop a piano is sheer perfection.
While we're at it, you don't need to purchase matching dish sets, either. French cupboards are a hodgepodge of high and low, just like their wardrobes. We don't recommend keeping mugs from your college campus, but we do suggest mixing in some vintage finds—start your search here.
Adopt A Cat
Every French girl we follow seems to have a cat, and there's nothing sad about it.