The 10 Items Every Chic French Woman Has in Her Home
For years, I’ve been obsessed with the French woman’s style. From their elegant wardrobes to their timeless home aesthetics, everything carries an air of understated sophistication that looks (somehow) polished without trying too hard. So, as a home editor, you can imagine how elated I am to see this year’s design trends lean toward classic French style. But replicating their effortlessly chic, vintage-inspired interiors can feel like an uphill battle. So below, find ten items every French woman has in her home, from furniture and decor to dried florals and more.
1. UNEXPECTED ANTIQUESWhen it comes to decor, the French are less concerned about what will look good—and more interested in finding beautiful pieces that evoke a personal, visceral reaction. Betsy Kasha, French designer and co-founder of A+B Kasha tells Mydomaine.com: “Break the rules! Have fun with your décor…Half the fun is in the search.” To do this, Kasha suggests: “Go to flea markets and antique shops. Get to know your own personal style. When an object makes you stop in your tracks and say: I need that 17th-century tapestry—that's your sign.” French-influencer Sacha Cappuccino is a master of this, who fills her space with gentle reminders of her passions—from a vintage suitcase to a wall lined with sporting equipment—in the photo above.
2. BARENAKED BOOKSNow that you have a few one-of-a-kind pieces, you’ll need to bring the look together on your shelves. The best way to do this? Take it from the ‘gram above, where Sabina Socol, one of our favorite French influencers, accentuates her library with everything from an animal skeleton to a pair of bowling pins. “Book jackets are useful, but the physical book cover is usually more beautiful. Remove the jackets and stash them somewhere for a more classic, uniform look,” Kasha suggests. However, she also warns that your bookcase should look natural, not staged: “It still needs to feel like a usable library—the French actually read their books, you know.”
3. AN ARTISAN AREA RUGBy now, you’ve probably noticed that the French are all about antique and artisanal designs—and a handmade area rug is your ticket to bringing the whole look together. This can vary from an understated, handmade shag to a vintage Persian design you found at the flea market. Just make sure it anchors the decor and adds to the original charm of the space.
4. A MISMATCHED GALLERY WALLNext up is an edgy, curated gallery wall with mismatched frames that create dimension and draw visual interest. If you’re struggling with where to start, 1stDibs Editorial and Fine Art Director Anthony Barzilay Freund recommends “artfully mixing works of various size and quality.” He says this can be anything from “well-known prints grouped with beautifully framed textiles or needlepoint, family photos or a child’s explorations in fingerpainting.” So, if your story says kids lunches by day and party girl by night, feel free to display a framed print of Ingrid Bergman smoking next to your family vacay photos—you’ll be the coolest mom in town.
5. A JEWEL-TONED STATEMENT SOFAAnother way to achieve an antique yet au courant look? By mixing vintage pieces with new, trendy items. ICYMI, jewel-toned furniture is hot right now—and it’s all about the velvet statement sofa. The golden-yellow hue shown in the sofa above is a longtime French-fave—along with a few mismatched, eclectic throw pillows, of course. But you can also go with deeper tones like emerald green or ruby red for a more dramatic, opulent look.
6. DEMIJOHN BOTTLES AND DRIED FLORALSSearch any French it girl’s home and we can almost guarantee you’ll spot a demijohn bottle (AKA a carboy bottle) that’s filled with dried florals. It’s a *must-have* when it comes to French decor and they come in all different sizes and colors—from amber and clear to deep green finishes that are so right now. Luckily, you don’t need to travel to the L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market to make this look happen. Etsy is your best bet for finding a reasonably priced demijohn bottle with dried florals to boot.
7. LIGHT AND AIRY LINENSThe idyllic bedroom of blogger Fanny B’s Parisian pied-à-terre above would be incomplete without its light, billowy linens. But your apartment doesn’t need floor-to-ceiling windows or ornate moldings for you to replicate this look. You can maximize the natural light of your space with dreamy white percale bedding and semi-sheer Belgian flax drapes. The look should say laissez faire meets luxury with solid, understated linens that can subtly elevate the sun’s rays.
Shop the look: Boll & Branch Classic Hemmed Duvet Cover and Shams Set ($265); Belgian Flax Linen Sheer Tie-Top Curtain ($47); Brooklinen Percale Classic Core Sheet Set ($129);