Say “Bonjour!” to French Decorating

May 1, 2018

Bonjour! French decorating has certainly evolved over the years. Modern French design is more streamlined with a “less is more” approach, yet traditional French décor is still a beautiful and timeless look. Let’s go on “un petit voyage” (a little journey) through a lovely home captured in an ageless French fashion that you will surely love and gain great inspiration.

french decorating

The Beauty of French Décor

The charm and sophistication of France and all its opulent architecture and furnishings is a true testament to the history and beauty of this country. French interior design blends stately, regal pieces with an antique rustic vibe, yet doesn’t necessarily have one specific rule to follow, when it comes to style, it is really a combination of motifs from extreme ornamental design to simplified versions like in French Country décor. Either way, this look is very elegant and appeals to many home owners that want a bit of French decorating influence in their homes.

Lavish Embellishments

The key to French styling are extravagant embellishments on fabrics and furnishings, especially the bed. Look for pieces enhanced with motifs with scrolls or the fleur-de-lis. Brocades and tassels are a must for bedding if you’re going for an all-out posh look. Traditional furnishings of the 17th century were large and heavy pieces of furniture, extremely lavish and decorative. Most were detailed with geometric figures, cherubs and shell motifs. For a more rustic and French country look, go for toile or striped ticking made from cotton. Fabrics such as toile was one of the most popular with its design depicting the French countryside in very detailed drawings and stories.

french toile fabric

Silk brocade and tapestries were another big influence on draperies, aubusson pillows and accent chairs. The more elaborate the detailing the more expensive the look. Although, modern interpretations are much more basic and simplified. This traditional Louis XIII styled chair is a great nod to French decorating with all of its lovely needle work and handsome scroll work.

Bring the Romance

This French inspired bathroom is created with lovely romantic draperies adorned with tassels and exceptional fabrics. Adding these oil bronzed statues, mirrors and chandelier give the right touches and feel of French design. Another must have is an antique bench with lovely scrolled arms which helps bring a romantic look to any bathroom.

french decorating
Again, if you are wanting to go a more modern direction, select a statement piece, like a chandelier and streamline the rest of your bathroom with monochromatic colors or more distressed white wood furnishings for more of a lean toward French country.

french decorating

Fill your rooms if you must! French décor loves tchotchkes! Remember, your room can house trinkets in a way that it looks organized and simply magical. There is a classy way of setting out lovely crystal, porcelain, frames and other accessories to fill the room with warmth and coziness. It’s all about the romance for which France is known.

french design

Mirrors and lamps are the perfect addition to entryways. Gold gilded pieces are a very common feature to many French furniture and accessories. Traditional French décor is about the opulence it creates.

french decorating

French design is about bringing romance, beauty and charm into the home – it’s a heart matter.  ~ Lynn Mathison

Whether you want your space to be timeless or elegant like this featured home or to add the charm and touch of one French antique, let our team at Mathison Interiors help you find those special pieces that make you say “C’est Magnifique!”

Dreaming Big

french design

Robert Hixon – Lynn’s grandson

As a young boy, Robert Hixon dreamed of going to Paris, France. He even taught himself the French language. Years later, his dream was realized when he was accepted to New York University where he will be attending his freshman year in Paris in the Liberal Studies Core Program. After being accepted, Robert stumbled across this drawing of the famous Eiffel Tower and French flag flying high which he drew when he was just 9 years old. Seeing his dream come to fruition of attending a top university and traveling abroad where he will spend his first year on the NYU Paris campus was confirmation that God has a plan and purpose for his life.

“I am so proud of my grandson Robert and his accomplishments. He worked hard and never gave up on his dream, and years later, he now gets to live it out.” – Lynn Mathison

Robert in Paris France


Robert at NYU