Historical Paris conjures images of King Louie and all things glamor and ornate. If you prefer classical over contemporary, then French-style antiques will add that European-esque Renaissance vibe to your home interior. Consider French antiquity from a bygone era to adorn your home in an awe-inspiring display.
Are you familiar with toile designs? This is a type of French design pattern used in French garments, linen, and other fabric. Remember, antiques aren’t limited to furniture; it also includes bed sheets, pillows, drapes, and other comfort items. Anything with toile art or stitching works well for the master bedroom. It almost turns the personal space into a king and queen’s quarters. Complement this with a wooden headboard with an equally eloquent design.
Toile also works in other parts of the home. A chair with an add-on toile-design cushion can be placed anywhere to give off a Paris-style look. Place in a living room corner or at the headmaster end of a large dining room table.
- French-Style Bath
Give the bathroom a French vibe by incorporating a freestanding clawfoot tub. Don’t just stop there, though. Consider a few other luxury items like an antique chandelier and silk-white valences if the room has windows. For the chandelier, consider a model with golden teak and hanging crystal embellishments. This light fixture will no doubt become the focal piece.
This design scheme might seem like a bit of overkill for what’s supposed to be a simplistic room. However, French renaissance is all about going to the extreme with the ritz and glamor. The effect is also amplified by the bathroom’s relatively petite size.
- Marquetry Furniture
Marquetry is a French-style woodwork design consisting of a number of styled patterns. Some of the more elaborate ones depict people, wildlife, or nature. Some depict certain pivotal events in French history.You can find marquetry on various antique furniture pieces, such as a dresser, wooden chest, or commode. While marquetry is typically imprinted on wood, you’ll also find it on other materials, such as bone and ivory.
Marquetry furniture pieces are also great places for displaying leather goods. All things leather naturally have the same eloquent and vintage vibe. Items like a leather flasks and photo frame make great complementary décor pieces.
- Let the Antiques Age
If you purchase an actual French antique piece, expect visible signs of aging if it hasn’t been refurbished. For wooden pieces, this may include chipping on the corners and a few scratches. For a mirror, this may include oxidation on the glass. These imperfections can actually be used as a styling technique. The blemishes bring about the furniture’s graceful aging. It also shows that the antique is an actual old piece and not a modern piece made to look like an antique.
- Go for Gold
The Palace of Versailles is clad in a ridiculous amount of gold. Your home interior can borrow the same influence even if only using gold in modest amounts. Consider the use of gold in anything with a frame, borders, or trim. It doesn’t even have to be real gold as long as it mimics the appearance of the real thing. For furniture, the legs are another part that look great in gold. Giving a room the Midas Touch really adds exuberance and nobility.
- Use European Furniture
You don’t necessarily have to use French furniture to bring about the Paris vibe. In 18th-century homes of the French aristocrats, most of the furniture were actually imports from other European countries. With that in mind, feel free to add any antiques to your collection with a broader European origin, and feel free to mix antique pieces with modern ones. This also expands your options as you aren’t limited to vintage items from a country-specific region.
- Add a Tea Table
The French loves their tea just as much as the British. In lieu of a standard coffee table, set aside a corner space for a vintage tea table and a pair of matching chairs. Display a vintage French tea set adorned with marquetry designs. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a tea drinker; it’s all about achieving the look of the proverbial hangout spot for afternoon tea.
You don’t have to live within eyesight of the Eiffel Tower to create a Paris-style home. The addition of French antiques and French-inspired decorating schemes will help you achieve the same exotic lavishness.
Hannah Hutchinson is an interior designer based in London, currently blogging for Westland London. She’s always chasing new ideas and likes thinking outside the box when it comes to incorporating fresh ideas to her clients’ new homes.