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Seven Ways to Bring France Into Your Home

by Molli McConnell

There’s just something dreamy about French interiors. They tend to feel effortlessly cool and chic, much like French fashion. Whether it’s a small apartment in Paris or a large country home, the whole je ne sais quoi idea is alive and well. That’s not to say that every French apartment or home I’ve seen is perfectly designed, but that’s also a part of their charm.

Left:  A marble fireplace with books and candles on the mantelpiece and a large gold mirror resting above is pictured in a white room. A small pile of wood is pictured beside the fireplace. Right: The interior of an apartment room with large windows opened, and the view of the exterior of a Parisian apartment building. Within the room there are 3 large white fluffy rugs, a Celine poster resting under the window and a vase of large feathers next to it.
Top left: anneemmanuellethion / Top right: lixurien/ Left: aptlafayetteparis / Right: beldy_paris

If you want to add a bit of French inspiration to your homes, here are seven ways to bring a touch of France into your home:

1. A large gold mirror

As seen all over social media and in design magazines, I present the large gold mirror over a fireplace, the unofficial symbol of the Parisian apartment. I personally dream of having an apartment with a fireplace one day, and my first order of business will be to find an enormous gold-trimmed mirror to place above it. 

Left: within an apartment, white glass panel doors are ajar, opening to a white room with hanging plants and a large gold mirror above the fireplace. Right: A similar image of an up close marble fireplace with books and candles on the mantelpiece and a large gold mirror resting above. A small pile of wood is pictured beside the fireplace.
Left: cedarandlimestone / Right: aptlafayetteparis

If you’re looking for something classic, this one will do the trick. And, if you’re interested in a more rounded version, check this one out. 

2. Candles to add ambiance

No French interior is complete without candles. Whether you opt for long tapered candles or a more classic option, if you want to add a bit of French ambiance to your home, you’ll want to invest in a few! To start, consider investing in Diptyque, a well-loved French candle maker. Diptyque candles come in moody scents like amber, noisetier, and patchouli: my favorite is amber.

Left: Two diptyque candles (Baies and Freesia) are pictured on a wooden surface next to some dried purple flowers. Right: A marble fireplace within a white room is pictured, with some flowers and candles resting on the mantelpiece and a large gold mirror behind that.
Left: diptyque / Right: dinara_brnb

You should also pick up a few candlestick holders, or bougeoirs, to add a unique flair. Another option? Use an empty wine bottle! 

3. Dried flowers in pretty vases 

Left: A teal room is pictured with a dark wooden chair and dresser. On top of the dresser there is a large teal vase with dried pink flowers, and some dried wheat next to it. Right: A well decorated white room including a large bookshelf built into the wall and filled with books, a white marble table with a vase of dried flowers and a small, dark vintage fireplace.
marieinmay

I personally love having fresh flowers and plants around my place, but both do require a bit of upkeep. If you just don’t have time, a good alternative is dried flowers. There’s something a bit different about the beauty of dried flowers, and the major upside is that they last nearly forever. 

Another element of the well-thought-out French home are bunches of dried flowers in pretty and unique vases. The best way to find a unique vase is to keep your eye out while you’re traveling or visiting flea markets. If you don’t have time for that (or can’t travel or flea market shop currently), here is a cute option. Etsy is also always a great place to find bespoke items like this one. 

4. Beautiful linens in the bedroom

Left: A dark grey bed frame is holding up a Queen sized bed with white sheets and dark blue pillows. A white side table is next to the bed holding books and a mug. Right: A white bedroom, complete with a bed with white bedsheets, and white windows with white curtains is pictured. A longhaired orange tabby cat is sitting up on the bed.
Kate Devine

French interior design isn’t all about aesthetics, it’s also about comfort and quality. The French invest in quality items made to last a lifetime. La Chambre is one of our favorite brands for sheets here at HiP. They have satin, linen, and percale options, and not only will these sheets look great in your bedroom, they will help you get a great night’s sleep, too! 

5. Pots and pans that last a lifetime

Left: A large Le Creuset blue pot is pictured, with a smaller one next to it. There are roses and other flowers surrounding the pots. Right: A large white kitchen cabinet is pictures filled with simple dishware including a variety of drinking glasses, plates, platters, bowls and teacups.
Left: lecreusetfrance / Right: mollyjwilk

If you want to bring a taste of France to your kitchen, consider investing in a set of pots and pans from Le Creuset. Their simple, straightforward, practical line of kitchen tools are sure to make cooking more fun, and more French. Le Creuset is best known for their cast-iron cocottes, or Dutch ovens. 

6. Build your dishware collection

You’ll need some dishware for all of the food you’ll be cooking up with your Le Creuset pots and pans! Many of my French friends love to visit a brocante, or flea market, to build up a collection of beautiful vintage dishware. If you haven’t caught on yet, French style is all about pairing the old with the new. I encourage you to check your local flea market for some cool vintage pieces, and I also love this line of handmade French dinnerware from Jars Ceramics. 

Left: The interior of a Parisian apartment is pictured. A dining table with candles and a bookshelf are pictured, as well as a tall, thin standing light fixture. Right: A collection of unique vintage dishware is pictured, including mugs, plates, and a bowl.
Left: alixurien / Right: francine_decoration

7. A well-worn rug

You’re not likely to find much wall-to-wall carpeting in France. I’ve actually only seen it once myself, and the owner of said carpet was eager to rip it all out. Most French homes and apartments will boast a mix of hardwood floors and tile. In either case, the floor is seldom left bare.

Left: A brown marble counter top is pictured with a variety of accessories on top including books, a ceramic hand and wrist sculpture, matches and a vase with dried flowers. Right: A sun-filled room within apartment is pictured with two large potted plants. There is a Louis Vuitton trunk used as a coffee table and a large window with a Haussmanian balcony and a view of the exterior of a Parisian apartment.
deareverest

A well-worn rug is the perfect addition if you want to French up your interior. It doesn’t need to actually be worn, as there are several options out there with that used look that aren’t second hand. I love the look of this one and this one!

Keep things simple, don’t forget to add a touch of vintage flair, and don’t be afraid to make your home just as unique as you are. Did you integrate some of these tips into your home? Show us on Instagram by tagging @hipparis

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Written by Molli McConnell for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 

Written By

Molli McConnell

Molli is American and has been living in Paris for over 6 years, where she completed her master’s degree in Literature. In her spare time, Molli runs a book review website that focuses on female writers. When not writing, you can find her in a cafe with a coffee in her hand and her nose in a book. View Molli McConnell's Website

One comment on “Seven Ways to Bring France Into Your Home

Très bon article, j aime les décorations surtout les fleurs séchées !

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