The French Look
To capture the essence of the French approach to creating a home, is to simply put pieces together that, despite showing their age, have a look that is beautiful and yet also have a useful purpose. This is essential if you wish to combine old and new together effortlessly.
The key is to first invest in one gorgeous piece of furniture, like a decorative carved armoire or a beautiful console table. Then use a skillful mix of old and new to confidently combine pieces from different eras.
Soft furnishings and upholstery can always be changed to give a look of combined unity. You cannot go wrong with toile de jouy, gingham check and beautiful natural linens. (look out for our beautiful red and white gingham shade on an elegant candlestick-style white lamp base).
The art of achieving the highly desired French look of distressed furniture and accessories, is to produce a surface that has a layered look, as if only time itself could perfect the process. To achieve this look, first apply a base coat of a flat colour, which may be covered by many thin, milky washes of a complementing shade, and finished with antique wax - black that thins to a dirty film designed to settle into all the nooks and crannies, emphasizing rather than hiding imperfections.
For those of you, like me, who do not have the time to achieve such a look using this lengthy process by yourself, then my ranges of distressed furniture and accessories will appeal greatly.
When it comes to dining, the French know best. With simple taste, food is served on white and cream beautifully aged plates and other crockery, so that the colour of the food is shown at its best. (see our new Florentine dinner service)
Add a touch of French glamour to any room with gorgeous gilt or painted mirrors and decorative hanging crystal chanderlies and wall sconces.
The French accessorize by displaying collections of items (chic in repetition). Group together perfume bottles, decorative hearts, miniature photo frames and make them look like gorgeous displays.
Your outside space should be an extension of the interior style of your home, with flaking or distressed paint on wood and metal. Weather-beaten garden furniture is all part of the look. (see our new Louis French style range of garden furniture)
If you put some of these useful ideas together, you can easily achieve the very distinctive look of a French home.