Just like their beauty routines, wardrobes and diets, French girls’ living quarters are effortlessly fabulous — or so they want us to think.
By now, we've all read enough French-girl-themed articles to know the secret to their covetable look (read: life) is their carefree attitude towards it. They wake up with flawless skin, leave home in effortlessly chic outfits and live in charming apartments with an accidentally fabulous collection of pieces. Right? Non.
That flawless complexion actually requires a stringent skincare regimen. Their covetable outfits are variations of their most calculated wardrobe additions. And that casually-cool living space is the result of a carefully-chosen apartment and a well-curated collection of furniture and accessories. Sound complicated? It kind of is, but we can help you on the home front.
Below, seven ways to achieve French-girl charm in your home while making your space look completely effortless.
1. Find a place with character.
The main component of a chic apartment is a chic design. A home that comes with character — think moulding, a fabulous fireplace or wood herringbone flooring — will already bestow a sense of lavishness or quirkiness, so you'll need fewer accents to achieve a cool space. Stuck with a builder-basic home? You can always add crown moulding, statement fireplace or French doors to forge your own charm.
2. Get a look-at-me piece.
If you're not a fan of traditional French architecture, that's okay — in modern French homes, a popular design trend is the stripped-back look. But, this doesn't mean such minimalist rooms are void of personality. Pops of colour and fun throw-back pieces are used to add character. This vintage-inspired Smeg fridge is the focal point in this streamlined kitchen and adds a casual, playful feel to the otherwise restrained space.
3. Leave your walls alone.
The French treat their walls as they do their strands — they just let them be. Instead of painting your walls, leave them white and let your decor do the talking, and you'll achieve a chic and fuss-free-looking space.
4. Choose opulent touches.
The perfect accompaniment to fabulous wood floors, elegant moulding and pared-back furniture? A lavish statement piece. Here, the crystal chandelier adds a glamorous element to a space that mixes traditional design with laidback textiles and minimalist furnishings. If a chandelier isn't your style, consider silk or velvet drapes that puddle onto the floor or an oversized gilded mirror that graces the ceiling.
5. Rock an undone vibe.
Image: Jeanne Damas
A French girl's home isn't overly calculated. Her belongings don't have a specific place — they're scattered around, which offers a more homey, lived-in feel. Plants and books are can be found on almost every surface, and random accessories and souvenirs are welcome — even flaunted — additions.
6. Mix and match pieces.
Abandon the belief that your pieces should match. Dare to combine furniture and accessories from different time periods and various styles. Bring in a mismatch of materials, colours, prints and textures — just choose beautiful pieces that speak to you, and they will go together.
7. Have plenty of space for beauty products.
A French girl's beauty routine is no joke. She invests plenty of time and money to find and use only the best products, which require adequate storage space to keep them easily accessible. A shelf or two in the bathroom or a vanity with plenty of counterspace is a non-negotiable necessity in a French girl's home.