What is French Interior Design?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
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  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2019
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French interior design is known for its sophistication as well as its light-hearted approach. French style in interior designs blends regal with rustic. For example, rococo is an 18th-century French art and furniture style that is ornately elegant and it is often combined with a rustic decor look that dates back to the earliest peasant farmers living in the countrysides of France. This style of casual elegance is known as French Country and it’s still a popular type of decor that is now used worldwide.

An armoire is a French furniture piece that combines well with many different decor styles and can be used in many different rooms. It’s a tall, closed-door wood cabinet that typically features a rounded top and some carving detail. Armoires can be used to store items neatly to give rooms an uncluttered look. Although French furniture and fabrics can be very detailed and ornate, the overall look of the rooms in French interior design is uncluttered. For instance, if a large pile of assorted cushions is arranged on a bed or sofa, it tends to be the focal point and the rest of the room is often quite sparse and non-fussy.


Colors used in French interior design vary. If the look is mainly French Country, rich saturated shades of gold, blue, red and green are likely to be used. Motifs such as roosters add a rustic, country appeal. Distressed wood finishes such as whitewashing help make furniture look casually elegant and armoires, ladder back chairs and farmhouse tables suit the rustic look. A fireplace makes the ideal focal point in French Country design. Potted herbs and copper cookware make ideal accents for French Country fireplaces.

For a strong rococo French room design, the colors should be pastel. Rococo accents include shell and leaf motifs on carved mirror frames and wood chairs. French antique rococo furniture is curved and lacks straight lines. Even table tops have lightly scalloped rather than straight edges. The look of rococo is light and airy, while being very detailed and ornate. Rococo French interior design may feature pale walls and ceilings that are one color, but have an overall embossed floral pattern.


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Post 2

I decided to fix up my finished basement in French design because I studied French in college and have visited the country several times. I simply love the culture, so the project is a labor of love for me.

To bring the feel of the French culture to this space, I have included French paintings and trinkets that are all about the Eiffel Tower, Paris, and French fashion and cuisine. Though it will take time to fill the entire room with French decor, I enjoy shopping around for unique pieces, and plan to pick up some more when I visit France next year.

Post 1

My grandmother is of French ancestry, and has a kitchen that is designed with French influences. After spending a lot of time in her home, I really have come to appreciate French interior design. The green and gold hues in her kitchen along with rustic country decor give the room a cozy, authentic feel.

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