9 ways to decorate your home the French way

Create the romantic French country look in your home with these easy decorating tips

A rustic stone urn of artichokes on an antique French table in front of an exposed plaster wall.
1

Stripped walls revealing bare plaster create an effortless sense of faded French chic. Add an elegant Louis XVI chair and a gilt stand for instant old-world glamour.

An antique Louis XVI chair in front of a stripped, bare-plaster wall.
Louis XVI Revival jardinière, £1,250; Louis XVI armchair, £1,275 a pair, both Lorfords. Aubusson cushion, £95, Chloe Antiques. Book, from a selection, Lorfords. Candle and plant, stylist’s own.
2

Swap traditional pictures in frames for large-scale  tapestries to create an eye-catching display. The gently curved commode topped with an ormolu clock will keep the room refined.

A curved antique commode decorated with an old ormolu clock flanked with table lamps. A large-scale green and brown tapestry hangs behind.
Aubusson 18th-century verdure tapestry, £7,000, Julia Boston Antiques. French 18th-century serpentine commode, £3,950, Brownrigg. Antique French Empire ormolu mantel clock, £11,250, Gavin Douglas Fine Antiques. Pair of Empire-style lamps, £850, Lorfords. Honey and black silk saree lampshades by Samarkand Design, £130 each, Lorfords. Books, from a selection, Lorfords.
3

Minimalism is key to creating a French-style home. Arrange your favourite ceramics by theme and colour on a dresser or open shelves to show them off to their best advantage.

An array of colourful Sevres ceramics displayed on the open shelves of a dresser.
Pair of French ormolu mounted Sèvres lidded urns c1860, £2,150; antique Sèvres porcelain cobalt blue plate c1880, £380, all Regent Antiques. Three plates and a lidded tureen from a 17-piece Paris porcelain dessert service by Honoré, £7,500 for the set, Mayfair Gallery. Sèvres teapot c1765, £3,650, Adrian Sassoon.
4

Create an elegant reading corner by a window – all that’s required is an upholstered chair with delicate detailing and a low table for balancing your book and a cup of tea.

An pretty reading corner featuring a peach embroidered chair and a low table topped with a bunch of lilys and a saucer of tea.
Late 19th-century French chair, £695, Chloe Antiques. Cream-painted and parcel-gilt French occasional table, £1,350 for two, Brownrigg. Late 18th-century French oil portrait, £495, Chloe Antiques. Rug, location’s own. Vase, £35, Focus on the Past. Cushion, location’s own. Book, from a selection, Lorfords. 18th-century Sèvres porcelain cup and saucer, £6,500, Adrian Sassoon.
5

Confit pots in bright green or yellow glazes, linen tablecloths, plenty of rustic wooden boards and strings of garlic will bring a touch of je ne sais quoi to your kitchen.

A rustic table topped with confit pots, Confit pots in bright green or yellow glazes, linen tablecloths, plenty of rustic wooden boards and strings of garlic
Fench oak trestle table, £1,150, Lorfords. Crate with artichokes, stylist’s own. French pottery boards, £10 each; wooden butter pat, £10, all Old Albion. Green Malicorne jug, £150, Anne Fowler. Wire egg basket, £30, Brocante Living. Dark wood chopping boards, £20-£40 each, Focus on the Past. Félix Potin confit pot, £55; café au lait bowl, £32, both Brocante Living. Green confit pot, £180, Anne Fowler. Cloths, £12 each, Chloe Antiques. Large 19th-century French glazed bowl, £180, Lorfords. Copper pans, find similar at The Kitchen Man. Game hook, £85, Focus on the Past.
6

A beautiful carved serving table gives your dining table breathing space. Decorate with a scrolling urn filled with seasonal produce or flowers, and heavy glassware.

A carved serving table topped with a stone urn of artichokes and heavy glassware.
Late 19th-century French oak centre table, £2,400; 19th-century dining chairs, £3,500 for eight, all Lorfords. Oval creamware dish, £180, Anne Fowler. Decanter, £25, Focus on the Past. Absinthe glasses, £180, Lorfords. Round creamware plates with pretty edges, £200, Anne Fowler. One of a pair of 19th-century French cast-iron urns, £695; cloths, £12 each, all Chloe Antiques. Early 20th-century fine French linen sheets with drawn threadwork border, £180 for a pair, Lorfords. Mid 18th-century Diana and her Bow Aubusson tapestry fragment, £3,200, Julia Boston Antiques. Carved column standard lamp, £750; ochre Liberty coloured pleated silk saree lampshade by Samarkand Design, £195, both Lorfords.
7

Somewhere refined to sit and brush your hair or apply make-up is an everyday luxury. Fit a small  carved table snugly into an empty corner for a practical as well as an attractive addition to your bedroom.

A romantic dressing table topped with pink glassware and a gilt hand mirror.
Giltwood mirror, £2,400, Regent Antiques. Painting, find similar at Vinterior. Dress hanger, stylist’s own. 1950s silk prom dress, £45, Clifton Vintage. Pink porcelain casket, £625, Regent Antiques. Painted French dressing table, £650, Lorfords. Pink dressing table set, find similar at Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair. French ormolu mounted glass vase, £7,500 for a pair, Mayfair Gallery. Opera glasses c1880, £650, Regent Antiques. Candlesticks and silver tray, location’s own. Necklaces, £8 each, Clifton Vintage. Antique French toilette mirror, £5,500, Mayfair Gallery. Louis XVI armchair, £1,275 for a pair, Lorfords. Shawl c1900, £45, Clifton Vintage. Rug, location’s own.
8

To ensure the bedroom isn’t too overtly feminine, keep the furniture bold and sturdy. Try layering the bed with quilts to give the room personality and warmth.

An antique four poster bed against bold floral wallpaper and a gold bedside table.
Wallpaper, for similar try Stylised Rose by Albany. Bed, location’s own. Pale pink vintage French quilt, £280, Rebecca’s Aix Home. Vintage French Provençal quilt, £220, Salvage Style. Pillowcase, location’s own. Painting, for similar try The Hoarde. Late 19th-century Louis XVI-style chevet, £895, French Farmhouse Furniture. Books, from a selection, Lorfords. Gilt bronze candlestick c1880, £850 for a pair, Brownrigg. French 19th-century urn, £165, Anne Fowler.
9

From coffee and croissants, to a pre-supper drink, a simple bistro table and chairs  is key to capturing the French vibe at home. Fill borders or pots with lavender to guarantee a fragrant aroma that transports you to Provence every day.

Parisian bistro table and chairs surrounded by stone urns of lavender.
Black urn, location’s own. Basket, stylist’s own. Vachon bistro chairs, £1,200 (for two chairs and matching table), Violet Grey. 19th-century Arras table, £480, Anne Fowler. Terracotta pots, £8 each, Rag & Bone Bristol. Wooden trug, £25, Focus on the Past. Scissors, find similar at Baileys Home. Watering can, £28, Focus on the Past. Cast-iron 18th-century Medici urn, £1,700 for a pair, Violet Grey.

All prices and product names correct at time of publication. 

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