In her book, Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl, author Debra Ollivier reveals the many secrets of French women, including her sense of style. But Ollivier doesn’t just give insight into the French woman’s closet, she extends her knowledge of French style to decorating all around home.
She explains that a French woman’s style is not one thing, but many things – a layered look, if you will. However, when you delve deeper into the heart of a French woman’s apartment, you will invariably notice decorating influences that reflect her distinct taste- the style that makes her who she is:
- The Classic French Girl – She prefers old world French style – the kind of kings, queens, and aristocrats. She swoons over a plush arm chair or revels in a new tapestry or oriental rug. And, of course, her scheme would not be complete without hard wood floors and rich, dark, and elegantly colored walls.
- The Chic French Girl– She is modern, practical, sophisticated, and has an eye on the future. She has the quintessential Parisian apartment, where less is definitely more, due, in most part, to space, and the fact that apartments in Paris are so expensive they must decorate on a smaller budget. Although, when she does select a few simple but striking pieces, she opts for black and white accents.
- The Bohemian French Girl – Mismatched, artsy, and eclectic would describe this French girl well. She takes the anything goes approach to life and style. She may pepper her abode with vintage flea market finds or pieces of significance collected on her travels.
- The Provincial Girl – This country girl prefers authentic, natural items to store-bought pieces. Baskets, handmade pottery, and dried flowers are her staples of style. This down home decor is often accompanied by the smell of freshly-made bread or herbs just picked from the garden.
What’s my style? Well, I have classic furniture – a large dark, fluffy, oversized sofa, dark hardwood floors and tables, etc. However, I’m not must for kitsch, so I keep decorations to a minimum, and mostly use candles when I do. Simple, sufficient, chic. As for dishware, I have your standard full set of china as well as a full set of French country everyday dishware, yet my other accent dishes/glasses, are a mish mash of things I’ve found over the years. As you can see, I’m not completely classic nor am I all bohemian or provincial. I consider my style a mix of all of these. It’s a style all my own – a layered style – and I like to call it Bistro Chic!
So, what’s your French decorating style?