How to Frenchify Your Home: Making Your Home Chez Soi

Ah, the allure of French living! The timeless charm of interiors that seem to blend stories, styles, and epochs with effortless grace is hard to resist. If the thought of such spaces sends your heart aflutter, you're in the right place. I love Mid-Century Modern minimalism and style when it comes to furniture, but my sensibilities lean toward French regarding color and decor.

Infusing your home a la francaise is more than decor; it's about adopting an ethos where beauty, comfort, and history intertwine seamlessly. Let's explore how to subtly weave this into the fabric of your own space, creating la maison that's as welcoming as it is chic.

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Open space kitchen and living room interior in small studio apartment

Getting Started

Make Small Changes

Let me start by saying this takes time. Making a series of small changes around your home or apartment will add up and have a bigger impact. It will help the wallet as well. If you can remember this, and make small changes that you feel will make a difference, it will help a lot.

It’s the frame of mind you need to make this achievable.

Do a Deep Clean

There is something about a place being cleaned properly that will help to have a feeling of a fresh start canvas. Make sure that you thoroughly clean every part of your home. You will find that this makes it a much more enjoyable place to be. What’s more, there is something ritualistic about a deep clean that helps you settle into your space.

Cleaning products and bucket

Embrace the Art of French Living

Cultivate a Sense of History

French interiors often celebrate the past. Start by incorporating vintage or antique pieces that tell a story. A weathered wooden table, an ornate mirror, or a set of classic Louis XVI chairs can instantly add character and a sense of history to your space.

The French have a knack for mixing eras and styles with panache, so don’t be afraid to blend the old with the new.

Retro off white armchair, vintage wooden light blue sideboard, old phonograph (gramophone) and vinyl records on background of beige wall, tiled porcelain floor, and red carpet

A Love Affair with Books

In France, a home without books is like a sky without stars. Dedicate space for books, whether it’s a grand bookshelf or a few cherished volumes on a coffee table. It’s not just about reading; it’s about creating an atmosphere where art, culture, and conversation intertwine.

a living room with lots of books on the shelves and blue chairs in front of the bookcases

Let There Be Light

Lighting is crucial. It’s all about soft, warm glows. Avoid harsh overhead lights. Instead, opt for an array of lamps, wall sconces, and candles. This not only creates a welcoming ambiance but also allows you to play with shadows and highlights, giving your rooms depth and warmth.

Savor the Details: A French-inspired Home

Color Me French

When it comes to colors, think of the limestone buildings of Paris or the lavender fields of Provence. To add sophistication and depth, soft, muted tones work wonders, with occasional bursts of rich color, like deep burgundy or navy. Whites, creams, soft greys, and pastels create a canvas for your life, allowing your personal touches to stand out.

Texture and Pattern

Layering textures and patterns is another secret. A French home feels collected and lived-in. Think of linens, wool, or silk, mixed with rustic wood (like adding a live edge shelf to the wall) and metallic finishes. Patterns should be used sparingly and thoughtfully, with classic stripes or floral patterns adding an element of visual interest without overwhelming the senses.

Stylish bookshelf

Mirrors: Reflecting French Elegance and Light

Mirrors are more than just reflective surfaces; they are magical tools that amplify light, enhance space, and multiply the beauty of their surroundings. The strategic placement of mirrors can transform even the smallest of rooms into airy, luminous spaces that echo the grandeur of Versailles' Hall of Mirrors on a cozy, human scale.

Opt for mirrors with ornate frames—gold leaf finishes, intricate carvings, or even distressed wood—to add a layer of opulence and history. Consider placing a large, statement mirror opposite a window to invite the outdoors in, or create a gallery wall of variously sized mirrors to add an eclectic yet elegant touch.

Mirrors positioned above fireplaces, in dining areas, or in entryways brighten your home and create focal points that captivate and charm. In embracing mirrors, you embrace a cherished secret of French decorating: the ability to create spaces that are as radiant and inviting as they are stylish.

Open space living room interior with decorative mirror brown leather sofa

The Art of the Table

Dining, in France, is more than just eating; it’s an experience. A Frenchified home pays homage to this ritual. Invest in quality dinnerware and glassware. Mix and match styles for a curated look. Add fresh flowers, quality linens, and candles to make even the simplest meal feel special.

More on how to entertain like the French.

Infuse with Life: Flowers and Greenery

No French home is complete without the vibrancy of fresh flowers and green plants. Whether it's a simple bouquet of wildflowers or a potted lavender plant, greenery breathes life into your décor. Position fresh blooms in every room to add color and fragrance, and consider a balcony herb garden to bring a piece of the French countryside to your urban oasis.

New Flower vases sitting inside of window

Living La Vie Française

Windows to the Soul

French homes often feature tall windows that let in plenty of light. Emulate this by keeping window treatments light and airy. Sheer curtains or classic shutters can recreate this effect, blending privacy with an inviting openness.

Create Outdoor Spaces

Even the smallest balcony can become a petite garden or a spot for morning coffee. The key is in the details: a bistro table and chairs, potted plants, and perhaps a small fountain. It’s about creating a space to pause, breathe, and enjoy the moment.

Outdoor terrace

Cultivate a French Mindset

Finally, Frenchifying your home isn’t just about decor—it’s a lifestyle. It’s about appreciating beauty in the every day, taking time to savor life’s pleasures, and embracing a bit of imperfection. It’s a reminder that our homes, like our lives, are a work in progress, always evolving and never quite finished.

More reading:

Transforming your home into a French-inspired sanctuary is an adventure in itself. It’s about crafting a space that feels uniquely yours, where every item tells a story, and every room invites you to linger. So, raise your glass (of Bordeaux, perhaps?) to a home that’s more than just a place to live—it’s a place to love, dream, and, of course, find your very own chez soi.

How about you? Do you have any tips for creating a French-inspired living space? Do share!

Don't forget to pin this for later!

living room with books

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  1. Amber Myers says:

    What great ideas. I love the French style so I need to keep some of these in mind.

  2. I do love the French look. Thanks for the tips on how I can do this for my home.

  3. These are some cute ideas. Great thinking! I hope there are many readers inspired to pursue a French decor from this writing!

  4. The French style is definitely up my alley!! I’ll have to take these tips into consideration!

  5. Melissa Cushing says:

    Loving this post and these tips to help Frenchify your home. I am loving all of the pictures and the designs and i love them!

  6. such great tips and ideas! and can be used to frenchify the whole home or a part of it as we wish.. or use these for themed parties too!

  7. I always see these beautiful homes but never know how to do it myself. This is such a great breakdown

  8. I appreciate the insightful tips for creating a cozy “chez soi.” Implementing these suggestions will surely enhance the comfort and warmth of my living space.

  9. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a deep clean. I need to do it again soon. But I’ve been having a ton of trouble with my feet hurting especially after work. I’m hoping the dr can help so I can get back to a normal routine again.