French Interior Design Rules To Live By

As the tricentennial approaches for my beloved city New Orleans, one can't help but reflect on the immense history of culture, tradition and architecture that makes my city so unique. New Orleans is full of Spanish and French influence throughout our buildings and architectural details. Old pine floors, exposed brick, ornate iron work and elaborate plaster reliefs make New Orleans homes in a sense a time capsule reflecting all who came before us. Working professionally as an Interior Designer, I find myself often working with clients who don't know how to design their homes amongst all the historic character. Clients believe that just because their home may be Greek Revival, or Victorian, that the interior should reflect that same style. What we try to tell clients is that you want to do just the opposite which in the end brings out those ornate details respectfully and gives a personal identity. Elle Decor recently came out with a article on 7 French Interior Design Rules to Live By which is something New Orleanians should follow. It is actually very French or European to mix Mid Century or Italian designs into the fold of a french architecturally adorned space. Mixing the modern with the new is what can make your home extremely dynamic, timeless and functional. Lets face it, no one can really live in a home full of antiques...especially a young family...NOT possible. No one wants to live in a museum, but you can throw in a conversation/staple piece here and there to add interest. See below just a few of those rules the French live by. Remember, by pairing together what you love without rhyme or reason is very French :) 



1. Considering the French Lifestyle:
"French interiors are just as much about design as they are lifestyle. They appear so effortless, but only because they are built to accommodate the way you move through the room. There are nooks to lounge in and creative storage for all of your momentos, to make daily life a breeze. The design itself is far from relaxed, but living in a French-style maison couldn't be easier." - Evane Haziza



2. Opt for Anti-Decor: 
"Nothing can be too arranged and stable. I tried to assemble things that shouldn't be together in the first place, creating awkward juxtapositions."
In the master bedroom, the portraits range from the 16th century to the 1960s. The leather rug is by Serge Lesage and in the corner of the room is a 1920s neo-Egyptian armchair lined in a Gaston y Daniela fabric.
"The whole idea is anti-decor," says Deniot. "To make it look like the owner did it himself — to make it look natural. Which is, of course, very French." -Jean Louis-Denoit
3. Deviate From Neutral Colors: 
"We like the mix up the furniture of the 50’s with more contemporary pieces," the founders Emmanuel and Thomas tell us. "In order to unify the objects from various time periods in a room, we use a few strong and complementary colors that give uniformity to the set. The color connects the styles." - Emmanuel & Thomas 

4. Reuse & Recycle: 
"The rule I follow when decorating is chiner, which means looking in many second hand shops to find the perfect pieces," says French illustrator Alice Wietzel. "What’s important to me is to decorate in a sustainable and ecological way, and chiner, reusing, and reinventing a purpose for elements of decoration is part of that process." - Alice Wietzel 


Love, 
Lady Eclectic 


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