One of the current trends in interior decoration is that of the French style “shabby chic” look. This style combines elements of French country house style with elegant design to reproduce a sense of romance into the home. But where does one start with decorating their house – it’s not like your local furniture store will sell such products. To create the shabby chic style, you have to look to independent retailers in order to source some of the French style furniture you will need to turn your plain English home into 1960s French wonderland.
Wardrobes, shelving and dressers can be sourced in a range of colours and styles. One of the most favoured colours is white as this evokes a classic sense of French chic. Valbonne wardrobes and Chateau armoires are popular choices for clothes storage while château chest of drawers and dressers make ideal storage for nik-naks and household ornaments.
One of the most chic and luxurious item you can decorate your home with for the French style effect is a French reproduction bed. Back Moulin Rouge style carved beds, a touch of the palace of Versailles with a gold effect bed or elegant French country style Rattan beds are all available. Ultimately, it depends on what aspect of French culture you are looking to evoke and remember – match the bed to the surrounding and the surroundings to the bed. A bed that looks good enough for Louis XVI is going to look particularly out of sorts amongst cheap beech effect chipboard furniture.
French style Sofas can generally add one of two effects to a room – either a touch of elegant formality as might be found in the waiting room of a stately home or a rustic and relaxed feel as might be found in a French Gite. Sofas can be gold effect with toile fabric or carved château sofas in white with wicker backing.
Along with sofas, it is important to have the right occasional chairs to go with your desks, tables and dressing tables. There are a range of styles available but some of the more popular are Versailles style gold, white and black chairs with (or without) toile fabric upholstery.
A wide variety of chandeliers, lamps and lampshades can be purchased to compliment the furniture in the room. Chandeliers range from the reasonably restrained to the thoroughly ostentatious with colours ranging from clear, to black to gold effect. Lamps and lampshades offer more of a boudoir / moulin rouge style effect to a room and add atmosphere to a room with their lighting.
Finally, to finish off transformation of your home into a scene from a Alexander Dumas novel, add a reproduction style mirror to the room. Mirrors are great decoration pieces as they can light up an otherwise dull or badly lit room and also give an effect of space to room that may seem pokey and small. For a front room, consider a classically styled over mantle mirror and for a bedroom a variety of ornate wall mirrors, dressing table mirrors and mirrored armoires are available to lighten up your boudoir. Mirrors come in the small range of colours as with furniture and range from the understated to the thoroughly ornate but all are elegant and stylish in their own way.
Hopefully, the above suggestions will give you some ideas as to how to transform your home into a French palace without having the budget of a monarch behind you. All the above items are available from retailers both on the net and on the high street. So go ahead and add a touch of Gallic elegance to your abode.