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6 Things French Girls Avoid When It Comes to Décor

They have it, you want it. They = French girls. It = effortless chic. The French invented effortless chic, and it's an aesthetic that the rest of the world keeps coming back to decade after decade. From heirlooms and antiques to a distinctly subdued approach to the colour palette for any given room, the goal is to create perfect imperfection—and obscure all of the effort that it took you to get there.

Ultimately, French style is all about not following the rules, but it can nevertheless help to recap on what not to do. Read on to find out what six things French girls avoid when it comes to décor.

1. Trends

That instantly recognisable French style you see on Instagram and Pinterest and in movies? It didn't happen by following trends. That's not to say that all trends are no-nos—far from it. Do as the French do: be aware of trends, use them as inspiration, appreciate them for what they add to the spectrum of personal style, but when it comes to making decisions, trust your intuition.

Pause before you jump the gun: is that vintage travertine coffee table right for you? Or are you simply getting caught up in the frenzy of its current (albeit understandable) popularity? Likewise, don't back down on making a purchase just because it's not on trend right now. If you love it, go for it.

2. Overstyling

There's a reason the French are known for effortless style. Of course it takes thought and some planning to execute a stylish home interior, but it's important not to overdo it. French girls prioritise practicality above all else—if their space isn't liveable, then what's the point? Start by thinking about how you live and what your habits are. Make sure the way your furniture is arranged is functional before you think about bells and whistles.

3. Uniformity

If you're aspiring for French style in your home décor, you'll want to avoid anything too matchy-matchy. Colour blocking can be an effective way of making a space "pop", but do it the French way and you'll find even the most masterful combo feels too crude. When it comes to a room's "top coats" (e.g. cushions and throws in the living room, plates and glassware in the kitchen) opt for a subdued, monochromatic colour palette, or combine an assortment of textures and patterns for a more unaffected, thrown-together aesthetic.

4. Formality

French style is famously lived-in. When it comes to your home décor, everything should be unconditional. Unless you literally live in a palace with room (and funds) to spare, there's no point investing in expensive wares that are too precious to actually use. A more relaxed atmosphere is far more preferable—your space should be an inviting and warm, not stale and intimidating.

5. Loud colours

For the most part, Parisian décor favours a more subdued palette. A monochromatic, mostly white interior is a favourite among the French. But if you love colour, or just need more of it in your life, opt for jewel tones or earthy hues. If you do choose an all-white aesthetic, break it up with a mix of antique wooden furniture, chrome details and gilded frames for mirrors and wall art.

6. Only buying new

French décor is usually inherently personal and blends different styles and eras together. If you are looking to update your home, start with the necessities and then collect the rest over a few months.

Balance new furniture, like an IKEA bed frame, with secondhand finds. Opting for vintage side tables in the bedroom and living room is a great way to add vintage flair to your home décor—there are a wide range of bedside tables and coffee tables at relatively affordable price points on Facebook Marketplace, Instagram and elsewhere online. Don't overlook antique stores in your neighbourhood—it's especially helpful to see an item in person before purchasing. Ultimately, opting for pre-loved over new is both better for the environment and more likely to leave you with quality-made pieces that will stand the test of time.

Just Moved In? This French Girl Guide to Décor Is for You.

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