Since we haven’t really been able to travel recently – especially internationally – we’ve taken to some good old coffee table books and our trusty magazines for a touch of inspiration. We’ve honed-in on the French way of living. The French always seem to do it well. Honestly, we always feel a bit envious at how they effortlessly pull off a “look” but in such a simple way. Whether it be on their person, or in their homes, the French really create a state of mind that we seem to constantly aspire. The French home lends comfort in an open, airy way. We love that. Whether it be in a Cote d’Azur villa or the quaint streets of a Paris loft in a hip arrondissement, we strive for the French lifestyle.
European inspiration is uncomplicated for us to embrace. We found we can pick it apart to make it work in our classic, American farmhouse. Some things work, some things won’t. Some things jive, some things don’t. One thing we have noticed; the French style and the French lifestyle work well when updating a farmhouse! Oui, oui. It’s important to understand that the French lifestyle really is life and style. They design their homes to coincide with how they live their daily lives. Trend really doesn’t play a strong role here. Comfort, ease and simplicity are all words that come to mind when we break down French digs. The classic, classy touch (stripes, for example) come to mind as well. An American farm house holds similar charm as many French homes. Old world, built well. Pieces of the year it was built that transcend years.
As we mentioned above, some things work and some things don’t. So how do we incorporate this French style idea across the pond? Farmhouses have a lot in common with French décor. Both aesthetics keeps us in good standing with the home’s roots. The quality and construction from long ago. Preservation and making those qualities stand out all on their own. Not spending too much time on the fancy, yet adding eccentricity in doses and little touches. A statement upholstery fabric on an old-world piece of furniture. Art that speaks volumes with minimal occupancy. Original flooring, doors or hardware incorporated into a modern space that allows just enough traditionalism. A lighting fixture that adds antique grandeur and charm for folks to drool over. These picturesque touches really speak to the way the French express themselves in their interior design intentions.
Don’t try too hard! That is the number one rule to effortlessly chic French home décor. Use the history that a farm house offers. Mold those historic qualities into the story you weave. The French respect the home’s story from the start and devise a design plan around those attributes. Moldings, trims, flooring. Door designs, interesting ceilings. Make the traditional parts of your farmhouse clean and fresh. The French tend to go for an anti-design approach. Have your space look as if you designed it yourself and did not hire an interior designer to help! A more natural approach. The bonus…this is also more affordable!
There were many times when we were renovating our farm house that we got frustrated because holding on to certain aspects of the home’s bones was just too costly, stressful or both. We navigated around these challenging pop up problems as best we could, one-by-one. Some we chose to keep and some we chose to update completely. Our second-floor flooring is a hardwood parquet. We appreciate the heck out of it, don’t get me wrong. However, it is not the style we were striving to exhibit. However, for us to replace the floor entailed way more work and time and money than we had, so we chose to hang on to it and make the most out of what its design had to offer. The floor itself has missing pieces, bumps (that you can trip over, eek!) and discoloration in spots. Now that we’ve updated a good portion of our second-floor, however, it doesn’t bother us as much! It truly is something that visitors comment on constantly. People seem to love it and we love that it really nods to our home’s originality. It gives off a nostalgic sense. And, as the French would say, it gives off a “laissez-faire” style approach. We love how design inspiration from the French helps modernize the farm house just enough. Thanks to the French we are able to create a farm house home that is both comfortable and beautiful.