As Audrey Hepburn said in her hit-movie Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.” And living your life like a Parisenne? Even better. At MyDomaine, we’ve never shied away from our admiration of cool French girls; they seem to master everything from their outfits, to dating, to entertaining.
We believe you should put your best, French-inspired foot forward in every facet of your life—and your home is no exception. Simply put, your home is your happy place, so there’s no better place to embrace the effortlessly cool French spirit.
To help master French girl decorating, interior designer Laurence Carr shares her tips for bringing a certain je n'ais se quoi into your home.
1. La Vie en Lounge
As arguably the most trafficked room in your entire space, the living room is the best place to show off your eye for French girl design. According to Carr, a Parisienne living room starts with a great sofa.
“Pick your statement sofa,” says the French interior designer, who currently lives in New York City. “Look for a textured fabric that you are drawn to and colors you love.”
From there, you can accessorize with a coffee table, accent chairs, and, of course, art.
2. Opposites Attract
Whether you settle on a small settee or a L-shaped sectional, the fabric you choose for seating can either make or break the space. Instead of opting for one fabric—and sticking with it throughout the space—Carr encourages you to mix and match.
“Make sure [to use] contrasting fabric textures,” she says. “Like jute or rattan and linen with wool and velvet.”
While you can certainly add a fun pop of color, integrating different textures in a similar color palette will add some depth to your space.
3. Something Old, Something New
As any Francophile knows, the key to la vie en rose is knowing how to strike a balance. French women infamously mix feminine and masculine pieces in their outfits, so why would the penchant for unlikely pairs be different in their homes.
However, when it comes to interior design, Carr says the juxtaposition lies in blending old and new.
“Approach design that’s anchored in cultural history,” Carr says. “I choose intentionally to mix antique pieces to blend with contemporary choices to create a unique space that fits the clients taste or style.”
4. Pared-Down Design
As far as we’re concerned, minimalism versus maximalism is the longest debate in design history. Every design enthusiast has their own opinion but if you ask a typical French girl, she’ll likely say less is more.
“Choose quality pieces over quantity,” Carr explains. “Less can make more of a statement.”
But just because many Parisiennes take a minimalist approach to decorating doesn’t mean you have to kiss your favorite accessories goodbye. Instead, it’s all about putting your editor’s eye to work.
Add-ons like plants and throw pillows aren’t out of the question—Carr even recommends placing some leafy greens on your window sill—you just don’t want to overdo it. Sometimes, one stunning, strategically placed piece of art can create more of an impact than a massive gallery wall.