Since moving into a new apartment a few months ago, I’ll be honest: my #1 most frequented Google search is “French home decor.” You see, I learned a few things when I lived in Paris for six months in 2016: the best baguettes are the baguettes tradition, you will absolutely lose friends if you continuously start sentences with “this one time when I lived in Paris…” when you get back, and every French girl’s apartment looks straight out of a magazine or viral Instagram post.
The much-coveted French-girl style extends beyond OOTDs and capsule wardrobes: their homes are just as effortlessly chic, welcoming, and simply sophisticated. Since I am very un-French by being a major wannabe and trying way too hard to emulate French home decor in my new apartment (kinda defeats the purpose of effortlessly chic, non?), I thought I’d take you along for the ride. Here are nine ways French girls are updating their apartments for 2022, and how you can score the styles, no matter where you live.
1. Luxe velvet furniture
When it comes to big furniture pieces like couches and accent chairs, you want something that looks as high-quality as it feels comfortable. The secret to finding pieces that seem expensive without totally breaking the bank? Velvety fabrics in rich colors make any room feel more luxurious (I mean, wouldn’t a velvet sofa in a rich blue do Marie Antoinette proud??). Call us bias, but the gorgeous pieces from The Everygirl’s collab with Interior Define come in a variety of shades in luxe velvet fabrics, ranging from gorgeous jewel tones to chic neutrals. Trust me: you won’t miss your boring old sectional.
2. Antique-y pieces
Whether it’s a worn out wood table, a piece of art reminiscent of the Renaissance, or a chipped vase picked up from a flea market, French girls know that the coolest pieces look like they have a bit of history. Think: dried flowers, unpolished candlesticks, and elegant patterns that Daphne Bridgerton would swoon over. Basically, the French nailed grandmillenial before it was cool. Even if you don’t consider antiquing a hobby or frequent flea markets, you can still score gorgeous items online to get the antique feel.
3. Hand-blown glass
French girls are le meilleur at finding unique pieces and combining minimalist with interesting. Hand-blown glass accessories with swirly patterns and pretty colors have recently become a favorite of influencers and style stars alike. They’ll bring an affordable element of intrigue while giving your home a retro feel. Look for: vases, glassware, or lamps, and make sure you put them on display.
4. Intentionally mismatched books
A bookshelf is as signature to a French girl as smudged eye makeup and effortless OOTDs. Instead of perfectly stacking your bookshelf, consider intentionally mismatching: alternate between vertical stacks and horizontal rows, and play around with trinkets like photographs and candles to display among your favorite reads. To make it look intentionally mismatched (rather than you just haven’t gotten around to organizing your bookshelves), group similar sizes and lengths together. Think of it like the home decor version of an I-Woke-Up-Like-This hairdo: effortlessly stylish and enviably cool.
5. Cane dining chairs
Continuing with the nonchalant aesthetic that is so key to French style, the dining chair du jour is simple, bohemian, and wooden. Whether you prefer a black finish, wooden legs, or a metal bottom, look for simple shapes and vintage-inspired design. It’s almost like the outdoor chairs at a bistro became cool for your living room or dining area.
6. All white
Just like a good outfit, French girls know that sometimes, the best looks are monochrome. The key to pulling off an all-white space (that you can actually live in) is including a variety of textures. For example, a linen couch, a bouclé chair, a shag carpet, and wooden elements keep an all-white space looking interesting and stylish instead of boring and bleh. Also, vary the shapes and lines, ranging from harsh zig-zags to circular seating. A monochrome room is an easy way to make sure everything goes together, but the variety of texture and shape will keep it interesting and trendy.
7. Pop of color
Yes, French girls love a good monochrome moment and are partial to neutrals, but they also love a subtle pop of color in both their wardrobes and their homes. Pink is certainly the color of the moment, with bubblegum accents and blush furniture popping up all over the homes and Instagrams of French girls. If pink is not your thing, you can score the same look with a colorful floral arrangement or a yellow, green, blue, or purple accent. Keep everything else neutral, natural, and minimalist to let the pop of color speak for itself.
8. Vintage floral prints
Not sure what to do with a blank wall or how to update a room? Score some inspo from these pretty floral prints. Whether you want to hang up a whole row to take up space or just put one print in a designated spot, this is the perfect piece of art to give your home a pretty update without distracting from your favorite decor pieces and standout furniture. Not to mention it adds a touch of that vintage beauty that French girls love so much.
9. Gilded Mirrors
If there’s one item you can find in almost every French girl’s home, it’s likely a gilded mirror with a pretty frame and intricate top. Yes, the French love an undone look and effortless style, but they also love a touch of lavishness. These pretty mirrors brighten up every room and serve as the perfect Instagram opportunity (hello, mirror selfie!).