We’re just back from a pretty amazing holiday in the South of France and as promised in my last post, I wanted to share some of my French decor loves with you and show you how you can steal some gorgeous style ideas for your own home. For those of you who have been following my Instagram feed lately, I have posted a few little snippets of things I just loved for their laid-back simplicity and rustic beauty, both key aspects of the French ‘look’.
I just love the glassware in France. Possibly most well known of all French glassware brands is the original Duralex ‘Picardie’ – tough glass tumblers that are widely available on the high street (try here). Popular because of their sturdy, yet elegant design, they are also very inexpensive and are perfect for relaxed everyday dining.
Image source: One Quality, The Finest
Another type of glass widely used throughout cafes and brasseries in France is the mini tumbler seen below. We were served our water along with our morning coffee in these cute little glasses and I instantly fell in love with them! They would also be perfect for serving wine in during an informal supper with friends – I just really like their clean shape and practicality.. easy to stack up and can double up as mini nibbles bowls or even tealight holders. (Love a bit of dual functionality!) I managed to find these ones from Amazon UK which are almost identical and very reasonable at just over £10 for 6. I think a purchase is in order…
The French love their baskets and their range of uses is far from exhaustive. From little wire fruit baskets to larger wicker styles, they really are a French home staple. Use natural jute or wicker ones to add a touch of texture to your room scheme, particularly in bathrooms or kitchens where the majority of surfaces are high gloss and hard. Keep an eye out for dipped woven baskets which give a modern twist to the traditional plain design. Try French concept store Bodie & Fou, Ikea or Garden Trading for larger storage baskets in natural weaves.
Image source: My French Country Home
Wire baskets come in all shapes, sizes and finishes and can be used to display fruit, pots of herbs, pens and stationery or to store kitchen utensils and linens. Choose from the many styles at H&M which are reasonably priced and come in different finishes such as plain metal, black or copper. This one would look equally good hanging a potted plant or filled with citrus fruits. I like the little wooden handles on this traditional metal wire basket below.
Image source: via Farmhousewares.com
A timeless choice for the home, French linens are another wonderfully simple staple homeware that can add some rustic Gallic charm. Whether used as a bed throw or laid over a table, they are perfect if you’re looking for that classic French country vibe. I spotted some beautiful linens in the local market stalls, from grey and white ticking stripe to classic checks in denim blues and reds.
Image source: The Gifts of Life
I like the clean look of this linen bed throw from French Connection with its subtle blue stripe or you could opt for a soft rose pink or slate grey linen throw paired with a chunky knitted blanket and layered over crumpled white bedlinen. If it’s an authentic French linen table cloth you’re after, have a look at the range in La Maison Bleue or push the boat out with this stunning blue and ivory stripe design from the Conran Shop. I also adore this one from Notonthehighstreet.co.uk which is available in a red or blue stripe. For lovers of neutral, head over to H&M for its range of grey and beige linens.
Wandering through sleepy French villages, you will notice traditional wooden window shutters, front doors and railings painted in the softest greys, greens and blues which just seem to look better the more weather beaten they get! With these understated, muted shades being very much on trend however, you don’t have to go too far to find the perfect colour for your own front door or garden gate. Farrow & Ball’s French Grey is an obvious choice, but also look to Little Greene for some beautiful blues and greens such as Bone China Blue and Drizzle.
Keep flower arrangements simple, sticking to one plant type per pot and using an abundance of lavenders, geraniums and hydrangeas for that sense of thrown together French country style. Pot plants in terracotta containers or galvanised metal buckets, set alongside your freshly painted French grey door et voilà, you’ve nailed the continental look!
Where to Source
This is my pick of some of the best places to find French style products and design for your home:
– Bodie and Fou – bodieandfou.com / interior concept store with a strong emphasis on a simple, neutral palette and French lifestyle design
– Rose & Grey – roseandgrey.co.uk / contemporary and vintage homewares
– An Angel at My Table – anangelatmytable.com / eclectic home accessories with vintage French appeal
– H&M Home – hm.com / affordable homewares and accessories with a continental design
– Zara Home – zarahome.com / good range of bedlinen and home accessories
– Live Laugh Love – livelaughlove.co.uk / traditional French shabby chic and country style home accessories, glassware and furnishings
– La Redoute – laredoute.co.uk / affordable homewares under a brand ethos to make French style accessible to all
– Cox & Cox – coxandcox.co.uk / unique, individual and practical pieces for the home with an eclectic feel
I hope you’ve been inspired to introduce a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ into your own home? :)