10 Features of Contemporary French Interiors
A typical feature of today’s French interiors is their ultimate coziness. What makes them so homey and what “national traits” they all have in common – let’s find this out together from this post!
Respect for history
The French truly cherish the history of their country, their families and their houses. That is why in this country people will always think twice before demolishing an old building for the sake of a new construction. It is not customary to replace aged parquetry just because it squeaks, and not accepted to try to make historically rough walls ideally even. People in France safely keep memories of the past: espagnolettes, door rings, wash basin mixers, lamps, pictures, fireplace surrounds, bricks… And if a French man lacks a piece of furniture, he’d sooner go to a flea market, than to an IKEA store.
New life of old things
In designing their dwellings, the French are rather guided by their own opportunities than latest trends. That’s why their apartments are so eclectic. If there is no money to buy new furniture, the old one can be modified – mended, re-painted, decoupaged, re-upholstered. It’s a very meaningful approach, isn’t it?
For people of other nationalities kitchens hidden in tiny rooms, often windowless, are very surprising. But in France a kitchen is a kind of service area, in which each inch is utilized and beauty is the last thing to be considered. The French always find a way to fit all possible appliances and tableware into a super tiny space. Meanwhile they have all the things in place and don’t have to run huge distances to grab what they need. And for family dinners and receiving guests they have a dining room.
The French are keen on moldings and don’t hesitate to apply them everywhere. As a rule, it’s pretty wide and decorated with versatile ornaments, or just painted the same color as the walls. And if you do have moldings in your house, they should be everywhere: in a bathroom, in a walk-in closet and in a kitchen.
In France you’d sooner see window shutters or Roman blinds, than traditional curtains. This saves both money and time for cleaning: you have nothing to wash and iron. But there is also the other side of this: houses are located quite close to each other and neighbors usually have a clear idea of what’s going on in your home. But they say that one gets accustomed to this fact pretty fast.
A bathroom is deemed an important room in France and like any other rooms deserves a window. And if there is now way to make a real window, the French will surely arrange a transom to the room that does have a window.
Flowers on the balcony
You will never find a French man, who will store junk on his balcony. A French balcony is a small lounge with flowers, a comfy arm-chair and a coffee table for drinking tea and watching the city life.
Loads of books
The French read a lot, and not from tablets and smartphones. Hence in every house you will find big home libraries: books are kept in recesses, bookcases and in piles right on the floor. All this brings liveliness and cozy feel to French interiors.
And free-standing wardrobes are hardly ever seen in France. Maybe just if it’s an antique piece in precious woods. As a general rule clothes are kept in recesses behind curtains or in walk-closets, the doors of which are the same as the wall color and thereby almost invisible.
Most of French apartments have natural wooden floors – one can hardly find laminated flooring here. And naturally such a floor woudn’t be covered with giant carpets – maybe just a small rug under a coffee table.