French style is a decorating style that dates back to the eighteenth century. This style combines elements of formality with casual elegance and, sometimes, with an avant-garde style. The feel of this decorating style is somewhat different in the French Quarter in New Orleans or along the Seine River in Paris. French style is generally characterized by a mixture of textures and colors, with a focus on light materials and lightweight furniture.
Many designers and decorators have put a great deal of time and thought into this look. This is one of the most laid-back styles around. The pieces are usually simple and slip over one another without much fuss or attention. The main accents are fabrics in the floral and paisley categories, with softer fabrics, including chiffon, for the more casual pieces.
A lot of designers are experimenting with new materials and textures to make their collections more interesting and appealing. Heavy fabric curtains are being combined with modern bedding. Beaded pillows are taking the place of traditional floral patterns on traditional sofas. And jewelry and crystal pieces are merging with more feminine colors and materials to create beautiful new ensembles.
French designers have developed a unique sense of geometric harmony in their collections. Pillows, vases, and lamps can have unusual shapes and lines. Mirrors are often incorporated into their design elements. The pieces often include unusual or exotic elements such as crystals, leather, and metal. They can be very ornate or quite simple.
The Parisian chic look owes much of its appeal to geometric shapes and light colors. The use of paisley prints, stripes, and patterns adds interest to the basic pieces. There are also a lot of accessories that are reminiscent of other art forms, including vases and mirrors. Highly polished furniture and fabrics are staples of the collection as well.
Fabrics like chenille, silk, and satin are popular. Taffeta, linen, and Georgette are all used as borders or accents on simple pieces. The balance is achieved using unusual textiles like chenille and chiffon. Cashmere and silk are other luxurious fabrics that exude a richness usually associated with Hollywood stars. For the ultimate in sophistication, look for pieces that incorporate diamonds.
Accessories are very important when striving for the look. With so many different items to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Use jewelry, scarves, and handbags with a classic French style vibe. Choose footwear that is embellished with crystals and buckles. Remember, you’ll need some neutral colors to complement the pieces, so stay away from bright, bold, or contrasting colors.
The finishing touches on this style include handcrafted items. The charms of the bracelet, the cuffs of the coat, and the belt are all examples of classic elements that lend to the overall theme. For the ultimate in versatility, choose versatile items like shrugs, belts, and purses. This look is comfortable, sophisticated, and accessible – what more could you want?
If you aren’t quite ready to take on these pieces, don’t worry. They can still add a unique touch to your wardrobe. Like anything else, a little bit of colour goes a long way. Instead of going with a traditional, dull shade, opt for rich hues like burgundy, dark chocolate, or an eclectic blend of fuchsia and browns.
Rich colors also go a long way when paired with the French style elements of lace and feathers. For the best results, have at least two different looks planned. One will be for day wear and the other for evening wear. By keeping a few versatile items in your arsenal, you’re sure to look your best no matter what the occasion.
When it comes down to it, there are really only two basic pieces you need. A good leather coat and some tasteful jewelry are all you really need. These items can be accessorized in a number of ways. For instance, consider having a charm bracelet or a flowery necklace with the right pieces to match. Remember to keep your neck open so you can show off that gorgeous necklace!
Don’t forget the shoes. You can choose from wedge heels to wedges and pump boots to flat boots. The possibilities are endless. With the French pieces you already have, add a few more and you’ll be set. Accessorizing with these pieces can really pay off.