Tips for Creating Your Own French-Style Home

  |  By   |  Photos by Roy Gumpel

If you love the elegant style of Parisian homes, here are eight interior design tips to give your home a French spin. For more inspiration, read about Danielle Postel-Vinay’s French home in Newburgh.

1. Adding a personal touch to one’s home is very important, and can be accomplished through various simple, subtle ways, including the use of fragrance. Postel-Vinay says her in-laws use natural room fragrance sprays, which are typically cheaper than perfumes and are popular with the French.

2. Use scents that reflect your memories and aspects of your life. For example, Danielle Postel-Vinay always has a fig-scented candle in her entrée because it reminds her of living in the south of France, where there were fig trees in her garden.

3. Remember to create a division between your salle a manger (or dining room) and your cuisine (or kitchen). You can do this with pieces of furniture that create a sense of separation between the two rooms, or use a rug under the dining table and place a chandelier over the table. Postel-Vinay has three matching murano glass chandeliers that she found while antique hunting in L’isle sur la Sorgue in the South of France. When she moved to the Hudson River Valley, she wrapped them up and brought them with her.

4. Place your laverie (or laundry room) next to your kitchen or inside a closet and start to dry your clothes outside or air-dry them.

5, The number-one thing to purchase to Frenchify your salle de bain (or bathroom) is a bidet. It is more efficient in cleaning your private parts after using the toilet (or toilette) and can be found easily online.

6. If you are a wine drinker, use your basement as a cellar (or cave) to store your wine, and keep the wine chilled at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Your boudoir is your private space where you can lounge and relax, read magazines and watch TV. It can be located in a room further in your home, as it is a special place where only those closest to you are normally invited.

8. Your entrée (entryway) needs to be unique to you. Display objects there which reflect your tastes, interests, and life experiences.

 

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