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Turn Any Room Into A Cozy Boudoir With These French Design Hacks

Emma Loewe
Author:
March 9, 2017
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Photo by mbg Creative
March 9, 2017

Ah, the French. Somehow they always seem to radiate beauty, sophistication, and confidence—all with a baguette in one hand and glass of red in the other. And a quick scroll through any Parisian's home Instagram proves that they usher this sense of ease inward with a stunning interior design sensibility. To get a sense of how we can all add that je ne sais quoi to our spaces (beyond just stuffing the fridge with cheese), we reached out for some expert tips on the trends shaping French homes this year.

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1. Mix rustic touches with modern ones.

"Rustic chic interiors are a huge trend in France, even in the big cities. More minimalist than country-styled décor, it's cozy nonetheless," explains Rebeca Plantier, a wellness expert living in France. "A nod to Nordic countries where cozy is de rigueur in the winter months, this trend includes adding linen, faux furs, and weathered wood to contemporary pieces. Lighter, more subdued colors (think neutrals including beiges, off-whites, taupe) give it a really modern feel."

2. Go green.

After calling on local interior designers, Plantier has come to the conclusion that green is poised to be the "it" color in French home design this year. Makes sense, considering greenery was just dubbed Pantone's color of 2017. "In a room with neutrals, why not add a green sofa, or some green pillows on a neutral sofa? Bed linens and towels are also great for showcasing shades straight from nature. But as always in French décor (similar to fashion, beauty, accessories), less is more. Make a statement with green, but keep it to one or two items in a room, or contain it to one wall."

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3. Remember that less is more.

"Natural, uncluttered spaces are a mainstay in French interior design and decoration," according to Séverine Werner Sczyborsky, an interior architect based near Lyon, France. "A large portion of my clients appreciate the mixture of wood, metal, and glass for a modern and zen look that is equally cozy and calming."

4. Play around with lush fabrics.

According to Plantier, the French can't get enough velour and felt in their homes. "Used on everything from chairs and stools to headboards, velour gives interiors a cozy and luxurious feel at the same time. Another comeback material in 2017 is felt. Felt is showing up everywhere in all different colors (think muted or bright)—and not just on accessories. Think smaller furniture pieces such as chairs, sofas, stools, too."

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5. Nod to the past.

A peek into most French interiors feels a bit like a trip to an expertly curated museum. Bronze trinkets, old books, and historic art all plant times come and gone into the present. Scout out a local flea market or antiques sale to bring some of these sophisticated touches into your own space.

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Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.