Monday, October 30, 2017

#DecorObsessed: French Connection

Hello Monday and I can't believe just booked myself a trip to Europe for Christmas this year.  After spending three incredible weeks across the pond this past summer, Chris and I clearly experienced withdrawal symptoms from decadence french pastries, richly decorated historic interiors, and charming cafes on beautiful summer evenings with cobblestone underfoot ... so Christmas Markets, here we come!    

An recent episode of House Hunting International had me dreaming about living in Paris.  While moving to Europe is still a dream to come true, today I am sharing some of my favourite spaces in Canada (and a couple from the United States) on how to infuse a little "Tout arrive en France" into our home.

French apartments are known for their old world elegance, an effortless approach to luxurious touches, and an unmistakable juxtaposition of timeless classics and today's favourites that have us craving for more. Though it may take our architectural elements a touch longer to reach a similar historical flair as those sensational duplex homes in Paris (we are still celebrating #Canada150 after all), we can most certainly achieve the Parisian style right here in Canada with six key essentials. 

image courtesy of House Beautiful
1: Stunning Chandelier

From favourite movie sets in Paris to the glossy pages of Vogue Living France, no space is complete without a spectacular chandelier (or two) to wow our eyes and to provide overall illumination and ambience.  This glamorous kitchen hits all the right notes with a dynamite chandelier and a pair of vintage Murano glass pendants to give this new kitchen instant character and heighten the luxe factor without being over the top.     

image courtesy of Style at Home
2: Vintage Chinoiserie

A French word for European interpretation of artistic traditions from Asia, Chinoiserie was highly celebrated among royalties and elites in the 18th century where walls of sumptuous staterooms in palaces were decorated with breathtaking murals with a "façon de la Chine" expression.  Lucky for us, hand painted wallpaper is now available, and here is a gorgeous dining room dressed head to toe in pure serenity.

image courtesy of House Beautiful
3: Louis XVI meets 21st Century

Speaking about luxury from a bygone era, Louis XVI furniture is known for its signature restrained, geometrical reference to the classical Greek architecture motif, making one of a kind antiques and reproductions in the Louis XVI style a popular choice for a punch of an immediate sense of history and personality in our homes. This charming daybed had me at bonjour with its French-style tufted seat cushion, handcrafted carvings, and nailhead trim detail.

image courtesy of Style at Home
4: Showstopping Antique Bed 

If we spend, on average, one-third of our lives sleeping, wouldn't it make a lot of sense to indulge ourselves with a bed we absolutely love and in the best possible quality we could afford?  Nothing speaks French allure better than an authentic, curvaceous antique bed with exceptional carvings, cane in pristine condition, and a paint finish that is nothing short of spectacular.  Good news to condo dwellers, antique beds tend to be smaller in scale and that means your next dream bed is also a space saver (just pay extra attention to mattress size standard)!    

image courtesy of Style at Home
5: French Country

One of the most popular decor styles of all time is French Country.  From super soft striped linens to well-loved furnishings full of character and charm, the shabby chic aesthetic reminiscences the relaxed summertime in the French countryside we all long for.  To get the look, visit your local vintage shops, antique markets, and online resources. You will be surprised by the treasures available right in your neighbourhood: an old work bench which you could transform into a bathroom vanity, a solid clawfoot tub that needs a fresh coat of paint (on the outside), and a pair of elegant glass wall sconces are your good jumping off points. 

images courtesy of Sarah Richardson Design
6: Paradise in the Sky
Let's face it, we all love the City of Light.  The fresh blooms in the markets, the sidewalk cafés, and, of course, the infamous narrow balconies of Parisian apartments with a breathtaking view.      

image courtesy of Home Edit
With condo developments trending upward into the clouds and balconies that are generally compact in size, this exterior prime real estate is just a few steps away from being your very own outdoor paradise, Parisian style. To accomplish the task, look for outdoor fabric in stripes to outfit the retractable awning, add cushions on beautiful wrought iron furniture, surround the perimeter with planters full of greenery and vibrant blooms, and then enjoy the amazing view of your city with a cup of café au lait.

image courtesy of Elle Decor
Note: this post is sponsored by Tridel (Auberge by Tridel).  Opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. Oui! Oui! Great collection and design advice here, Tim. Who doesn't want to bring a little French flair into their homes? Thanks for featuring my French (princess) bed! :)

    1. oh for sure Jordana!! I so love your bedroom... so calm and serene!