The French interior design is famed for its chic elegance, sophistication, intrigue, and functionality. They have nailed down the art of curating luxurious interiors that look as effortless as they do stylish.

But what does the modern French interior style entail? Below are five of its key characteristics.


Walls are painted in soft, neutral colors like white, off white, soft blues, and greys. Bold colors are preserved for décor accents or statement furniture pieces.

Metallic gold and brass finishes are commonly used as accent colors; painted on art and mirror frames, furniture legs, and trimmings.


High ceilings and windows bring with it a sense of mightiness and give an illusion of a larger room.

The windows are covered with long draperies panning from the ceiling to floor. They are often made from velvet, damask, brocade, or cotton; all of which are luxurious fabrics. Ceilings, on the other hand, are intricately designed and hardly left bare.

If your ceiling has elaborate designs – as it is with most French interior – opt for a unique, striking floor lamp instead of a dramatic chandelier.


Art is a vital French interior style element. It, therefore, is displayed on a grand scale. French art often comprises abstract/antique paintings in gilded frames, a massive sculptural ornament or a large gilded mirror.

You can incorporate one enormous art piece to act as a focal point and elevate the space. The piece can be antique or an abstract painting. Abstract painting is simple and modern; while antiques introduce historical touch that no new thing can.


Walls are painted with soft neutral colours as they are simple, elegant, and sophisticated.  Matte or semi-matte paint is often used.

Wallpapers are prevalent, as well. But not any wallpaper; distinctive French patterned wallpapers. Here, you can choose designs representing the extravagant era, or the Baroque and Rococo designs as a nod to the rich French history.

The walls are then dressed in gilded mirrors, metallic-trimmed pictures and paintings, or notable wall scones. Metallic trims and gilds give off the sophisticated vibe, and French interiors are all about that.

Be careful not to overdress the walls, though.


Floors are finished with natural materials like stone, hardwood, and slate. A contemporary area rug is then thrown over to tie up space together and muff the sound of wooden floors.


Mixing elements of different periods and ages is a signature French interior style. Don’t be afraid to place that 20th Century Ludwig Mies van der Rohe chair beside the modern couch. Or hanging the stained mirror.

This blend introduces a certain je ne sais quoi, balances the modern look, and adds layered dimension.

A typical Modern French interior is all about elegance and minimalism. Bear in mind to employ the less is more principle. After all, elegance is defined as being graceful, stylish, yet simple.

Don’t forget to inject some personality. Your interior space should be a reflection of your lifestyle, personal tastes, and preference. Do you revere that bold floor rug? Throw it in. An authentic French interior is simple, elegant, luxurious, yet reflecting the owner’s personality.    

Updated 02/09/2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *