Why Not . . . Style a Cozy French Living Room?
Wednesday April 27, 2016

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“The home should be the treasure chest of living.”

—Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, Swiss-born but became a French citizen after moving to France in 1917 where he adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier.

Perhaps my predilection for all things French has ripened even more fully as I have been attending my French class this spring, but as I am pulling together the decor in my new home, I cannot help but be drawn to a certain aesthetic.

While I am not a traditionalist and far from a modern industrialist, I tend to waver more toward classic cozy chic. Tufted always catches my attention, yet so does oversized stuffed sofa cushions. An elegant leggy coffee table, I’ll definitely take a look at, and lighting that creates a welcoming hue for any occasion that is a must. As well, too much is just too much, so simplicity within reason is my goal.

How would I describe my taste exactly? Well, in a phrase as seen in the title, French Cozy.

But what exactly is French Cozy? Well, I tried to define it here in today’s post. Why? Well, my living room is getting a facelift. It will be gradual, but as top decorators will advise, pick a champion of a piece and design around it. Well, I have found a champion, and it is my new sofa which will be arriving later this spring. More details to come, I promise. But in the meantime, this exciting change means, this sofa (my current one) and eventually this chaise and a half with the ottoman needs to go to a new home. As I know more than a handful of my readers live in Bend, if you’re in the market for a neutral, extra-long and cozy sofa and matching chaise, email me to place your name on the waiting list and get more information about price and condition.

But back to French Cozy. Unfortunately the renowned French interior designer  Jean-Louis Denoit is far out of my price range to hire (however, one can dream!), but as his design approach demonstrates above, it mixes simplicity with a tough of regality, and signature style with restraint. To tour the entire Parisian home you see in the above image, click here.

“Luxury is when it seems flawless, when you reach the right balance between all elements. understated theatricality —that is what my luxury is all about.”—Jean-Louis Denoit

Let’s break it down.

1. Less is more

Fewer colors, more quality. Less stuff, more appreciation of the space. Choose the color or colors wisely, and select a superb neutral white palette to allow the colors and accessories you do choose to shine (this article from the WSJ breaks the Parisian cream white color options down nicely).

2. Keep it light

Not only does “keeping it light” refer to the color palette, but also to furniture. Let the legs be shown. No legs creates a heavy room, but when you reveal the thin gams of the sofa, chairs or coffee tables, the room becomes lighter and larger.

3. A touch of plush

Too much gold, excessive tufted anything and velvet everywhere can be . . . well . . . too much. But a touch of stunning elevates everything in the room without the arrogance. From the chandelier to the grand painting above the sofa, to plush velvet furniture, mix it up with rich and shabby chic.

4. Making mix and match work effortlessly

“For a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond and balance one another.” —Andrée Putman (French designer)

Matching is good when it doesn’t look forced. Bring in a playful print or an eclectic light fixture to complete a classic living room scheme with book-lined walls. Effortless, as with our wardrobe, takes time as you begin to accumulate all of the pieces that eventually will look unassuming on their own and then welcome a “wow” when brought together.

5. Let your signature style emerge subtly

Similarly, building an ideal living room that suits your personality and lifestyle will take time as you begin to live in the space, but as you build the layers of style, bring yourself, your passions and your travels into the room. Don’t overwhelm as you want your guests to feel comfortable as well, rather make the details subtle but unique.

Before I leave you, a peek into what my sofa will be. It’s all about the legs. I am so excited to have found a long sofa with lovely, svelte legs. Similar to the sofas below, the legs will be revealed and the room will hopefully be “lifted”. Happy decorating!

~tour the entire Brooklyn apartment here~

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