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What is a 'French interior'?

(14 Posts)
ElaineM67 Mon 22-Aug-11 15:36:26

I'm an interior designer, and my new client has made a quite confusing request to have "this sort of French feel" for one of her rooms. As clients often are, she was being very vague and couldn't really explain what she wanted.
Thought maybe people on here might help. What is 'French' interior for you? Any help would be really appreciated!

7to25 Mon 22-Aug-11 15:41:06

What room?

ninedragons Mon 22-Aug-11 15:46:29

Well, given that I have stayed in a Parisian hotel in which the bed was made of flattened cardboard boxes with a mattress on top, my views of French interior design are not as high as they might be grin

I would think the client meant that white-painted furniture with carved fiddly bits, like this. It's a very popular look in 25 Beautiful Homes, the Readers' Wives of interior design magazines.

minipie Mon 22-Aug-11 15:49:32

Yeah, she probably means curvy white painted or French Grey painted furniture.

this kind of thing

Worth checking though, since she might mean blue and white stripes and Eiffel tower pictures!

HMTheQueen Mon 22-Aug-11 15:52:52

I would go with the white-washed wooden furniture - sort of shabby chic, but more chic. grin - Like ninedragons link.

A friend of mine had a 'french feel' wedding - which involved very very soft pink bridesmaid dresses and a white painted bird cage in the reception hall...

ninedragons Mon 22-Aug-11 15:53:58

Or you could just get your dog to take a shit on the client's doorstep, for that truly authentic Parisian feel.

ninedragons Mon 22-Aug-11 15:56:23

More helpfully, that Linda Barker look (feather-trimmed lampshades and so on) is what I think a lot of people mean when they say French look.

7to25 Mon 22-Aug-11 17:13:44

Sophistication
limited colour palette
Silks and damasks
dainty upholstered furniture
Mirrors
upholstered beds
painted furniture
polished floors with Aubusson rugs

tethersend Mon 22-Aug-11 17:16:52

She definitely means she wants strings of onions hanging from the ceiling and a faint whiff of garlic. Or something.

fresh Mon 22-Aug-11 17:20:27

Ex interior designer here. Strongly suggest you follow some of the links posted earlier, print out some pictures and take them to her before you do anything else. In my experience clients who can't tell you what they want before you do it are then extremely happy to tell you what they don't want, just after you've shown them the proposed scheme you've spent ages on. Get some more guidance (and then confirm it back to her in writing) before you spend any more time on her scheme!

Now you know why I'm an ex interior designer...after 8 years I just ran out of patience!!!

noddyholder Mon 22-Aug-11 18:57:47

Agree with fresh I am an interior designer and you need to be sure as she may have been to france and seen something and it could be a million miles from what you think!

dexter73 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:02:20

Mmm, French interior to me means hideous wallpaper(maybe with squirrels on or mad floral pattern) on the walls and doors, dark furniture and tiled floors with strategically placed motheaten rugs on them. Not quite sure that is what the lady had in mind hmm!

LemonDifficult Mon 22-Aug-11 19:05:05

This really depends on the room. Are we talking Boudoir vamp, Salon chic or some sort of rustic kitchen?

ElaineM67 Tue 23-Aug-11 11:41:36

Thanks for all the advice! Everything was so helpful.

I'm just going to email my client with the stuff that you guys have mentioned, and let her choose the 'vibe' she wants. I have a hunch that the wooden white-washed furniture is what she had in mind though. I really hope that she actually knows what she wants smile

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