How to design a French style bedroom

Updated March 23, 2017

For a romantic look, use French decor in your bedroom. You can give a plain bedroom a French update by adding a scattering of pillows in toile and fleur-de-lis to the bed, or invest in a full bedroom redesign including classic French architectural elements and furniture inspired by famous French design.

Look through furniture catalogues, antique shops, hotel brochures and markets for examples of French style. You can go shabby chic French country by using heirlooms and refurbished vintage pieces, or Parisian bohemian by creating an eclectic mix of furnishings and artwork from different design traditions. For a classic French look, go with rococo furniture frames, French antiques and chairs and tables with skinny, sculpted legs.

Integrate architectural elements from French tradition. A stone wall and fireplace look right at home in a French country bedroom. A bohemian Parisian bedroom might feature built-in shelves with niches for artwork and books. French doors open up a master bedroom and provide access to a simple balcony with a wrought iron railing or a terrace holding a bistro table and chairs.

Establish a colour scheme with paint or finishes. Keep the look rustic with unfinished, unpainted wood on floors, exposed ceiling beams or wall posts. Accent distressed or weathered wood with translucent antique whitewash or milk paint, or add some colour with cornflower, mustard, soft poppy seed black, terracotta or bottle green. For a classic French look, white, cream, gold, black and ruby red set the tone.

Draw attention to the bed in a French bedroom. Go classic with a rococo bed with four posters and a canopy. For a Parisian chic look, use a simple geometric canopy frame without a canopy on it. A French country bed may be a simple wooden platform style with a tufted headboard, or a wrought iron frame with ornate scrolls on the headboard. Instead of a dresser, invest in an oversized armoire with metal hardware and scenes painted on the doors.

Illuminate your bedroom with French style. Tiffany lamps can adorn a nightstand, built-in shelves or a desk. Wall sconces with tulip shades may shine on a large painting above the bed. A chandelier lends sculptural interest to the space.

Things You'll Need

  • Architectural elements
  • Paint
  • Furniture
  • Textiles
  • Lighting
  • Accessories
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About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.