INCOPORATING nods to the French Riviera throughout your home’s décor is a sure-fire way to impress friends and family and make it feel like a perfect getaway all year round. Here are our top ten tips for achieving this look, adding a quintessential Mediterranean charm to your property:
- Searching for sunlight
The first thing we would suggest is to observe the way in which the sun moves around your home. If you’re lucky enough to have a choice of living rooms, we recommend that you go for one that is south or west facing to make it as bright and open as possible. Having natural light pouring in through the windows is the quickest way to bring the essence of the French Riviera to life, keeping your space bright and breezy no matter the weather outside.
- Balancing natural and artificial light
Once you’ve decided on the room, you can maximise the amount of natural light that enters the space through the positioning of your curtains or blinds. Pull curtains further away from the windows by using extra-long curtain poles or fix roman blinds above the windows so that the first fold just touches the top of the recess. This will help to flood the room with light, making it feel spacious and airy.
Linen voile panels on washed white or grey poles can create a fresh feeling and are also great if you want to brighten up the space. If privacy is an issue for you, installing plantation shutters in white would be perfect as they let in light while restricting vision into the room from outside.
In terms of artificial lighting, you should aim to keep this to a minimum and use lamps rather than overhead fittings. Adding uplighters to the corners of the room can create a cosy ambience, while focus lamps can be placed where you might sit to read or work.
- Firm flooring
Although carpet may be cosy in the winter months, hard flooring will modernise your room and give it that European feel. Long wooden planks are simple and stylish and can be used in a range of colours to streamline a space, making it feel bigger. Using a natural oak or painting them washed grey will work really well for this look.
- Underfoot comfort
If you have hard flooring but want to add some warmth to the room, layering a natural flat textured rug over the top of it will soften the décor and help to tie the room together. Sisal rugs are a great option to compliment hard flooring and compliment the French Riviera theme better than thicker pile rugs, which are more suited to cosy interiors.
- Considering your colours
Like much of your décor, the wall colour you choose will depend on the light in the room. For example, if you have south facing bi-fold doors that flood the space with light, you can afford to use a darker wall colour. We love Farrow and Ball Parma Grey, which has lovely grey blue tones, or if you’re feeling brave, go as dark as Hague Blue or navy to really add depth to the space.
Alternatively, if your room has smaller windows, you should keep the wall colour quite light to make the space as bright as possible – we love plain white or Dulux Rock Salt for this.
- Creating a personal statement
Once you’ve sorted your walls, floors and windows, you can complete the Riviera look with furniture and accessories.
We often start by choosing a statement piece for each room and working around it. These pieces should favour natural materials that will better compliment the airy feel of your rooms, including wicker, limed or washed oak furniture. You can use rattan baskets, lamps and flowerpots to add a rustic warmth to the rooms, finishing with blue or green coloured artwork that is reminiscent of the coastal landscape.
If you are fortunate to have experienced the delights of the French Riviera first-hand, you can also use decorative items that you may have picked up on your travels to add an extra personal connection to your space.
- Suitable seating
When choosing your sofa, light neutral tones paired with woven textures is the obvious choice. However, you should also experiment with other seating areas around your home and consider finding styles that are chunky and made of wicker, which can be softened by supplementing them with big light-coloured cushions. These pieces will help you to feel like you’re bringing the outdoors inside, replicating the feel of living in a warmer climate.
- The shades of the Riviera
There’s no better way to emphasise the French feel than to compliment the space with the colours of the country’s flag and coastline across the décor.
The blues should be the main emphasis here. A deep azure shade evokes sensations of the clear skies and ocean at the Riviera, while the lighter tints of white and neutral colours represent the sands lining the tranquil Mediterranean coastline. Pairing this with hints of red accents to top off the flag appeal.
- Floor-standing Flora
Adding tall potted plants – whether real or fake – is a great way to reiterate this outdoor feel, replicating the palm trees that line the promenades of Cannes and Nice. Use plants that are heavy in green foliage and have leaves with bold architectural shapes to accentuate the natural aesthetic, creating interesting shadows and shapes when they hit the light.
- Nautical Impressions
If you really want to keep to the theme, using nautical-themed artwork is a straightforward choice. Ideally, the art should be bold in colour to contrast against the lighter walls and feature imagery such as boats at sea or docked in a marina. However, be careful not to be too literal as this can cheapen the look of your home and distract from the sophistication of the rest of the décor.
Implemented together, these interior styling choices can create a light and airy setting, reminiscent of the style and charm of the French Riviera.
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