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Investing in a canopy bed fit for the Palace of Versailles or an upholstered Bergère chair meant for the bourgeoisie can often be outside the average home owner's decorating budget. Luckily, you don't have to break the bank in order to make your home reminiscent of your worldly travels (or globetrotting bucket list). These DIY tricks will help make your home feel more French so your guests will say, "Oh là là!" instead of you saying, "Oh my word" when you see the bill for that velvet upholstered ottoman.
Don't Hang That Mirror
Every French girl owns a big, ornate mirror, and we think it might have to do something with Marie Antoinette. You might not have room for a massive, gold leaf vanity the size of a home entertainment center, but a stunning, slender mirror propped up against a wall or displayed atop a dresser lends an air of elegance. The French prefer silhouettes in all shapes and sizes, but gold frames go best in a room with Frenchified flair.
Frame Miscellaneous Papers
Do you have a dusty old box filled with letters, ticket stubs, postcards, playbills, greeting cards, or old photographs? Frame those bad boys. The French don't have rules when it comes to sentimental expression. It is your home, after all, so remind others it's lived in with reminders of your past. C'est la vie.
Faux fur can be a bit much, and you wouldn't see antlers on display in Paris, so incorporate some animal elements with a feather or two in a vase. Whether it's a bright, bold peacock feather or some pheasant feathers, your French-inspired abode will look lovely.
Repurpose Glass and Wooden Crates
Fantasies of French living probably include returning from the local marché with a baguette casually tossed in a tote bag and a wooden crate filled with fresh milk, eggs, and other dairy products. Indeed, the French do prefer organic, farm-to-table fare. Recreate this homespun way of life by digging through your recycling bin. Salvage wooden crates, wine bottles, jam jars, baby food jars, and spaghetti sauce jars to store food, toiletries, craft supplies, and more. Repurpose these items for a more rustic spin on storage that isn't sore on the eyes.
Decorate With Dried Flowers
Some dried lavender hanging above a doorway or dried roses in a vase on a nightstand are welcoming and help your home smell amazing. Fancy potpourri isn't really necessary. Just buy some beautiful blossoms and let time works its magic.
Keep Cookware and Cleaning Supplies on Display
There's something quintessentially French about keeping commodities on display, and the same could be said for cookware, utensils, and cleaning supplies. We don't mean leaving the Swiffer Sweeper in the kitchen corner or placing a bottle of bleach on your mantel — but hanging an old straw broom or a dustpan on the wall or fashioning a hanging rack for your pots and pans from the ceiling are stylish ways to conserve closet or pantry space and make a statement.
Bring Outdoor Furniture Inside
If you have weatherproof chairs that only get love in the summer, bring them indoors! Dining al fresco is popular in France, so it's no surprise that the French love their patio furniture. It's common to find lightweight furniture that can be used rain or shine in French homes, so ditch the heavy trestle dining table.
Accessorize With Outdated Items
Floral table linens, heavy velvet drapes, fringed floor lamps, antique china, and old painted trunks don't seem to have a place in stylish, streamlined furniture catalogs today, but the French love vintage. Your grandmother's wicker chair that you've been hiding in the attic can come out now.