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5 Design Tips from a French Chateau

by Suzanne M. Harvey

Chateau de Fontainebleau, France

When we travel I love to tour old, historic homes. On a recent trip to Europe, I toured a chateau (aka a really big house) that was the “summer” home of royalty. I was in awe of the beauty and opulence in each room. But I discovered something a bit surprising…many of the best design tips for your home today were on display in this magnificent home that dates from the 1100’s and reached it’s height in the 1800’s. Don’t think design trends are cyclical…think again! Everything comes back around with a minor tweak or two. Here are my top 5 design tips you can implement in your home today – inspired by a French chateau.

1 – Ecclectic is in…don’t be afraid to mix & match pieces from different styles or periods. Get that new sofa and combine it with an antique table.

2 – Bold is Beautiful…go for bold patterns on furniture or walls; just make sure to balance it with neutrals. If you want that giant floral wall paper, find furniture is a soft neutral tone to give balance to the room.

3 – Get creative on the walls…use interesting materials for the walls. Think fabric, textured wall coverings, leather, wood or even vinyl planks.

4 – FRINGE!!!…there is so much fringe in designs today. And guess what I spotted in the chateau. It can be thread or leather but make sure this trend is in your space. A bit timid of the fringe, go for a pillow or throw with some fringe.

5 – Painted Furniture…so many pieces can get new life by painting them. Don’t be afraid to add a bold accent color to an accent piece to give your room a pop of color.

Which ones do you have in your home? Which ones do you want? Design should be fun, not fussy. Get creative and show us how you are implementing these designs in your home. 


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