Roberta Oswald
Roberta Oswald, Valley Property Sales & Management
Email: [email protected]

Focusing on That Fabulous French Look

by Roberta Oswald 09/01/2019

From Sabrina to Amélie the French vintage-inspired interiors evoke sensual elegance and comfortable hominess at the same time. Figuring out how to pull it all off, though, takes more than purchasing the right furniture set. That je ne sais quoi (literally “I don’t know what”) that is so French isn’t so much mastered as it is effortlessly felt. Getting that feel in your home might take a more relaxed approach to design than your usual efforts.

Letting it grow

Most French homes appear complete, but typically, individual pieces enter the house over time. Each one carries a memory, event, or other unique and special attachment. Designer Annouchka Engel calls it “undecorating.” The casual collection of elements, less staged and more collected, amass over time. Designer sofas share space with flea market finds and family antiques.

Distinctives of French style

Dusky pastels grace walls and floors while mixtures of woods, patterns, and other bold objects cluster in the space. Objects appear to be “found” rather than developed. The opposite of trendiness, more a counter to modern matchy-matchy design.

Allons-y — Let’s get started

Vintage French apartments are all about the architecture. If your home does not have much in the way of architectural detail, add some. Trim out the windows, add chair-rail and crown molding, change out flat doors for raised panels, or install decorative framing on the walls. Swap out builder-grade light fixtures for small, but elegant chandeliers or pendants.

Now that you have the backdrop live in at for a while with just one or two favorite pieces. As you shop, find vintage and antique pieces that speak to you or evoke a special feeling. Bring them into the space one at a time to let each one settle before adding another.

Touches of gold here and there, and mirrors on walls or setting on mantels, and metallic frames on wall art add a warm under glow. Sheers or lace in the windows allows in soft natural light that glints off each chosen item. Adding to the warmth are glowing wood floors with thick rugs and stacks of books or clusters of stools, side tables, and plants.

To finish off your look, fill your walls with an eclectic collection of street art, vintage framed posters, and pencil drawings gathered from your forages to markets, thrift stores and charity shops, and of course, your grandmother’s attic.

To find a home with terrific bones and architectural details, let your property agent in on your style requirements.

About the Author
Author

Roberta Oswald

 

A passionate polo player, aviatrix and fourth generation member of one of the oldest winery families in the Napa Valley, Roberta has lived in the Bay Area her entire life. She attended San Jose State University and graduated with a degree in Aeronautics and a Business minor before entering into the professional world. Dedicated to her community as well as her vocation, Roberta is the past President and member of the local Soroptimist International organization. She is also an active member of a number of local Chambers of Commerce. Because of her longtime residency and her civic involvement, Roberta has an acute awareness of the needs and wants of families in the area. She knows the schools and neighborhoods, as well as the services and benefits available. Roberta is a valuable information resource for those new to the area as well as those who are simply changing neighborhoods or looking for investment properties. Roberta has over eighteen years of experience in buying and selling real estate in the residential, investment and commercial markets. She started and operated two specialty businesses on the Peninsula prior to joining Up Valley Real Estate in 2003. Not content to just “get the job done”, she wants to exceed your expectations. Roberta believes in service with commitment. Utilizing the kind of knowledge that is obtained only through extensive life experience and an in-depth understanding of the area and local market, she works with you to provide the maximum results. During her accomplished career, Roberta has refined important skills in communication, negotiation, attention to detail and sound business practices, all of which are vital to the success of her real estate clients today.