Renovating Your Residence With French Style

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    "Trend" Is Now a dirty word -- Nearly synonymous with stuff that’s so of-this-minute that we'll blink and it’ll already be outdated.

    However, does it have to be this way? In our view, no!

    Whether you are a new homeowner, on the search, or a current homeowner, most of us want our space to feel like us. Nothing compares to the feeling of relief that comes from feeling like you’re home. But how can you create this feeling?

    How do the French people create it? It's not only the decor that does it. There aren't that many fancy throw pillows in the world to create that level of elegance.

    As much as people might like bohemian and French, and industrial and mid-century, and even coastal, but most people usually cannot manage to replace the material that goes out of fashion continuously. After all, most people have a limited budget. Not everyone wants to rent interior pieces to avoid spending money on items that are not a return on my investment!

     So, always choose to find a house with good bones -- the type of home with the right light,  the right space, and a design you can invest in for a few years. Architecture matters. It is your house's bones and should direct your renovating choices.

    Can you envision a French homeowner substituting the windows in his Provence farmhouse with arched Spanish Colonial-style kinds? Definitely not!

    Mixing architectural styles turns your home into a hard-to-sell Frankenstein. It is the home renovation equal of terrible plastic surgery: tough to undo, and ill-advised, costly.

    Paris is 2,000 years old. The French people have seen style trends come and go since Julius Caesar governed the region.

    They do not care about the Pantone Color of the Year, the craze for shiplap, or faux stone veneer. You'll get more excitement for your renovation buck if you think like the French and choose a timeless look.

    The tile with ducks carrying blue bows that's in your kitchen?  Popular in 1984. White subway tile on the kitchen wall? Timeless.

    Before renewing your home, question yourself: Were homeowners making this decision 20 years ago? Will they still 20 years from today?

    So before you renovations, run your ideas over the standards the French follow: design follows function.

    That's the reason French homes homes are so stylish -- They're designed to accommodate the way their owners go about their day. It is effortless to reside in them.

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    Before you start investing loads of money around and/or bringing everything you own to the thrift store, pick out your paint roller. You will be amazed at the new view a distinct color can produce. Lightening up the color can make a room feel bigger; adding a bold accent color will improve the whole mood.

    The French know that one's mastery provides a home personality. They design their houses with room for their items to live outdoors.

    So make space for the things you love. Design shelves in your kitchen, so you have space for your cookbook collection -- and place for it to expand. Add more counter space so you can organize your vintage Fiestaware canisters.

    They do not clutter to be hidden. They are the ingredients of your life.

    Using glass objects is an excellent way to fill space without creating too much noticeable weight.  A glass vase with flowers, mirrors on the wall, or a lamp with a seeded glass base is simple steps to add this material.

    Let us look ahead of the throw pillow for this one -- because we all know about these, right? Adding textiles into a room brings some serious character. Hang curtains, hang a weaving or rug on the wall,  add a throw towards the end of your bed,  find a killer rug. All of these things will add intensity and class to your space.

    Let's be honest; nothing locks down all the happy; warm designs feel when you see dirty, stained, and worn-out carpet. Floors are more of an investment of money and time, but if you discover something stunning and durable, you are giving your space some severe TLC for many years to come.

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    Depending on the space, you have got loads of alternatives:

    • Tile is excellent for places that have the possibility of water damage, like a bath, kitchen, or laundry area.
    • Solid hardwood is excellent as a long-term investment since it can be refinished and sanded many times. Engineered hardwood is generally is more affordable than solid hardwood, more durable, and from the surface, you can't tell the difference.
    • If you're somewhat rougher on things, luxury vinyl tile is practically indestructible. It's not made from wood, but some alternatives have wood patterns that can be very convincing.

     Large items like sofas, beds, and architectural details (such as French doors) can still be entertaining and exciting, but you can play it safe by choosing one feature on that product that is somewhat stylish, such as exposed legs (often seen in mid-century furniture), but using a neutral fabric.

    Instead of going with a piece of mid-century furniture (trend) in the color of the moment (trend), you select one or another. It translates well from one style choice to another. Also, it lets all the other, more durable features stand out, like a cool archway

    Look at all your favorite home magazines. We guarantee that every one of them has some living vegetation bringing life and color to space. Your garden has structure, too, build of the current trees and native plants that are meant to grow there.

    The French don't grow palm trees outside of their Provence residences. They grow lavender.

    When you view, value your surroundings and choose plants that go with your environment, making your garden easier to care for, more affordable, and looking like it belongs there.

    And do not cut down trees in your garden. Except they're an environmental risk, or they are going to fall on your home.

     It's simple for people to think, "What can I do next?" Instead of “What has to be done?" Sometimes, the solution is nothing.

    If the French turned sledgehammers half as frequently as Americans do, their centuries-old homes would seem, well, not centuries old. Do what your house wants and stop there.

    As you won't get back much of your investment if you over-improve for the neighborhood, use that time to do something else the French have mastered: enjoying their lives.

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