Modern French Interior Design: Your Complete Guide (2024)

French style has always been associated with fashion, beauty, elegance and the latest designs.

This extends to French interiors as well. Modern French interior design, also called Parisian style, closely follows this stereotype, resulting in a home that is chic, simple, and functional with a touch of personal style.

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What is Modern French Interior Design?

Interior designers will tell you that French interior design is one of the most sought-after design styles out there.

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It oozes glamour, class, elegance and simplicity. French interiors combine modern and traditional furniture to create the perfect balance between old and new without making a room feel crowded. It plays with natural light, white walls, modern furniture, antique statement pieces, and limited colours.

Tips for Decorating your House in the Modern French Style

Here are some easy tips and tricks that will give you just what you need to design the perfect modern French interior design home.

1) Choose the right colours

The right colours can set the whole mood for your home and is incredibly important for the modern French style.

The base colour of this style is a bright white, with other soft pastels like grey, tan, beige, baby blue or soft pink. These light colours are often interspersed with darker colours and pops of bright colour in art or accessories.

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Incorporate gold

Gold can be incorporated in different styles. Gold colours are associated with extravagance and can be brought into the room in small features, such as a gilded mirror, gold lighting fixtures, small cold statues, or furniture with gold-painted legs.

Plenty of red

Red is the most commonly used colour in Parisian designs. But not diner red – the French use darker reds, like velvet or wine-red. This sophisticated colour will bring some brightness into the room while still keeping the room classy.

Red can be used on upholstery, curtains or artworks. You can also use the darker red on a feature wall in the houses.

Splashes of black

Black is commonly used as an accent in French-style apartments and homes. Black adds a stark contrast to the bright white walls and accentuates focal points in the room. Black also works well with the gold and deep red colourings.

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Black and white Prints

Black and white parquet flooring, black and white art pieces, and black and white textiles are common in Parisian-styled homes. These prints and patterns need to be carefully incorporated so as to not overdo them, especially in smaller spaces.

2) French wall mouldings

One of the characteristics of modern French interior design is wall and ceiling mouldings. Panelled walls and baseboards, as well as an ornamental ceiling, will help you achieve the ideal French style.

3) French floors

The most common materials used for flooring in French-style homes are marble tiles and wood flooring. Marble is great to use in your powder room, bathroom or entrance hall. Wood floors work well in living rooms and kitchens and will give your home a warm feeling.

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These flooring materials can be complemented by large area rugs to strike just the right balance between comfort and style.

4) Ceilings

Already mentioned are the mouldings on the ceilings. But if you don’t have mouldings or intricate ceilings, then you can paint your ceilings a bright white – or any colour that is lighter than the walls. This will give your room a larger feel and help reflect light around the room.

5) Contemporary furniture

When it comes to furniture in modern French interiors, it is all about having fun. Modern french interior design combines modern furniture with traditional, classic elements.

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Wood furniture painted white, dark red velvety couches, or a black-and-white reupholstered wingbacked chair will all look amazing in your Parisian-inspired home.

It is all about simplistic, functional design. Straight lines are preferred, and white or black furniture is accompanied by gold or soft pastel features like rugs, scatter cushions or artworks.

6) Accessories for your Parisian apartment

Modern French style is all about having features that catch your eye. Different accessories can be brought into a room to complement the colour palette and bring warmth into the room.

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Here is some inspiration for you:

Fireplace and Mantlepiece

If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace with a mantelpiece in your living room, you should make this a key feature in the room. Decorate the mantelpiece with simplistic art or indoor plants.


Sculptures are great accessories to bring style and class into a room. Sculptures can be of any material and consist of different colours.

Sculptures do not necessarily have to be art pieces. A coffee table, mirrors, flower vases, antique pieces, intricate bookshelves – these can all be considered sculptural pieces.

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French design is all about uncluttered spaces and classic styles, so keep the sculptural pieces to a minimum and only add them as needed. You do not have to fill up all the empty spaces in your home.

Abstract Art

France is known for its beautiful artworks, and therefore it is critical to incorporate art pieces into your home. Abstract artworks with minimalist colours can be mounted above the mantelpiece or in your dining room.

You do not have to go for only black and white prints. You should feel confident to play around with art pieces – go for subtle pops of colour or large statement pieces to make your living space classy.

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7) Lighting

Modern French design views light as a crucial design element. Although natural light is key, this design style also makes use of plenty of artificial lighting fixtures. Wall sconces, floor lamps, hanging ceiling lights, and table lamps are all layered to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Lighting fixtures can also be used to bring in colours, like gold and black and contrast your stark white walls.

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Final Thoughts

Modern French interior design does not abide by strict rules. It is all about effortlessness, combining your own style with a simple colour pallet, modern furniture, and traditional elements.

The aim of this design style is to create a space that is welcoming, simplistic and functional, without overcomplicating it. Stick to black and white, straight lines and practical pieces, and you will have an effortlessly chic Parisian home in no time.

Modern French Interior Design: Your Complete Guide (2024)


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