What makes a romantic French bedroom?
A French style bedroom evokes thoughts of love and romance and with good reason. The sheer elegance of the Louis XIV Versailles bedroom, the cosiness of country style, the beautiful charm of Provence or the classic chic of Paris all have a certain je ne sais quoi. Of course everyone’s idea of what makes up a French romantic bedroom can differ but there should be something to please all tastes from shabby chic to chateau, from plain and simple to ostentatious glamour. It’s a case of taking plenty of time and looking at as many magazines and photos as possible to find out what is right for you. The aim is to create a comfortable and relaxing room that will please and look good all the year round.
The bed is the largest item of furniture in the room and probably one of the most expensive pieces to buy, so it is best to focus on this first. There are lots to choose from including sleigh beds, bedsteads, antique or modern reproduction, caned, painted or upholstered, Rococo, Louis Philippe, Provencal etc. The list seems endless but once you’ve decided it will spur you on to find bedside tables, a chest of drawers and perhaps an armoire. A large mirror (as ornate as you fancy) placed against the wall or hung up over the bed can make a grand statement. So many beautiful things to be found so it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep the romance in mind when choosing each piece. If space and budget allows, the pièce de résistance might be a chaise longue.
Now for the favourite frivolous bit – the furnishings. Lots of nice cosy layers on the bed. Fresh crisp white cotton sheets or linen (sometimes monogrammed) underneath soft blankets and a quilt or throw. A traditional bolster and plump pillows can be topped with square cushions covered in striped and floral fabrics that complement each other. A great chance here for a touch of Toile fabric! For the romantic element why not consider drapes or canopies hung over the bed, made from delicate, lightweight muslin or unlined linen? Fabric for curtains should be plentiful allowing them to ‘billow’ from ceiling to floor. I’m not too keen on paintings in the bedroom, especially portraits where the eyes might follow you round the room! Again this is a matter of taste.
A romantic bedroom needs a certain ambiance. A chandelier with crystal droplets to reflect the light certainly adds to the romantic theme. Soft lighting from a beautiful French style candelabra will give the room a lovely warm glow. French candles can flicker gently and fill the room with gorgeous scents. A silk screen in the corner of the room with perhaps a bedroom chair to the side will add an extra touch of decadence. If you are decorating from scratch or revamping what you already have, a French style bedroom has plenty to offer.
•Ann Horne • Topic Host, Decoration • Frenchicandshabby
Photos courtesy of www.andsotobed.co.uk