7 Tips for Mastering French Bedroom Design

by Maddy Piggott
Bedroom : MFCH Magazine French Bedroom Inspiration
Captured by Joanna Maclennan: A glimpse into David Chicoine’s (@provencallife on Instagram) residence in Provence

When it comes to bedroom décor, few styles exude elegance and sophistication quite like the French aesthetic. Originating from the opulent courts of 17th and 18th century France, the global adoration of the concept of the boudoir — a woman’s private bedroom — can be traced back to this period. It was a space where aristocratic women retreated for intimate gatherings, relaxation, and personal indulgence.


The allure of French bedroom design has endured through the centuries for good reason. To this day, French bedrooms embody the essence of sanctuary and seclusion, mirroring the luxurious lifestyles of French nobility. With its inherent sense of romance and timeless elegance, this style invites you to indulge in the art of relaxation and expression.

No matter if you prefer luxurious bedding or adorning your space with beloved items and favorite artworks, here’s how you can design your bedroom around the allure and intimacy of the French style.

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1. The best colors for a French inspired bedroom

When considering bedroom colors inspired by French design, it’s essential to move beyond the common all-white palette often found in American décor. Instead, French-inspired bedrooms embrace a spectrum of tones, ranging from pale hues to deeper shades. While warm neutral paint colors are common, evoking a sense of timeless elegance and tranquility, deep pinks, blues, and earth tones, such as ochres and greens, are also favored, each offering its own unique charm and character. The key is to opt for muted versions of these colors, which capture the essence of French-inspired sophistication while cultivating a space that is both inviting and harmonious.

2. Indulge in luxurious French-inspired bedding

A hallmark of French bedroom design is the luxurious bedding used, characterized by intricate patterns and opulent fabrics like silk and velvet. However, French country bedrooms typically boast high-quality cotton and linen bedding, which exude a more relaxed yet equally elegant charm. Emphasize the beauty of simplicity with crisp white linens adorned with delicate embroidery or lace details, ensuring a restful and indulgent sleeping experience.

To infuse your space with a hint of French countryside charm, integrate traditional patterns like toile de Jouy or ticking into your bedding. Alternatively, throw pillows showcasing pastoral scenes or in rich colors that warm up the room can be piled high for both decorative flair and added comfort.

3. Create layers in your bedroom with throws, pillows and textiles

Enhance the ambiance of your bedroom by layering with throws, pillows, and drapes. Consider adding canopies or draped fabrics around the bed to evoke a sense of intimacy and romance reminiscent of royal chambers. Layer the bed with plush throws and decorative pillows crafted from luxurious fabrics such as velvet, silk, or high quality wool, ensuring they adhere to a coordinated color palette for visual harmony. For window treatments, frame the windows with luxurious drapes in colder climates or curtains in flowing fabrics like silk or linen for summer.

Lastly, make sure to choose floor-length panels, preferably in soft, muted tones. The long lines will amplify the room’s sense of elegance and refinement.

4. Create an intimate lighting plan

Replicating the intimate atmosphere of a French bedroom often relies on layering different sources of light to create depth and ambiance. Begin by incorporating candles strategically placed throughout the room. Next, elevate the room’s elegance with a stunning chandelier or vintage-inspired pendant light fixture. Choose designs adorned with crystal accents or wrought iron details to add a touch of glamor and artistry to the room.

For practicality and comfort, include reading lights with decorative details. For a modern touch, try placing a light directly on the floor or on a short stool; the addition of low level lighting effortlessly creates a relaxing and intimate atmosphere.

5. Make your bedroom personal

Throughout history, the French bedroom has served as a private haven, where personal expression flourishes. To truly make your French-inspired bedroom your own, infuse it with personal touches reflecting your unique style and personality. From family heirlooms and antique furniture, to travel souvenirs or beloved books, these elements add depth and character, making the space inviting and uniquely yours. Adorn the walls with framed artworks that speak to you or capture the essence of French culture and romance.

6. Find beauty in the everyday details

When it comes to French bedroom design, the beauty lies in the details. Adding ornate trimmings and delicate accents are key elements that infuse everyday items with elegance. Consider displaying delicate vases or trinket trays on bedside tables or dressers to hold jewelry, pocket change, and other small accessories. Opt for designs adorned with details that evoke a different era to add an authentic French touch to your space. Functional accessories like perfume bottles and cosmetics can also serve as decorative pieces when thoughtfully showcased on a vanity or shelf.

7. Don’t forget a French room fragrance

Finally, as the French say, no outfit or room is truly complete without a discernible fragrance. For daytime tranquility, fresh flowers and dried bouquets are a must. Arrange a bouquet of roses, peonies, or lavender in an elegant vase and place your display on a mantlepiece, bookcase or sideboard to infuse the space with natural beauty and fragrance. As evening falls, turn to candles with luxurious scents like Provençal lavender, rose, or vanilla for a romantic touch.

Additionally, consider incorporating dried flowers into linen drawers, as well as using room or pillow sprays, to further enhance the sensory experience and create a truly immersive, restful environment.

Written by Madeleine Piggott

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