Written by: Sierra M. Bretz
Pictured above: Galerie Jumelles artists that – just like you – all are unique and bring their own flair to this world. From top left to bottom right: Marie-Pierre Hogret, Elyn Chen, Cati Burnot, Anne Brérot, Lionel Borla, Aurélie Charles, and Richard Dubure.
To Thine Own Self Be True
To thine own self be true. While these were the famous words of our beloved Shakespeare, few words could be more French than this. And these are words to live by as you begin to decorate your home.
However, the question is: How can one know which looks and styles fit you best?
Below is just one way to help you get started. Any questions? Contact an advisor at Galerie Jumelles (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get personalized assistance!
STEP ONE: Make your “you” list
Take an hour or two out of your morning (when you are fresh), find a comfortable spot in your house, put on music, grab a cup of tea…and make two lists:
1) List TEN words that best describe what makes you you.
2) Make a list of 5-10 words on how you want the space to feel. Calm? Energized? Cozy? Elegant? Restful? Earthy? Colorful? Organized? Creative?
Then compare the lists, notice overlap and disparities…and make a final list of 3-5 words. THIS list will be your “test” as you look through sites – your personal style guide to ensure that everything you choose is uniquely YOU. (For example, if you come across a piece of furniture that you love…test it! If one of your words is “cozy”…is the piece cozy? If your word is functional…is it functional? Test everything against your list!)
STEP TWO: Study
The best way to learn about the many styles and choices out there is to study, study, study. One of the best ways to do this is to spend time surfing the net. Yes, I know we all do this, but this time…do it with intention.
A. First, create a Pinterest board just for this occasion. Begin to save images in there, which we’ll refine later.
B. As you surf pinterest and other sites, use the keywords list you created above to refine your search.
When you come across a space you like, don’t just glance! Take 5 minutes to analyze it (just as you would with a painting!). What styles seem to attract you? Why? Which ones repel you, and why? What elements do you like? What don’t you like? Perhaps you love the texture the designer included, but dislike the lighting fixtures. Perhaps you are attracted to the colors of the room, but recognize that the colors don’t achieve the feelings you listed above. Keeping in mind, of course, that you and your list will change over time, remember your list is your guide!
(Note: Do not cheat this step! The more images you view, the more confident you’ll be in your own style and in your choices!)
As you spend time browsing, write down things you like and don’t like. A key question to ask yourself is: Do you prefer modern, or traditional? The beauty of contemporary French design is that it can blend both the clean look of contemporary style with the elaborate details of the traditional style (think Versailles!), but still, it’s important to know in which direction you lean.
STEP THREE: Whittle it down
Once you’ve put the time into creating a massive Pinterest board, it’s time to go back, review again, and prune. What are the commonalities? What elements in each picture did you seem to like? Dislike? And most importantly, do the images you have left at the end of the exercise…do they reflect who YOU are?
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. And once you have more confidence in knowing what’s out there and what your look is, you’ll be able to combine and blend styles, and even push the boundaries. There are no rules!
NEXT ISSUE: In the next issue, we will turn to the second element of French decor: Attitude. Stay tuned…