How To Achieve that European Flair

Paris is always a good idea right? At JAC we feel the same about all of our favorite design destinations in Europe. Whenever I'm there regardless of the location my eyes are often as wide as manhole covers trying to figure out what makes even the smallest of space in Europe so visually memorable. Eye candy all around! Whatever your favorite style may be from Barcelona to Zurich and everyplace in between, JAC feels there are loads of European decor ideas to borrow for your home.

As America is only a few hundred plus years old, it's no wonder we like the history and elegance of almost anywhere in Europe. After all we are a country of immigrants, and maybe just maybe our collective consciousness yearns for that old country look and feel, its allure of gentler and grander times. For me it's the architecture, for others it's the grand gardens. But combined it deserves copying and recreating in any way we can. One of the easiest ways to create that French provencal style is to have a spot of the avant-garde art in your home. It's a subtle nod to the French, and you’ll find it in many Parisian apartments and houses. However, one piece won’t give you the Parisian chic look, it's the juxtaposition of the modern with the antique or vintage that really pops. Modern furnishings with stately art or modern art with old school antiques that really make us swoon.

Modernism is much heralded by European inspired homes, and modernist pieces (from the 1950's) juxtapose beautifully with pieces with age and history. Edgy, streamlined furniture is the perfect match for those period architectural details you can highlight in your home.

Showcasing the architecture in your home is always a good idea too. Strip it all back to highlight wood floors and original moldings and beautiful wood paned windows and beams and doors. Here are few historic doors to inspire you. These are the basics, but when painted white and dressed with a stunning mix of the old and the new, a sophisticated chic style will shine. Pick a fabulous chandelier that draws attention to your high ceilings. Embrace your home’s beautiful bones.

The europeans have a way of letting things age that brings a sense of warmth and character to any space. Like a mirror that has naturally antiqued bits of mercury popping through in the form of small spots or gentle scratchings, or frames that are distressed from wear and tear through the years. These are all things in a room that can bring a sense of history that no shiny, happy new thing can deliver. Patina is always a good thing! Creating a quiet palette is tres french. No loud colors here. Just a sense that muted and somewhat restrained colors rule the day, adding patterns that don't collide and allows the furnishing shapes steal the show. Consider a monochrome scheme of layers of gray with touches of metallic, or paint your walls in a chalky green or warm linen hue. Add small moments of color via accents or art. the metallic can always be a beautiful old gold mirror ( I've recently noticed vintage shaped gold and brass old style mirrors are back with a vengeance, see for just a few!)