European Interior Design Styles
European furniture design is not a single style because each region on the continent has its own unique history. Although there are certainly some blended elements as with any mobile society, specific countries are known for their specific looks and level of decoration.
French décor is all about celebrating France’s rich history without being stuffy. Just like French fashion, it should be sophisticated but look effortless. The French home will be very elegant but livable with no extra knick-knacks unless they are beautiful, meaningful, and well-placed. French kitchen furniture, for example, might be formal or informal, but it will be well-made and decorative. The French are not afraid to let furniture age naturally and consider a scratch or scrape evidence of a life well-lived. Above all, French homes have character.
When you think of English décor, you might imagine old money, slightly shabby equestrian or floral themed furniture and you wouldn’t be far off. Because of the frequently rainy weather, English homes tend to have comfy reading nooks and shelves of books. Rooms are a bit eclectic and cluttered. Walls are painted soft greens and blues and covered with pictures (including possibly a few of the Queen). The back entryway or mudroom is crowded with muddy boots. Patterns are layered and bright and sofas are overstuffed. The rooms are slightly chilly but with a regal blaze in the fireplace. No doubt there is a tea tray with mismatched, chipped porcelain teacups on it.
Unlike their European neighbors with an eye towards antiques, German interior décor tends to be very clean and modern. Light wood, natural light, chrome and glass are seen frequently in German homes and communal spaces. The decoration is minimal and often is found in the sleek lines of the furniture itself or the beautiful but functional lighting. When you look at the interior of a German home, you really do feel like it’s clean enough to eat off the floor as there is zero clutter or disorganization. The color palette tends towards neutral or warm to blend nicely with the natural light and spotless surfaces.
Interior design should be all about personal taste, of course, and sometimes honing that taste comes from seeing what people in other parts of the world tend to like. There is no one right way to decorate your home except in a way that makes you and your family feel happy and comfortable.