No other nation does style quite like the French. Not only do they emphasize timelessness and class with every item in their wardrobe and home, they also invoke the nostalgia we harbor for romanticism— a much lacking emotion in today’s hyper technological and efficiency driven world.
Francophiles have a legitimate reason for their obsession; the French lifestyle is different in every way and while prioritizing pleasure and comfort above all else, it is also dependent on moderation and balance. The latter is cited to be the primary reason why French people rank highly in world statistics for overall health, despite having a traditional cuisine that is anything but healthy. These qualities in life are highly desired universally, which is the reason that the French lifestyle is held to the standard that it is today. Read on to our compilation of recommendations that we believe will help you inch closer to embodying the “je ne sais quoi” feel of the French lifestyle.
The Art of Doing Nothing
We have an entire blog dedicated to the benefits of doing nothing, where we cite the Italian and Norwegian way of life to make our case. The French are also proponents of proper relaxation, with time specifically set aside to “feel” comfortable. As with other nations who practice this ritual, the emphasis is on creating the right atmosphere. The French are notoriously romantic and classy; the atmospheres they crave emulate these qualities.
Collecting home decor that are traditional and classical is the obvious way to mimic the French atmosphere. However ,you don’t have to commit to the most classical item you see in the store to capture the French spirit; remember that they also had various eras of different style ! But what remained constant through those eras is the special attention paid to adding the “classy touch”. As a rule of thumb, remember that velvet, leather, dark wood and fur in deep rich colors speak volumes in French. Adding just a touch of these fabrics and textures around the house will do much to elevate the Parisian feel of your space.
Additionally, the French like most Europeans, are fans of natural light and fresh flowers, often placed in classic clear vases. The following can serve as great examples of items that could easily be found in a French home:
Once the atmosphere is set, the goal is to have the mind clear and ready to relax. This could be through listening and dancing to music, especially 70’s French hits that all but transform you to France, when it was experiencing a strong surge in cultural revival. Experts now suggest that journaling through this time could have paramount relaxing effects on the brain. However you choose to spend it, it is imperative that you do not lose sight of the reason that you chose to set aside this time: basically, to waste it. There needs to be absolutely no planning beforehand; just give into your natural instinct, and let yourself “hang” in the absolute limbo that is time.
The French Table
If there is one thing that is exactly the same between 1700’s French household and a modern French household, it is that dinner is always (always) served and eaten at the table, with all members fully sitting down and committing to this time. Researchers have cited the emotional and the physical benefits of eating while sitting down for some time now; if that was not reason enough to convince you, consider how French you’ll look doing it! To add the French flair, in case you are not having this dinner in France, you can opt for specific dinnerware designs that will perhaps momentary convince that you just maybe there.
No table is complete without wine at French households and fortunately, it is one of the rare alcoholic drinks that are also recommended by doctors (though the concept of moderation is reinforced here as well). Dainty and heirloom barware pieces are the perfect French way to consume the very French drink:
Have the Cake and Eat It Too
Suppression of want is never recommended as a long term solution. The French are consumed by practicing moderation in all aspects of life, so as to avoid the detrimental effects of suppression, especially in regards to food, a quintessential part of their culture. While careful not to overindulge, the French do not deprive themselves (they hardly could with the amount of corner bakeries, with the best pastries in the world!) Practicing mindful eating, that never focuses on deprivation is arguably one of the most French qualities a person can possess. Instead of opting for store bought goodies, the French are much more likely to bake their own pastries. It adds to the fun and continues the tradition of practicing and passing on recipes that have been in their families for generations.
The following dishes are the perfect way to store the scrumptious French pastries.
As with every guide we post, we would like to remind you that the right mindset will get you far in achieving your goals. Being excited to shift your lifestyle, either through collecting timeless items or through mindful practices, in an effort to lead a more balanced life, is the most important part. Everything else is an accessory :).