I may not live in Paris but I do like to sometimes imagine I do. Admittedly, my current view of Lewisham High Street as I sit on my sofa is not helping much. Not all of us have floor to ceiling windows and French doors that lead out onto Eiffel Tower viewing balconies. Nor do we all have antique ornate fireplaces and original parquet flooring.
Laissez Faire – The phrase literally translates as ‘let do’ and is defined as ‘the unwillingness to get involved in or influence other people’s activities’. Don’t interfere with what your home is trying to do. Don’t over-style and don’t worry about a little bit of mess. The French are too cool to care.
Recycle – No Ikea visits for you! I personally love an Ikea visit. I like to make a day of it, stop off for meatballs and take lots of measurements of things I never intended to buy. If you’re going French though, you need to start swapping your Ikea for your Ebay/charity shop/Shpock. Ebay and Shpock don’t need much explanation but there are also some absolute gems on Facebook Marketplace at the moment as well. Charity shop wise, look out for your nearest British Heart Foundation furniture shop!
Dried wild flowers – Don’t worry about your flowers dying, just empty out that water and watch as they gather dust (French living is not for the cleanliness obsessed). The more the better! Bookshelves, window ledges, even the top of your fridge!
Tattered old paperbacks – I would much rather visit my local Oxfam book store than buy a brand new copy of a book. I love finding someone else’s scribbles and seeing what pages they’ve folded over. Old books also help to make your bookshelves look all vintage and pretty.
Treasure trove – Surround yourself with your favourite things, be that books or plants or jewellery hanging from wall hooks. You will then start to love your home as much as you love these things, as everywhere you turn a happy memory will follow.
If you have any other tips for French living please get in touch.