There’s something about the way that French homes creatively utilize space, belongings, patterns and colors that add up to a style that can only be defined as simultaneously simple and eclectic. In a new book, French Accents ($40, Clarkson Potter), Erin Swift—a New York-based set designer, interior decorator, magazine editor and prop stylist—highlights these spaces. “Fine art mingles with sketches, handwritten notes, and other framed ephemera,” Swift explained, “and all are displayed in an approachable, unmeticulous way. Hung on a wall, or leaning just so against one, artwork is equally easy to admire.”
It’s an aesthetic that looks simple, but is all about balance; which sometimes means physical stability and other times more relies on instinctual symmetry. A stack of antique books on top of a modern table, a leopard-print antique chair in an all-white room, a gilded lamp in front of a softly open window: the balance of effortless and impeccably chic is hard to define, but, as Potter Stewart once said, “I know it when I see it.”
Take a look in the DuJour gallery for a few prime examples from French Accents.