Talk about things French and words like elegance, chic, style, grace and sophistication sprint immediately to mind.

So the recent trend to French-inspired interior design comes as no surprise as homeowners seek to create relaxing, calm and styling interiors. In an era of computer technology that can often alienate, people are looking for a more comfortable lived in feel, one that is elegant and which mimics some of the most popular furniture designs in French history.

The canvas of the French styled home is a soft, neutral backdrop that allows the details and textures of a room to shine, When it comes to French inspired decorating, less really is more.

Discipline is required to keep saying ‘non’ to everything as you hold out for the right time to say ‘au’ to what you really want. This way, you will be surrounded only by things you love. Showcase these items, such as a glass based lamp, a pile of books, and fresh flowers. Keep clutter at bay.

Linen is a staple of French decorating. Not only does it have a wonderful texture, it keeps getting better with age, softening each time it is washed. For the dining room kitchen and bathroom, look for exquisite luxury products from quality manufacturers that will not only look and feel exquisite but stand the test of time.

Have your curtains made to measure in natural fabrics, such as a rich silk or a classic, airy muslin. Be generous with the proportions. Let your curtains billow in the breeze or softly pools at the floor, creating a relaxing and romantic atmosphere.

When it comes to furniture, the French are masters of missing old with new and knowing what to spend money on. Spend on the important pieces and don’t be afraid to select furniture that looks like it has passed the test of time. ‘Distressed’ furniture, chosen wisely, is chic and stylish. The visible knocks and bumps add character to your decor, reminding us of another age when craftsmanship was everything. Look for furniture to cherish, finished in traditional french colours or natural timber stains.