I recently took a trip to Italy and France. It was a great opportunity to take a look at the design differences between what’s popular in the US and what people like in Europe.
The one word I would use to describe European style is simple. This is the most pronounced in the bedrooms. The buildings might be hundreds of years old, but the bedrooms are surprisingly modern.
Try adopting one of these 10 ideas if you want your bedroom to have more of a European feel. Each idea is paired with images from homes in Europe.
- Extraordinary Lighting – Even in the simplest bedroom, the lighting is not ordinary. The bedside lighting might not be large, but it makes a statement.
- Floor to Ceiling Drapes – More fabric makes a bedroom feel more luxurious. The one place you will see this is in the drapes.
- Simple bedding – The beds in Europe are not dressed like the ones in the US. In Europe the beds are simple and clean. The bedding is high quality, but it isn’t overstuffed and there are not a million throw pillows. European bedrooms have a minimalist feeling.
- Minimalism – I noticed that the bedrooms don’t have lots of furnishings. There might be a bed with two night stands and one dresser. The bedrooms have a real minimalist look. Whether the aesthetic is modern or traditional, less is more.
- NO European style bedroom sets – The furnishings are NOT a set. The bed doesn’t match the dresser. Each piece in the bedroom is unique, nothing matches.
- No King Beds – A king bed is not something you see in France or Italy. They have two twin beds that are pushed together to feel like a king size bed.
- Efficient use of storage space – Space throughout Europe is something that people really make use of in very clever ways. They don’t have giant closets like we do in the US. Even in a master bedroom, the storage space much more compact.
- Contemporary design – You might think because it’s Europe everything is old. The buildings are much older but a lot of European’s use modern furniture. The mix of old and new gives their spaces a very eclectic feeling. There are modern beds mixed with antique serpentine front dressers.
- No carpet – Even the bedrooms have wood floors. Use area rugs to warm up the space.
- Art – I didn’t see any photos in bedrooms (or anywhere else). They like to hang artwork more than family photos.
The bottom line for achieving more of a Euro bedroom is simple and high quality. If you want to replicate the look and feel of the small chateau where you stayed in France, try taking furniture out of your bedroom.
If you want European furniture you can find the style in several places.
This padded headboard from Ballard has a very French look. I like this driftwood dresser with a curved front. It is a great way to get a vintage look in new furniture. These are just a few ideas that fit the tips I shared.
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Check out this post I wrote about how to style a French Country bedroom on a budget.