Barn conversions are big in France, and it therefore makes sense that channeling this French Interior Design style in self-build properties in the UK is a super way of adding a little je ne sais quoi to your home. With this in mind, here are a number of ways you can invoke the French lifestyle:

Add shutters to windows

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For ultimate French interior design points, it’s all about the shutters. Custom-made wooden screens, painted in the fashion you desire, will completely transform both the interior and exterior of a property. If you’ve incorporated large windows or bi-fold doors into your self-build, these can also be made into a stunning feature through the use of shutters.

That fireplace appeal

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Image: Tinydt

Nothing says ‘French farmhouse’ like a wide, open fireplace beneath the oak beams of a living area. In the summer you’ll want to throw open the windows, and in the winter it’s ideal for nestling around with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. For an even more effective French interior design aesthetic, the layer your sofa with knitted throws and soft cushions.

Make the most of ornate beds and linen


Image: Ideal home


An impressive, ornate bed frame certainly gives the impression of French interior design grandeur – and the way you dress it is key as well. Ideal Home suggests ‘dress the bed with layers of lace, fringed throws and heaps of crisp, broderie Anglaise-Edged pillowcases. Blend white with white in a chateau-style bedroom by layering textures – for example, crunchy crocheted cotton over smooth bedlinen.’

Create a sense of rustic farmhouse chic on the outside

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It’s not just about channeling a sense of French interior design – French exterior design can be just as important! Even if you’re building a brand new green oak extension, you can still create the effect of a glorious rural farmhouse with the use of cladding. Take for example Warren Coach House, where the subtle contrast in materials works well and will only get better over time as the cladding mellows to a silver grey.

Utilise high ceilings with impressive light features

Oak frame House Barn Conversion, New Forest, Hampshire, wind braces

Lofty ceilings are a common feature in renovated French farmhouses, and the joy of self-build properties created by English Oak Buildings is that it’s easy to incorporate height and plenty of space. Add an elaborate French-Gothic chandelier that wouldn’t look out of place in Notre-Dame, and your French interior design challenge is complete!