Discover the unique beauty of France (and Spain) with me by exploring my top ten properties that have captivated me with their French château-style interior design. From magnificent museums and luxurious hotels to private homes, each of these properties will leave a lasting impression. Whether through personal visits or online stalking, these properties have captured my heart with their timeless elegance and attention to detail. While I don’t aim to recreate the entire Château-style theme, inspiration can be found in precious details such as marble-tiled flooring, color palettes, fabric choices, window treatments and lighting fixtures. Each property has something unique to offer, whether it’s educational or purely inspirational. So, join me as we explore the heart and soul of French elegance and uncover valuable takeaways from each stunning property.
10 – Caron de Beaumarchais (Paris) – Hotel
The timeless charm of 18th century Paris in the historic Le Marais district can be experienced at Caron de Beaumarchais, a 3-star hotel. Crystal chandeliers, a cozy fireplace, unique antique objects, delicately upholstered furniture, and delightful ornamentation create a boudoir-like setting, perfect for a truly unique and intimate experience. All of this can be enjoyed for only 250 Euros a night – a steal compared to other Parisian lodging options. (Photos: Caron de Beaumarchais)
9 – Château de Fonscolombe (Provence) – Hotel
Château de Fonscolombe, an ultimate expression of 18th century style, is a luxurious hotel nestled just a short distance away from Aix-en-Provence. The property underwent a meticulous 18-month restoration process, respecting its rich heritage while adapting its interiors to modern living standards. The result is a captivating blend of old and new, where comfort meets elegance and history is still at the heart of it all. Although the style is toned down compared to other properties in this blogpost, the outcome is no less stunning. This property stands as a true testament to the enduring allure of classic French architecture, beckoning visitors to indulge in its timeless beauty.
8 – Château de Villandry (Loire Valley) – Museum
Originally a medieval fortress, this grand country estate has undergone many transformations, ultimately becoming a Renaissance-style château with 18th-century-inspired interiors. Its magnificent gardens have been restored to their Renaissance splendor, making it a must-visit during spring or summer. With every visit, I have found the château’s warm and inviting atmosphere more enchanting and highlights such as the coral pink dining room and the newly refurbished “chambre du potager” bedroom make it feel more like a home than a museum. Every corner is a delight to explore, offering inspiration for interior design enthusiasts.
7 – Nissim De Camondo Museum (Paris)
Step into the aristocratic world of Parisian banker Moise de Camondo’s masterpiece, a home modelled after Le Petit Trianon, and be transported back to the 18th century. This stunning home-turned-museum boasts an impressive collection of decorative arts from the era, housed across various rooms, servant quarters, and kitchens. From antique woodworks and paintings to rugs, goldsmiths, and tapestries, the collection is simply fascinating. My visit was both an enjoyable and educational journey, taking in the remarkable architectural features and interiors of incredible quality. The Camondo family’s story, from their migration from Istanbul to Paris, adds an even more intriguing dimension to the visit.
6 – Le Petit Trianon (Versailles) – Museum
During my visit to Le Petit Trianon, I was struck by the feeling that this property was more than just a museum – it felt like a home. The Petit Trianon, a French national treasure, is located near the prestigious Château of Versailles. Marie-Antoinette’s signature style is evident throughout, with refined lines, subtle use of gold, and a blend of royal sophistication and country charm. From upholstery and sculptures to chinaware and garden designs, her feminine, romantic, and delicate touch is apparent. The former royal domain features the salon de compagnie, the Belvedere pavilion, the love temple, and gardens, as well as the moving mirror boudoir.
5 – Le Mas des Poiriers (Provence) – Private estate/Holiday home
Nestled in the idyllic Provence region, lies Le Mas des Poiriers, a 18th century farmhouse that exudes an air of grandeur and charm. With its seven bedrooms, lofty ceilings, and expansive gardens, this property is a true gem. Recently acquired and meticulously renovated, the original construction has been carefully preserved while accommodating modern living. The result is a stunning blend of Pierre Frey’s unmissable fabrics, antique furniture, and modern country-style details, all balanced with soft color palettes. This home emanates intimacy, warmth, and timeless beauty, beckoning visitors to savor its luxurious comforts. (Photos: Le Mas des Poiriers)
4 – Château Fourcas-Hosten (Bordeaux) – Private home/Wine Estate) – Hotel
Originally built in the 18th century, Château Fourcas-Hosten was restored to its former glory in 2006, transforming into a prestigious wine estate. From the impressive black and white tiled entrance hall with its stunning blue glass doors, to the custom painted boiserie and vibrant colours reminiscent of Versailles, the meticulous attention to detail is obvious in every corner. The beautiful dining room, chinoiserie panels, delicate silk curtains, and a Marie-Antoinette garden theme add an air of elegance and sophistication, showing that every detail was thoroughly researched and thought out, making this château a true masterpiece. (Photos: Château Fourcas Hosten, Coorengel-Calvagrac)
3 – Château du Grand Lucé (Loire Valley) – Hotel
A journey through time can be experienced at Château du Grand Lucé, which is nestled in the picturesque Loire Valley near Le Mans. This neoclassical masterpiece, built in 1764, has been transformed into a luxurious hotel that exudes the essence of the 18th century. The delicate details and expert French craftsmanship that adorn every corner of this exquisite property can be immersed in. This is an unparalleled experience of restoration and interior design that will transport you to a world of elegance and refinement. (Photos: Château du Grand Lucé)
2 – Le Grand Contrôle (Versailles) – Hotel
Le Grand Contrôle is a luxurious hotel situated in the lush grounds of Château de Versailles. Once a private royal residence, the hotel boasts a unique blend of 18th century furniture with modern touches. Although I have not yet visited, the photographs alone are a feast for the eyes and offer a great opportunity to learn about historical design. The upholsteries, in particular, are the result of a successful collaboration between the Heritage Architect team and Pierre Frey, and feature designs that are deeply rooted in French history. One standout example is the exquisite use of “L’Églantier” on both walls and upholsteries, showcasing the beauty of traditional French design. (Photos: Airelles Château de Versailles)
1 – A French cottage in Spain – Private Home
The reason why I have chosen to feature this home last is because it is a beautiful example of how an experienced designer can interpret the timeless elegance of the French château style and make it their own in a truly remarkable way. This home tour, which was featured on the Spanish magazine El Mueble, is a regular source of inspiration for me, and I often browse through the photos looking for design cues. This enchanting cottage in Spain is sure to captivate with its charm. Every inch of this cozy home has been designed thoughtfully, with a cohesive colour palette running through all the rooms, yet still allowing each space its own individual character. (Photos: El Mueble – Christmas edition)