A couple of years ago, this spec home in Texas with interior design by Brittany Jones captured my imagination. I tucked the inspiring project away because there were so many beautiful light fixtures represented throughout it. I also admired the color story which featured subtle, natural, pale tones that felt tranquil and ethereal. When I began shopping for new lighting as we made changes to our Georgian home, this project served as a source of reference. Elegant Modern French Lighting Inspiration will guide and enlighten us about resources for light and color.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Design/Photos: Brit Jones
Elegant Modern French Lighting & Paint Colors
Modern French Exterior Color Palette
This is the exterior of the spec home to which I referred. It has creamy beige and warm stone hues along with highly contrasting brown painted trim, and cool duck egg blue accents.
How would you go about choosing a pretty French blue accent color for shutters, a door, or other structures? It starts with sampling. For a similar, soft blue that feels as though it could hail from the South of France, here’s a trio of blues to sample. Bear in mind they are going to be affected by your exposure and the amount of sunlight washing them.
Moonmist is a cheerful pastel blue that feels meditative and not too bright. On an exterior, it is likely going to look blue-green. You’ll see such interaction when you sample a handful of colors and watch them throughout the day. A more subtle blue that feels less bright and with grey undertones:
Isn’t Blue Horizon a pretty possibility? I have experience with duck egg blue painted rustic exterior shutters so I can tell you the color will fade in the sun. You could always start with a brighter blue, knowing that with time, it will mellow. If you’re a fan of periwinkle, English Hyacinth may charm you:
It does feel like the English or Provence countryside to me and is aptly named.
Need an idea for a similar trim color? Brit Jones used this exact color on her own French country home’s exterior, and it looks like a dead ringer:
Classic & Elegant Lighting Ideas
Just in case you’re anxious to skip directly to a few elegant light fixtures that may work in a variety of Old World, French country, and elegant modern French rooms, consider these:
And I think you can see that because of their classic design, such pendants, chandeliers, lanterns, and sconces may be right at home in a traditional setting that doesn’t scream one particular style.
Don’t we love that about timeless interiors!?!
The classic sconce on the banner at #10 above? I put two of them in our powder bath:
and I placed two of the Darlana mini lanterns above the island in the kitchen:
I’m over the moon about the lighting I chose! When you glance at these fixtures, you may think of warm brass…but think again. They are HEAVY iron pieces of art, with hand-finishes of gold.
(I don’t know why it appears that I painted half our island a darker blue-grey! I didn’t, and it’s just the light at the time of day when I snapped the pic with my phone.) My favorite chandelier of all is not on the banner above – it is the Thomas O’Brien designed one from Visual Comfort that I chose for my own breakfast nook:
I bought mine secondhand and saved a hefty bundle of cash because it’s so pricey brand new.
Which Sconce for a Modern French Interior?
Let’s begin with a discussion of sconces for the kitchen.
I have always loved the look of wall sconces in the kitchen because they suggest a living space rather than a utilitarian one. Here’s what Jennifer Lincoln-Cutler chose for her gorgeous modern French sink area:
Whether flanking a kitchen sink or dramatic range hood, there’s something romantic when the source of light is ambient. It’s an opportunity to customize a space uniquely. Look at what The Fox Group did here:
And it’s important to plan ahead for the electrical when you’re building or renovating. It was very important to me to have sconces near the kitchen sink in the first French country home we built, and the builder missed or dismissed that memo. The custom cabinets had already been ordered, and those sconces should have flanked the window:
I may not have had the guts to put Ashley Gray in here after living with BM White Sand on the walls for a couple of years first. I saw this in person in a space designed by Michael Del Piero and knew it would modernize our Old World kitchen:
Back to the sconce drama…lesson learned. (Educate your builder early in the process about your passion for proper lighting details and your insistence on little details you know will deliver big joy each and every day…FORM is not going to be a priority for engineer-types who aren’t moved by subtle layers of beauty beyond FUNCTION.)
I was younger then and worried about not coming across as overly fussy. The problem with that? I’m overly fussy with such details and have a right to be since it’s my house and I’m writing the checks.
Aren’t these wonderful against the brick?
Visual Comfort Fixtures to Note
By the way, one of the design elements which struck me in this lovely kitchen? The marble with its rich caramel and grey veining. It is truly appetizing, and what a concept: appetizing choices for the interior which is all about cuisine.
Not sure Elk Lighting is still offering the brass lighting in this bath, but I found gorgeous coastal style sconces here.
Exact Paint Colors in This Country French Home
Love the dark blue on the vanity above? It’s HALE NAVY by Benjamin Moore.
Modern French Bedroom Lighting
So many of the lighting fixtures spotlighted here are pricey, yet this chandelier in the romantic bedroom is from Quorum (La Maison chandelier) and moderately priced.
Good heavens I been crushing on this deconstructed modern Belgian-French Bed for so long. Psst. I have never seen this bed priced this low!
Makes me question whether they will be discontinuing it.
Its tufted headboard looks so comfy, and the unfussy Old World style is easy to love.
The muted area rug from Loloi (Vincent Collection) adds but another layer of cozy warmth.
I am now imagining creating a similar statement wall of stone in our own bedroom. I’m taking my time as I choose enhancements for ours since we’re most comfortable with a serene, rather minimal sleeping space. Stone is quite the commitment!
Much easier to borrow the idea of the stunning upholstered bench in that sitting area.
I’m still shy about sharing images of our renovated bedroom suite, but I ended up choosing vintage unlacquered brass chandeliers and sconces for the bedroom and sitting area.
Not pictured above is another made in Spain brass candle style chandelier with crystals which is over the bed in the center of the room. We never tire of them, and I found them at antique markets.
Cozy French Inspired Lighting
My vintage chandeliers were perfect for my standard ceiling height rooms upstairs, but if you have a lofty space, the scale of your light fixtures matters. If you admire shaded chandeliers, take a look at this one which I love RIGHT HERE.
While I’m unsure of the exact table lamps in the office, here’s a set of two in the same spirit:
At the time I am posting this, the lamp set above is over 50% off! And another thing about scale. One browse of the feeds of high end designers on IG and you would think there are no rules at all when it comes to scale of table lamps. I love that.
You can place an honestly far too large lamp somewhere just because you love the lamp and say it’s your “unexpected” or “whimsical move.” YES, YOU CAN BREAK EVERY RULE WHEN IT’S YOUR SPACE.
I have always admired THIS ONE and Aidan Gray options like this one:
And if you’re after a look that will work in a classic room, modern European country or otherwise, isn’t this gorgeous?
While I didn’t spy a little lamp or hanging chandelier in this home’s laundry/mud room, I would definitely want something sparkly.
or even this one to add texture as well as ambient glow:
The paint color on the cabinetry?
Here are a couple more paint color ideas if you’re seeking pastels for a romantic look:
Easiest way to see if a paint color will work? Order samples with Samplize and have them delivered straight to your door.
Dramatic Lighting in French Country Great Room
For a similar effect with a Persian white finish, try THIS CHANDELIER.
And you can never go wrong with this Regina Andrew Antique Carved Wood light:
Rustic Country French Sconce Idea
For less cash than you might imagine, these double wall sconces are neutral yet dramatic, and designer Brittany Jones used them so beautifully here:
I’m in love with that mirror too!
If it’s sold out or out of stock, here’s another option I like even more for Old World yet not too fussy style:
Isn’t the staircase and landing of this new build amazing?
Gentle Color Stories in a Modern French Home
Can you imagine being the one to choose the paint color for all the walls of a massive home? I have done it, and you have to have a particular mindset and confidence. One single color, however neutral and despite the LRV (light reflectance value) will be perceived differently room to room.
Each space has a particular exposure and varies as far as windows and doors. I am not of the school who thinks it necessary to dilute the saturation of the color in dimmer areas in order that it feel the same as rooms with more light. I like the subtle changes and LOVE the ease of just one color for touchups as opposed to several.
Sherwin-Williams Alabaster is a bestseller and a trustworthy option for creamy white walls. The color reminds me of the tone of plaster walls.
This beautiful color plays a starring role in another project from this interior designer:
I recognize some of the bedding which can be found at Pottery Barn.
Here’s our banner again that you can pin for future reference:
Should you have a moment, you may enjoy a tour of another spec house by Windsor Smith. It’s a home she renovated, and it captured my attention since it was a 1990s spec house requiring imagination to make it feel pretty.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
Thanks for shopping RIGHT HERE to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!
Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.