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4 French Tricks to Keep Your House Feeling Chic

Home hacks Parisians swear by

By Tish Jett

Scandinavians may have the “cozy” market cornered with their devotion to hygge, but the French certainly know how to make a home reflect la belle vie. Step into any French home, and you’ll likely find a place of beauty, family, and simple elegance. Luckily, there are easy tricks to add some of the warmth that comes from the rituals inherent in French life to your own home.  

These are a couple of my favorite homemaking tricks:

  • To increase the duration of candles, put a few grains of coarse salt at the bottom of the wick or leave them in the freezer for a few hours.
  • To avoid shrinkage, soak a cotton or linen garment or tablecloth in ice-cold very salty water for twelve hours. (All the better if there are ice cubes in the water.)
  • An old French homemaking book of mine suggested that to prolong the life of cut flowers, cut an X at the base of the stems and dip in olive oil before putting them in a vase. It works.
  • To avoid gray haricots verts, sprinkle a pinch of baking soda in the water and cook uncovered.

Tish Jett is CoveyClub’s Paris correspondent and the author of Living Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Timeless Secrets for Everyday Elegance, Gracious Entertaining, and Enduring Allure.

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