Whether you have weaved your way through the cobbled city streets or have lived vicariously through the latest season of Emily in Paris, you will likely agree that the capital of France has a distinctly enchanting appeal.
Parisian decor equally imbues the character and elegance of the encompassing French culture. We instantly envisage iconic characteristics such as herringbone parquet floors, full-length windows, wrought-iron balconies and marble mantels.
To help you experience the enviable Parisian apartment style without a journey across the globe, we’ve compiled our favourite Parisian interior design tips for your apartment.
1. CONTRAST CLASSIC WITH CONTEMPORARY
The French have an undeniable forte for effectively combining the antique with the up-to-date.
When furnishing your home, do not be afraid to place an exceptionally ornate statement chair in front of a minimal and modern glass coffee table. This will add an essence of French provincial decor into a more contemporary setting.
Scour your local antique stores or online marketplace for an intricately embellished vintage mirror. Thoughtfully place it on the floor or above your fireplace next to a sleek vase full of florals for extra impact. Opt for a streamlined brushed brass mirror to create exquisite polarity alongside a vintage chest of drawers if you prefer a contemporary mirror design.
In true French fashion, learn to embrace the striking contrast by incorporating various styles which span a range of eras.
2. ADD BRILLIANCE WITH METALLICS
All facets of French style are widely renowned for being synonymous with luxury and sophistication. This glamorous reputation extends from fashion to interiors, and what better way to emphasise grandeur than with a dash of gold?
Metallic features are often invited to integrate lustre into a Parisian interior design. A simple way to add a Parisian glimmer to your apartment is to include brass accessories such as light fixtures, furniture hardware or artwork. For those who appreciate a DIY project, it takes next to no time to replace the handles on your drawers and cabinets with brass cabinetry pulls for an elegant shine.
Create consistency with this Parisian decor theme by enhancing your kitchen with brushed brass tapware. This finish will complement many kitchen colour schemes and furniture styles, allowing you to make an oh là là impact no matter how you incorporate your personal tastes.
3. CAREFULLY CONSIDER YOUR FURNISHINGS
Attention to detail is an integral feature of Parisian style decor. From the beautifully arranged parquet timber flooring to ornately crafted cornices, it is clear that the tiniest elements of design can make the most significant impact.
Parisian apartments truly take into consideration how they pair their fabrics and furnishing. Textures are frequently incorporated to add tactile and visual interest. Utilising various textures such as linen, velvet and leather while maintaining a similar colour palette will embrace a dynamic effect while maintaining sophisticated style. For a bolder approach, seek out audacious patterns and pops of colour such as rich green, blue or red to function as accent pieces.
Parisian interior design frequently invites traditional Persian rugs to instil colour and pattern into the living room. Moroccan or Egyptian rugs crafted from wool are favoured in the bedroom for a soft, neutral effect.
4. BREAK CONVENTIONAL STYLING RULES AND TAKE RISKS
As mentioned prior, an exciting advantage of Parisian apartment styling is the opportunity to combine the old with the new. Normally, blending styles or design periods would be considered breaking the conventions of interior design. This is far from true in French homes, where striking contrast is joyfully celebrated.
It is all about taking risks to discover which styles align with your personal flavour. An obscure sculptural feature may prove to be incredibly appealing alongside a modern side table.
5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LIGHTING
A hallmark of charming Paris apartments are the oversized windows that serve as an invitation to ample daylight.
Unless you are planning a significant home renovation, upgrading your windows may not be the most viable solution. Fortunately, there are more simple methods to welcome more natural light into your space.
Carefully place mirrors around your apartment to reflect any available light throughout the space, which will make your home appear more expansive. When selecting window furnishings, choose light or sheer curtains to allow more light to enter, or remove them entirely for a more minimal chic appearance.
French interior design also celebrates feature lighting, from opulent crystal chandeliers to contemporary light fixtures. They will act as their own centrepiece of style while also enhancing the light within the home to optimise the effect of your mirrors.
6. CHOOSE QUALITY AND FUNCTION OVER QUANTITY
Instead of selecting decor purely to populate space, the French prefer to design their interiors with intention. Pieces should be functional rather than included for aesthetics alone.
Add a vintage chest as a feature to intrigue while also acting as a home for your book collection. Curate a few essential furniture pieces at the highest quality you can afford to ensure that they will last for many years to come.
7. IMPERFECTIONS ARE IN
Despite appearing eternally sleek and well-polished, the design of Parisian apartments prefers not to strive for perfection, symmetry or precisely paired themes. Instead of over-styling your space, casually place belongings such as books or blankets without overthinking their arrangement. This act will create a more informal, relaxed environment to be enjoyed by all.
Rather than replacing scuffed or well-worn furniture, embrace these items as much-loved pieces which continue to successfully serve their purpose.
8. EMBRACE SMALL KITCHENS
A common feature of Parisian apartments is their petite kitchens. Often featuring less bench space, a half-sized refrigerator and ingenious use of shelving, the French have learned to make the most of the space they have.
If a small kitchen renovation is not on the cards to create a more Parisian apartment style, consider making the most of your space instead. Install a brass towel rail to hang kitchen utensils, pots and pans. Add a magnetic knife rack to your wall or purchase a kitchen mat rack to increase your available bench area.
For further advice on transforming your apartment, get in touch with our friendly design consultants or consider booking a free design consultation below to discuss your interior design options.