We are obsessed with everything French. Whether it be Caroline De Maigret and her tips on ‘How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are’, the artfully rumpled hair of their street style celebs or wardrobes full of not-so-basic staples that somehow always look perfectly tailored. We continually draw from Paris to update our fashion sense, so why leave our homes behind?
Contemporary Parisian apartments include art deco, Mediterranean, old world and cabaret influences in their architecture and decor. These homes are a mix of old and new, traditional and modern. This month, we seek inspiration in Parisian apartments to help you introduce a similar charm into your home.
Paint the walls white
Parisians like to keep their walls stark; an uncomplicated colour palette brings balance to the space. You can follow suit or bring contrast by colouring just one wall in a bold, bright colour. A thick rug is also a good way of adding colour (as well as warmth) to the apartment. Go for something bright or patterned like an orange rug in the apartment.
Bring in the old
Use vintage mirrors, clocks, candelabras, architectural elements (columns, corbels), garden statuary, hat boxes, china and delicate porcelain figurines to accessorize a Paris-influenced room. Make sure the furniture and accessories look antique but not shabby. If you can find paintings, etchings, old black and white postcards or sepia-toned photos of anything French, all the better.
Indulge in rich fabrics
Furniture should be upholstered with beautiful fabrics and dressmaker details. Velvet, damask, brocade, lustrous silks in jewel tones and traditional toiles are part of parisian furnishings. Textured linen, weathered leather, paisley designs and bold stripes are also recurrent features. Depending on the style of the room and its use, windows can have elaborate flowing drapes with valances, ruffles, tassels, silk cording or bullion fringes. If simple is more your style, use linen or toile panels over shutters or wooden blinds.
Stay away from matching elements
Wooden furniture with dark tones is often covered with touches of gilt. Distressed black and ivory paint finish gives wood pieces an aged look. There’s no such thing as “matching” in a Parisian home. Decor pieces should look as though they were found and curated through a lifetime. Mix and match flea market finds with exquisite modern pieces of furniture if you like.
Invest in a vanity
Every Parisian bedroom has a decadent vanity table. Add a luxurious look to a simple table by dressing it with silk, mirrors and voluminous ruffles. Think of vintage accessories, frames and perfume bottles as add-ons.
IFM PRO TIP | For the finishing touch add some romance and glamour with a vintage chandelier; it is ubiquitous in Parisian homes. An obvious place for one is the dining room but you can also install the chandelier in your bedroom or powder room.