There is something about the way the French live and how they decorate that intrigues me. I was looking at images on Pinterest of Parisian Interior Design the other day and started to see some common design elements.
I am a self-confessed Francophile. I’m not sure when it started, but in the 6th grade, I had a French pen pal. I took French in high school and subscribed to Vogue magazine. I was fascinated by fashion and went to fashion school and eventually worked for a Paris based luxury retailer for 15 years, traveling to Paris four times a year for work.
For my work trips, my colleagues and I would stay in the same cozy French family owned hotel in the 8th Arrondissement. It wasn’t a sleek overly modern hotel, but it was well lived in, clean, and unmistakably French. It became my home away from home. My colleagues would lovingly joke that it was like staying at grandma’s house.
There are two things that make a room timeless: a sense of history and a piece of the future.
One important element of Parisian interior design is their respect for the architecture and time period the space was built. There is a mix of new and old as the key is to have an eclectic approach. For example, mix in Rococo with Mid-Century. It’s ok to mix old portraits or still life paintings with gold gilded frames with contemporary prints on your wall. Parisian interior design is about mixing and matching and not overly fussy Let your space look lived in and don’t be a fastidious American where everything has to be brand new.
Quintessential Elements of Parisian Interior Design
- Large statement mirror
- Chandelier or interesting lighting fixture
- Unexpected accent color- pick your favorite color
- Art is a must- old and new
- Mix time periods for furniture
- Mix of materials and textures
- Beautiful rug
- Add a touch of floral
- Dramatic drapery
- Effortless, nothing should appear too staged or perfect
I like this Paris living room photo I found because it is a bit more modern. I could incorporate this easily into my Mid-Century 1960 built San Fernando Valley home sans the moldings and parquet flooring. Luckily, I have a big window and my walls are still white so my color possibilities are endless. As mentioned in some previous posts, I can’t seem to commit to a color which is why my earlier posts focus on possible paint colors.
I found the velvet sofas in this living room refreshing in the warm taupe or cafe au lait color. It was difficult to find this same color sofa on Amazon. It seemed choices that dominated in velvet were gray, navy, green, and pink. I was able to find a beige velvet sofa and used that to recreate my take on a Paris apartment. I was unable to find the chairs but there are so many great options on Amazon. I even found vintage cabinets. I selected a more deco-style rug because its one of my favorite time periods. Lastly, I decided on a more formal lighting element vs the rattan option.
Hamilton Hills Top Gold Baroque Wall Mirror | Rich Old World Feel Framed Beveled Elegant Glass Mirror | Entryway Bathroom or Powder Room (24″ x 36″)
Lovedima New 24″ Wide Retro Rustic Weathered Wooden Globe Chandelier Crystal 5-Light Pendant Lighting