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How To Make Your Home Look Parisian

How To Make Your Home Look Parisian

parisian apartment decor style

Here are ten decor pieces that’ll bring Paris apartment decor style into your own place. Everybody knows that French girls nail fashion like no other. And it’s no surprise that Parisian apartment decor is just spectacular. To achieve this look you don’t have to be a millionaire, to live in a beautiful Haussmannian building on the Rive Gauche (Left Bank), and to decorate with priceless antiques.

Being French, I lived in the 4th Arrondissement of Paris on the Île Saint-Louis. And, in this article, I wanted to give you some tips and practical advice to achieve that Parisian apartment decor style wherever you live. In order to do so, I’ll explain the Parisian style decor and what makes Parisian apartments so special. Then, I’ll make a list of home decor pieces that’ll bring the Paris apartment decor style into your own place. If you dream about turning your home decor into a perfectly furnished Parisian apartment, keep reading below my French advice.

What Is Parisian Style Decor

The French are quite traditional when it comes to interior design. They appreciate their classic, historic apartments situated in the city center and they like to mix modern furniture with some antiques. The French master that classic and contemporary mix, and that constant balance between design and antique. French home style is above all the perfect balance of elegance and comfort.

There are few architectural elements that define so well Parisian apartments. You may or may not have these elements easily available. They are:

  • White walls (that brings out the historic ornaments detail)
  • Parquet floors
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows in order to get as much natural light as possible
  • Built-in shelves

Although there is nothing flashy about the Parisian chic interiors. The walls are painted white, and the rest of the color palette concentrates on white, beige, grey, black, khaki, and blue. Also the French pay attention to detail and quality. Parisians have usually only a few furniture items but the ones they do have are the best quality they can afford. Finally, the French know the value of minimalism, and aren’t afraid of empty space, on their walls or their floors. Art is often large and singular, or simply not there at all, and furniture is given room to breathe.

10 Decor Pieces For Styling Your Home Like A Parisian

1. Gold Mirror

If there is a single item you’ll find in every Parisian apartment, it’s a gold mirror. In a typical Parisian apartment, you’ll always find a big gold mirror above the vintage chimney in the living room. It’s a great way to get that air of elegance that the French adore, and nothing makes a room brighter, faster, than a gigantic mirror.

2. Vintage Rug

The French love to mix modern furniture with some antiques. And you’ll always find a beautiful vintage rug in a typical Parisian apartment. It’s always better if it’s a rug that you bought at an artisanal flea market. If you can’t, don’t worry! There are plenty of home decor companies that sell vintage-inspired and antique rugs. My favorite ones are from Anthropologie. Keep reading below to shop for French girls’ favorite vintage-inspired rug to Frenchify your home.

3. Iconic Armchair

The French know the value of minimalism and aren’t afraid of empty space. Indeed, furniture is given room to breathe. And because Parisian flats are usually quite small, an iconic armchair is preferred to a sofa in the living room. You’ll always find a designed and contemporary armchair in Frenchie’s living room. There are plenty of options, but I’ll recommend choosing a contemporary piece like a design velvet or a Danish midcentury design armchair. Indeed, a contemporary piece helps to balance out the older, more antique-looking items in a Parisian living room. Keep reading below to shop French girl’s favorite armchair to Frenchify your place.

4. Chandelier

Chandeliers have long been a staple of elegant decor. The chandelier is the magic decor item of the Parisian apartment style. And, you’ll find that many Parisian apartments feature one of these sparkling beauties. You can choose from mid-century lighting chandeliers, crystal chandeliers, or more contemporary lighting pieces. I really love the vintage-inspired and contemporary chandeliers from Anthropology. And you’ll be surprised what a big difference it makes when you swap out a basic fixture for a chandelier.

5. Vintage-Inspired Vases

There is some variation of vintage-inspired vases and carboy bottles in literally every french girl’s home and Parisian apartment. These vintage-inspired vases are often left empty, sometimes containing fresh flowers or dried flowers like lavender or larkspur. My French advice is to acquire an assortment of vases (typically glass or ceramic) in a range of different colors and shapes for a collected feel.

6. Dried Plants

In every Parisian apartment, there is always somewhere in the living room, a beautiful vintage-inspired vase, or a carboy bottle containing dried flowers. Dried plants are a great alternative if you don’t have a green thumb or if you’re too busy to take care of fresh flowers. I think dried flowers are a better alternative to artificial plants. Indeed, they add some colors to the room and they don’t look fake. Keep reading below, to shop for French girl’s favorite dried plants to add to your favorite vase.

7. Candles

No Parisian apartment is complete without candles. I’m sure you’ve seen everywhere on Pinterest or Instagram pictures of Parisian apartments with some Diptyque candles probably on the coffee table. It might sounds cliché but it’s true! Parisian women love scented candles, especially the ones from the French label Diptyque. These decorative pieces add a cozy touch that makes any space feel instantly more lived-in. Try something a little unexpected like Feuille de Lavande, Mimosa, or Figuier. And check out my article on the best scented candles that will transport you to Paris.

See Also
View of Paris from the Pont Marie

8. Contemporary Art

You’ll always find any Parisian apartment filled with contemporary art. The French love to invest in their homes, buying fine antiques, modern furniture, and contemporary artwork. And they love the juxtaposition of minimalist modern art with ornate architectural features. In most of the Parisian apartments, things are left undone: artworks are frequently propped against a wall on the floor or on a piece of furniture.

When it comes to choosing artwork I’ll recommend buying something that reminds you of your travels and different trips to Paris, Corsica, Italy, Greece, or Marrakesh. Indeed, Parisians love to show off their travels. That is why Parisian apartments are full of travel photography.

9. Coffee Table Books

The French like to play the intellectual card. And that’s why Parisian girls love their books so much. In a typical Parisian flat, there is always a book somewhere; in the bookshelves, on the bedside table, or on the coffee table. Here is a list of my favorite French books about fashion, home, design, food, and wine that you definitely need to add to your coffee table.

10. Something Antique

As you know the French like to mix modern furniture with some antiques. That is why you’ll always find a piece of antique furniture in every Parisian apartment. The French love flea markets (brocantes in French) where you can buy antiques and vintage furniture for a good price. Parisians usually visit Les Puces at Saint-Ouen (Clignancourt) whether to outfit a whole apartment or just to look for a decorative souvenir. If you’re heading to Paris soon, find Clignancourt’s best mid-century design at Marché Serpette, Paul Bert, Marché Dauphine, and Biron. You can still find some antique and vintage furniture on Etsy, I think it’s the best vintage online shop! Keep reading below to shop for French girl’s favorite vintage furniture to Frenchify your home.

Do you like Parisian apartment decor? Which one of those 10 French decor pieces will you add to your home? Please add your comment below.

Disclosure Policy: All products featured on Leonce Chenal are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

View Comments (10)
  • Hello bonjour Leonce
    Perso je préfère une pièce ancienne, d un antiquaire et de préférence un lustre
    Comment habiter un appartement parisien sans un lustre ancien bronze et cristal?

    • Merci Berthet pour ton commentaire <3
      Oui il est vrai qu'un lustre ancien en bronze et cristal est toujours très chic et très Parisien. Personnellement je préfère "casser" le côté trop ancien avec un lustre plus design et contemporain afin d'éviter de surcharger la décoration 🙂

  • Hello Leonce
    Bravo pour votre article
    Tout est tellement juste, tellement parisien
    Le grand miroir, les fauteuils, le lustre ect
    Les choix sont magnifiques
    Super j ai envie de tout acheter

  • On target!!! I’m married to a Frenchman and his influence in our decor. Keep up the good work!! I’m thrilled I came across your blog. Merci.

  • Wow, I have a long way to go on my home. I want to buy everything you have suggested! I do have a question: do old wine bottles count as vintage vases? also, I love your blog!
    Amicalement de Californie

    • Merci beaucoup Elizabeth <3 Yes, of course, you can reuse your old bottles of wine as vintage vases. I use them also as candle holders 😉
      xo Leonce

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