Here is your step-by-step guide to creating a Parisian-style bedroom! Parisians are particularly blessed when it comes to original features in their Haussman buildings; with their high ceilings, tall French windows, elaborately carved moldings, marble fireplaces, herringbone oak floors, and wrought-iron balconies. Not everyone has the luxury of living in a Haussmann building with classic features, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the look and feel of a Parisian décor in your very own bedroom.
The Parisian decor style is minimalist, modern, contemporary but warm. The overall palette is neutral, and white is an all-time favorite color of Parisians. The decor and furniture are polished, sleek but kept simple. The philosophy of a Parisian décor is mixing up things – the old with the new and the refined with the rough. It’s unexpected and full of bold statements. A Parisian décor is blended, eclectic, and brings the best of the old and new together. Effortless and chic are just a few ways to describe the style of Parisians and the way they decorate their homes is no different.
Today’s article is dedicated to the most sacred place in each home – the bedroom. And if you want to give your bedroom a truly Parisian-inspired look, I’ve compiled my top tips on decor, furniture pieces, and more to help you create the perfect Parisian-inspired bedroom. From mid-century modern furniture to linen sheets, there are lots of things you can learn from Parisians about decorating a bedroom.
10 Steps To A Parisian Style Bedroom
1. Bed Sheets
If you want to create a perfect Parisian-inspired bedroom, you’ll need to dress your bed with neutral bedding. In winter, prefer flannel sheets, and in summer you can opt for linen or cotton percale sheets. An Egyptian quality cotton is a great option as well. Whatever the material you choose, keep it simple with tone sheets and opt for colors like greige, light grey, camel, white, cream beige, sunset coral, or even terracotta. Also, limit the number of pillows in your bed – 4/5 is enough. For a cozier ambiance in winter, add a plaid on your bed. Keep it simple with tone on tone sheets, duvet, and throw pillows. You can shop some great (and cheap) bed sheet sets in cotton and linen at H&M home.
2. Bed & Headboard
The bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your bedroom. That’s why it’s important to choose it carefully. Again here, keep it simple, and opt for a minimalist, modern mid-century bed frame. Parisians usually avoid beds that are too big due to the limited size of bedrooms in Parisian apartments. Avoid any upholstered, tufted, or antique bed styles with huge and imposing headboards.
Also, when it comes to headboards there are 3 options in a typical Parisian bedroom. First, if your bedroom features white walls you can opt for a simple and elegant headboard to dress your wall. I’m in love with wood/cane headboards like this one from West Elm and this one from Wayfair. Second, you can also keep your white walls without any headboard, but just with a few cushions and sconces on either side of the bed. Finally, instead of a headboard, you can install an accent wall with a mural or wallpaper which is a great way to add a wow factor even with a muted palette.
When it comes to lighting in a typical Parisian bedroom there are 2 options. First, you can decide to go for a vintage sparkly chandelier. Chandeliers create a focal point in your bedroom and add delightful sculptural interest to your ceiling space. Just make sure to find the right size and shape for your bedroom, and don’t go over the top or on a Versailles scale. My favorite chandelier for a bedroom is this one from West Elm.
However, chandeliers may not always be practical especially in a small space. Instead, you can play the contemporary card by hanging modern pendant light. Indeed, pendants with exposed bulbs and geometric light designs in copper or gold colors add a statement contrast to your classical décor. Just avoid any kind of ceiling fan in your bedroom.
4. Gold Mirror
One of the tricks the Parisians have adopted to keep their bedroom bright (other than keeping their walls white), is to add large-scale mirrors to their walls. Indeed, mirrors reflect light and keep your room looking spacious and bright. That’s why it’s very common to find a large ornate mirror with a gilded gold finish in most of the Parisian bedrooms. A gold mirror is usually placed above the fireplace. My favorite one is the Aperture Portrait Mirror from Anthropologie. It’ll immediately add a classy Parisian statement to your own bedroom.
Typical Parisian bedrooms hold long curtains in velvet, linen, or cotton that look amazing when puddled on the floor. I love long velvet curtains in navy blue, dark/light grey, dark green, or beige colors. Embrace light shades: keep walls and bedding neutral and add small touches of colors with your curtains or you can keep it all neutral.
When it comes to bedside tables or nightstands, here again, keep it simple. Prefer a mid-century modern nightstand that is not too big compared to the size of your bed. In terms of colors, I found dark brown color chicer and very warm. You can opt for a more contemporary nightstand if you prefer. Just try to avoid any mirrored, upholstered, or French country-style nightstands.
7. Accent Chair
If you want to add a touch of Parisian style to your bedroom, add a slipper chair, a dining chair, or a bench to your room. This will create a little reading nook or just a perfect escape for you to relax. As well as a place to sit, this doubles as extra storage and wardrobe space. I always use my chair in my bedroom when I’m trying to decide which outfit I’m going to wear. Prefer a modern or contemporary chair, and avoid any type of upholstered armchair or French provincial style of chair. My favorite chair for the Parisian-style bedroom is this mid-century show wood chair.
If your bedroom features white walls, adding some bold artwork to your room will give finesse to your Parisian-style bedroom. Paris is known for its abundant flea markets with multiple styles and periods of art for sale. And Parisians love to mix bold artwork with modern furniture, vintage accessories, and ornate moldings. I love abstract minimalist drawings, beautiful photographs (sea, nature, Marocco), and prints in the colors terracotta, blush, turquoise, and sand. My favorite artworks are from West Elm, Anthropologie, and Desenio.
When it comes to rugs in a typical Parisian bedroom, there are 2 options: either with or without. Some Parisians prefer to show their beautiful wooden flooring instead of hiding it with a rug. However, whilst they look beautiful, wooden flooring in Parisian apartments makes walking from room to room a noisy business. That’s why, sometimes, rugs are a feature of Parisian bedrooms. In terms of pattern and colors, if Parisians like their Persian-style rug in their living room, they prefer a Moroccan-style rug in their bedroom. For a cozy ambiance opt for a greige or beige rug in a natural material.
Scattered coffee table books, a scented candle, plump cushions thrown on your bed, and some dried flowers are all a great way to achieve that subtly embellished Parisian style in your bedroom. A Parisian apartment is usually full of worldly accessories, each with its own meaning and purpose. Through their travels, Parisians love to pick up decor pieces, antiques, and other décor accessories. And a Parisian home is always a place that holds all these precious travel stories in the form of all these accessories.
Et voila! Now you know exactly how to create a beautiful Parisian-style bedroom! I hope this step-by-step guide will help you to bring a little bit of Paris into your home.
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Bonjour! I’m Leonce, a French native and the founding editor of Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform for lovers of everything French. With my previous experience working for top tech companies in London and Paris, I created this platform in 2018 to offer discerning Francophiles an authentic experience through carefully curated content about French fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Merci for visiting, and à bientôt!