Design Home Decor

20 Ways to Decorate Parisian Style

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1. Bring Some Romantic Inspiration to Your Home

The Parisian décor style is a bit difficult to define compared to other interior design trends. It’s full of chic elements that give off some mystique vibes coalescing together for an effortless look. While that may give you the impression that Parisian-style rooms are carefully arranged, the secret to this design style lies actually in the small imperfections that have a charming effect. There’s nothing quite like the Parisian style as it seems to blend multiple ideas and different pieces to create a timeless aesthetic with stunning patterns and designs.

It’s not simple to learn how to incorporate some Parisian flair into your home. This is a complex décor style and you should be aware of quintessential French chic elements to recreate an authentic feeling. Crafting an impeccable Parisian interior can be done in multiple ways, and this article explores them all so you can enjoy a sophisticated je ne sais quoi – a central element of homes decorated with this aesthetic. From grand makeovers and additions of large items to simple Parisian décor touches, this article should provide you with all the inspiration needed to craft a French-inspired space that’s both chic and effortless.

2. Try Some Antiques

The French love furniture and décor pieces that show off their aging beauty. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find out that the Parisian style needs a healthy dose of antique pieces. Vintage items have a charming appeal thanks to their ability to add a historical touch to any area. While many people find scratches and oxidation unsightly and are looking to recondition or upcycle them, this style benefits a lot from letting these signs of age shine.

Many modern Parisian apartments still include antiques thanks to the imposing air of sophistication provided by a vintage armoire or credenza. Whether it’s an old desk or a classic chair with carved arms and detailing, the Parisian style makes use of lots of beautiful pieces that allow you to appreciate history. When you add this kind of time-worn element, any interior décor seems to become enriched by some sort of human characteristic.

If you want to take a step further and get a truly authentic feeling, it’s highly recommended to opt for European antiques. These are the classic pieces you can find in Parisian interiors which can often be more expensive than others. Despite that, a European antique represents a great investment to bring in some classic French style into your home. An antique Louis chair can be considered the perfect example.

3. Choose Brocade and Velvet Fabrics

When it comes to Parisian-style fabrics, the most important ones to choose are brocade and velvet. These textiles are highly recommended to imbue your home with a sense of refined elegance that’s typical for this décor style. You don’t necessarily have to use these fabrics anywhere as even just a touch of brocade or velvet can take your mind to the Parisian aesthetic. Try limiting the textiles to just a furniture piece or small decorations such as throw pillows for a subdued approach.

For a more luxurious and glamorous effect, it’s recommended to go for velvet upholstery for large furniture pieces and other imposing décor elements. If you wish to make a truly stunning visual impact, focus on adding some lush curtains that reach the floor. It’s not always necessary to stick to brocade or velvet here as you can obtain a more romantic look with the help of silk or linen which can feel breezy and elegant.

4. Go for a Quiet Color Palette

Parisian Marble Living Room

Most classic Parisian homes are defined by a quiet color palette so you can expect bold and garish colors to be quite sparsely used. You will often find that French homes incorporate a more eclectic mix of colors on an off-white or stark gray backdrop which lets those colorful elements stand out. There are no specific rules as there’s no clearly defined Parisian color palette, but it’s a good idea to stick to a quiet color scheme where patterns and shapes can stand out.

To add a French chic through colors, it’s recommended to keep the color scheme more subdued while adding vibrant splashes of colors through decorative accents, art, and other pieces. Let layers of white and gray colors act as the ideal background where you can show off metallic touches and elegant architectural elements. Vibrant hues don’t really have a place in the Parisian style where the color palette needs to give off a sense of serenity to pull off that characteristically effortless look.

5. Pay Attention to the Architecture of the Room

When it comes to decorating a room in a certain style, many people focus too much on what elements to add to the area but it’s just as important to learn how to use what’s already there to your advantage. Parisians tend to have a head start thanks to the beautiful architectural aspects such as old parquet floor and elaborate molding which are usually already present in their apartments.

If you start with a white box frame, it’s a bit more difficult to integrate some strong Parisian flair. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to replicate key architectural elements of this style when you’re working in a modern space. Pay attention to the details of the ceiling and near the fireplace if you have one. Maybe if you inspect the area closer, you can discover some odd structural elements which you can take advantage of.

Instead of jumping on a renovation project, the French have a tendency to take architectural oddities into a different direction and create something chic and sleek. This decorative instinct comes from the desire to keep the frame of the room authentic instead of trying to remove the past and completely transform the space into a modern one.

6. Add Some Glamorous Vibes

A hallmark of any Parisian interior, glamour contributes to a luxurious and sophisticated atmosphere. The easiest way to bring in some glamorous vibes is by incorporating gold accents. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go overboard and transform your living room into a palace. Use your personal taste when you add gold metallic elements while maintaining a good balance with the rest of the décor so that everything feels natural.

Some people prefer to include multiple accents while others prefer to add just a chandelier or a mirror for subtle Parisian charm. The idea is to create an effortless look for a room that feels comfortable to live in it. Check out this coffee table from Amazon which shows off a beautiful gold frame. It can find its place in any French-style apartment or home in need of extra glamour.

7. Incorporate a Crystal Chandelier

There are few elements more imposing in the Parisian interior than a crystal chandelier. Their stylish sparkle feels natural in any room, particularly for the dining area. Anywhere you wish to turn up the romance and drama, be sure to include a crystal chandelier. If you have a big budget, it’s worth investing in a superb chandelier with multiple elegant arms such as this one from Amazon. It can have an unexpected effect for any powder room or hallway in your French-inspired home.

8. Break the Décor Rules

One of the best things when it comes to Parisian style is that you never have to follow strict décor rules. There’s a certain aesthetic that you need to keep in mind, but you can always include an unexpected element or a personal touch. The French don’t care that much about essential décor principles and they often prefer mixing things up just to obtain a more impressive visual scene. This is another reason why it’s recommended to visit flea markets or antique shops and discover a unique piece to add for a charming Parisian room.

9. Bring a Modern Touch

Even though antiques play an important role in the Parisian style, this doesn’t mean you should avoid modern design at all cost. The kitchen, in particular, can make use of some modern decorations that still maintain a cohesive design when you take into account the rest of your Parisian-style home. Given how Parisian apartment kitchens don’t usually have a lot of available square footage, it makes sense to use this space more efficiently and incorporate predominantly functional and modern elements.

10. Let the Eye Travel

Parisian Quiet Luxury Living Room

A fundamental idea regarding Parisian style is to let the eye travel throughout the room. This means you should try to create various focal points using decorative pieces such as art. Instead of the classic placement solutions, put your artworks leaning against the wall for a better visual effect. With the help of this approach, anyone entering the room will discover different points of interest as he looks closer throughout the room. If you have more framed pieces of art, it’s recommended to keep them scattered without a carefully maintained order as this contributes to effortless Parisian design.

11. Decorate With Books

Parisian Green Marble Living Room

Books can be successfully used as decorations for a Parisian interior. They aren’t just beautiful once you arrange them in a stylish way on your bookshelf, but books also represent powerful conversation starters for when you’re having guests over. Choosing a black background can be a particularly good idea so you will be able to show off your book collection. Don’t forget to include some new art books together with your favorite reads for an extra visual impact.

12. Include Some Rococo Style

If you wish to make your Parisian-inspired home more theatrical and truly eye-catching, adding a Rococo element represents the perfect choice. Brought to life at the beginning of the 18th century, Rococo is characterized by gilding, sculpted molding, and sumptuous curves. Many ornamental features of this style work pretty well for the Parisian home thanks to the particular elegance and richness. Take this gold headboard with velvet upholstery as a good example of Rococo style.

13. Get a Statement Piece

With the help of an oversized decorative piece such as a mirror, you can truly make a statement in a Parisian-style home. When paired against white walls, the visual effect of this large gold-framed mirror becomes even more intense. If you’re looking for the ideal placement spot, the area above the fireplace can boost the elegance to new heights, especially if you have a marble model.

Even if you don’t own a luxurious fireplace, finding a grand opulent mirror is easier. Check out this sophisticated baroque-style gold wall mirror from Amazon. It definitely has a place in any Parisian-style home allowing you to make a fabulous statement.

14. Go for a Luxurious Bathroom

The bathroom is one area in your home that can certainly make use of some Parisian flair. The freestanding tub is an essential design element which can look even more charming with the right decorative accents such as silky drapes and golden hardware. The tub itself can either have vintage appeal or incorporate modern design elements.

An essential aspect of infusing luxurious French style in the bathroom is to focus on the surroundings. For example, bring in a matching side table near the tub which is both chic and functional. A patterned bathroom floor can also contribute to a successful Parisian décor for this area.

15. Introduce Cubism

This avant-garde art style can feel very appropriate in Parisian interiors. It can often be found in French apartments and houses through artworks made by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. While a single art piece can have a very modest effect, it’s essential to combine multiple artworks for the cubism style to suggest strong Parisian vibes. A wall of frames with these cubism works will look particularly sophisticated when combined with antiques and other French-style elements.

16. Incorporate the Outdoors

Parisian homes need a splash of color and natural elements are some of the best choices. Beautiful plants can contribute to this elegant aesthetic, especially when paired with antique furniture and a neutral color scheme. You can incorporate the outdoors in multiple ways. Apart from adding flower bouquets and potted plants, you can also decorate with indoor trees such as lush fiddle leaf fig varieties. This sunroom boasts great Parisian vibes thanks to the multiple plants that act as decorative accents for the furniture.

17. Embrace Natural Lighting

Parisian apartments often have large windows to allow plenty of natural light inside. This is why it’s recommended to avoid dark rooms if you plan on embracing the Parisian décor style. White walls and neutral-toned furniture look much more attractive with proper lighting. The same can be said about vibrant accents and artworks. When brightened up, the visual effect from the contrast will be much more impressive.

18. Invest in an Armoire

A classic furniture piece you can expect in French-styled homes, the armoire is a versatile furnishing that shouldn’t miss from your Parisian-inspired bedroom. There are lots of different armoire styles to choose from so you can fit the needs of your particular room. Some armoires feature display areas while others allow you to hide items out of sight. The armoire in this bedroom comes with large mirror panels that boost the depth of the predominantly white room.

19. Add a Large Rug

Large, vintage rugs will feel right at home in any Parisian interior. Your dining room can take advantage of the ability of a French-style rug to act as an anchor for the rest of the design elements. The one that covers a significant portion of the floor in this room conjures up some warm vibes to create a harmonious atmosphere. If you opt for a particularly large area rug, you can count on it to act as a centerpiece for your Parisian-style room.

A thick rug isn’t just very attractive but can also keep your feet warm and muffle the noise of the wooden floorboard. In case you don’t have vintage floors with the classic Parisian herringbone patterns, then going for a rug represents a viable alternative. We recommend a stylish brick red area rug from Unique Loom’s Versailles Collection found on Amazon. Decorating in Parisian style can often be just a matter of choosing the right furnishings and accents, even if they appear too subtle and unremarkable at first.

20. Try Flower Bouquets for a Finishing Touch

When you’re done with redecorating and still feel that a certain something is missing, you probably just need to add a finishing touch to tie the whole look together. A great choice for the Parisian style is a simple flower bouquet. There’s no need to stress over particular or complex arrangements.

Stick to neutral hues or single color bouquets and the resulting visual effect is sure to be impressive. While the white bouquet in this neutral living room doesn’t stand out too much, it seems to add a fresh and serene touch to the atmosphere making it an ideal decorative accent for the Parisian style.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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