The French seem to have got it all figured out. Walking down the streets of Paris, you’re likely to be overwhelmed by just how elegant and fashion-savvy everyone seems. A vintage suit jacket here, classy blue jeans there, antique rings everywhere; the average Parisian you meet could probably rock a runway without having to do an outfit change.
But the French exhibit their intrinsically unique sense of style in more than just their clothing. Homes and furnished apartments in Paris have a classy, antique yet contemporary feel that has proven quite difficult for most people to replicate.
We look at 10 Parisian decor ideas that will make your rental apartment feel more like home.
Wood with a Blonde, Light Finish
When looking for a rental space, consider going for apartments that use wooden flooring with a light, varnished finish. If you’re already living in a unit without wooden floors, invest in statement furniture pieces with a light-colored finish. Blonde wood has elegant detail and grain patterns that add character and warmth to a room. Such furniture will, therefore, give your home a chic Parisian air.
Parisian apartments are synonymous with one thing – unique, vintage rugs. Rugs do much more than ensure you’re not stepping on cold linoleum floors when you step out of bed. Vintage rugs instantly elevate a room, giving it a classic, antique vibe. Such rugs also add personality and style to a room, thus are very instrumental in creating a space that feels true to you.
Think Tall Bookshelves
Is it possible to find an apartment in Paris without books? Parisian homes are identified with tall, wide bookshelves, often covering entire walls. If you’re looking to replicate this feel in your home, you could add bookshelves in different rooms of the house. Since they may take up quite a bit of room, it would be a good idea to place them in corners, using up the space that would otherwise remain unused.
Art is a common fixture in any Paris home. By going for bizarre and interesting pieces, you will be able to introduce chaos to the room in a classy and artful way. Besides, would it not be fun to (quite pretentiously) tell your friends you “totally see what the artist was going for”? Investing in local art is a good place to start. You’re likely to come across wildly talented artists whose paintings you can afford.
Statement Pieces and Antiques
All the old French homes you’ve seen in the movies have one thing in common: they all have unique furniture and vintage statement pieces. If you’re looking to go “French”, think sophisticated and vintage. Mission-style furniture, wingback armchairs, velvet chaise lounges – go big!
Maybe we should’ve kicked off the list with this glamorous feature. Chandeliers give a home a chic, refined look. They help provide ambient lighting to a room, giving off a warm glow that will make your living room cozier. Overall, chandeliers don’t have to be expensive, but if you’re looking for something elegant and vintage, you may have to pay a little bit more.
Stark White Walls
While white walls are many tenants’ enemies, they work well if you’re going for a Parisian theme. Loud and elaborate wall paint will draw attention away from all the antique rugs, vases, and furniture you’ve placed in the room.
Also, the colors may clash, which is not what we want. However, if you’re still not sold on the white, you could probably experiment with a light grey.
Dried plants, placed in graceful statement vases can be found in most Paris apartments and homes. This trend has been around for generations and is a great alternative for people who don’t have much of a green thumb. Dried flowers are especially popular: their colors blend quite well with the tan and brown elements presented in many Parisians’ decor themes. Of course if you’re dead set on getting some living plants I would recommend this guide to help you out.
A Whole Lot of Lighting
While this isn’t necessarily something you can control, tall floor-to-ceiling windows play a huge role in how French homes look. If you’re looking to live in a space with a similar feel, look for a home with wide windows the next time you’re scouting for an apartment. Good lighting makes a room seem wider and more spacious; adding a number of mirrors in the room will help amplify this illusion even further.
Candles and Scents
The way your home smells will factor in a great deal in terms of the amount of time you spend in it. Thanks to the large bouquets of flowers present in almost every room, Paris homes have a beautiful, welcoming smell. But don’t worry – you can replicate it. Spring for candles and sage sticks with lavender, iris, geranium, and other quintessential French scents.
Suddenly, Your Friends Are Always at Your Place!
French decor trends do a lot to make a previously uninspiring apartment feel like home. Now, all your floors are covered with warm rugs, you’ve placed beautiful dried plants in your elegant blue vases, there’s a tall bookcase in every room… It’s a little wonder your friends are suddenly always at your place!