While the French may be more famous for their style in clothes than for their interior decoration, Parisian homes have a chic all of their own. Although Parisian apartments are typically small, they are beautifully formed and although individual, there are some elements which are instantly recognizable as part of the Parisian style.
The colours of Paris
Paris decorating style is about rich interiors, so use strong, jewel-like colours rather than pastels. Rooms are accented with white, gold and black. White is often used for bedroom furniture and bathrooms. Gold is for more public areas such as halls, dining areas and salons. It will be seen on mirrors, handles, light fittings and lamp stands. Black is the most important accent colour in Parisian apartments. It will be found throughout the home.
Material is hugely important
For public rooms, Parisian décor is strong on velvet, damask, brocade, silk and toile. These are frequently layered on top of the other. Toile in particular is usually partnered with other fabrics, typically checked fabrics, which are also characteristic of Parisian home style. As well as the fabrics themselves, public rooms are decorated with fringes, cords and tassles.
Private rooms such as bedrooms may use simpler fabrics, depending on the budget of the occupant. These will tend to be natural fabrics, such as linen and leather.
Furniture in public rooms will be upholstered but in private rooms may be plainer. They will both have plenty of cushions for both style and comfort.
Dress windows to impress
Shutters are of course typical of Parisian apartments. Many rooms have window decorations as well. Again, public rooms are likely to have elaborate dressings including valances, ruffles and silk ties, while private rooms may have simpler decorations. That said, if the window of a private room may be seen from the outside, it may also be elaborately dressed.
Floors are typically stained wood
In public rooms the floors will be covered extensively with quality rugs. Private rooms may simply have stained and varnished wooden floors, although in the UK’s colder climate, this may be one area to take a few liberties with your source of inspiration.
Add some special touches
Many Parisian salons have a large clock as a main feature of a room. Round tables are also popular, usually covered with layers of fabric and partnered with bistro chairs. Choose some gilt mirrors and romantic light fittings, possibly even some candle lamps.
Pick typical Parisian furniture
French furniture from Crown French Furniture is perfect for those key pieces, which typify a Parisian apartment and ensure that the occupants are comfortable. For the rest, shabby chic is your watchword. Parisian furniture was made to last and was well cared for so that it could be kept as it became older.
Don’t bother trying to match furniture, Parisians pick good-quality pieces in different styles and use colour and fabric to unify a room. Two pieces of furniture which every Parisian home will boast are a comfortable bed and a vanity table to go with it.