HOW TO CREATE A PARISIAN CHIC LOOK IN YOUR HOME
Paris oh beloved paris, what a city! The perfect blend of glamour and period detailing. With such an abundant romantic feel, whether its the beautiful sparkled lighted streets at night, loved up getaways, sneaky back street boutiques or the fab flea markets (wonder which is my favourite?!), the whole place is just steeped in a magic all of its own. So, how can we bring a little of Paris to our own homes?
Last year I took a long awaited trip there with my friend Lois, for our birthdays. We shopped, ate amazing food, drank wine, people watched and smoked cigarettes (menthol Vogues of course) but for me the best part, of course was the architecture, interiors and general style. I was in heaven!
There are many style influences in Paris, but for the most well known you have the classic romantic look with the beginnings of 1920’s Deco and the remnants of Art Noveau. They also encapsulate eclectic spaces where creatives hatch master plans in cramped studios. Think of that wacky house in Midnight in Paris full of the taxidermy. Fab!
But first, let us start with the most well thought of, 'Classic Parisian Chic'.
I think most of us reading this will not be able to help but reminisce to the last episodes of Sex in the City where Carrie went to explore the city and was left lonely in a blissfully perfect hotel suite. Lonely as she might have been let's face it, that is the environment to be lonely in right? Those rooms were styled exquisitely! American born Elsie De Wolfe was one of the earliest designers I can recall to pioneer this, not only in Paris but globally! A super interesting lady, so it's well worth having a read about her.
So, how to get the romantic Paris look without owning a period Parisian property?
Make sure you use lots of detailed coving, fire surrounds and ceiling roses as a starting point. Of course this won't work on a modern property, but some British Victorian properties actually lend themselves very well to this detailing if it doesn't exist already.
HIGH QUALITY FABRICS AND FINISHES
Secondly, feel free to go crazy and indulge! Opulent use of fine quality fabrics, stunning yet totally unnecessary chairs and trinkets scattered everywhere make this look typically Parisian. Embellished wall mounts, classic French opening doors, romantic dramatic feature lighting and wall sconces are key, plus herringbone parquet floors... those floors! *excuse me whilst I take a moment to swoon and pretend I’m there with a maccaron in one hand and a glass of bubbles in the other* Back to reality. Splash out on getting some parquet flooring throughout. It will make the difference, I promise. If Parisian is the look you're going for, you cannot be without it!
MIX OLD AND NEW
The Parisian style I love the most is what I also stand for, a mix of old and new. This image below transitions nicely between classic opulence and modern styling. Lets face it, not many of us have the space, location or budget to emulate most of these styles and images exactly, so with mixing things up you may already have or things that are more easily obtainable these looks can be done, with the all important personal twists, that make our homes, our homes. Here we have more modern sofas and lighting, using contrasting yet complementary colours and shapes, still crossing the two styles well and paying a decent homage to the glory that is the Paris decorative element.
So, after all the drooling, wishing for bigger bank balances and wandering thoughts of uprooting to amazing Paris, how can we turn our own spaces into something with these influences? Without great expense, total design makeovers and pricey specialist wall sconce designers, of course?! Here are few things I might buy to emulate and capture a mixture of the style we've talked about….
Tips for a Parisian style -
Decoration plays a heavy part in Paris style as you can see. If you have the budget try and invest or vintage hunt for some key neutral decorative style furniture. Reproductions of French furniture can be found quite easily at an affordable price. I found this one with a quick search for 'French armchair' on eBay.
- Lighting, mirrors and frames are strong Parisian statements, so on smaller scale you could add little bits in to begin to give it that edge. You’d be surprised how well they merge with other existing styles! This is purse friendly too.
- Don't be afraid to use bold colours or bright fabrics, it doesn't all have to be neutrals and gold sconces, there's plenty of room for it all to work in harmony as the above pictures show.
Mix contemporary with classic, keep the palettes complementary when doing so, but with elements of your own preference and taste. Simply chose shapes and items you feel merge well. A simple modern sofa and chairs would sit beautifully with rococo styling.
If you want to splash out on a statement piece to get you going, here are a couple of items I have my eye on...
Ahh all this talk of Paris makes me want to return. Have you ever been? What do you love most about the Parisian interior style?