Décor ideas inspired by the City of Light.
As someone who has lived in Paris, there are a few things that immediately come to mind when thinking about the typical Parisian apartment.
Most particularly, casement windows—the type with hinged sides and no middle stile, so that they can be projected outwards. Screens aren’t really popular in France, as most people prefer to open their windows fully to draw in fresh air (it’s also quite common to see youths hanging out of these windows overlooking the crowded streets below them, smoking cigarettes). So if you’re interested in making your home look like it belongs in the City of Light, install some of those first.
Another notable feature of most Parisian or French homes is an espresso machine, since coffee is typically served after every meal. Countertops are usually adorned with a butter crock (why Americans refrigerate their butter, I’ll never quite understand) to keep le beurre at room temperature, so it’s readily available to spread over baguettes. This brings us to the essential crumb-covered cutting board and bread knife, which is usually kept out all day.
Besides culinary tchotchkes, there are a few other classic Parisian home elements, like King Louis-style furniture (styles range according to the many Kings called Louis—most notably, Louis XIV, XV, and XVI), chandeliers, long curtains, and gilded mirrors. Parisians also have excellent taste in art, so walls are commonly adorned with both classic and contemporary works.
But while some Parisians prefer extravagance (think lots of velvet and baroque-style furniture), others keep their homes quite minimal. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite picks to make your home feel more Parisienne—but don’t forget, part of what makes French people's style so appealing is their willingness to experiment with colors, textures, and pieces from different time periods—so don’t be afraid to have a little bit of fun!