How To Create A Parisian Living Room
Just like the elevated and sophisticated fashion sense Parisians have mastered, this also extends to the Parisian apartment as well. Today, I am sharing how we have transformed our living space into a Parisian living room, complete with French details we have all come to adore and admire. Many of these ideas are also ways you can create your own Parisian-style living room.
The Parisian living room, or salon, as it’s called in France exudes class and sophistication and has a mix of both modern and classic elements that are distinct specifically to a Parisian living room. Just like the French, I want our living room to be a beautiful space to enjoy with the family, entertain guests, and create long-lasting memories.
For me, it was about elevating the space with pieces I already have and bringing in the Parisian aesthetic through art and other decor, I have acquired over the years at flea markets in Paris.
Ways To Create A Parisian Room
There are many architectural details and characteristics of a Parisian living room, which make the style unique and one of a kind. Think of white walls, large windows, high ceilings, and marble mantles. Adding any of these elements to your living room can help elevate and provide that Parisian feel.
Our house is over 100 years old and already had beautiful decorative molding throughout when we moved in. This is one of the key characteristics of any Parisian apartment and one of the main reasons why I wanted our house. The molding adds a touch of elegance to the room.
You can easily buy molding and do it yourself if your home doesn’t already have Parisian-looking molding. An affordable way is to buy trim and paint it the same color as the walls.
Typically, Parisian apartments are painted with white walls from floor to ceiling. This allows for natural light to come through the large grand windows most apartments have. White walls also help brighten a space and make it look larger.
Other neutral colors used in Parisian interiors include neutral colors of grey, blue-grey, cream, and even black which may seem a bit odd. However, it helps add a bit of contrast to the space. We also painted a portion of our living room black to add depth to an area separating the living room from my Parisian-inspired office.
Parisian homes are known for their parquet flooring which is timeless and adds that Parisian charm we all love. These floors are investment pieces but ones you will certainly cherish in your home.
There are many different types of parquet flooring to choose from: Herringbone, chevron, Parquet de Versailles, Chantilly, any of these patterns will work and give that vibe you are looking for.
However, if this isn’t in the budget and you already have wood flooring, then love what you have and let the character of the flooring shine through. In our home, already had the original wood flooring in place, so this is something we have left.
Most Parisian homes are blessed with at least one beautiful marble fireplace in the living room. This is a perfect spot for a large vintage gilded mirror to be the focal point of the room.
You can also buy Parisian-inspired marble mantles to put on a wall even if you don’t have a fireplace, but still want that Parisian aesthetic.
Parisian Room Decor
Once you have the elements and characteristics of a Parisian living room in place, you can start to add in the details and decor, which really help to set the tone.
My favorite element of a Parisian living room and a French persons’ home is their natural ability to mix in family heirlooms, special travel mementoes, vintage pieces, along with more modern furniture.
They are able to do it in a way where it doesn’t look cluttered or overly decorated. It looks natural and the space is meant to be.
A gilded mirror always comes to mind, when thinking about French interiors. We always see photos of beautiful mirrors atop a marble mantle or on the floor in Parisian apartments.
Mirrors are not only an easy way to make a space look bigger but gold, vintage looking ones add a bit of elegance to a living room. Thankfully, you can easily find both old and new gilded mirrors these days.
In our living room, we have the Anthropologie Primrose adoring our marble mantle top. It’s a centerpiece of the room and one of the first things you notice when you walk into the space.
Parisians seem to know how to mix modern or mid century along with vintage. In most Parisian apartments there’s a bit of both mixed in with the furniture, artwork, and decor.
For our living room, I had my eye on this couch for a few years, and when it went on sale, I knew it was the perfect time to add it to the living room. Since, I spent most of the budget on the couch, the only other piece of new furniture we added are these chairs.
The chairs along with the couch is a perfect combination of mixing modern along with vintage looking pieces.
Artwork is one of those design elements which is so subjective to each and every person depending on what you love. There are no specifications about what art to have in a Parisian living room, choose the art you love.
You will see some Parisian living rooms covered with art of various genres, colors, patterns, etc. and then you will see some rooms which only have one or two pieces of art.
For me, I personally love old looking artwork from Paris street scenes, Impressionist artwork, hand drawings, and vintage looking posters from the Bouquinistes along the Seine. In fact, I have aquired quite a collection from the Bouquinistes over the years of vintage fashion posters and old French resistance pictures.
Sconces are incredibly Parisian and a design element you will find in most Parisian apartments which still have the old charm and haven’t been remodeled. They add that special touch to any room.
When we first moved into our home, it was the gold sconces in the living room with the crown molding which attraced me, because they remined me exactly of what a Parisian apartment looks like.
Flowers are one of the easiest decor elements to add into a Parisian living room. They not only brightne up a room but make it look pleasant and inviting.
Each weeek, I like to buy fresh flowers at Trader Joe’s because I feel it make such a difference in the room. You don’t have to buy anything exotic or over the top, a simple bouquet will do.
If you aren’t able to get fresh flowers or don’t want to worry about watering them, you can easily do dried greenery or flowers. Put them in a vase atop the mantle or on a bookshelf and just leave them.
The French love to display their books whether they have an actual library or bookshelves. You can even put them on the floor if needed and show off what you have. My favorite ones are coffee table books about French fashion of course. I also have several I have purchased from the different museums in Paris over the years.
The hero piece to Parisian decor is the crystal chandelier hanging in the living room. Most all Parisian apartments contain at least one chandelier. If you’re looking to add a chandelier to your living room, go with an antique looking one or maybe even a more modern looking chandelier.
The details or accessories are my favorite part of a Parisian home. These are the pieces that can hold a special memory, a souvenir from travels, a favorite candle that reminds you of something, or a French bust which always looks chic and sophisticated in any room.
I love my Diptqyue and Trudon candles, of which, I have several throughout the room. I also have lots of vintage treasures from the Paris flea markets, which I’ve collected over the years. Coffee table books are also treated as an accessory as well.
Our Parisian Living Room
Our Living Room
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