How to Decorate Like a Parisian, According to the Dreamiest French Hotels
Every September, the cobbled streets of Paris are pummeled with the pitter-patter of six-inch heels as editors, stylists, bloggers, and It girls flood the city for Paris Fashion Week. But while other peoples' eyes are on what they're wearing, our focus is on where they're staying. As with their penchant for spotting next season's trends, we've noticed that fashion's elite are particularly adept at discovering the most stylish boutique hotels in the city.
Curious to find out where It girls check in during Paris Fashion Week? We've found five stunning French hotels beloved by front-rowers for their elegant interiors, carefully styled bedrooms, and irresistible charm. And if you're not planning a sojourn to the City of Lights, there's still a way to embrace Parisian style without the airfare. Take inspiration from these stunning boutique hotels and follow our tips to decorate your home like a French girl.
Pauline Egge for Petit Passport
It might only be months old, but Hotel Panache in the 10th Arrondissement is poised to be a favorite among fashion week attendees. A glimpse at its interior reveals why: Designed by Dorothée Meilichzon, each room exudes quirky charm, with statement wallpaper, wicker headboards, and Art Deco–style beveled-edge mirrors.
The showstopper? Meilichzon's unexpected choice of modern brass pendant lights that drop over the beds in each guest suite. Modern French interior design doesn't play by the rules, and this quirky use of curved and straight silhouettes proves design risks can pay off.
Styling tip: Change up a bedroom by adding décor in unexpected shapes. A bold, modern pendant light gives a classic room an instant visual punch.
If there's one décor lesson to be learned from the dreamiest Parisian hotels it's this: The French never compromise on quality. Whether it's Carrara marble tiles, plush Egyptian cotton towels, or brass faucets, every detail is beautifully made.
Look no further than Hôtel Vernet for inspiration. The five-star luxury hotel near the Champs Elysées is outfitted to perfection. Interior designer and architect François Champsaur played to the buildings traditional features by incorporating colorful accent chairs and curved mirrors. Every detail in the black-and-white bathroom boasts excellent craftsmanship, down to the marble accessories.
Styling tip: Outfitting your home on a budget is no easy feat, but before you impulsively buy a towel set or soap dish, take a closer look at how the item is made. Quality pieces will age well with time, proving in some cases to be a smarter long-term purchase.
A far cry from the sterile, minimalistic hotels that dot the world, Paris's Hôtel Henriette make guests feel more like family than visitors, thanks to its lovingly styled interior. Beloved by those with an eye for design looking for a temporary place to call home, each room exudes personality thanks to antique finds.
It's no wonder PFW attendees have their sights set on this hotel. Vanessa Scoffier, the creative behind the redesign of the 30-year-old hotel, is a former fashion editor herself. Scoffier spent 15 months scouring Paris's famous flea markets to adorn the hotel with vintage finds, including salvaged doors remodeled as headboards and chairs.
Styling tip: Add character to your home with vintage finds, and don't be afraid to repurpose items. A fresh coat of paint on an ornate door makes for the perfect textured headboard to elevate a bedroom.
Pauline Egge for Petit Passport
Hôtel Henriette reveals another French design rule: Always style in odd numbers. In line with their effortless sense of fashion and thrown-together approach to beauty, Parisians' knack for arranging items like nesting tables or cushions in odd groupings has a similar effect; it never looks too perfect.
Styling tip: Arrange similar pieces of décor in groupings of three. Take inspiration from the hotel's modern lobby and opt for three hanging pendant lights or a cluster of nesting tables.
Just as furniture craftsmanship is vital for the French, so,too is form. As true romantics, aesthetics are key for French designers, who believe that every piece of décor should be beautiful on its own. Read: There is no "filler" furniture in these stunning hotels.
Case in point: Every item in Hôtel Panache balances form and function. There are no lazy décor choices in this space. Instead, a modern powder-blue sofa sits against a wallpapered wall with a geometric mirror hung overhead that's a work of art in its own right.
The most stylish French hotels haven't let their historic, ornate rooms gather dust. Instead, they adopt an old-meets-new mantra and fuse traditional French moldings with ultra-modern accents. Think intricate wallpaper styled with a metal sconce or modern dresser.
Styling tip: Mix it up! There's no need to stick to one décor style in your home. Inject bold, modern accents via small accessories to reinvigorate a tired space.
While some modern French hotels adopt a minimalist approach to interior design, there'll always be a place for classic maximalist spaces, like this room at Saint James. The lavish boutique hotel occupies an 1892 château and boasts over-the-top décor to match the traditional façade. Texture and pattern reign supreme, with almost every inch of the luxurious space adorned with intricate wallpaper, velvet accents, and crystal details.
Styling tip: This lavish French look can be somewhat difficult to master and requires guts, so don't hold back. Pair different patterns and textures via wallpaper and soft furnishings.
La Réserve hotel takes an all-or-nothing approach to interior design. One moment, you're wandering through an ornate library brimming with upholstered patterned chairs and antique books, and the next, you've arrived in a light-filled entryway devoid of busy prints and curios. Perfecting this balance between chaos and calm is key.
Styling tip: Keep thoroughfares and entryways light-filled and refined. Boost natural light by removing heavy drapes, installing glass shade lights, and giving walls a fresh coat of white paint.
The most charming French hotels and homes aren't sterile capsules; they incorporate nature in their design and make the most of outdoor space, even if it's only a wrought-iron balcony or quaint courtyard. Take design cues from Hôtel Henriette, which invites guests to enjoy a small outdoor space, styled with climbing vines, café tables, a leaning mirror, and moss-covered planters.
Styling tip: Don't overthink your outdoor space. Unlike their English counterparts, French courtyards let vines grow wild and layer unpruned planters. Ease the transition indoors by positioning overflowing vases and planters near doors and windows.