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A Complete Guide to Parisian Interior Design and Décor

parisian decor

Design: Sarah Lyon, Photo: Allie Provost

Who doesn't dream of calling a sophisticated Parisian apartment home? We've had a love affair with French-inspired décor for quite some time, and we're not alone. "The Parisian style is likely so popular because it can transport people in their own homes—it's calming, elegant, and worldly all at once," designer Joshua Smith says.

Parisian décor is all about casual elegance, and we also love that it places an emphasis on mixing and matching old and new.

"Sustainability is at the forefront of many minds today, creating a large increase in people looking for pre-loved items," Smith adds. "The Parisian style allows for vintage and antique items to act as art pieces in the space. Each item feels as though it has a story and purpose in the room and feels very well-traveled."

If you're eager to bring the Parisian look into your own home (and honestly, who isn't?), keep reading for 10 simple ways to Frenchify your space.

01 of 10

Install Wall Molding

parisian decor

Marianne Sides

Bring the quintessential Parisian apartment look to your own abode by installing picture frame molding in your living room, bedroom, or wherever else you desire it. There are many renter-friendly picture frame molding options on the market, too, so by no means do you have to miss out even if you're just in your space temporarily. Bonus points if you choose to incorporate some ceiling molding as well.

02 of 10

Incorporate a Faux Fireplace

faux mantel

Design: Sarah Lyon, Photo: Allie Provost

No Parisian home is complete without a beautiful mantel (or two, or three). You can fake the look by purchasing a standalone faux fireplace that can be incorporated into any room of your choosing. With so many different styles on the market at a wide variety of price points, there's something for everyone.

03 of 10

Hang an Ornate Mirror

ornate mirror

Mallory Fletchall

Parisian apartments are known for their oversized ornate mirrors, which often hang above the aforementioned fireplace mantels for some added drama. Trust us, if you go big, you won't regret it. Mirrors bring so much oomph to any living space—not to mention, they'll make any room appear larger, which is always a win!

04 of 10

Think Neutral

parisian apartment

Meghan Donovan

Neutrals always shine in Parisian apartments. Whether you incorporate them in the form of an abstract art piece, coffee table books, or sculptural pieces, you can't go wrong—and don't be afraid to include contemporary pieces as well.

"Besides the intricate wall moldings, Parisian décor can actually be quite minimal and modern," Smith says. "It's less overwhelming than French country décor and has a feeling of simple elegance without even trying."

05 of 10

Don't Forget the Fresh Blooms

parisian decor

Madeline Scalzi

Make it look as though you just left the neighborhood farmers market by displaying fresh blooms on your bedside table all week long. You can never go wrong with romantic, pink florals in particular: think roses, peonies, or tulips.

06 of 10

Say Hello to Marble


Tricia Runkel Home

Marble is oh-so-French and makes an immediate statement in any space. A marble coffee table is bound to stand the test of time while doubling as an artistic piece. Jazz yours up with a few thoughtfully placed, ultra-chic coffee table books that you can flip through while enjoying a pan au chocolate.

"Parisian décor is stylish yet timeless with bold pops of modernism in art and antiquity," designer Kellie Burke notes. "It's traveled and simple, never cluttered or matchy-matchy."

07 of 10

Display Lots of Art

parisian decor

Chelsey Brown

Bring that Parisian museum vibe home by hanging up tons of beautiful art pieces. By no means do they have to be expensive—simply choose finds that bring you joy.

If you wish to get creative and display your pictures in an off-the-beaten-path arrangement like this one, even better. The result is whimsical and ultra-sophisticated, to boot.

08 of 10

Keep It Simple and Chic

parisian decor

Design: Sarah Lyon, Photo: Allie Provost

"Parisians have long mastered the art of simple and chic design, from what they wear to their décor," designer Kristina Phillips says. "The key to their effortless style is keeping it clean-lined and well proportioned. In French interiors, there is always a sense of history, and playing up the architecture is what gives spaces a distinctly French feel."

This means opting for a mix of old and new, she adds. "Antiques mixed with modern pieces and plaster walls with contemporary windows are all perfectly juxtaposed."

09 of 10

Choose Large Furnishings Wisely

parisian furniture

Design: Kristina Phillips, Photo: Jane Beiles

The right case goods and lighting can really work wonders in making a room feel ultra French, Phillips explains. "The Serge Mouille-inspired ceiling light fixture and acrylic and brass coffee table are nods to midcentury French design," she says of the space shown here.

10 of 10

Include a Bistro Table

parisian decor

Hattie Kolp

Take inspiration from the streets of Paris and their beautiful cafes and incorporate a bistro table into your own home. Whether you use it as a dining table in a small space or place it in the entryway to corral mail and display small trinkets, such a piece is incredibly versatile yet maintains a small footprint.