Living in Paris is the dream, right? But even if you live Stateside — or anywhere else that isn't the City of Light — it's still easy to bring some Parisian inspiration to your space. All it takes is a few simple design tips that incorporate classic flourishes with more modern tricks (like detailing trendy all-white walls with ornate crown molding) and you'll have a look that brings a fresh take on the traditional. Here are some ideas that take inspiration from everyone's favorite romantic city.
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1. Make an oversized mirror your statement piece.
Classic Parisian apartments built in the mid- to late- 19th century tend to have a standard feature — a fireplace, often adorned with an opulent mirror. While we'd all love a fabulous marble fireplace, not all of us are so lucky. Using grand mirrors, however, is much more accessible. Scour your local flea markets, or hit up eBay for antique mirrors. An added benefit to the beauty you're bringing to the room? Lots of light.
2. Keep your design minimal.
While there's no one decor style Parisians prefer, minimalism is a popular choice, especially when the architecture of your room is already naturally interesting. Don't be afraid to let there be lots of space in a room — use color and texture to tell the story.
3. Add rustic flourishes.
Chances are you don't live in an historic 19th century building that just happens to come with architectural details from the period. You can indeed install faux wood beams to give your room style straight from the Latin Quarter.
4. Go bohemian.
Parisians have it too good — France is just a hop, skip, and a jump from so many interesting places, and they love to bring back finds from trips to places like Morocco, Spain, and Italy that are just a weekend away. So, next time you take a trip, save your pennies for shipping costs and find the perfect rug or table to send back home.
5. Go for linen sheets.
Parisians have a thing for linen sheets. They tend to either prefer a pristine, all-white bed, or a bed that incorporates fun, solid colors. Check out Parisian concept store Merci (you can shop online and they ship to the States!) for quality linens.
6. Keep the walls white.
While it's becoming ever-more popular to use bold paint colors, the majority of Parisians prefer their apartments to feature white walls — the neutral hue brings in the light and lets you focus more on furniture and accessories as your decor talking points.
7. Moldings can define a room.
Parisians have the benefit of apartments that come with gorgeous walls adorned with built-in moldings. If you want to emulate the style, you can try installing moldings yourself!
8. Use books as decoration.
Reading is still a thing in Paris (amen). Parisians love to use their books to fill a space.
9. Keep the kitchen streamlined and modern.
Parisian kitchens tend to be a bit cramped, so when it comes time for renovation, home owners prefer designs that prioritize storage and streamline the space. In fact, most Parisians will head to Ikea to outfit their kitchens with modern cabinetry and lighting.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.