Strolling along the Seine, searching for the perfect antique treasures in the brocantes, eating croissants in a little cafe, admiring the abundant bouquets at the flower stalls … who wouldn’t love Paris in the springtime? Travel can provide some of the best decorating inspiration around, and Paris is simply a natural when it comes to style of all kinds. In this post, I will walk you through the process of creating a Paris mood board, and translating that to concrete ideas you can use in your own home. Ready? Let’s go to Paris!
Photos: The Paris Print Shop
In the inspiration board shown above, I have pulled together some of the most charming elements you might find while walking around the city streets of Paris: a smattering of pastel colored cafe tables, towering stacks of vintage books, bouquets of pink ranunculus, wrought iron balconies, plush antiques, and of course, the striking figure of la Tour Eiffel in the background. Le sigh.
So, how to begin pulling this inspiration together into something that you can actually use in your own home, even though you are likely thousands of miles away from grand Paris? Start by identifying some of the features that are easy to replicate at home: fresh bouquets of flowers, bistro-style chairs, and a print or map of Paris would be easy enough to track down, and will add lots of charm on a dime.
To take your inspiration a bit further, it helps to take a peek inside an actual Paris apartment, like the gorgeous one shown above. The first thing you might notice is that the French are not afraid to mix things up – a stately tufted velvet sofa and classical flowing drapes stand happily alongside a modernist coffee table and unique artwork. But look a little closer, and you will notice there is something of a formula at work here: the classical “bones” of the apartment, including crisp white walls, subtle carpeting, and a few big classic pieces of furniture set the stage for the more eclectic accents.
Tips for decorating, Parisian style:
- Start with a clean, crisp white paint on the walls (tip: try Oxford White or Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore)
- Roll out a subtle + super-soft rug in pale blue or white
- Embrace luxurious textures like velvet and taffeta
- Have fun hunting for antiques at the flea market to add character
- Mix things up with a few very modern pieces
- Integrate small flashes of bold color (like pink) in accessories + artwork
Photo: French By Design
To pull it all together, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pieces that would work very well together in a chic, eclectic Paris-style living room. Begin with a few coats of crisp white paint on the walls, add in an antique gold-framed mirror above the mantle, a tufted velvet sofa, and a modern chair. Add a soft, Moroccan-style rug on the floor, toss a few hot pink pillows on the couch, and hang a vintage-reproduction map of Paris on your wall. Then all you need to do is buy yourself a baguette, and cue up the Edith Piaf on the gramophone!
For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!
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