Guest post by Lana Hawkins
Today, Lana takes us through the beautiful Parisian style and how to achieve this look in your own home.
A marble mantel, white walls, beautiful vintage mercury glass, and a balanced mix of old and new are the instantly recognizable features of chic Parisian apartments many modern designers are so in love with. If you are out of inspiration, you’ll find it there. Many of the traditional elements, like fireplace mantels, ornate moldings and parquet floors, originate from the period between 1853 and 1870, when much of Paris was rebuilt. Nowadays, many modern Parisian homeowners mix these elements with modern artwork and their apartments are on the top of the list as being most stylish and inspiring places to live in. So, if you’ve always dreamt of living French, here are some tips and tricks of how you can achieve that.
Be a Master of Mixing Vintage and Contemporary
Mixing traditional with modern is one of the key concepts you should follow. Create an eclectic space by mixing traditional features like millwork, chandeliers and artwork with modern pieces of furniture. Be careful, though, as you need to achieve a balance between old and new. It’s true that many Parisians are lucky to live in buildings that already have period features (like Haussmann building), but you can also do a bit of research at the flea market, for instance, and recreate the style on your own.
The White Walls are Essential
Unless located on the top floor, most Parisian apartments are quite dark. For that reason, Parisians love white walls, as they maximize the amount of light. White walls open up the space and make it feel airy, bright and serene. You can, of course, use some color if you’re fond of it, but then use it to create an accent wall in one of the rooms.
Experiment with Artwork
Paris has long been a place of meeting of many prominent artists from all around the world. Artwork has been highly appreciated for centuries and it’s been part of the culture. Modern Parisian apartments are full of traditional portraits mixed with different state-of-the-art sculptures and paintings. You are free to experiment when it comes to choosing the artwork you like. The accessories you choose should be displayed all around the apartment, but never too perfect. A good example would be a gallery wall where you can make various combinations and change them if and when you like. Parisians don’t like symmetry and perfection as much, but prefer style that is layered and somehow undecorated.
The Choice of Furniture
Going on a hunt for furniture is perhaps one of the most interesting experiences people usually tell about. Most of the pieces might actually be found at flea markets where you need to be ready to bargain. A lot. Each room in a modern Parisian apartment most usually combines pieces of furniture from different eras and the urban-chic aesthetics is best achieved by combining different styles. For instance, contemporary designer furniture is well mixed with some traditional pieces, like chairs, rugs and pieces of art.
A Chandelier is a Must
Hanging a chandelier above the dining table or in the living room is the most prominent mark of the Parisian style. It might look a little cliché, but it definitely brings the atmosphere you strive for. This doesn’t have to be an expensive investment as you may find really good options at eBay or IKEA.
The only thing you need to remember in the end is that the French are all in little details. A bohemian lifestyle means you are free to mix it up and have fun. “Freedom is the only style,” as Philippe Starck, a French design icon, states.
What is your favourite Parisian piece in your home?
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