Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Decorating Parisian Chic Style

French decorating can be sparse or lushly layered, but it is always attractive.French furniture spans many styles and periods. Even modern chic French interiors often include pieces from a number of periods, including Baroque, Regency, Rococo and Empire---perhaps even with a bit of Art Nouveau and Art Deco tossed in the mix. Collect antiques, or good reproductions, in historical French styles. Mix them all together, as if you inherited several centuries' worth of family pieces. Don't be afraid to add a few modern touches, like a contemporary sofa covered in plush velvet or an abstract painting.

The French have cornered the market on all that is chic, sassy and stylistic, so it comes as no surprise that people around the world work diligently at replicating their style.The French are about simplicity and love neutral tones that feel comfortable, as well as vogue, bolder tones for chic looks. Black is usually the primary accenting color for the chic look but be wary of not over using it because the French look should not be too dark.Color schemes vary, but classic combinations include black and white, white on white, and the pale palette of white, cream, light gray, pink, pale butter yellow and French blue.For deeper color, use combinations of deep rose, red, bottle green, ochre, peacock blue and black.
 Go easy on bold prints like plaid and stripes and if you must have them, do so sparingly as they take away from the romantic look you are trying to obtain.

I hope you get some ideas and are inspired to give a French twist to your interiors!

Enjoy the music, it sets the mood!

Black is a wonderful accent color for Parisian rooms; however, it must be used in a way that will not darken the room.

Go for really rich, opulent fabrics, like velvet, damask, brocade, toile de jouy, lace, and of course, silk and satin. Fill a fine porcelain or crystal vase with fresh flowers.

The trick is in the mixing of old and new.

In a Paris apartment on Quai Voltaire, the neoclassical living room with antique neoclassical furniture has a contemporary grey silk rug with a pattern of soft grey and beige bands that are a modern take on a classical Roman marble floor. Image courtesy Jean-Louis Deniot.

Mix ornate antiques with sleek lacquered or mirrored finishes.

Use floor-to-ceiling voluminous window treatments.

Burnished gilt touches will accent architectural details and carvings on furniture and give a feel of opulence to the room.


Beautiful moldings and paneling....ahh, Parisienne, classic architectural details

I love French kitchens!

Make sure your furniture and accessories have time-worn elegance and a vintage look. This is important even if you decide to mix in modern elements.

Young designers are creating fun, fresh interiors in classical Paris apartments. Here they have painted the boiserie black and mixed in a colorful rug and pillows.

This lovely room is decorated with a combination of modern pieces and antique French  furnishings and accessories.

Another view of the same room.

The lit a la polonaise is very French (even if it is actually Polish). If you can't buy one create the next best thing with the dressings, coronet and a four poster.

Scour antique stores and online auctions for chandeliers, wall sconces and candelabra in historical French styles.

A great blend of classical and contemporary for a Parisian Chic look.

Invest in a pretty French bed, there are many styles to choose from. And make some lavish bed dressings like canopies and coronets similar to this.

Think luxurious window dressings, rich carpets and large chandeliers.

Ornate gilt, carving and ormolu are common details in French decorating.

Hang gilt-framed mirrors and paintings. Toss a pair of plump silk pillows on the sofa.

Invest in an antique clock.
Use lush, opulent fabrics on your upholstery, pillows and windows. 

Add a marble bust and pedestal similar to this Madeleine Castaing Apartment on rue Bonaparte, Paris

Complete your French inspired interior with the right accessories, from fine antiques to those you might have picked up for pennies at a Paris flea market.Group beloved objects such as an old pocket watch, a colorful glass paperweight, and favorite books to show personality and flair.

Elie Saab’s apartment in Paris.

Parisian interior design is a very sophisticated blend of sleek modern furniture with traditional antique pieces that results in a look depicting enchantment, beauty, panache, style and luxury.

The architecture is very classical 18th century—exactly matching the Palais-Royal garden outside—but the furniture, lighting, and decorative objects are a mix of pure Art Deco, contemporary, and 18th century,” Jacques Grange says of the residence he designed for himself in Paris.

This is your opportunity to grab some friends and seek out small, second-hand shops, antique shops, vintage stores, auctions, flea markets, parish bazaars – anywhere that sells old pieces which are either in great condition or can be modified.

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This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer

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