French and Fabulous: How to Decorate Like a Parisian

Style tips to give every home a little Gallic flair

The effortless chic style of the French doesn’t stop at their wardrobes. Enter a Paris apartment and you’ll find the same level of elegance you might see on the Champs Elysées. What makes French style so special, yet so hard to duplicate? We toured these five apartments in the City of Lights to learn how to decorate like a Parisian.

Palais Royale

paris-apt-palais-royale-3For a person who loves both country and city living, Palais Royale is just the city sanctuary you need. Located just five minutes from the Louvre, it’s only fitting that this space has a an artistic feel. The wallpaper depicts the simplicity of rural life, complemented by high ceilings trimmed with elegant crown mouldings. Best of all, the room’s full height windows can swing open to let the breeze sweep through the room as you sip on your earthy Bordeaux wine.


paris-apt-paris__bernadette_07Bernadette defines chic simplicity. Warm neutrals on the walls and understated accents, like a casual striped cover over the bench, let the bright window be the star of the show. This Haussmann-era apartment has been updated with all of the right necessities for those looking to master the art of French cooking: a chef-grade stove welcomes foodies to test out their most complex recipes, but if you’d rather cozy up in the breakfast nook with a croissant, the newspaper and a café au lait that’s just fine too. At Bernadette, less is more.
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paris-apt-paris_celia_01The first thing that comes to mind at Celia is ‘très chic’. Exquisite gilded accents, one-of-a-kind paintings, statues and antique furniture combine to transport you to another era, where spending afternoons chattering about poetry over coffee in the salon was common. The space’s elevated sense of sophistication is balanced by the soft lighting that pours in through the big, bright windows and carefully chosen lamps. Who wouldn’t want to sit and discuss Sartre’s Being and Nothingness in this inspired space?
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Triangle d’Or

paris-living-room-paris_triangledor_03Could this be the backdrop for Dior’s next couture photoshoot? An ultra-modern steel chair (not for sitting) is boldly paired with a romantic red velvet chaise longue, edged by an antique mirrored divider to give the room the essence of a chic dressing room. The rich dark hardwood floors and soft grey on the walls promise the interesting furniture takes center stage; namely the roaring silver alligator relaxing beside the couch.
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Villa Alesia

paris-apt-designs-villa-alesiaAt first glance, you might imagine Villa Alesia is a modern marvel from Miami’s Venetian Islands. But this refurbished 1930s loft isn’t far from classic Paris landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or the shopping on Champs-Elysees. Perfect for the Parisian art collector, this bright space features an eclectic mix of modern and ancient Chinese pieces. Outside, lush gardens trim the expansive terrace inviting you to host an evening of cocktails and conversation.
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Colleen McNamara