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Global Influences – Part 4 – Parisian Chic

Paris is renowned for its own distinctive design flair and chic styling which is not only associated with clothing fashion but also within the world of interior design.

So what do Parisian Chic interiors have which makes them stand out from other interiors? Of course this depends on whether the home is old or new, for this article the focus will be on older homes as this is what the majority of people refer to when describing Parisian interiors.

Eclectic mixes abound with opulence and grandeur making a real statement of unadulterated luxury. From the ceiling to the floor the French have a real knack of creating stunning interiors using old furnishings which may or may not be authentic antiques. They are the masters of disguise and have been recycling for years!

Many French homes are passed down from generation to generation and generally this includes all the furnishings and furniture. Whilst we in the UK may look at some French interiors and ‘label’ them as Shabby Chic, in many ways that is exactly what they are!

This years global influences include recycling, along with metallic colours and returning to our roots, however unlike many other countries returning to the French roots often means returning to the days where the bourgeois had everything whilst those who lived in the ‘campagne’ (countryside) had little.

To recreate Parisian chic interiors you’ll need to think along the lines of elegance and refinement, chandeliers, large rooms with high ceilings and large windows and a colour palette which includes gold. Large ornate mirrors with gold gilt frames are nearly always included within the front room along with fresh flowers – the French have a passion for displaying vases of fresh, not artificial, flowers in their salon (lounge).

Period pieces of furniture mixed with new is acceptable, window dressings should be full length and made from brocade or other subtly patterned fabrics in cream or gold. The curtains are typically hung from antique brass curtain poles and left too pool on the floor or are swept open from the centre and held in place with tassel tiebacks. Cheap blinds are never used; instead elegant fabric Roman blinds which are pulled three quarters of the way up the windows, especially if the windows are tall and narrow.

The French always want their homes to feel warm and inviting from the moment they and their family or friends walk in through the front door. Relaxed, yet formal styles which are the persona of French hospitality epitomise Parisian Chic interiors.

Image: Haven and Home

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