Parisian Apartment Style Decor Tips for Every Room

Bonjour! Let’s talk about how to get the Parisian decor look at home.

Paris is one of the most popular cities for American travel, and many people are so impressed by the lovely French decor and interior architecture, that they want to know how to decorate their home like a Parisian! I’ve always been inspired by the elegant and classic apartments of Paris so I started researching how to achieve the Parisian decor look from this side of the Atlantic.

Parisian Apartment Design History

Parisian apartments are what many people think of when they imagine European style decor.

Actually, the Haussmann style is the classic Parisian apartment design aesthetic. Most people immediately picture the grandiose Haussmannian-style apartments when they think about Parisian interior design. But who was Haussmann?

Georges-Eugène Haussmann was a prefect, or state representative of the former Emperor Napoleon III, who was commissioned to oversee a massive public works renovation project between the years 1853 and 1870.

Smaller buildings were demolished and replaced by larger residential homes situated on spacious, wide avenues. Much of Parisian apartment design has been influenced by this modernization of the city.

Parisian Interior Design Elements

Decorating your home in the style of a Parisian apartment can be costly as many of the elements of Parisian interior design are structural. Characteristics such as herringbone hardwood floors, marble fireplace mantels, and intricate wall moldings, all must be built into the walls themselves. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate some of the easier Parisian style decor themes into your home at an affordable cost!

Parisian Apartment Decor Guide - faded blue sofa via CoteMaison Studio 85 By Casaromani et Conscience
Studio 85 By Casaromani et Conscience

Here are a few structural elements of classic Parisian style homes. These architectural features make Parisian homes instantly recognizable around the world!

Marble Fireplace Mantel

Marble fireplaces are installed in many Parisian apartments. They are often white with gray veins or brick red with white veins in color.

Fun fact: for many years, it was against the law to actually use them! Due to fire concerns, fireplaces in Paris could not be lit for years, but many apartment owners left their fireplace mantels intact because of the charm they give the room. Today, they can be used as long as safety and maintenance regulations have been met.

This is a tough one to get in your home simply because they are so expensive, but if you do want to make a big purchase then head to Marc Maison to see a selection of stunning marble fireplaces you can purchase.

We also wrote a post on how to decorate a Parisian fireplace mantel to browse for inspiration.

Gilded French Mirror

No Parisian fireplace mantel is complete without a built-in gilded French mirror installed above it! This one is a bit easier to get in your home and the trend has certainly caught on stateside. You can find so many gold-framed French mirrors online to get this look in your home.

Even though Parisian mirrors are typically built into the wall above the fireplace, you can still imitate this look by placing a large gold mirror above your fireplace and just leaning it against the wall.

Parquet Wood Floors

Another quintessential element of Parisian apartments is the warm brown parquet wood floors often in a herringbone or chevron pattern. The brown hardwood floors help warm up the apartment and create a nice contrast against the white walls.

Adding a vintage rug over your wood floors is optional. Some Parisians leave their parquet hardwood floors bare, while others prefer to add an oriental rug.

Wall Moulding

In true Louis XIV fashion, the walls of the most luxurious Parisian apartments almost always have some sort of wall molding to frame the space. The molding can extend to the doors and even the ceiling of the apartment.

Large Ceiling Medallion

In addition to the molding, Parisian apartments often feature a large ceiling medallion from which their beautiful chandeliers hang!

Interior Glass French Doors

Many Parisian apartments have glass French doors to separate the various rooms of the home. These interior doors can be opened and closed easily to keep the noise contained in one room. The glass panels help to keep light flowing throughout the house. This is a very practical design choice! These double glass doors could easily be installed in the doorway of your home.

Wrought Iron Balcony

A big part of the charm is the beautiful black wrought iron balconies that grace the windows of apartments all across Paris. Because the windows are so tall, these iron balconies served a practical purpose when they were first installed! Over time, the iron scroll designs became another beautiful element in Parisian apartment design.

I’m not going to lie – I’ve definitely thought about the logistics of purchasing one of these pretty iron wall panels and rotating it to fit inside my window to create this look!

Parisian Decor Colors

The Parisian decor colors involve starting the design with a base of white. Often, the walls of a Parisian apartment are painted a bright white to allow the wall panels and molding details to really stand out. From there, darker hues like burgundy, forest green, and royal blue are chosen for furniture and decorative accents.

Parisian Style Furniture

Parisian style furniture is much easier to find online. The style of furniture you choose will depend on the structural elements of your home. I often see modern minimalist furniture inside Parisian homes because it contrasts with the intricate moldings on the walls. Conversely, if your walls are bare, you can get away with the more recognizably French style furniture like cabriole sofas and Louis chairs. In any case, you can always mix the traditional with the contemporary for a chic Parisian home.

Here are a few pieces of classic Parisian furniture I recommend:


Parisian Decor

There are only a few Parisian decorative accents to add to your home. In general, Parisians don’t decorate with objects as much as Americans do. They prefer to have personal belongings hanging around the house like books, and rarely go out to purchase decorations. If they come across a quirky object at a Parisian flea market that fits in with their home, then they’ll buy it on the spot!

In any case, there are a few little decorations you can buy to make your home more Parisian. These are perhaps the most affordable ways to decorate in the Parisian apartment style. Check out these French home decor brands available in the USA. Remember, less is more when it comes to Parisian decor, so don’t overdo it by creating lots of clutter.


Gold Framed Mirrors

The vintage gold framed mirror is a quintessential Parisian decorative design. You can often see these large gold mirrors on top of fireplace mantels in Paris. Sometimes they are built into the wall themselves.

You can easily get the look too as a few American retailers sell mirrors that have been influenced by this classic Parisian mirror. Both Anthropologie and Arhaus sell mirrors inspired by the vintage Louis mirrors associated with Parisian homes.

See all my French gold mirror recommendations for even more options.

Crystal Chandelier

When it comes to Parisian lighting, the French crystal chandelier is most often associated with Parisian apartment design. This extravagant lighting fixture will instantly make your home look like it belongs in Paris. Part of what makes these chandeliers so beautiful is that the light reflects off of each individual crystal throughout the space. Other popular Parisian chandeliers include the mid-century modern chandelier or the starburst chandelier.

Vintage Gold or Brass Tray

Parisians often use vintage gold or brass trays on different surfaces such as the dresser top or sideboard to hold groups of small objects. They might store their perfumes on a chic gold tray or they might even keep different jewelry items. These feminine decorative objects are perfect for adding a metallic sheen to your home.

French Candles

France is well known for creating some of the most beautifully scented candles in the world. French candle makers such as Diptyque create some of the most enchanting fragrances you can imagine. The French love decorating with candles around every part of their home. The two best-selling Diptyque candles that you should consider buying are Roses and Berries, each of which has a cult following!


Parisians love buying fresh flowers for their homes at least once a week! This is one of the easiest ways to decorate like a Parisian no matter where you live. Fresh flowers will make your home smell lovely and they will bring you a small bit of joy every time you look at them.

If you prefer, dried flowers or another option that contemporary Parisians love to use to decorate. Dried flowers will last longer and don’t need to be changed out more than once a year. You can put dried wheatgrass and stabilized flowers in different colored glass vases around your home for a Parisian look.

Lastly, you can buy a glass vase by Baccarat for your home to hold your own flowers.

Modern Art

Parisians love decorating with modern art such as paintings and sculptures around the home. Instead of hanging art on the wall, Parisians might lean it against the wall on top of a dresser or sideboard.


The bust sculpture is typical of traditional Parisian home interior design. The bust is often white in color and could be a man or a woman. It’s often placed on the fireplace mantel.


Parisians love reading and often have books and just about every room in the home. From classic literature to contemporary novels, Parisians love having books in different places so they can pick one up and read whenever they wish to. Check out who won the latest Prix Goncourt to discover French contemporary authors.

Many Parisian decorative pieces are sourced either from family inheritances or from browsing a local flea market in Paris, but if you visit some antique shops in the US, you might just get lucky and find your perfect piece!

Parisian vs French Country Decor

What is the difference between Parisian and French Country decor? Despite what it may seem, there is a big difference between Parisian home decor and French country home decor. The Parisian decorative style is definitely French, but it’s much more modern and minimalist than French country decor. Parisian decor and furniture are rarely “distressed” and are often contemporary and minimal or traditional with few blemishes.

Parisian Homeware Brands

There are several different Parisian home goods brands that you should know if you’re decorating your home like a Parisian. These are the most popular Parisian decorating and homeware brands.

  • Baccarat – for luxury glassware and crystal homeware
  • Christofle – for French tableware and silverware
  • Bernardaud – luxury French ceramic tableware
  • Diptyque – for French candles, room spray, bath & body, and soaps
  • Le Creuset – for French ovens and cookware
  • Lalique – luxury French glass art and homeware

Parisian Design by Room

Here are a few design guides for decorating in the Parisian style in every room of your home!

Parisian Decorating Blogs

You should follow the top Paris interior designers for more design inspiration from Paris. In addition, here are a few Parisian decor blogs I love reading for inspiration!

  • Hello-Hello
  • French Fancy
  • Clem around the corner
  • Inside Closet
  • The Socialite Family

Check back often for more Parisian decorating tips! You can also follow our Parisian decor Pinterest board.



  1. Your “fun fact” that Parisians aren’t allowed to use them is incorrect. You can use the chimney if it has been swept according to local regulations AND if the property owner rules of your building does not prohibit its use.

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