4 simple steps to turn your home into a Parisian Palace
Posted on 05 August 2017
If you're like me and have a heart which lies with the architectural beauty of a Traditional Victorian home, but an eye that is drawn towards modern furnishings with the décor to match, then you may have found yourself falling in love with Parisian styled interiors too. I mean seriously, a little parquetry flooring never hurt anybody, right? And don't even get me started on decorative wall panels because we will honestly be here for days!
If you answered yes to my opening question, then perhaps you'll answer yes to the following as well. Do you hate how expensive it can be to completely re-decorate your home? Yes? Okay great, well then you're definitely in the right place. I'm going to prove to you, that you can re-decorate your existing house and to turn it into the home that you have always dreamed of, in just four incredibly easy steps. And the best part is, you don’t have to sell your soul to do so!
Step One: Let There Be White!
The most memorable aspect of a Parisian Apartment is the stunning wall detailing. Wall panelling with decorative architraves, skirting boards, cornices and ceiling roses leave me in absolute awe. I honestly find them to be some of the most beautiful points of interest in an interior as they leave a historic essence to a space whilst also portraying pure elegance. Once natural light is added to the equation, it is clear to see why the French have adopted this style as their own.
Source: Bloglovin - An insight into Parisian decorative wall treatment and how using crisp white can enhance those details.
BUT if you were hoping to spend a little less than the amount it would cost to replaster and detail your space, then you better start painting your walls with the brightest white you can find. White is such a beautiful, subtle tone and when hit with natural light you allow all the details of your space to be highlighted, and your stunning French décor will be thrown into the foreground of your space. If we compare your interior to a piece of art, the walls in your home are the structure of the canvas, and even though they are there in the background, they still require your attention, even for the smallest of detail. So in saying that, I personally recommend using Bauwerk, Bauwerk Colour, White Wash paint. This lime wash paint will leave your wall with a chalky roughness and slightly washed finish, depending on how many coats you do. The extra element of texture is used as your walls decorative detailing, meaning that there is no longer a need for the panels or further enhancing treatments.
Source: Chahan Interior Design - A stunning mixture of old and new. This interior is perfectly balanced with traditional detailing and modernised furnishings/décor.
Step Two: High and Wide!
When you imagine France, Paris in particular, what are some of the first things that come to your mind? For me, I’m envisaging myself eating delicatessen cheeses with a glass champagne, but whilst we’re talking interiors I’ve found myself romanticising over the lust and desire that is Paris right down to its very core. So how do we bring this element of romance into our space? We do this by setting the scene and creating an ambiance, so what better way than by using your curtains to alter the atmosphere.
The bigger the better I say, floor to ceiling and wall to wall. This is definitely the way to go when trying to immerse yourself within the Parisian style. Like your walls, your curtains are a part of the structure of your home, and they too are longing for that attention to detail. The French have a love for all things striking and high quality, so originally heavy silks and linen were used for their natural beauty, but, because their natural fibres alter and discolour over time, owners found themselves needing to regularly replace their fabric, which ends up being extremely expensive. To save yourself the time, money and stress, the appropriate thing to do is to make a wise fabric decision at the beginning of your purchase. You don't need to be a fabric genius either to do so. Checking the fabric label and ensuring that there is a balance of natural and synthetic fibres will allow you to achieve a beautiful drape whilst also increasing the longevity of your curtains. Synthetic fibres such as Rayon, Nylon and Acrylic imitate the natural properties in linen and wool, making them a suitable choice when selecting your textile an Australian climate.
Source: Theresa Sennerholt Design - A stunning use of grey and thick fabric to create shadows within the material.
Depending on your aesthetic, you will either love the shine of a satin or the matte texture of a sheer. Neither of these are the right or wrong decision. Satin fabrics are much thicker and so they will have a heavier drape. They also have a beautiful lustre - which is the way light reflects off the material. Sheer on the other hand is much lighter and has a tendency to fade into the background, but because of its transparency the outside world then becomes another element incorporated into your interior. Selecting a colour isn't as daunting as it sounds either. Choosing a muted colour that will compliment your furnishings and décor is an excellent way to introduce more colour, whereas a subtle grey will flatter your white walls.
Source: Vogue Window Fashion - Using sheers as a background detail.
Step Three: The Stand Out Edition.
Now this is where the fun begins. Every Parisian styled interior has one piece that inspires the whole space. Whether it be an extravagant piece of furniture or a bold colour or pattern choice, this item is the stand out in your home. If you're wanting to stay true to the style, then you will most likely be selecting a Chesterfield sofa in either a rich navy blue or envious green, or perhaps you own an artwork that has sentimental value, it may even be something structural like a fireplace.
Arden Chesterfield Sofa - Available from domu
But as this is your home, I encourage you to have fun with this piece, select something that reflects your unique personality, something that isn't on trend and that you just simply adore. Make this the piece that has people saying "wow, this is definitely something that he/she has chosen" when they enter your home. You never know, a Chesterfield sofa may be the perfect furnishing for you, I definitely fall under that category, but the best thing about decorating your own home is that it's yours, and you're allowed to decorate however you like.
Source - Pinterest - Structural elements defining this space.
One of my most favourite aspects of a Parisian home is the little hints of glam. I mean, would the French really have it any other way? A guild mirror sitting seductively over a fireplace or table legs coated with an antique gold finish is the perfect way to add a little decorative accent.
Source: Jessica Vedel - Using abstract art as a statement piece
Step Four: The Midas Touch.
Last but never least, it is finally time to accessorise! This has to be my favourite part when decorating as you can finally begin to see all your hard work and effort come together. These are the last little finishing touches before you can relax and reflect on how far you've come.
Source - Bows and Sequins
Source - My Domain
Jaimee Prtelli is a Melbourne based Interior Designer, Decorator and all round lover of beautiful things. Follow Jaimee on instagram @thegeneralstyle_