Parisian style decor: 6 essential tips to master the look no matter where you live

French interior designer shares the style secrets to recreating effortlessly chic Parisian interiors in any space

compilation of Parisian style decor in a hallway, living room and bedroom
(Image credit: Stephan Juillard | Iconique Studio)

Parisian style decor has a certain je ne sais quoi. We've spoken to a world-renowned French interior designer to uncover the style secrets of achieving this effortlessly elegant aesthetic in any home.

Similar to building a French capsule wardrobe there are style secrets to effortlessly achieving Parisian style decor for your home. Much like the 'quiet luxury trend' adopting the basic principles of French-chic decor can make a home look expensive without overhauling the entire decorating scheme – because often the finer details can make all the difference.

From calming interior paint color trends and thoughtful furniture choices these are the need-to-know style ingredients to master Parisian interior design.

Parisian style decor: 6 essential style tips 

Speaking exclusively to Adriana Schor, founder of Paris-based interior design firm, Iconique Studio, we have uncovered the interior design trends and styling essentials to encapsulate the look in any setting.

1. Consider the colour palette

neutral Parisian style decor bedroom with burnt orange velvet accessories

(Image credit: Stephan Juillard | Iconique Studio)

When it comes to creating a chic French-style aesthetic it's all about the balance between working primarily with a neutral colour palette and decorating with darker colours to add flamboyant accents. 

"For me, typical Parisian colours are a perfect mix of gravitas, elegance and fun," says Adriana. "Prussian blue, brick, and deep wine, paired with muted whites and greiges are my go-to palettes."

The look is very much aligned with creating a blank canvas by using the best white paint colours on walls while using smaller touches of bolder hues via accessories and furniture choices. This style works best when there's a cohesion of colour that flows from room to room, so no space feels jarring as you transition from one space to another.

2. Make a lasting impression

Compilation image of Parisian style decor is a hallway and living room with neutral colour schemes and warm accents

(Image credit: Stephan Juillard | Iconique Studio)

An important element of French design is to make a lasting impression in every room, creating an understated elegance that captivates from the moment you step into the room.

"Most buildings in Paris have a story of their own," says Adriana. "Even staircases and entrances are carefully maintained to instil a sense of awe the moment you enter the space. The same goes for the Parisian style."

No room should be considered less important when it comes to layering decorative details. Make every detail feel intentional, no matter how small because it shows that each space has been curated and thoughtfully styled. 

3. Accentuate the architecture

Parisian style decor dining room painted neutral with red painnted arches to show the architecture and mirrors to create a room divide

(Image credit: Stephan Juillard | Iconique Studio)

"The things to consider when designing a Parisian-style room always start with the original architectural features," suggests Adriana. "Windows, doors, arches, mouldings and trims are the best way to begin as they will help you place your furniture and show you where you need to feature light and colour."

Play to the strengths of your space, whatever size or period it may be. If you have high ceilings make a feature of them by choosing an alternative ceiling paint colour. Perhaps you have characterful window frames? Look to enhance the windows with elegant drapes or an accent colour painted on the frames.

Use paint to make the room look bigger and more intriguing by applying accent colours to highlight areas of architectural interest – as this example of the painted archways demonstrates beautifully.

4. Dress every room with decorative objects

Collage of a Parisian apartment showing a bathroom and bedroom in neutral colours with burnt orange accents

(Image credit: Stephan Juillard | Iconique Studio)

Consider the finer details to dress every room in style. Adriana advises: "Once you have established how you want to actually use the space and have your guests experience the space, placing personal items - books, decorative objects and antiques are all used to dress a room - just as someone putting on perfume as the final touch."

The key is to declutter your home and only have valued items on display to ensure the space has the right balance of contemporary style and character.

"I wouldn’t say that there is a clear code for what materials to use or not use it’s all about authentically weaving together a historical space and personal taste."

5. Always incorporate art

collage of Parisian style decor ina bedroom and kitchen showing artwork

(Image credit: Stephan Juillard | Iconique Studio)

No room is appropriately dressed to Parisian style standards without the addition of carefully curated artwork. That's not to say it has to be expensive art, just that it has to be refined, considered and fitting to enhance the surrounding decor.

"Art selection is also key," says Adriana. "Parisian interiors live with art and not the other way around. The art showcased adds to the historical grandeur of the space and gives it a uniquely contemporary twist."

6. Mix and new

Very fittingly for sustainable living choices and supporting second hand furniture and restoration of period features is a key part of Parisian style decor.

"There is always a historical reference or a hint to the past - generally found in architectural mouldings, doors, ironmongery or beautiful original parquet flooring," Adriana explains. "This is the perfect backdrop to overlay more contemporary pieces such as plush but beautifully tailored furniture and statement lighting."

What is Parisian style decor?

"Parisian style, whether it be for fashion or interior design is very much about elegance," says Adriana." It will always combine authentically beautiful materials paired with subtle but luxurious furnishings." In short, Parisian style decor is effortlessly elegant yet intriguing in equal measure.

The understated colour palette creates a canvas of calmness and serenity while the layers of vintage treasures and authenticity create a mystique that adds depth.

Tamara Kelly
Lifestyle Editor

Tamara is a highly experienced homes and interiors journalist, with a career spanning 22 years. Now the Lifestyle Editor of, she has spent the last 17 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, and it’s with these award-winning interiors teams that she gained a wealth of knowledge and honed her skills and passion for styling and writing about every aspect of lifestyle and interiors.

A true homes and interiors expert, Tamara has served as an ambassador for leading interior brands on multiple occasions, including appearing on Matalan’s The Show and presenting at top interior trend forecasting events such as the Autumn Fair and Spring Fair.