Love Parisian Style? These 6 Trends Are Red Hot in France Right Now
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea,” and after scrolling through numerous French design boards on Pinterest, we can see why. The French follow a raison d'être design philosophy, which directly translates to “reason for being” or “reason to be.” What this actually means is that they view their living spaces as a tangible embodiment of their way of life. “France doesn’t revolve around work, money, or having the nicest and most expensive things,” says French lifestyle blogger Leonce Chenal. “Instead, it’s all about enjoying the best moment in life, whether it’s through social gatherings, amazing food, art, fashion or architecture.”
That philosophy carries over to interior design as well. While their furnishings tend to skew minimalist, decor acts as a manifestation of what brings them joy. They tend to keep things classic with traditional staples and antique or vintage pieces and sprinkle in touches of trendy decor throughout. We spoke with celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, whose collection with The Shade Store was inspired by his travels to Paris: “French style is always in fashion, and constantly gets reinvented with vigor and panache.” Here are six ways it’s being reimagined today.
1. Colorful, Curvy Vases and Glassware
One of the most celebrated aspects of French culture is their propensity for supporting local businesses, and at the moment, colorful handmade ceramics and hand-blown glass are particularly popular. Large pieces in matte-finished pastels are trending, though when it comes to glassware, people are opting for smaller vases in vibrant hues. Bullard says, “pink, yellow, green and blue pieces can make a bold statement,” while “deeper eggplants and steel grays” can add some drama. As for shapes and sizes, each will vary, but most have rounded edges and a curvaceous, bubble design. Keep things minimal by spacing everything out, and complete the look by adding a few dried florals to each.
2. Bamboo, Rattan and Antique-Style Lighting
It’s no secret that bamboo and rattan materials are on the rise, but when it comes to sophisticated interiors, the Parisians do it better than anyone else. Their lighting iterations take on a more laissez-faire attitude, with loosely woven pendants and skinny, understated floor lamps. “[Rattan] and Bamboo are making a comeback, which was the height of style in Paris in the late 19th century,” Bullard explains. There’s also been a revival of antique-style chandeliers with candescent crystals in tiered, waterfall formations that hang delicately from the ceiling. These beauties are often crafted by hand with antique brass embellishments that could be mistaken for a work of art. Sizes can range from tiny pendants to large, oversized lights, but consider your wallet warned: Genuine antique pieces tend to get very expensive—regardless of size.
3. Fanciful Patterns and Textiles
“The simplified looks of the last decade are giving way to more color and pattern,” says Bullard. However, the fabrics we’re seeing are far from your run-of-the-mill striped linens and cotton-printed chevrons. These textiles are the quintessence of opulence, from velvet-fringed lampshades and chinoiserie-embroidered pillows to intricate oriental rugs and elegant sheer window treatments.
4. Laquer Busts
Perhaps one of the most popular items to be resurfaced in the vintage decor trend is lacquered ceramic busts. While they’ve been around for centuries—mostly in museums—these traditional little statues are making a Gen-Z-style comeback, where they’re being used as functional pieces, like makeup brush holders or flower vases. Their glossy finish is also reviving the more maximalist lacquer trend from a few years back, which is “being employed freely in many spaces,” according to Bullard. We will say, however, that these statues are a bit more surreal than an ordinary David or Apollo head statue. Today, we’re seeing nude-style, monochromatic busts that start at the neck and end somewhere in the mid-to-low stomach region.
5. Luxe Candles
While the idea of using candles as decorative decor isn’t exactly French-owned, their methods are far more lavish than anyone else’s. First and foremost, adding a Diptique candle into the mix is a must. Bullard says Diptyque candles are bringing “the smells of Parisian cafes and bars to homes,” with “smoky undertones that immediately plunge your senses into the most decadent of Parisian ambiance.” The brand is almost synonymous with the French decor aesthetic, and their scents are just as luxurious as a bottle of Chanel N°5. Otherwise, long, tapered candles in neutral shades are another staple of this look. Pair them with a matte black candle holder—or antique bronze if you need a pop of color—and stack them in varying heights of threes for a classic vibe that’ll instantly elevate your mantle.
6. Oversized Arch Mirrors
ICYM: Large, arched and ornate floor mirrors are all the rage. They’ve monopolized our feeds for quite a while now, and we can see why this trend is here to stay. Not only are we obsessed with the *drama* of these mirrors, but they’ve taken our #ootd selfie game to a whole new level. “I have always loved an arched mirror, as it has history,” says Bullard. “The shape is seen throughout the centuries, [and] I believe the use of the arched mirror will be with us in fashion for quite a few years.” While the arched top of these mirrors can provide a space with a hint of femininity, the carved embellishments and gold ornate frames exude classic, old-world elegance. However, if your style skews more japandi or organic modern, you can keep the size and shape of this trend but ditch the added adornments for a more minimalist look.