How to Get the Parisian Chic Home Look on a Low Budget

14 DIY projects and budget decorating ideas to get the Parisian chic look in your home for less than the real thing.

There’s something about Paris that is a state of mind, a feeling.

And while our home is nowhere close to France on a map, we have sprinkled bits of Parisian chic style in just about every room with DIY projects and a few decorating tricks.

parisian chic home decor

What is Parisian Chic Interior Design?

It is a home decorating style that blends traditional and modern. It is chic yet simple, sophisticated yet calming, old and new.

Ugh… magnifique! See why I love it so much?! It’s a blending and balancing of so much beauty!

Parisian style interior design incorporates:

  • Wall panelings and moldings
  • Herringbone and parquet floors
  • Marble elements
  • Muted color palettes and white walls
  • Mixing furniture from various time periods
  • Scenic wallpapers, statement making artwork, and gilded mirrors

And while Parisian homes can look expensive, you can create the look in your home for less than you might think.

Parisian bathroom with white walls, black door, wood vanity, and marble countertop

14 Parisian Decorating Ideas to Create the Look for Less

1. Make Your Own French Bistro Table

Use a laminate countertop from IKEA and cast iron legs from Amazon to make your own faux marble bistro table in under an hour.

Tutorial: DIY Faux Marble French Bistro Table

breakfast nook with DIY French bistro table and banquette

2. Embrace White Walls

Apartments in Paris are often painted white to highlight intricate moldings, and white contributes to the overall clean, minimal look.

If you have low ceilings or small rooms, it can help trick the eye to make rooms look bigger than they really are.

Tip: See 9 Designer Approved Off White Color Paints to Try

home office painted Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

3. Add a Touch of Gray or Black

White walls are usually contrasted by warm grays, cool grays, or black on windows, doors, fireplaces, a piece of furniture or other architecture.

Tip: The Best Trick for Painting French Doors

marble top coffee table in a living room with white sofas and black French doors

4. Incorporate Jewel Tone Accents Curtains, Rugs, or a Lamp

It’s common in Parisian interior design to weave in jewel tones like sapphire, emerald, ruby, or amethyst as a subtle pop of color in curtains, a rug, throw pillows, a lamp, or a piece of upholstered furniture like an accent chair.

black writing desk / vanity in a bedroom with blue velvet curtains

5. Install Picture Frame Molding

Parisian apartments are usually filled with intricate moldings and architectural details, so you can fake the look by installing your own DIY picture frame molding.

Use these $20 miter shear cutters in place of a power saw as an alternative to get the project done inexpensively and quickly.

Or for a quick way to add ornamental molding, add a ceiling medallion around your existing light fixture.

Tutorial: DIY Picture Frame Molding

navy blue picture frame molding

6. Lean Into Murals

Fake the look of antique hand-painted scenic murals by hanging your own peel and stick version. I used one I found on Etsy.

Project: Antique Painting Peel and Stick Mural Wallpaper

white buffet in a dining room with navy walls and scenic mural wallpaper

7. Create Faux Gilded Mirrors

Use gold spray paint or Rub n Buff on old mirrors from the thrift store to fake the look of French style antique gold gilded mirrors.

Tip: The Best Gold Spray Paints – Ranked

Tip: Rub n Buff Colors Tried and Tested

gilded mirror in an entryway with wooden and marble accent chest

8. Add Antique Mirror Effects to Glass

Use antique mirror effect window film on glass in French doors, picture frames, or cabinets to create privacy and a hint of Parisian elegance.

Tutorial: DIY Mirrored French Closet Doors

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white french door bifold doors on a closet
antique mirror French door bifold doors using window film

9. Go for Herringbone LVP Floors

Parquet floors in herringbone or chevron patterns are the classic Parisian flooring choice, but it’s expensive to install the authentic hardwood kind.

For a less pricey alternative, you can install herringbone luxury vinyl plank flooring instead. It’s super DIY-able and resists scratches if you have kids and pets.

Tutorial: How to Install Herringbone LVP Flooring

herringbone LVP floors in a kitchen with pantry cabinets

10. Opt for Marble Remnants

Marble plays a big role in Parisian design in furnishings, fireplaces, tile, and countertop materials. If you’re remodeling a bathroom, check with your local stone fabricator to see if they have any marble remnants for a discount to use as the countertop.

You can add a marble remnant on top of an old wooden desk or coffee table too.

Ask your fabricator to seal the marble with a UV coating for extra protection against etching.

Tip: How to Remove Stains from Marble

Parisian chic bathroom with scalloped marble backsplash and countertop

11. Hang Large Scale Art

To pair with immaculate white walls, Parisians love highlighting art from antique landscapes to modern abstracts.

Go large and singular to maintain the look of minimalism.

You can achieve it on a budget by printing art downloads on engineer prints at Staples / Office Depot, adhering posters to old canvases, or applying prints to cut plywood.

Tutorial: DIY Large Scale Wall Art from a Shower Curtain

home office with white walls and large abstract art

12. Mix Modern Furniture With Classic Antiques from FBMP

Balance a room by incorporating modern, sleek furnishings with classic, intricate antiques.

Parisian interiors often mix furniture from multiple time periods and opt for few pieces of higher quality.

Learn how to train your Facebook Marketplace algorithm by saving furniture that suits your style, even if you don’t plan on purchasing those pieces. Check back often to catch the best furniture finds.

Tip: How to Find the Best Deals on Facebook Marketplace

marble top coffee table in living room with couches and vase of pink roses

13. Add Flowers

The “Parisian way” is to adorn tabletops with vases and pots of flowers. But you don’t have to buy real flowers to get that look (because that definitely adds up and gets messy to maintain).

There are so many great faux flowers that look like the real thing nowadays instead.

Keep an eye out for discounted faux florals right after holidays like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day especially.

Tip: Where to Find Fake Flowers That Look Real

bed with white nightstand and vase of white flowers

14. Less is More

Parisian Chic is all about being clean and clutter-free, so keep accessories to a minimum.

Less is more. Blank spaces allow rooms to breathe.

hallway with white walls and runner rug

Parisian Room Decor from Amazon

Just for fun, I dug around on Amazon to find some less pricey alternatives to the real deal Parisian home decor and furniture.

Parisian home decor from Amazon

We’re not 100% Parisian chic around here in our home, but if I had to assign our decorating style to a main category, that’s definitely one of them.

Do you think you’d try any of these yourself?

More Decorating Ideas

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6 Comments

  1. Hi,

    What’s the chance you can do something like this with “farmhouse coastal classic transitional decor” haha. I ended up doing a style test and this is what i got and i have no clue how to start lol.

  2. Thank you , Lauren, for this information. I was clueless that Parisian is a style. Since you spelled out the elements, I realized I was already on that path. I find it REALLY helpful to have a recipe. So, now I’m tweaking per your guidelines. I’ll never be able to do all of them, but that’s ok. I see that simplicity is a big part of this style, so I may have to retrain my brain. Fewer things to dust is a plus!

  3. I love this post! So inspiring and helpful – I plan to try several of your ideas. I really like that they are all budget friendly and completely doable! Thank you for the inspiration this morning ❤️