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.
The funny thing is I didn’t even know I was decorating in a Parisian style years ago when I first started in our home. It just sort of came out of me (with a few other styles blended in).
I knew I wanted our home to feel timeless, charming, yet minimal. Parisian ticked all of those boxes!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 By Design coffee table book
- Pendant light
- Ceiling medallion
- Faux flowers
- Bistro table
- Dining chairs
- Fireplace mantel
- Dresser / credenza
- Framed wall art
- Table lamp
- Marble side table
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
- How to Find Your Decorating Style
- How to Transition Away from Your Current Decorating Style
- How to Avoid These Common Decorating Mistakes