Before I moved to Paris I found a little book at the store called The Paris Apartment. It sounded interesting enough, so I found a spot to sit between the book shelves and flipped through every one of its page filled with interiors of dreamy Parisian apartments and French inspired interiors. From that moment on it was my dream to one day have a Paris apartment of my own to decorate with such beautiful details.
Fast forward nearly a decade and that dream has come true. I have a little piece of Paris to call my own and decorate. And yet another dream of mine came true. I had the chance to meet Claudia Strasser, the author of the little book that made me dream big, and the founder of The Paris Apartment.
Claudia is an expert on Parisian decor, a true insider of Paris’s famous brocantes and flea markets, sourcing spectacular furniture, linens, light fixtures, and more and styling them into the homes of her many clients as an interior designer. I asked Claudia to share her Parisian decor tips on Paris Rendez-Vous for some easy and beautiful ways to add some French flare to your own home. Here’s what she had to say…
“Parisian apartments are cozy, well worn, loved, collected, curated, timeless, romantic, elegant, inviting, comfortable, eclectic, and chic. Just a few of these touches are magnificently transformative. Just remember it's a work in progress and enjoy the process. Paris wasn't built in a day after all!
• Flea markets — Every weekend go armed with your list of one or two items that will add charm and panache to create the apartment of your dreams in just a couple weeks. Go early so you beat the crowds and get the best pieces before they're gone!
• Add architectural elements — Many Paris apartments are blessed with built-in features from the past such as crown and wall mouldings or a fireplace mantle. Don't have the original details? Look for small architectural fragments to hang on or over a door, columns, stained glass, or a pair of corbels. For smaller touches, change door knobs and key holes or dangle a key out with a tassel. An authentic antique chandelier is also an excellent touch.
• Find a few great furnishings — Aim for a a few stand out french pieces, like a petite mirrored vanity, a Rococo bed, slipper chairs, a chaise lounge, or a Louis XV reading chair by to place by a window. With larger items, an apartment can be sparse as long as what's inside is exquisite and useful.
• Mix and match textiles — The markets have the finest linens imaginable from bedding and blankets to tablecloths, napkins, dishtowels and curtains. Don’t be afraid to mix and match these with bright white linens for an antique French touch.
• Add pretty little details — Everyday items can transform a place from ordinary to extraordinary by adding vintage dishes and tea cups, old books, trays, small trinkets like magnifying glasses, and a few beautiful perfume bottles or powder boxes. The secret to making a Paris apartment special is all in the detail.”
If you want more of Claudia’s expert Parisian interior design insights, you can also download her app, Keys to the Fleas, follow her regular posts on her blog, and shop her beautiful online store!