Decorating Lessons from the Streets of Paris

July 15, 2018

In honor of France’s Bastille Day and my French heritage (traced back to 1634!), I pulled up some photos from Paris travels that reflect some of the well-known decorating and design “rules.”  Be forewarned – you won’t find French home interior photos in this writing, but allow me to share with you some of my favorite shots…

 

  • Select something symbolic that represents you to proudly display in your home

​While one could argue that the fleur de lis is grossly overused in decorating (especially in the Gulf South), there is no question that it’s one of the most enduring symbols through history -- even used in Egyptian decoration. I’ve incorporated it into the Jean Kidd ReDesign logo, (can you find it?) and couldn’t help but notice its presence on Paris streets.  (I could have inserted about 25 fleur de lis pictures here, but I've spared you...)

 

Is there a symbol that is authentic to you? 

Incorporate it into your home to tell your story. 

  • When using color, use the percentage rule of 10-30-60, with a neutral as the dominant (60%), a secondary color (30%), and an accent color (10%) to add interest and variety to your color scheme.

     

     

 

Notice how your eye bounces around these areas of beautiful color?  Now picture this façade without the pops of red and bright gold. Life and energy is communicated here! 

 

How does your home incorporate color?

  • Rule of 3’s: 

Objects look better in threes.  The easiest way to incorporate that rule into styling or decorating is to group three accessories that relate to each other in material or shape, and vary them through height or placement within the grouping.

 

Have a group of décor items displayed? 

Try editing down to a grouping of three and see how it is more pleasing to the eye.

  • Incorporate unexpected elements of drama…

Gargoyles at the top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris certainly qualify as dramatic.  (And gargoyle statues even occasionally show up in decorating with the intention of warding off evil spirits in the home.)  By the way - Notice the Fleur de Lis?

 

How do you add a bit of drama to your home?

  • Use an element of whimsy (or the unexpected)

This is a dance shoe store in Paris.  Ballet shoes in bird cages?  Got my attention.  (Not to mention the gorgeous chandeliers and stunning costume!)

  • Details matter

Picture these beautiful carrousel horses at the base of the Eiffel Tower looking all the same.  Blah!

 

Incorporate details into your home furnishings and finishes. 

It makes a difference!

  • Seek symmetry

 

Everywhere you look in Paris you see great attention to symmetry, from the café tables and chairs to store displays.  Our brains seek symmetry. 

 

Incorporating this concept into your home will create a feeling of

comfort and organization.

  • Mix textures in a monochromatic setting

Do I need to say more?  Can’t you just imagine holding the smooth china and the cut crystal dining pieces and feeling the rich textures of the fabrics and furs in this window?

 

How does your home invite that tactile experience?

  • Take a few risks

 

OK…so I thought buying one of these handmade head wraps from a custom Paris milliner shop was a good idea.  (Yes...I was sober...) I’ve only worn it one other time, but it was a small risk to have a little fun and incorporate some style. 

 

How do you do take a few styling risks in your home?

 

 

Struggling with how to incorporate some of these decorating and design concepts into your home?  Get in touch! I'd love to help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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