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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

Whether you’re looking to revamp your living space or move into a new apartment entirely, this step-by-step guide will help you achieve that coveted Parisian-style living space.


Searching for apartments

When searching for apartments, I would keep an eye out for light oak wood floors, white or tan walls, large windows, and preferably a white fireplace. As such, the color scheme you should be looking for is white, tan, and gold. Remember to keep all colors on the lighter side in order to accommodate and complement your furniture better.

The living room

The furniture colors you’re going to be looking for are gray, beige, white, and gold. In certain cases, it may be OK to purchase a dark gray or black furniture piece in moderation — just be sure dark colors are not too overpowering or frequent.

Typically, Parisian apartments adhere to love chairs, short couches, a central coffee table stacked with magazines, gold picture frames, earth-tone throw pillows, and large standing mirrors. The goal is not to make your space cluttered, but rather add soft embellishments, such as faux wheat in a vase or a white ceramic bust.

Throw carpets

Regarding throw carpets, it is recommended to place them underneath coffee tables in a central area, ensuring they are not too large. The front legs of your couches or chairs should rest on the carpet, but not the backs. This will help you properly assess what size throw carpet you need for your living room or other spaces.

The kitchen

If possible, display brass kitchen utensils on a hanging rack. The kitchen is where you can really add some color, so opt for an earth-tone island and cabinets. Personally, I love the way green cabinets look in contrast with brass appliances, white spice or cookie tins, and tan walls. Don’t be shy to add wheat or green plants throughout your kitchen in moderation!

The kitchen is also a great place to incorporate some darker colors into your apartment, so consider a dark oak kitchen table with complimentary chairs.

The bedroom

Typically, Parisian apartments have plain, fluffy white comforters and pillows. Decorate your bed with some tan or gray throw pillows and blankets. On the wall, opt for earth-tone abstract art and black line art. Decorate your nightstand with books or magazines and plants, maybe even adding a little blush color in your vases.

A staple for all Parisian bedrooms is a gigantic full-body mirror. For the bedroom I’m describing, I would suggest getting a gold-embellished mirror to add a little sparkle to your room.

Other tips

Having a bright environment is crucial, so be sure to keep an eye out for apartments with large windows to bring in natural light. Remember, not everything has to be symmetrical and orderly. Opt for the abstract, but make sure that your rooms are not so uneven and chaotic that it takes away from the elegant and composed nature of Parisian apartments.

Finally, your living space doesn’t have to be huge in order to achieve your desired look. Typically, Parisian apartments are moderately-sized and cozy, with everything revolving around a central piece such as a fireplace or a coffee table.

Remember: don’t stress too much about achieving symmetry and perfection. Parisian homes have a mismatched nature that truly gives them their charm!

Lauren Jones

Columbia Barnard '23

Hey! My name is Lauren and I'm majoring in Biology. When I'm not studying, I can be found reading, going to concerts, or impulse buying clothes.