High Style: A Classic Paris Apartment

6 min read

When it comes to elegance and sophistication, few cities can rival Paris. From its world-renowned fashion houses to its exquisite cuisine, the French capital exudes an unmatched sense of style. This is particularly evident in the city’s classic apartments, which are revered for their timeless beauty and unparalleled design. In this article, we will delve into the world of high style and explore the elements that define a classic Paris apartment.

The Essence of Classic Parisian Design

Classic Paris apartments are characterized by their grandeur, attention to detail, and impeccable craftsmanship. They seamlessly blend traditional elements with modern influences, creating a harmonious and refined living space. Here are some key features that define the essence of classic Parisian design:

1. Haussmann Architecture

A significant aspect of classic Paris apartments is their architectural style, known as Haussmann. Named after Baron Haussmann, the prefect of the Seine in the mid-19th century, this style is characterized by its symmetrical facades, wrought-iron balconies, and large windows that flood the interiors with natural light. Haussmann architecture embodies the elegance and grandeur of Paris, providing a solid foundation for the classic design aesthetic.

2. Ornate Moldings and Cornices

No classic Paris apartment would be complete without its ornate moldings and cornices. These decorative elements, often made of plaster, adorn the ceilings and walls, adding a touch of opulence and sophistication. Intricate floral motifs, delicate scrollwork, and geometric patterns are common features of these decorative accents, giving the space a sense of history and charm.

3. Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring is another hallmark of classic Parisian design. These intricate wood patterns, consisting of small pieces of hardwood arranged in geometric motifs, create a visually stunning effect. The warm tones and rich textures of parquet flooring add warmth and character to the space, while also providing a durable and timeless foundation for the apartment’s overall design.

4. High Ceilings

One of the most captivating features of classic Paris apartments is their soaring ceilings. With heights often exceeding three meters, these high ceilings create a sense of grandeur and spaciousness. They also allow for the inclusion of large windows, which not only maximize natural light but also offer breathtaking views of the cityscape. The combination of high ceilings and ample natural light contributes to the airy and open feel of these apartments.

5. Elegant Fireplaces

Fireplaces are a quintessential element of classic Parisian design. These focal points serve as both functional and decorative features, providing warmth during the colder months and adding a touch of elegance year-round. The mantels of these fireplaces often showcase intricate carvings and are adorned with mirrors, artwork, or decorative objects, further enhancing the overall aesthetic.

The Timeless Color Palette

Classic Paris apartments are renowned for their sophisticated color palettes, which contribute to the overall sense of style and elegance. Here are some timeless colors commonly found in these apartments:

1. Neutral Tones

Neutral tones, such as beige, cream, and soft gray, are the foundation of classic Parisian design. These understated hues create a calm and serene atmosphere while providing a versatile backdrop for the apartment’s furnishings and artwork. Neutral colors also allow for the introduction of vibrant accents, such as bold artwork or colorful textiles, which can be easily changed to update the space.

2. Touches of Gold

Gold accents are often incorporated into the design of classic Paris apartments, adding a touch of luxury and glamour. Whether in the form of gilded frames, chandeliers, or decorative accessories, gold instantly elevates the aesthetic and creates a sense of opulence. The warm glow of gold against the neutral backdrop adds depth and visual interest to the space.

3. Subtle Pops of Color

While neutral tones dominate the color palette, classic Paris apartments also feature subtle pops of color to create visual interest. This can be achieved through carefully selected accessories, such as throw pillows, curtains, or artwork. Soft pastels, muted blues, and delicate greens are popular choices for introducing color without overpowering the overall design.

4. Black and White Contrast

A classic Paris apartment often incorporates a black and white color scheme to create a timeless and sophisticated look. This high-contrast combination adds a sense of drama and elegance to the space, whether through black and white checkered flooring, striped wallpaper, or bold artwork. The interplay between light and dark elements creates a visually striking effect.

Furnishings and Decor

The furnishings and decor of a classic Paris apartment are carefully curated to complement the overall design and create a cohesive aesthetic. Here are some key elements to consider:

1. Antique and Vintage Pieces

Antique and vintage furniture pieces are often incorporated into the design of classic Paris apartments. These pieces not only add a sense of history and character but also bring a unique charm to the space. From elegant Louis XVI chairs to ornate Rococo consoles, these timeless pieces contribute to the overall elegance and sophistication of the apartment.

2. Luxurious Fabrics

The choice of fabrics is crucial in creating a luxurious and inviting atmosphere. Classic Paris apartments often feature sumptuous textiles, such as velvet, silk, and brocade. These fabrics add depth and texture to the space, whether in the form of draperies, upholstery, or decorative cushions. Rich jewel tones, such as deep emerald or sapphire, are commonly used to enhance the sense of opulence.

3. Statement Lighting

Statement lighting fixtures are an essential component of classic Parisian design. From crystal chandeliers to elaborate sconces, these fixtures not only provide ambient lighting but also serve as works of art in their own right. The interplay between light and shadow created by these fixtures adds depth and drama to the space, further enhancing its overall aesthetic.

4. Artwork and Mirrors

Artwork and mirrors play a crucial role in the design of classic Paris apartments. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs add a personal touch and serve as focal points within the space. Mirrors, on the other hand, not only reflect light and create a sense of spaciousness but also add a touch of glamour. Ornate frames and carefully curated art collections contribute to the overall sophistication and style of the apartment.

Preserving the Classic Design

Preserving the classic design of a Paris apartment requires attention to detail and a deep appreciation for its historical and architectural significance. Here are some tips for maintaining the timeless beauty of a classic Parisian apartment:

1. Respect the Original Architecture

When renovating or redecorating a classic Paris apartment, it is essential to respect the original architecture and design elements. This includes preserving the moldings, cornices, and flooring, as well as maintaining the integrity of the overall layout. Any modifications should be done in a way that complements the existing design and enhances its beauty, rather than detracting from it.

2. Choose Quality Materials

Opting for high-quality materials is crucial in preserving the classic design of a Paris apartment. From the selection of hardwood for the flooring to the choice of fabrics for upholstery, investing in durable and timeless materials ensures that the design will stand the test of time. It is also important to prioritize craftsmanship and attention to detail when selecting furnishings and decor.

3. Embrace Timeless Design Principles

Classic Parisian design is rooted in timeless principles that transcend trends. Embracing these design principles, such as balance, proportion, and harmony, ensures that the apartment will maintain its elegance and sophistication over the years. Avoiding overly trendy elements and opting for classic and enduring styles allows the apartment to remain relevant and stylish for decades to come.

4. Seek Professional Guidance

Preserving the classic design of a Paris apartment can be a complex task. Seeking the guidance of professionals, such as interior designers or architects specializing in historic preservation, can be invaluable. These experts have a deep understanding of classic design principles and can provide valuable insights and recommendations to ensure the integrity of the apartment’s design.


A classic Paris apartment is a testament to the timeless beauty and sophistication of French design. From the grandeur of Haussmann architecture to the elegance of ornate moldings and cornices, these apartments exude an unparalleled sense of style. The timeless color palette, carefully curated furnishings, and attention to detail further enhance their allure. By preserving the classic design elements and embracing timeless principles, these apartments continue to inspire and captivate, serving as a true reflection of the City of Light’s enduring elegance.


  • 1. How can I incorporate the classic Parisian design into my own home?

    To incorporate the classic Parisian design into your own home, focus on elements such as Haussmann-inspired architecture, ornate moldings, parquet flooring, high ceilings, elegant fireplaces, and a timeless color palette. Curate antique and vintage furniture pieces, opt for luxurious fabrics, incorporate statement lighting, and display artwork andmirrors as focal points. Pay attention to detail and choose high-quality materials to ensure the longevity of the design. Seek professional guidance if needed to maintain the integrity of the classic Parisian style in your home.

  • 2. What are some tips for decorating with a neutral color palette in a classic Parisian apartment?

    When decorating with a neutral color palette in a classic Parisian apartment, start with a base of beige, cream, or soft gray on the walls and floors. Use touches of gold as accents to add a hint of luxury. Introduce subtle pops of color through accessories like throw pillows, curtains, or artwork in soft pastels, muted blues, or delicate greens. Create contrast with black and white elements, such as checkered flooring or bold artwork.

  • 3. How can I preserve the historic charm of a classic Paris apartment while incorporating modern elements?

    Preserving the historic charm of a classic Paris apartment while incorporating modern elements requires a delicate balance. Opt for modern furnishings that complement the existing design aesthetic, such as sleek and clean-lined pieces. Introduce contemporary artwork or decorative accessories that harmonize with the timeless appeal of the apartment. Pay attention to scale and proportion to ensure a seamless integration of modern elements without overpowering the classic design.

  • 4. Can I achieve a classic Parisian design on a budget?

    Achieving a classic Parisian design on a budget is possible with careful planning and resourcefulness. Look for affordable antique or vintage furniture pieces at thrift stores, flea markets, or online marketplaces. Opt for high-quality replicas of classic design elements, such as moldings or chandeliers, to achieve a similar aesthetic at a lower cost. Choose affordable fabrics that mimic the look and feel of luxurious textiles. Focus on creating a timeless and elegant atmosphere through the use of color, lighting, and attention to detail.

  • 5. What are some common mistakes to avoid when decorating a classic Parisian apartment?

    When decorating a classic Parisian apartment, it is important to avoid certain mistakes that can detract from the overall design. One common mistake is over-cluttering the space with too many decorative elements. Classic Parisian design values simplicity and elegance, so it is important to carefully curate the furnishings and decor. Another mistake is neglecting the original architectural features. Preserving and highlighting elements such as moldings, cornices, and high ceilings is crucial in maintaining the authenticity and charm of the apartment. Lastly, avoid falling into trends that may quickly date the design. Opt for timeless styles and classic design principles that will stand the test of time.


A classic Paris apartment is a haven of elegance and style, showcasing the timeless beauty of French design. With its Haussmann architecture, ornate moldings, parquet flooring, high ceilings, and elegant fireplaces, it captures the essence of classic Parisian design. The timeless color palette, carefully curated furnishings, and attention to detail further enhance its allure. Preserving the classic design requires respecting the original architecture, choosing quality materials, embracing timeless design principles, and seeking professional guidance when necessary. By doing so, a classic Paris apartment continues to inspire and captivate, serving as a testament to the enduring elegance of the City of Light.

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