A question I get asked a lot is “what do you call your style?” I struggled to answer this for a long time because I felt like it wasn’t just one school of design, but a medley of things that inspire me, characterized by the bones of my apartment and the style they demand. My home is old, at least by NYC standards, built before the turn of the 20th century, so having ultra modern pieces just wouldn’t work and would be a disservice (I think) to the apartment’s architecture. That being said, I do like some modern elements in my home and I definitely don’t want it to feel extremely outdated. I would say my style is 70% traditional, 30% mid-century modern.
When I first began to furnish my apartment in 2018, I based my style around what was popular at the time, which was boho decor. A lot of wicker, a lot of fringe, creamy neutrals with bold pops of color. See image above. It didn’t take me long to realize this was not the right style for neither me or my apartment, so out it went. Coming to my senses, I turned to Pinterest and time and again was drawn to the effortless elegance of Parisian apartments. The wall moldings, high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, herringbone floors, oversized mirrors, everything just spoke to my soul and I knew I had found true love. Looking around my apartment, I knew this style could work with the original wall moldings and semi-open concept layout of the main rooms connecting through the pocket doors.
It sounds overly simple, but whenever I’m having a design dilemma, I just turn to my Pinterest board and study the images I admire so much. When first starting, it can be hard to understand what exactly it is you like about a certain style, but the more you look and save which images call to you, the easier it will become to pick out the individual elements you’re attracted to. For me, it’s having just one or two prominent colors, furniture floating in the middle of the room, lots of gold or brass accents, velvet upholstery and most importantly, a mix of antique and new. My mom raised me surrounded by family heirlooms and the mindset of “they just don’t make things like they used to” was a constant throughout my childhood, so it’s no surprise I have an admiration of old things. To me, antique furniture, with its solid wood construction is very grounding, and I love to lighten the mood with modern accents, such as an unexpected light fixture.
So, how to emulate a similar style in your home? For one, establish a base with vintage/antique furniture. Head to the thrift store, shop secondhand online (I love Kaiyo), or browse Facebook Marketplace. For a modern yet balanced element, pair a piece of abstract art with an ornate gold frame, for the elegant Parisian vibe, add wall molding (tutorial here), hang your curtains high (a few inches under the ceiling) and wide to make your space appear grander, upgrade a plain piece of furniture with an easy DIY, buy any gilded mirror you find (some designers say no more than one mirror per room, but I say the more the merrier), add a Parisian mantle, swap basic light fixtures for either a traditional or modern chandelier and don’t you dare forget the ceiling medallion! Lastly, don’t be afraid to use a balance of light and dark paint colors in rooms, see all my paint colors here!
Search terms you can use to find similar inspo:
- Parisian apartment/Parisian modern
- vintage home decor
- traditional home style
- transitional design
- Grandmillenial home
- Georgian interiors
Hope that helps!❤️