I had fully expected to find Paris a living, breathing cliche. I mean, how moving could the Eiffel Tower be? I had watched enough romantic comedies to believe the city itself would be a boiled down version of the city of love. My first trip to France showed me how little I really knew about Parisian culture, or how seriously the French take their aesthetics. In fact, Paris showed me that maximalism—in all its needless ornateness—was truly about the expression of culture and enjoyment of beauty for nothing but beauty itself. This is why Paris became the most romantic city in the world. Not because people fall in love there, or go there to get engaged, but because it begs you to stop and indulge in simple pleasures—from the art to the architecture to the music to the food to the fashion. Paris is the city of pleasure.
If you can’t tell, I’m craving a trip back to the city I had all but written off before even visiting. It changed the way I thought about what delights me and helped me find ways to bring simple pleasures back into my daily life. I had the team here round up a couple of ideas on how to bring this Parisian sense of romance into your home to enjoy yourself. From velvet couches to record players, here are some ways to bring a little bit of delight into your space.
Make your bathtub a destination. You don’t need an antique clawfoot tub (or even a big soaking tub) to bring a little French flare into your space. Put your bath oils in little vintage glass vases, put some Epsom salt into a wide bowl with a glass top and a little scoop. Decorate a little bath tray with all these trappings so it is ready for you to indulge on Monday night when most of us need a good soak the most.
Get yourself a record player. The sheer ritual and crackling sound of a needle hitting vinyl are romantic enough to bring back an entire business around an otherwise archaic way to listen to music. It also means you don’t need to have your phone anywhere near you to be the DJ for the night.
Dim the lights! Change your light bulbs to no greater than 40 watts and use candles to light your space. Be sure to avoid daylight bulbs as they bring a blue tint that can be harsh and jarring. We want a nice warm glow! When selecting candles, pick a scent that brings back memories of travel or a happy, romantic time in your life. For me, I go for earthier, musky scents.
Anything we missed? How do you bring the feeling of your favorite city or destination home with you?
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - September 20, 2018
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
I love the lush, decadent maximalism that Parisian aesthetic employs – it just feels so comfy and inviting – minimalist design doesn’t do that for me.
I certainly agree.
I never tire of Paris, so I’m glad you were able to be pulled into it’s charm! One of the things I love about France, is how much care is put into the visual shopping experience. You go to the Bon Marche and see all the same things you do here, but they are so carefully presented that it’s like visiting a museum. I love it! We got married right outside Paris (my husband’s family is French) and I’m hoping to move there someday. Gotta take some language classes before then though! Hope you go back ASAP!
Eva | http://www.shessobright.com
Really nice comment!
Love that little Serta loveseat! Definitely gives a Parisian vibe. And for WAY less than other fancier sofas.
I’ve never visited Paris for the very reasons you mentioned. I feel I’ve seen so many pictures and there is nothing I need to see in person. I may have to visit after all, though . I love taking pottery and other housewares from my trips.
Pictures don’t do the city justice. If all you are interested in is “sights” then pictures might be enough. If you travel for experience and culture then pictures can’t begin to be enough. The problem is that the typical tourist experience of Paris is about the sights and Instagram spots nowadays. You can come home wondering what the hype is about. You have to get away from the crowds, and the tower, to feel the magic. Leave the city center, get lost in it, take the subway, meet Parisians. It’s a beautiful and wonderous city – if you know how… Read more »
I TOTALLY agree!!!!!
Yes, Paris is full of beautiful things, outside and inside people’s homes! Many eyars ago I lived just outside Paris for 5 years and in those 5 years I didn’t get to see everything beautiful there is.
you lived my dream!
I live in Australia. I thought I would like Paris before I went there, but I LOVED IT! the Eiffel Tower is just SO beautiful, especially at night. The Louvre and Musee D’Orsay are divine – oh! If you ever get the chance to go there, DO IT! You will never regret it ……..
I love Paris too for the rococo feel of
the beauty there. It’s as if everyone, even in a tiny space, decorates as if it were their own mini Palais de Versailles! I am drawn to the people, the food, the arts, and especially la mode! Vive la France!
Vive la France!!!!!
I’m like you Paris is one of the last places I thought I would want to go, I just can’t get it off my mind I can’t wait to go back soon I absolutely loved it!
I have been twice , and have an offer to go again for a house exchange. If you go, I hope you can go to the Moulin Rouge!!
One of the most wonderful things I have ever done. She scene itself, ahhhh !
I just love Paris. There’s just so much to see and do that visiting it once isn’t enough. There’s a very special vibe to the whole city and that includes French interiors – high ceilings with ornaments, velvet sofas, large art and chevron flooring… Gosh, I need to go visit her soon again!
All of these interior images are beautiful! The Parisian style is something everyone should aspire to live by, appreciating the little things in life, not just the media.
Great style picks! Love a little Parisian interior design!
Love your article. I’ve lived in Paris for almost two years now and it truly is a beautiful city! You absolutely have to visit the Hotel Soubise in the Marais. It has fantastic Rococo design, especially the rooms designed by Boffrand. Plus, there is a beautiful garden between in and another hotel particulier!
Thanks for sharing informative blog. This will help us a lot. Image is fabulous.