How to Decorate Bedrooms With a Paris Theme


Ah, Paris -- les baguettes, le van de pays, La Tour Eiffel, le decor -- you dream of a tiny garret under the eaves with a view over the rooftops. Surround yourself with that dream as you drift off to sleep. Decorate your bedroom Parisian-style. Or trick it out with enough Paris-themed touches to evoke la vie en rose, even on your darkest days. If the bedroom is for a teen, a giant black-and-white photograph of Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face is de rigueur.

Les Antiques, Les Chaises Longues

  • Ebony wood floors and snow-white bedding will transport you to the heart of history with a reproduction Louis XV bench, all gilded wood and white brocade upholstery at the foot of the bed. Tuck a chaise or a tete-a-tete couch under the window, covered in the same fabric, and pool ceiling-height white linen drapes on the floor. Pillows everywhere, of course: European squares, decorative pleated rolls, lacy hearts in crisp white linen or shams of white-on-off-white polished cotton plump things up. The duvet, in its cloud cover of white Egyptian cotton, slips carelessly over the edge of the mattress. Indulge your delicate toes with a white berber carpet or antique white oriental rug bedside. And always keep a posy of fresh-cut vivid roses or pink ranunculus in a crystal goblet on the nightstand.

La Renovation Bon Marche

  • Give your featureless bed an inexpensive makeover for instant Parisian cachet. Replace the boring headboard -- or add one -- with a tufted, padded, unbleached linen panel. Use the same fabric for a tailored, corner-pleated bedskirt, for shams on a line of Euro-square pillows marching across the head of the bed, and for softly pleated lined drapes. Colorwash the walls in the same shade of unbleached linen or in the palest dove gray, and paint ceilings and trim snowy white, like the bedspread and the tiny lampshades on the chandelier. A pair of gilt reproduction antique chairs with embroidered seat cushions flanking a tiny bistro table with gilded legs and a marble top are ready for a morning croissant or a late-night aperitif.

La Boheme

  • Sponge or colorwash the wall behind the bed in softest rose and parchment, fading from one color to the other. Stencil an Eiffel Tower and a Paris postmark and stamp on the wall -- you can find stencil kits for oversize Paris images and for script-style French poetry. Sponge the remaining walls in smudged ivory or pink paint. Hang mismatched faded velvet drapes from wrought-iron rods over the windows, and pull the drapes back with ornate corded and tasseled tiebacks. Hunt for a decommissioned chandelier; spray it metallic platinum or gold, hang crystal pendants all over it; and drape it with working fairy lights for some central-ceiling glitter. Layer thrifted fringed silk shawls over the bed and heap a motley collection of ornate decorative pillows on it; shabby is fine. Cover a tiny hall table with a floor-length tablecloth or length of interesting fabric and add a silk scarf topper to make a fancy nightstand.

Le Dortoir Absolument Divin

  • A dorm is a space to cram with evidence of your extremely cool personality. Don't spend a fortune to create an absolutely divine dorm room -- just get the right accessories and a pair of silk pajamas for late-night study sessions. Peel-off wallpaper will keep the dorm police at bay. Cover one wall with black-and-white striped wallpaper and tack up a giant black-and-white photo poster of Audrey Hepburn looking as chic as you aspire to be. Pick an accent color and stick to it for just a few accessories. Park an old-fashioned trunk at the foot of your bunk bed and stash your essential clutter in there for easy retrieval -- paint it black or pink. Windows disguised by deeply ruffled pink or black-and-white striped curtains might reveal a view of the Seine. A white chenille bedspread goes in the wash, the frou-frou pink, black and white toss pillows do not. An Eiffel Tower earring tree on the bureau does double duty to corral your baubles and evoke your spiritual home.

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