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Ooh La La! The French have raised the bar for interiors

Like it or not, Netflix’s latest hit series Emily In Paris brilliantly demonstrates the ‘less is more’ sensibility inherent in so many Parisians.

From the black high-waisted culottes and white shirt worn effortlessly by Emily’s boss Sylvie, to flattering mid-century furniture forms, the show’s style encompasses Parisian chic: understated, quietly confident and just a little bit sexy.

“It’s a cultural thing, the feeling of not overcrowding a plan,” says production designer Anne Seibel, Oscar nominee for her work on the film Midnight In Paris, also famous for its drooling Gallic interiors.

‘Parisians love to mix high and low, whether they combine a modern painting with a vintage sofa, or an antique mirror with an Ikea floor lamp.’

Tres chic: a sitting room from Sweetpea & Willow that recreates classic mid-century furniture shapes

Tres chic: a sitting room from Sweetpea & Willow that recreates classic mid-century furniture shapes

It’s a look Anne calls “ bourgeois boheme, ” and thankfully she insists it migrate. So, if you want to add an edge to your own interior, here’s how …

CURVE APPEAL

Look closely and you will see that there are many striking shapes on Emily In Paris sets, but few are linear.

Soft curves and soft edges head instead, from the modernist lamps on Emily’s desk to the flowing metal mirrors in Sylvie’s office.

It’s easy to replicate: think the soft shape of Sweetpea & Willow’s Eichholtz Pierson sofa, £ 2,790 (sweetpeaandwillow.com) or Made’s Hetherington Brass Base Pouffe, £ 129 (made.com).

Combine curves with tactile fluted finishes, like the Tivoli side table, £ 131, by Maisons du Monde (maisonsdumonde.com).

Several Parisian interiors reflect that signature style, including the highly anticipated opening of Soho House Paris in the city in 2021.

A few key pieces inspired by the members’ club are already available online such as the Monnier Bathroom Mirror, £ 506, and the Brooke Wall Light, £ 125, both good examples of a new, modern era of Parisian chic (sohohome.com).

Star turn: Lily Collins stars in the Netflix hit Emily In Paris, which brilliantly demonstrates the 'less is more' sensibility inherent in so many Parisians

Star turn: Lily Collins stars in the Netflix hit Emily In Paris, which brilliantly demonstrates the 'less is more' sensibility inherent in so many Parisians

Star turn: Lily Collins stars in the Netflix hit Emily In Paris, which brilliantly demonstrates the ‘less is more’ sensibility inherent in so many Parisians

WARM MINIMALISM

Spacious rooms where furniture and accessories are given room to breathe are essential.

‘I would say it stems from the French’s ability to mix styles effortlessly,’ says Dionas Sotiriou, who founded Maison Flâneur (maisonflaneur.com) in 2018 as a platform for design enthusiasts to shop the look of cool hotels and restaurants. , including that of Paris. Hotel Grand Amour and Le Pigalle.

Parisian style provides an ‘in-the-know’ look that draws on Cubist design principles. The French know how to combine luxury objects and vintage furniture. ‘

Start removing any excess pieces at home, marking only the ones you really love. Think of it as a curated edit of favorite items instead, with natural woods and subtle brass accents adding warmth and texture.

LIGHT FANTASTIC

When it comes to atmospheric atmosphere, the City of Light does not disappoint.

Shapes are bold, yet sophisticated, including circular globe lighting or graphic Serge Mouille ‘spider’ styles, milky opaline desk lamps, and copper-edged retro designs, many of which feature in Emily’s favorite hangouts.

It feels like a modern update to classic Paris bistro lighting, originally created to provide soft lighting and, of course, to flatter dinner parties.

Try to shop Vinterior. The opaline glass gold striped vintage European globe brass top pendant lamp, £ 169, (vinterior.co) is perfect for kitchens dinners.

RELAXED TOUCH

A casual, somewhat insensitive approach is part of Parisian DNA. ‘There is a sense of playfulness, from the way we dress to how we decorate our homes, combining fabrics and colors with the lightest accents,’ says Anne Seibel.

‘It’s not about schedules that look like they belong on the cover of Maison Française, it’s more undone than that. We like to look for new purposes for old pieces. ‘

Anne and her decorator Christelle Maisonneuve often visit the city’s famous flea markets. “ At Marcel et Jeannette on Rue des Rosiers, we found vintage fabrics that we framed to hang in (Emily’s) Savoir’s offices on the show, ” she says.

In Anne’s own apartment, embroidered sari silk found on a trip to India makes an impressive four-poster bed, while her grandmother’s antique round dining table shares space with a vintage sofa.

“The purpose of a Parisian interior is simply to make you feel good,” she says. Maybe the reason everyone is talking about Emily …

What your home really needs. . . an uplighter

What’s an inexpensive way to brighten up a gloomy corner of a room at this time of year? The answer is an uplighter floor lamp, something you can buy from Argos (argos.co.uk) for just £ 8.

If you were to use this bulb every night for six hours until the first day of spring, it works out to about 6p a day, including the power for a CFL.

The uplighter can trace its ancestors back to late 17th century France. Torchères, large wooden or metal candlesticks of intricate design, lit the dark areas of drafty castles, making it easier to read or to party at night.

Your home needs an uplighter as the clocks go back to Sunday and the sleek, uncluttered lines can turn a small space into a smart workplace.

Wayfair (wayfair.co.uk) offers a wide range including the Tariq (£ 17.99), the Febe, pictured (£ 65.99) and the Esquina (£ 84.99).

Habitat (habitat.co.uk) features the slender black Sheldon (£ 95). The brass-colored Ignacia from lights.co.uk costs £ 84.90.

An original 17th century torch would cost around £ 10,000, not including the candles.

ANNE ASHWORTH

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