In honor of Bastille Day, it's time to take a look at some of our very own house tours from — you guessed it — fantastic France. What started as an excuse to look at pretty pictures of Paris, turned out to be pretty helpful in identifying some key factors that make these French homes feel so effortlessly stylish.
Squeeze all you can into a small outdoor space
Parisian pads are notorious for being itty bitty so they offer lots of lessons for the rest of us small space dwellers. The most important thing we learned? Just go for it! No matter how much space they have — and some spaces have mere inches of windowsill to work with — they go all out with seating if they can or just use every available surface for their decor like Sophia did above.
Take the tour: Sophia's Rooftop View Over Paris
Make storage stylish
It's hard to hide storage in a small space so make it into a design element and show it off! Julie & Jesper did just that with this cool vertical wine rack which turns their extra bottles in wall decor and shows off their interests (they are French, after all) at the same time.
Take the tour: Julie & Jesper's Musical Scandi-Canadian Nest
Mix traditional and quirky elements
Lots of Paris apartments come ready-made with a beautiful, traditional style that we die over. Seriously, that molding! But the people who live here need to have their personalities represented too! Our tours also feature wonderfully quirky and modern elements that contrast beautifully with those old-world details. Check out the very traditional fireplace at Will & Rebekah's place right next to a large, shiny penguin! Perfect!
Take the tour: Will & Rebekah's Traditional with a Twist in Paris
Highlight good bones
When you have floors this good, you don't dare cover them up! We've noticed lots of Parisian apartments (like Laurence & Fabrice's herringbone beauties and Kim's gleamy naked floor living room below) choosing to forgo rugs in order to highlight their gorgeous hardwood! These folks know that no rug could ever compare. Let this be a lesson to everyone: find the best element of your particular space and make sure it's allowed to shine!
Take the tour: Laurence & Fabrice's Friendly Eclectic Mix
Take the tour: Kim's Small Space in Paris
Pick one big statement
We've always admired of our favorite French fashion mavens for making a splash with one big statement piece and that trick can just as easily translate into your decor. We would definitely call Amandine and Amaury's light fixture (above) fashion-inspired; the huge, statement-making fixture makes a big impression, even if everything else in this room is understated.
Take the tour: Amandine & Amaury's Little Loft in Paris
Know the power of blank space
Take the tour: Julie's Vermeer-Worthy Apartment in Paris
Some art might look good on Julie's wall above but we think this creamy, patina-ed wall looks pretty amazing on its own. Sometimes all you need is a sunny yellow chair, a bowl of fruit and nuts and a country pitcher (which we can only imagine is filled with fresh-from-the-French-cow milk). This tableau is definitely ready to star in a still-life.