Coco Chanel was a style icon for the fashion world, but many also know her for her own personal decorating style. Her use of gilt mirrors, sparkly chandeliers, and sleek lines are legendary in Paris and beyond. Although it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replicate the look and feel of Coco Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris, you can emulate her style with some Parisian touches in your own space.
Begin by choosing a neutral palette. Chanel style relies on glamour in your accessories, not on your walls. Choose colors that make you think of suede, coffees, or clean whites. The wall color is simply the backdrop for your furniture and special additions, so be sure not to paint with a color that is overpowering.
If you are in the market for a new couch, choose one that is similar in color to your walls. Couches shouldn’t stand out in a room that evokes Chanel style. You can find microfiber sofas that would look great in a neutral room, as well as suede or buttery leather. Try to avoid cloth sofas, as the material will stand out too starkly in a room if you are trying to achieve a luxurious feel.
Gilt mirrors are a must have. Larger mirrors with carved wooden frames or beveled glass would look beautiful on the wall behind your sofa. If you can’t find what you are looking for in home stores, try various antique markets. Although the mirrors will be more costly, the look cannot be matched. You can often find replications in antique stores as well.
Lighting was perhaps the most important factor in a Paris apartment. Chandeliers and wall sconces were hung in each room. To match the style, find wrought iron wall sconces with candle-type lights. Chandeliers can be gilt gold or black iron, but be sure to avoid any modern styles as they will look out of place in your room. Table lamps that have crystal or glass stems with white shades look beautiful on your end tables.
It’s the little things that take a plain room and make it stunning. Coco Chanel focused on items she picked up in her travels. Large glass globes lined the coffee tables, hardback books filled the book shelves, and items such as small wooden masks were heavily used. Although purchasing these specific items would empty your bank balance very quickly, you can buy reproduction items in home stores that will fit the bill nicely.
The use of Chinese silk screens to divide rooms was one of the many signature pieces that Ms.Chanel used to bring color into her rooms. Chinese fabrics were stretched across screens and placed in vital areas. You can create your own screen with patterned fabric that you love.
What was one of the last, yet most important items that Coco Chanel used to decorate her apartment? Chanel Number 5 was liberally sprayed throughout her rooms on a daily basis. You may wish to use a different scent, but a spray of perfume or other fragrance really brings life to your space.
We can’t all have an apartment in Paris, but we can bring some of that style into our own homes by channeling the spirit of the Rue Cambon and adding luxurious touches to our rooms.