Published on September 24, 2019

On page 207 of How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, we are instructed to keep dining room lighting dim so as to “inspire seduction.” One paragraph later, we are cautioned against keeping candles on low tables, lest they accidentally accentuate the bags under our eyes and scare off potential suitors (perish the thought!). The best-selling book may be a font of wisdom regarding certain topics, but when it comes to recommendations on decorating your apartment, the advice is as mystifying as the befringed, Breton shirt–wearing women on which it muses. 

And yet our quest for intel is a never-ending one—there’s something so intriguing about the nonchalant way French women style their homes. We are, as a whole, obsessed with living à la française. So we went straight to the source for some pointers: Sabina Socol. The fashion It girl, writer, and 11th Arrondissement local has that vintage-inspired, effortlessly cool vibe nailed not only in her outfits but also her gorgeous one-bedroom. 

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Photo by Sabina Socol

She’s lived in her latest spot for three years now, sharing its dried flower–riddled corners and colorful velvet furniture with her 312k followers along the way. If you’re one of them—or if you just want to master the art of small-space living, Parisian-style—Socol has some suggestions for how to get a similar look.

On making the most of a tiny apartment… 

“I believe a good mix of dark colors can surprisingly make a place look bigger! I would look into greenish blues, forest greens, or even anthracite gray. I notice that I don’t think about decor that much during the summertime, but as soon as fall is here, I start looking for ways to improve my home again. I guess that’s why I’m more naturally drawn to cozy colors.”

On the one thing you’ll find in every Parisian’s home…

“Definitely a nice vase from Astier de Villatte with some dried flowers in it. As far as I can tell from Instagram and my girlfriends lately, they’re definitely on trend.”

On the balancing act…

“I really like mixing vintage with new when it comes to decor, just like with clothing. It is really what makes a difference and adds a personal touch to a flat. My essentials are my yellow velvet sofa and all my rugs, which I found at my friend’s store, Beldy Paris.” 

On finding inspiration…

“I look at Instagram accounts like @somewhereiwouldliketolive, decor magazines, and other people’s interiors on websites such as The Socialite Family, which I adore. And, of course, Pinterest.” 

“I really like mixing vintage with new when it comes to decor, just like with clothing.”

 

On waiting to splurge…

“My taste changed so much between my first-ever flat in Paris that I moved into when I was 18 and now. I didn’t keep anything from back then except for a ’50s armchair that I still love and is like a little piece of history for me. So I would advise to stay on the simpler side for big pieces and invest in small accessories such as vases, candles, and curtains. I only started investing when I moved into this bigger place, and I’m glad I waited!” 

See more tips on French style:
6 Things the Chicest French Chef Has in Her Kitchen
The French Girl’s Secret to Perfect Skin
Where Do French Girls Get Their Home Goods? We Investigate

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