10 Items to Get a French-Girl Apartment on an IKEA Budget


As self-proclaimed Francophiles, we’re always interested in what French girls have to say—whether they’re sharing the outfits they’d never wear to a wedding or predicting the fashion trends that will sell out this summer. We constantly turn to French girls for style intel, but we’ve come to realize—to exactly no one’s surprise—that the fashionable French girls we style stalk on Instagram have a keen eye for interior decorating too.

To bring you renter-friendly decorating tips, we turned to the Instagram feeds of a few women who’ve come to embody French-girl style, including Anne-Laure Mais Moreau, Jeanne Damas, and Claire Most. From the bedroom to the living room to the dining room to the kitchen, here’s exactly how to get a French-girl apartment on an IKEA budget—complete with product recommendations straight from the affordable Swedish retail giant, of course. Keep scrolling to see and shop the 10 décor pieces seemingly every French girl on Instagram owns.

French girls tend to approach interior decorating with a laid-back sensibility, resulting in welcoming spaces that have an air of uncontrived sophistication. For a lived-in bedroom that exudes relaxed elegance, opt for textural linen bedding, which always manages to look perfectly undone, whether your bed is made or not.

The French have mastered the art of collecting vintage wares and they often show off their flea market finds in unexpected places in order to curate spaces that have that certain je ne sais quoi. Take style notes from Jeanne Damas, who uses a vintage-inspired bistro chair as a bedside table, lending a casual air to her Parisian bedroom.

Although Parisian apartments boast historic architectural details like herringbone wood floors and ornate crown moldings, French girls tend to gravitate toward contemporary artwork when filling their walls. To give your interior a similar modern edge, frame a minimalist piece of abstract art and lean it unpretentiously against the wall rather than hanging it.

Cool girls everywhere are currently losing it over the paper lantern décor trend—French girls included. If you’re an apartment dweller who can’t swap out an existing pendant light fixture or who simply wants to light up an especially dark corner, make like Jeanne Damas and cast a warm glow over your living room with a sculptural, arched floor lamp.

Curating an eclectic collection of mismatched throw pillows is a classic Parisian-girl interior decorating trick that imparts an effortlessly cool aesthetic to any living room. Complete the look with a throw in a contrasting pattern to make an even biggers impact.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from stalking French fashion girls on Instagram, it’s that they always have vases filled with fresh flowers in their apartments. Place an unkempt bouquet of wildflowers in a simple vase on your mantel or coffee table to bring instant French-girl vibes to your living room.

Perhaps no décor accessory is as quintessential to French-girl interior decorating as books. If you don’t have built-in shelving in your space, opt for a freestanding bookshelf to put your collection on display. Make like a French girl and nonchalantly lean your books against each other, stack them horizontally, and pile them up on side tables.

When it comes to furnishing a dining room, French girls tend to put an iconic piece of furniture at the center: a tulip table. With a timeless shape that lends itself well to small spaces (not to mention, one that will never go out of style), it’s easy to see why it’s a beloved French-girl apartment staple. 

Spotted in the homes of It girls like Sabina Socol, Marta Cygan, and Marissa Cox, candlesticks are clearly a quintessential décor accessory in Parisian apartments. A set of three of varying heights looks perfectly undone atop a dining room table. Bonus points if they’re styled next to a vase full of fresh blooms.

French girls love their greenery. (Please see exhibits A, B, and C.) A trailing plant that’s a bit untamed is an ideal choice for infusing a space with that iconic French-girl “undone” aesthetic. Position it atop a high shelf or refrigerator to bring some life to your kitchen.

Next up, 10 “boring” basics French girls always have handy.





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