Paris – the city of effortless aesthetic, sophisticated elegance, and enduring charm, is unrivaled in the design world. Meanwhile, the rest of the globe remains united by one unwritten rule: If you’re in Paris, embrace it; if you’re not, recreate it. So, in order to do just that, we spoke to the haute couture designers of the interior industry who teach us how to recreate the city’s unmatched ambiance in our own modern homes.
Why the kitchen?
In Paris, the kitchen is less known as a place to cook, and more as a social hive, in the heart of a home. As Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet from the award-winning French interior design company; Studio MHNA share:
‘A Parisian kitchen is a real living room where you can combine different layouts to include an old buffet, a family table, and collected antiques. [It’s a] clever mix of tradition and modernity,’ they share. They continue, offering design lessons from the midst of the design capital.
Use space strategically
Parisians are already renowned for their ingenious space-saving techniques, and their kitchen is certainly no exception, and we’re taking notes on everything Studio MHNA has to say.
‘No matter what the situation is, if there isn’t a table, Parisians will always have a shelf, a bar, or a space where they can take out chairs or stools. The secret also lies in the optimization of all spaces. Stack the pots and gather the utensils, double the wall shelves to exploit the smallest space with ingenuity and aesthetics.’
‘It is also very important to use decorative lighting to make the space friendly and pleasant, whatever its size. It is attainable to create a delightful kitchen refuge for family and friends in small Parisian spaces,’ they add.
See: Small kitchen ideas – advice for getting them right
Choose appliances that simultaneously emphasize the beauty of your home
The importance of curating a stylish flow between the entirety of our kitchen and the entirety of our home is further discussed by Alon and Betsy Kasha, founders at Kasha Paris.
‘Parisian architectural codes have changed: kitchens are no longer hidden in the back; they have become integrated with the rest of the apartment, and therefore must work esthetically as well as practically,’ they begin.
‘In a Parisian apartment, this means that all the appliances are either beautiful or well-hidden. For example, we favor old-style pianos (like the Lacanche stove) over modern integrated stoves,’ the designers add.
Pay sharp attention to little details
Quintessential Parisian style is known and admired for its exquisite detail, so it is perhaps unsurprising that Alon and Betsy provoke us to pay greater attention to detail in our kitchens.
‘Attention to detail is key: opting for hand-painted cabinets with molding over the flat, factory-painted cabinets and investing in high-quality stone countertops will elevate the kitchen from a functional room to the social center of your home,’ they share.
‘We also love to use traditional farm tables, as they accommodate a lot of guests, add a lot of charm, and act as extra counter space.’
Fill your shelves with personality and color
What is it that makes Parisian style just so chic? Much of this globally admired aura stems from an individual’s personality. In this case, that is exhibited through the books they read and the food they eat. As Studio MHNA share: ‘I think using shelves in the kitchen is important to maximize space and highlight the kitchen cookbooks, various ingredients, fruit bowls, herbs, and spices, as well as pots with small utensils.’
See: Explore a raw, Brutalist apartment in Paris
‘A touch of charm is important to add to a kitchen space by using light earthenware, beautiful natural materials like marble and wood to create a subtly organized disorder,’ they add.
If you need us, we’ll be spending the rest of the day buying cookbooks and a ticket to CDG.