Subtle Paris Themes

I had the privilege of first sharing this post at Rain on a Tin Roof (stop in a tell Jenna hi for me if you get the chance!), but I wanted to share it with you here in case you missed it.
One of my favorite things about my home is the story it tells.  That story may be different from one day minute to the next, but it is always telling.  In our living room, for example, is the story of our love of Paris.

We lived in Paris for two years, and Little Pax (my first son) was born there, so it holds a special place in our hearts.  That said, I’m not the type to stencil a giant Eiffel Tower on my wall (no judgement here! that’s just not my style…).  I do feel, though, that we have powerfully captured that sentimental place in our history in tastefully subtle ways, and I wanted to share those with you in hopes that you might be inspired.  It begins with black and white photography.

I love black and white photography (and I do all my own in my home because you can’t beat the price!).  I believe it can complement any style – from super traditional to ultra modern.

I purposefully chose ones that looked Parisian without being iconic (like the Louvre or Eiffel Tower).  I hung this one above our little game table because it was the view from our apartment’s living room window.  Love. seeing. that.

I also created a huge Paris map (knocked off from Restoration Hardware, of course!) to sit above our sofa.  I love the vintage look and the fact that I know it’s Paris… but my visitors don’t unless they get really close (it says Paris in small letters at the bottom).  Again, a subtle nod to the City of Lights.

And on another wall, above the 19th century trunk I carried home from a Parisian market in a stroller (seriously, you should read the story), is another vintage map.  This one is of the US, but it dates back to the time of the Louisiana Purchase, which (history lesson of the day!) was bought from the French.  So the map is actually done in French.  We’ve had this one for years, and I made the frame to go above my desk at our previous home, but I love how it contributes to our subtle Parisian theme in our current living room.

You may see other references (whispers, I like to think, rather than bullhorns) to the City of Love, like the outdoor lamp posts I used as floor lamps because they remind me of Montmartre’s famous ones.  And the French curves of our armchairs.

I love this room because I can dream of Paris when I’m curled up on the sofa, but I don’t think Paris haunts anyone’s dreams if they’re just visiting our home.  To me, it’s the perfect balance of restrained homage.

How about you?  Do you have any themed rooms?  Or any subtle themes running throughout your home?  I’d love to hear!  And if you’d like to tour my whole living room, you can do so here.

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