There's just something so inherently effortless about the Parisian aesthetic, from their minimalist-chic ensembles to the way their homes always seem so perfectly lived-in. In terms of the latter, fellow Francophiles are always scouring their favorite French influencers and celebrities (see Jeanne Damas, Lou Doillon, Ines Melia, Violette, and so many more) for secrets of their expertly curated spaces — which, of course, includes quintessential French girl kitchen decor.
It turns out that there are a few things that make French kitchens so — well, French. And according to experts, that's largely due to their size. Or rather, lack thereof. "French-style flats have never been known for being large, so the fact that spaces can be designed and utilized so well goes a long way," says Eleanor Trepte of Dekay and Tate Interiors. "[My business partner] Nina and I spent some time in a flat in the 11th arrondissement last year, and every nook and cranny had a function — and boy was it good."
Because of the shortage of space, Parisians have had to get clever with layout and storage to be sure their kitchens can function properly. After all, another quintessential aspect of the French lifestyle is eating, drinking, and entertaining — all things that require your kitchen. Ana Ortiz, an NYC-based chef, caterer, and creator of Day Into Night curated dinner service (who's been featured on Doré, the epitome of French style) cut her culinary teeth studying, working, and living in Paris, and she adds that in a typical French kitchen, you'll also notice their high-quality produce on full display. "Most [apartments] have tiny refrigerators, but I think it works in Paris because ingredients are so good there," she explains. "Who needs to cook a lot when there's great cheese, bread, and pastries?" As for what foods to stock in your French-inspired kitchen, Ortiz notes that fresh fruits, creme fraiche, coffee, and wine were always staples in her her home.
Besides the fridge and pantry goods, what else do you need to achieve a perfectly Parisian kitchen? Ahead, Trepte offers some of her best tips — inspired by the most stylish French homes — that include ways to organize even the tiniest of spaces, the chic ways to store (and display) your stuff, and the nook you should invest in, as well as some ideas for where to shop everything you need to create yours ASAP.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
French Girl Kitchen Decor: Functional Storage
If, like most Parisians, you have little space to start with, Trepte explains that making clever use of your shelves, your walls, and even your ceiling so that it doesn't feel too cluttered, is of utmost importance. Don't have a ton of cabinetry? A utility cart or wall-mounted/hanging pot rack can be a game changer. And while the designer notes that you should keep your most-used items within reach/line of sight, if you're lucky enough to have high up areas to stash things away, don't forget to have a fold-up ladder handy so you can easily access them when you need.
French Girl Kitchen Decor: Organization Is Key
Keeping with that theme, it's crucial to stay organized in a tiny kitchen if you want to actually be able to use it for cooking, baking, and cocktail making, as well as a little entertaining. Trepte's biggest organization tip? If there's not a designated home for something, create one. A set of glass gars for your dry goods allow you to find ingredients with ease while looking chic. Ditto for baskets (a French kitchen must-have!), and cool ceramic or enamel vessels to hold your utensils.
French Girl Kitchen Decor: Put It On Display
Because the quality and freshness of ingredients means most French girls don't have to refrigerate as much, beautiful food and produce can almost act as decor itself! Some items that can help you do that include an egg holder, fruit and bread baskets (hanging ones especially), and of course a vase for fresh flowers. And if you don't already have open shelving, that may be the perfect way to showcase some of your favorite kitchen goods. "Tastefully arrange everything so it looks like it was meant to happen," Trepte says. "Own it. Leave out your beautiful cookware, bowls, whatever they may be."
French Girl Kitchen Decor: Don't Forget The Drinks
Because coffee, cocktails, and wine are staples in the French girl lifestyle, be sure to carve out a place to create and enjoy yours. "Always leave room for a mini coffee station or bar," Trepte says. "These are easy things to leave out of the cabinets to leave room for other items. It also gives you easy access to the two things you need most in life!" Some ideas of what to include in yours? A slim Nespresso maker can fit into even the smallest of counter spaces, and a set of Duralex tumblers is a French essential for water, wine, or whatever.