So Marie Antoinette is mostly a story about royalty — or the temptations of excess, or youth, or excessive youth, especially as it intersects with bad governance and angry mobs of French peasants. But it is also very much a story about flowers. Marie Antoinette is injected into the French court, a world of strict protocol … and even stricter floral arrangements.
I love Marie Antoinette, the movie if not the long-dead queen, and I think Sofia Coppola’s 2006 is vastly underrated — especially as a live-action lookbook for palace interiors. Who doesn’t want to live in a palace? Gilded moldings, tremendously ornate wallpaper, formal gardens? Oh, and your very own private palace in addition to the main one? I got so into Marie Antoinette that I started visiting all the castles around Paris — and indeed, Versailles is amazing, but so are the Chateau de Champs-sur-Marne (where some of Marie Antoinette was filmed), the Chateau de Vincennes (in a more medieval way), and the Chateau de Maisons. (For even more castles near Paris that aren’t Versailles, see here.)
Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite movies, and I love nothing about it more than all the palace interiors. I went through a very strong phase of wanting nothing but opulence: gilt-framed mirrors, wall tapestries, chandeliers, delicate pink ceramics. A lot of these are surprisingly easily within reach. Here’s my shopping list, and where I’ll be looking for my new palace décor.
I don’t want an apartment like Amélie’s because it looks like the inside of, like, a kidney. (Too much red/velvet/beaded.) But of course there are bits and pieces I would love to live with. These are the six home purchases I would make, all inspired by Amélie.
I’m not sure that I moved to Paris because of Amélie, but I’m not sure I didn’t, either. I saw it for the first time at just the right time. I loved it. And as much as it’s an homage to the past — all pasts, everywhere — it is also, of course, a love letter to Paris, and Paris’s own immutability.
“French country kitchen” is my favorite kind of kitchen. It says warm tones — wood, pink, yellow – and homemade meals. It says heirloom pie safes and family linens.
Paris home décor vibes, even for that grand Parisian apartment style that’s so popular on Pinterest, are easier to bring home (or just buy) than it might look. Start with this:
French flea market finds are without doubt one of the country’s best possible souvenirs, whether you’re pocketing vintage jewelry or shipping a three-foot tall chandelier straight from St. Ouen back home. Here, my nine favorite things to find at my favorite French flea markets, from enamelware to rattan mirror, at a variety of price points: You can find a vintage French rolling pin for €1, while a chandelier can easily cost thousands.
Last weekend, we went out to Chatou for the Foire de, an annual gathering of some of France’s best and most expensive antique dealers. It’s definitely the sort of fair that’s more about inspiration than buying stuff — I saw pieces there that cost twice or even three times as much as what I’d seen at the Porte de Vanves flea market literally three hours earlier. So — that’s not ideal. But if you’re, you know, “in the market to dream,” this is (cough) heaven on Earth! It goes through Sunday. See more about it here!