Transform your old apartment into a Parisian elegant chic home

Decorating on a budget is always a challenge, but that’s what makes it so fun. Then, turning an old apartment into a Chic Elegant apartment decor is Disneyland of interior decoration.

Usually, chic comes with a really dangerous expense. However, through our usual trips to flee markets and searches on line, mixed with binge Pinterest sessions, we’ve found a few great ways to, inexpensively, make our apartments look awesome.

This post is about what we’ve learned while we creating our Chic Breeze Apartment.

Our Cozzy Chic Breeze apartment

Cozzy Inspiration: Paris romance meets Lisbon charm

Cozzy Favourite Element: Massive windows with lots of sunlight shining in

Cozzy Biggest Challenge: How to turn an old apartment into an elegant one

What we’re proud of: Our combination of the light pink walls with the wooden floor.

Combine simple aesthetics with a big indulgence: The sleeping room has just a big divan at the bottom of the bed.

Cozzy Best Advice: Every detail in our Chic Breeze Appartment has been designed with intention – there is nothing there by accident. There has been a thought process behind every flowers cup, chair and decoration. The way we designed our home is reflective of how we envision this apartment – think about the overall look of what we wanted to create, then approached it with thought and intention.

Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment for rent in the heart of lisbon with parisian interior design.
Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment for rent in the heart of lisbon with parisian interior design.

How can define elegance in interior design

First things, first, so we need to define elegance in terms of interior design. Of course we could go to Websters Dictionary, but elegance can be quite subjective.

Taking a more scientific and empirical approach, we believe we can find elegance in symmetry. A space to be elegant must be balanced and organized. Don’t confuse elegance with richness, but you can’t have an elegant place with deteriorated elements, like in a Bohemian or Industrial style.

Elegance, in interior design, is finding complexity in simplicity. This paradox can be explained by the minor details applied in a balanced and organized method.

Elegance means it is all about getting everything together perfectly, setting limits and boundaries.  Likewise, make sure that the décor is practical and comfortable.

Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment for rent in the heart of lisbon with parisian interior design.

Turn shabby into chic and saving some money

Unlike some other styles like Boho, while creating a elegant and chic interior design we have to be careful in our decisions. But with right decorative paints and wise choice of furniture, we can easily produce numerous home décor ideas that are inexpensive and also unique.

However not all apartments can have an elegant and chic interior design style. When decorating your house, it is more important to consider what type of design might best suit your house. While a Pop Art can fit almost any place, an elegant chic apartment has its requirements. When going for an elegant look, we must inspect the space and take extremely accurate measurements, to be certain that there’s a balance, for instance, in a room.

Something old could be quite stylish but as we might find ourselves decorating on “thin ice”. Is it going to be chic and elegant or rustic and beautiful? The antique can be chic, but how can we adapt old and/or rustic into a shabby chic look?

Shabby Chic Apartment Décor Ideas

Colours and light

Let’s start with colours and light. If you’re starting in interior design, don’t over complicate your mission. A simple colour palette will bring balance to your space with a hint of intrigue.

“A simple palette is easy-going, not complicated and therefore I think it makes life easier”. Robert Couturier

If you want to walk into a house and understand it immediately, feel calm and relaxed then simple palette is best because it’s easy to live with.

White is usually the most normal colour in apartments. When you’re renting you can’t always have the decision to alter that. Fortunately, for an elegant interior design look you can use white as your predominant colour.

Complexifying a bit, try to pair complementary colours that sit opposite the colour-wheel. They naturally work well together without clashing.

Going for sharp colours is almost just for pros. You may use red, green or magenta and get that stunning wow factor, but you can easily go wrong and get a laughing wow.

Try to get intriguing lights and play with them to produce an appropriate look.

Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment for rent in the heart of lisbon with parisian interior design.
Decoration details of parisian look in Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment.
Decoration details of parisian look in Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment.
Decoration details of parisian look in Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment.
Cozzy Chic Breeze Apartment for rent in the heart of lisbon with parisian interior design.

Accessories and décor elements

Paris is famous for its flea markets. So we browse them to bring furniture, paintings, jewellery, sculptures, lights, mirrors, antiques and silverware to brim the décor. These hidden gems are perfect for display in your home, adding a sentimental touch and visual interest.

Mixing and blending furniture with art objects in surprising ways is what filters the interior design talent. The simple philosophy behind this, according to French interior star Jacques Grange, is:

“to combine something very rough with something very refined adding attitude and warmth”

By grouping furniture arrangements and art objects of various textures in uprising ways, you create intrigue and diversity.


Going for a more Parisian elegant look, you can choose traditional or antique pieces from baroque to rococo. Try to find pieces that are from the Louis XV period or, in a cheaper note, that have a distinctly French flavour.

When finding old pieces of furniture, you can bring them to life by reupholstering with fresh contemporary fabrics. These antique pieces can easily help you achieve this look, in a shoe string. Try mixing an antique chaise with smooth light pink wallpaper.

Some inexpensive tips

Use wall stickers. They’re cheap, unique and you can do it yourself.  They don’t require any handy work and serve as a substitute for the lack of paint on the walls in rented apartments.

Books are such a classy and low-maintenance decoration. You already have them and they look fabulous. Don’t forget ornate candles placed in beautiful perfume bottles. This touch will will be magnified if these items are ultra-feminine in their appearance.

Use anything you have in your home or that you discover at the antique/thrift store to transform your apartment shelves into beautiful, artsy displays. Try to put your TV in a discrete place. Even if it’s an expensive modern set, it never goes well with a elegant vintage French table.

Sometimes an oversized gilt mirror is used to play with proportions. Placing a large mirror on the floor with a wide highly ornate gold frame is a way to make a difference. You can also place a large rectangular framed mirror against a wall for maximum effect, creating spatial illusions.

Build your bouquets of flowers matching them with the colour palette used on your walls. Flowers like roses with ivory, pale pink, blush and magenta hues. If you can’t find roses don’t worry. Tulips, gladioli and other “old-fashioned” flowers also work well. Place the roses in cut crystal vases for full-effect, the refraction through the glass will create those Parisian pretty patterns you’re looking for.


The interior decoration, in our Cozzy opinion, is perhaps more important in this style than any other. The attention to detail and subtle touches are the key to create that ultimate elegant look.

Using simple colour palettes or bursting dramatic focal points, this style offers an exclusive look into your home, making you feel like you’re in a Parisian movie set. The magic of Paris is distinctly captured in its interiors. When choosing an apartment for this style check first if the windows are tall and rooms have high ceilings with grand architectural details.

But, ultimately, it’s you that bring that space to life, by thoughtfully selecting elements that give the apartment the real charm and the elegant look. Each interior design in this style can be distinctly unique. But they all draw from a rich historical tradition of decorative arts combined with an instinctive desire to reinvent itself, mixing the best elements from different times.

This is what we tried to do in our Chic Breeze Apartment in Lisbon. We hope you like it and that these tips help you.


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