Old Meets New: Design Inspiration from a Trip to Paris

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One of our most common design challenges is incorporating clients’ existing pieces into their new designs. It’s very rare that people want to refurnish 100% of their homes. You have pieces that are older, meaningful, or were handed down from family members.

The merging of old and new is also one of my favorite design challenges because it allows us to get extra creative… and what is creativity without a bit of inspiration?

A visit to Paris last month was exactly what the designer ordered. I traveled through history... the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, Chenonceau Castle... and even took a short jaunt to the future: the runways of Paris Fashion Week.

The experience was both a surprising jolt of "old meets new" and a welcome reminder of how trends rise and fall — over years, yes — but also over centuries.

Below, you'll find a few of my favorite design-related takeaways from the trip + tips you can use in your own home decor this year.


Interior design inspiration from the heart of historic France

1. On the Fringe

Whether you love it or hate it, fringe has had its ups and downs in both the fashion and interior design worlds. It saw a resurgence in spring fashion trends this year, and I suspect it’ll soon be making its way into interior decor more heavily.

In the Palace of Versailles

In the Palace of Versailles

That’s why I did a bit of a double-take in this room in Versailles — the fringe around the ottomans and the edge of the curtain. This style has been around much longer than we might realize.

Another moral of the story: don’t throw away your fringe-lined pieces! There might be a way to tastefully incorporate them into a new, mature design.

2. Metals Mingle


Mixing metals has been in vogue for a loooong time, as this royal carriage from Chambord Castle can attest.

Its design mixes matte gold, shining silver, and darker pewter to regal effect, but you can mix metals in nearly any design genre: modern, traditional, contemporary, industrial, and more. Design has also seen a recent revival of wrought iron.

Psst... could that be fringe in the interior?

3. Pattern Parade

Louis Vuitton, Paris Fashion Week at the Louvre

Louis Vuitton, Paris Fashion Week at the Louvre

Pattern diversity can be tasteful and intriguing, whether on a runway in Paris or in your living room. In home decor specifically, mixing patterns is a great way to encourage old and new pieces to play nicely together. Enhancing them with solid colors, like the pops of yellow in the photo, can create cohesion as well.

4. The Ceiling (or whatever’s up there)

The last Paris takeaway I want to share with you has less to do with design and more to do with inspiration.

Ceiling in the Palace of Versailles

Ceiling in the Palace of Versailles

I want to remind you to LOOK UP.

Traveling and seeing new places inspires us to look above our lines of sight because there's just so much to see up there! When we’re back in the “real world” and in the midst of a busy work-week, it’s much easier to put on the blinders.

Don’t do it. Especially in spring. Even if you’re in the heart of the DC/Metro Area, there is something to see. Take a moment to gaze around as you walk or ride to work, and you may be surprised to find buds or flowers on trees, birds building nests, and an even more colorful landscape.

In other words, you may find old scenery becoming new again.

Need a professional? Let Maria Causey Interior Design help you personalize your space. To receive more information or a proposal for your next project, contact us today.