Archive for the ‘paris’ Category

Having posted this magnificent Paris home back in December of 2010, I was thrilled to rediscover its beauty on the pages of the October 2012 House Beautiful! Designed by the virtuosic Robert Couturier, this interior is a masterclass in color! While the living room’s liquid blue walls draw inspiration from the sublime hue of a dutch delft tile, the overall use of this color somehow feels fresh and contemporary ~ boldly simple with an air of elegance and sophistication. Divine! And if that wasn’t enough to knock your socks off, check out the red lacquered dining room! The high gloss lipstick red breathes new life into the gold framed antique oil painting, upholstered banquette and modern brass and glass dining table. What a glorious setting for an intimate Parisian dinner party! Light the candles and pour the champagne!

photos from Robert Couturier and House Beautiful

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a bohemian spirit

Included in the Wall Street Journal photo shoot were three photos of Christian Louboutin’s Paris apartment ~ the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom…for me, each room is a masterpiece! Somehow he is able to fuse the timeless beauty of Paris with his colorful zest for life bohemian spirit…simply brilliant!

the bathroom

the kitchen

the bedroom

photography by Alexandre Bailhache for the Wall Street Journal

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Paris-based decorator Jean-Louis Deniot thoughtfully re-invented this 18th century Paris pied-a-terre for a young American family…the asymmetrical layout was updated with an open, loft-like floor plan, perfect for 21st century living, while period details were added and/or re-created to retain the spirit of the original building…Versailles parquet, 18th century fireplaces, distressed mirrors, vintage faucets and elaborate paneling look as though they have always been there…a charming backdrop for the couples collection of furniture from the 1940s including pieces by Jean-Michel Frank and Gilbert Poillerat…the result is “dramatic, fresh, spacious, timeless, elegant and playful.”

C’est tres chic!

photos and resources from Elle Decor

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You may have noticed a few colorful Laduree macarons (french spelling!) in yesterday’s post…this is my inspiration for today’s post, to explore the history and beauty behind the world’s most famous macaron…Laduree

“The story of the Ladurée macaron starts with Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who at the beginning of the 20th century first thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are made every morning in Ladurée’s “laboratory”. The pastry chefs measure out very precisely the required amounts of almonds, eggs and sugar, before adding one final ingredient, a pinch of unique “know-how”, essential to the making of such a delicacy. Once cooked and filled, the macarons are put to one side for 2 days before going on sale, the time it takes to achieve a perfect balance between texture and flavour.”

With shops and restaurants in cities such as Paris, London, Milan, Istanbul and Dubai (just to name a few), this century old creation is cherished by people worldwide…please enjoy these photos from Laduree Royale, Champs-Elysees and Bonaparte…wishing you a sweet and colorful day!

above ~ the first Laduree at 16 rue Royale in Paris…opened in 1862, this historic tea salon maintains its original wood paneling and hand painted frescos of angels and gourmet fairies on the ceiling…the decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of the-century painter and poster artist…he sought his inspiration for the frescos from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Garnier Opera

above ~ Laduree Champs Elysees at 75 avenue des Champs Elysees opened in 1997 by David Holder, the current Chairman of Laduree

above ~ Laduree Bonaparte at 21 rue Bonaparte opened in 2002…located in the Saint-Germain neighborhood, this famous store with the black storefront was opened by Madeline Castaing in 1947 and attracted the likes of Soutine, Chagall and Modigliani

photos and resources from Laduree

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While researching yesterday’s post, I came across another chic Parisian hotel I thought you might enjoy…located just steps away from the famous Avenue Champs-Elysees, Hotel Champs-Elysees Plaza Paris underwent extensive renovations in 2008…this lovely 18th century hotel is now a skillful mixture of old and new…classical architecture with a contemporary touch…please enjoy!

above ~ roof of the restaurant

below ~ courtyard with roof of restaurant

below ~ restaurant

below ~ executive room

photos from Design Boom

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I recently discovered a story in the Style section of the UK Sunday Times that I just had to share with you! On 7/4/11, La Maison Champs Elysees unveiled its stunning makeover by French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela…the result, an Alice in Wonderland-like world where nothing is what it seems…from the monochromatic trompe l’oeil wallpaper of the hotel’s Golden Salon, which dates back to 1860, to the black, white and grey carpets printed with wood panelling , the effect is modern yet with a nod to the past…enjoy this wild ride!

above ~ a hall paneled in aluminum leaf

below ~ restaurant

“The Maison is delighted to reinterpret another maison as its first Paris hotel project. Maison Martin Margiela has created a dramatic world where reality and make-believe seem to blend. The decor is like a succession of stage sets where references are mixed so as to create an unusual atmosphere where past and present jostle harmoniously.” ~ Maison Martin Margiela

below ~ salon blanc

below ~ deluxe suite

below ~ lobby

below ~ door to reception

photos from Design Boom and Financial Times

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At only 400 square feet, interior designer Stephen Shubel‘s Paris flat has all the makings of the perfect Paris pied-a-terre. It is located in a 17th century hotel particular in the central Marais just around the corner from the stunning Place de Vosges. Although petite in size the apartment has great bones; three pairs of floor to ceiling windows bathe the space in natural light and the fourteen foot ceiling height allows the designer ample wall space for displaying his vast collection of framed drawings, prints, lithographs and antiques mirrors. He purposefully used no color or pattern allowing the furniture and art to take center stage. A pair of muslin covered Napoleon III chairs, golden sea grass flooring, an 18th century Italian painted pine armoire and roughly textured plaster statues live harmoniously together. A petite Paris flat, practically perfect in every way.

“I always wanted to experience the city like a real Parisian, not as a tourist passing through. Sure, sometimes I miss concierge service, but I sleep in my own bed, travel with my dog, and have a place I can keep my stuff….and everything you do here is an adventure.” ~ Stephen Shubel from an interview with Elle Decor

photos and resources from Elle Decor

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If yesterday’s post was the amuse-bouche, then today is the entree, full of gourmet flavors and colors that promise to satisfy your appetite. Well, that’s how I feel when I experience these images of Michael Coorengel and Jean Pierre Calvagrac‘s gorgeous Paris home; a spacious apartment located on the fifth floor of a 19th century Hausmann building overlooking the Place de la Bastille. “The moment you walk through the front door you feel cocooned in a blanket of comfort and warmth. It’s such a pleasure to wander from room to room soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the colors,” explains Michael. The entry hall is a striking shade of purple strategically followed by the oval drawing room’s white walls, purposefully cleansing the palette and resting the eye. Next, the salon boasts a glorious shade of blue followed by an intimate terra cotta sitting room and for the grand finale, their ultra chic and dramatic black bedroom. What a fulfilling journey for the senses. Their home is an extraordinary study in balance and harmony from their bold use of color to their exquisite furnishings and found objects. I’m so thrilled to share with you this inspiring home, filled with imagination and bursting with creativity.

above and below, House and Garden

“In each room the bold color of the walls gives the key, like a musical note, that holds together objects outlandishly disparate in their stories and shapes.” ~ G. Y. Dryansky for House and Garden

below, Romantic Homes magazine

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Destiny brought them together veiled under a different guise. Many years ago, Michael Coorengel and Jean Pierre Calvagrac met as law students but quickly discovered they had a mutual passion for interiors and all things beautiful. Their story is a heart warming happy ending; they now share a home in Paris and run a highly successful interior design business. Drawing inspiration from their diverse interests and life experiences, they create sophisticated interiors drenched in theatrical drama and romance. Every image gives me goosebumps…enjoy this intimate journey to Paris!

above and below, French home

“We have a funny background…Jean-Pierre grew up in big old houses with old French furniture. He never even sat on a sofa until he was 18, I think, and then he just dived into everything modern. But I was raised with everything white and modern and Danish, so when I got out I went for red and gold and velvet and baroque.” ~ Michael Coorengel, from an interview with House and Garden

below, Paris home

photos from Coorengel & Calvagrac

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With thoughts of Paris still on my mind, I want to share with you some images from the PBS documentary “La Danse”. Master documentary film maker Frederick Wiseman explores the creative process behind one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, Le Ballet de L’Opera de Paris. In his signature style, he quietly captures the intimate relationship between dancer and choreographer. Theirs is a visual give and take that is both stunning to watch and even more fascinating to see evolve. The photographic still shots of Paris and the Palais Garnier opera house are as beautiful as the dance itself. I promise, it will take your breath away…

“Since movies are about movement, I wanted to make a movie about a group of dancers and choreographers who represent the highest level of achievement in the conscious use of the body to express feeling and thought.” ~ Frederick Wiseman

To view the trailer, click on PBS.org

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