Shopping in Paris

IMG_9440I’m not certain if I am an Anglophile or a Francophile but I am mesmerized by Paris and London.  There is nothing like the lights of Paris or exploring the City.  I can and have spent hours and lots of steps just walking and ducking in boutique after boutique at my leisure.  December and Christmas is a wonderful time to explore.  The red flocked Christmas trees, a glass of champagne at the Ritz, or sitting at a cafe for dinner it is a perfect way to spend a few days at this time of year.

There is something serendipitous about what you will find and where you find it.  On my most recent trip I stayed at this wonderful boutique hotel in the triangle d’or.  I arrived from Atlanta to Charles De Gaule at 6 in the morning and made my way to drop off my bags.  It was snowing which added something special to the morning.  I dropped off my bags and headed to the Museum of Decorative Arts for the Christian Dior exhibit.  The exhibit was mobbed but entirely worth it. After lusting over Dior collections I made my way to a lovely cafe for the quintessential lunch of onion soup and much needed caffeine and then returned to my hotel for a nap.  Once refreshed I headed out to explore the area around the hotel and an idea of dropping by the bar at the George the V.

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The area is full of wonderful boutiques in addition to the known designers.  On my previous trip I discovered Davidor, a wonderful jeweler originally from Florida and now in Paris and Hobbs, a store with the most beautiful cashmere and leather goods.  The sweater I’d purchased previously from Hobbs remains a favorite.  Snowing again, a wonderful shop with a display of scarves and sweaters caught my eye and in I went.

Crimson (8 Rue Marbeuf or https:// http://www.crimson-cashmere.com) is a wonderful store with the most beautiful items of cashmere and lambs wool made in Scotland. Scarves, gloves, ponchos and sweaters to die for available for both men and women.  After trying on and selecting a beautiful purple cashmere sweater with the perfect twist on the classic crewneck design, I encountered this wonderful voice that simply could not have been from Paris.  The owner, Linda, is a delightful lady originally from Texas exuding this amazing sense of style.  She is as fun as her designs which are amazing.  After a delightful interlude in the store, making new friends in Paris, purchasing the sweater and gloves, sharing a gold dustedchocolate covered marshmallow, and armed with her advice regarding pickpockets, I returned to my quest for a glass of champagne at George V.  Thwarted by a full house and no room at the bar by everyone else that had the same idea and wanted out of the snow, I retraced my steps to a lovely cafe I’d seen and enjoyed a dinner of steak frites in traditional Parisian cafe style.

My trips to Paris have included other such wonderful discoveries from Dehilleran, a cookware store on steroids, to Christmas markets, pharmacies, and paper stores. A treasured souvenir carted home from Paris is a sheet of hand made paper framed in glass that hangs on my wall.  The best part of Paris is simply finding something unexpected.

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My Blue Room

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For the past few months I’ve been rearranging two rooms in my house.  Both bedrooms, I decided to repurpose the one on the front of the house as a sitting and tv room and the other as a guest room.  The guest room was easily set up but the new sitting room I tackled as a new project.  I scoured decorating magazines and design books and toured every show home within driving distance before settling on a plan.

I decided on a blue and white color scheme.  Inspired by the master en suite at the Raleigh, NC show home, I contacted Palette Paint on Ivy Road in Charlottesville palettepaint.com.

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They are wonderful!  They carry Farrow & Ball and Fine Paints of Europe paints.   The room I’d seen in Raleigh had a lacquer finish that I wanted to copy.  My twist was that I wanted to give the ceiling that high gloss finish.  A decorator in New York who did one of the rooms in the 2016 Kips Bay Show Home first clued me into Fine Paints of Europe.  If you are looking for that lacquer or very high gloss finish, then you want Fine Paints of Europe paint.  It gives a mirror like finish that does not disappoint.  They can also custom mix the color to your specifications.  I wanted to match a blue in a fabric I planned to use in the room.

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I used a high gloss white on the ceiling and a Farrow & Ball blue color in the Fine Paints satin finish.  One caution, the paint quantities differ from the usual gallon or pint you get at Home Depot and I recommend using their primer, especially for a deep color.

I also recommend working with your paint specialist. Palette was absolutely amazing.  They worked with me to select and customize my colors to come up with the perfect solution.  As an added plus they were fun to work with.

Since the room had a window seat perfect for reading I wanted an upholstered seat cushion.  Second Yard, also in Charlottesville, was my go to for fabric (thesecondyard.com).  After multiple fabric swatches, I found the perfect fabric for the window seat and the desk chair.  Once I had the fabric for the desk chair that was the color I took to Palette to match for the walls.

A white egg chair and Meis van der Rohe daybed make up the large pieces in the room.  The daybed is great for a nap or stretching out with the quadraped and, since it is the same size as a twin bed, can be used for an overnight guest.  I tapped CB2 for acrylic tables and scooped up lamps, a rug, and sideboard from Palette. The desk table is a family antique and the bookcase made by my Grandfather for my parent’s first home.

I completed the room with a painting by my great-grandmother, an illustration by Inslee Farris at insleebydesingn.com, photographs I’ve taken on trips abroad and framed, and my special treasure – a piece of hand made paper that looks like lace that I found in a small shop in Paris in the Marias.  Last, but not least, two whimsical touches, a leather dachshund, named Rosemary, and a leather Kangaroo, named Roo, that serves as a magazine rack.

Now on to my home office, my current work in progress . . .