fantasy vs reality

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I believe that in previous lives I’ve been a princess, a kidnapped maiden, a peg-legged pirate and a court jester of Louis XVI. -Shirley Maclaine

allo all, how’s everything going? it’s been hectic getting ready for the holidays and i’ve also been busy working on the new book, Boudoir Moderne. part of the fun has been doing research and digging into the women and men who inspired so many dreams and fantasies with both their films as well as their real lives. there are so many who’ve influenced our culture that it’s hard to pare it down. i got caught up looking through shots of our all american girl, marilyn monroe and decided to start with her. needless to say she’s sort of an enigma that could never be pigeon-holed. the shot above is her in full regalia posing as theda barr (below) in either salome or cleopatra.

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when i googled marilyn monroe bedrooms all sorts of looks came up, many of them over the top images of what were interpreted or considered glamorous boudoirs, but the shots of her in her actual habitat revealed something completely different.

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i admit to having a slightly voyueristic love for candid shots of people at home and it’s no wonder that whoever was in the presence of this woman would want to photograph her any chance they could get. what i was suprised to find was that her home was humble and comfy, a place she could probably really retreat to and enjoy some sacred solitude and not the vampy boudoir of our imaginations.

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the backdrop of her home was as intriguing as the woman herself.

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of course she had her and vanity and dressing table which was de rigeur for all femme fatales 

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and just doing the simplest things took on a whole new meaning when she was shot.

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and she did have glamorous furniture covered in velvet or silk where any pose she struck made her the star of the show.

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i adore the shots of her in bed with plain white sheets, simplicity itself, and of course there is that satin comforter…

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what i loved discovering was that marilyn treasured her book collection and was a voracious reader whether it was scripts, industry mags or ways to learn to improve herself.

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the living room was part bedroom part entertainment area

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which was decorated with bold colors, midcentury furniture and accessories and full of art and mementos.

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a real refuge from the stress of the studios and the public.

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i adore these shots of her enjoying her music even if some of them are posed and not candids

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it still shows the spirit of her place and how she spent her time alone

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i guess we’ll never know what her place truly looked like

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but for sure it was a reflection of her life, passions and dreams

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bottom line is she was just like us. she loved having things around that inspired her, with places to kick back, honor her daily rituals and feel safe which is crucial to well being.

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i’m sure when marilyn closed that door at night she dimmed the lights and enjoyed time just truly being herself. maybe her dream was to have a simple uncomplicated life and this was just the place to indulge in that.

below is an excerpt from Boudoir Moderne:

I’ve never considered myself a decorator. I simply take people’s outrageous dreams and translate them into eveyday life. My translations can sometimes go over the top because, I admit it, I live somewhere between fantasy and reality.

I belive in miracles, fairy tales and dream travel, astral projection, past lives and mental telepathy because every day the universe reveals something even more magical than the day before. When you look at ‘real life” you’ll find tented safaris in the desert, decorated elephants, enchanted forest and wishes made on stars that come true. the fact is that imagination is real and perception is reality. Your take on life makes your home a personal creation. The excitement lies in knowing you can have that be whatever your heart desires.

Life isn’t always a fairy take, we all know that. But beauty and perfection do exist. Think about what is perfect in the world, places you know to be magical, transformational or otherworldly. When you see a castle or garden that’s a maze, those are dreams that have been brought to life. It was imagination that made them real. Just because we live in an era of computers and wires and reallity doesn’t mean we have to live without that magic. Look around your home. What’s your reality? What would you like it to be?

We’ve come to an age when we realize that less is really more. It’s not about the amount of things you have but more about making sure everything you have is important to you and has a function. Living minimally doesn’t mean living witout opulence, it celebrates it. Your home is a playground where you can live out your dreams and have conveniences to serve your every need. When you clear clutter and live with only objects that are useful and loved, your decorating vision will develop. If you live with others, commit to having a room or space that reflects your personality and make it your haven. Just like you, your home is utterly unique and more importantly it’s a reflection of you. Focus on what matters most and create space for the daily rituals you enjoy. Think of it as a work in progress, just like you are. It doesn’t have to be a one shot overhaul. Make small improvements each day and let it be your sculpture, your work of art. Be prepared to discover a new style, one that is perfectly custom made for you, by You!

ok, well i better run. just wanted to announce the winners of the giveaway are Rié and Suzanne based on the random number generator. i have more books and promise to do another giveaway after the holidays. have a great week!

December 17, 2014. Decorating. 8 comments.

Flea Markets of Paris: An interactive map of my favorites

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bonjour everybody, it’s been a while but i’m finally back in the groove. i hope your december is in full swing!

it’s been pretty busy around here and i wanted to take a minute to post an exciting collaboration The Paris Apartment just finished with logo_af_AF

(my dad worked with them for his entire career so it’s full circle in our family and extra fun to have been asked)!

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We used our app, Keys to the Fleas to create this interactive map where you can get info on the flea markets throughout Paris including which metro to use, hours and the specialty of each.

 

 

 

 

Click the map below for real time info:

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(this map was made with the help of  air france who happen to be running cheap flights to and from Paris right now)

i have to admit putting it together gave me total wanderlust for the markets. thank god it’s winter or i’d be tempted to take a quick trip for holiday gifts.

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it’s one place that’s fascinating enough to go to again and again.

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not sure why it’s got such an alluring power…maybe cause it’s never the same twice, or that you’re sure to find something you’ll cherish forever. it’s definitely an archaeological and anthropological exploration that’s a mix of high-highs and low-lows.

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half the fun is the people who make it happen every week rain, shine, sun or snow.

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lots of people think it’s just old junk but once you get past the high or low end display you can find something special at every single booth, especially in unpacked boxes if you’re into snooping like i am

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small stuff has become more my focus after importing a container full of armoires, beds and mirrors needing repair upon arrival…

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now sometimes a button or pillbox is enough

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and a love letter can certainly do the trick…

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lately the markets have been kind of a study of the renovation of paris. they’re tearing out the old doors, chandeliers, mantles and panels and this is where they end up. at least we can have them if no one else wants them!

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i’ve always had a bit of a chair fetish and this is the place to indulge in it~

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hot pink velvet or stripped down all the way they’re just full of personality

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the deconstructed look is my personal favorite although not the most comfy. but the techniques they used to do on the inside is a lost art…

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we use foam and dacron now instead of hay and horsehair. guess that’s not a bad upgrade but i still love look of the old stuff

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and the patina of a well turned arm on a chaise or sofa, well, don’t get me started

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mostly i’m attracted to the small boudoir chairs that once held the ladies at their vanities who started trends from inspiring dramatic furniture, showing ankles, drinking in public to voting. here’s to the showgirls, flappers, ingenues, actresses and suffragettes!

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anyway it was a long time since i’d gone thru my photos. kinda like seeing old friends. they told me at mac i was a media hoarder cause i have 30k photos. but it’s ok it’s only ether. and the markets will always be an infinite source of inspiration whether in pics or in person

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anyway…in celebration of the season we’re giving away two Paris Flea Market Style books that can ship out next week. if you’re interested just say so! and now, to all a great night~

December 10, 2014. Tags: . Air France, flea markets, Fleamarkets, France, Paris. 30 comments.

out of thin air

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bonjour guys, it’s been a long time. tonight i’m finishing up the last of the profiles on the women from the social media conference this summer in paris. so without further ado, and last (but by no means least), please meet one of the co-hosts and a true soul sister, carina okula.

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i profiled carina twice on the blog before we ever got to be friends. i was a big fan when i first set eyes on her magical photos, they’re serene yet vivid and she captivated me completely once we met.

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she’s one of those people who sees beauty everywhere and lucky for us she’s willing and able to document it. just her daily life provides images and content that could so easlily get passed by in the hustle of city life, especially when you’re tending to two kids and a hubby. she pulls beauty out of thin air and makes it concrete and tangible, and that takes effort.

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i’d like to channel her and have the camera ready at all times, take the time to go home and edit, work with photo programs and learn new techniques. luckily we have big plans to work on projects together including a book and creating a niche for some exclusive photos on the TPA boutique. choosing from her images will be the hardest part.

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website: carinaokula.com

of course she’s a social media whiz so check her out and follow her around just to what she’s up to.

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blog: carinaokula.com/blog

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twitter.com/carinaokula

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instagram: instagram.com/carinaokula

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pinterest: pinterest.com/CarinaOkula

i want to thank carina for that one way trip to the moon and a time that i’ll never forget! looking forward to the future together and glad to have you by my side on all the projects to come. have a great night everyone!

October 22, 2014. Tags: . Paris, Paris Trip. 13 comments.

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