greetings from paris mes amis! it’s beyond cold, in fact it’s downright bone chilling! but not cold enough to stop the shopping and yesterday was an incredible adventure.
we went to visit my friend stephane blanc’s warehouses in a tiny village an hour outside paris. it couldn’t have been more picturesque and even better, full of surprises.
you never know what’s behind big old doors and we were not disappointed when he opened the vaults to the 1750s barns where he and his father have gathered incredible treasures from french châteaux and estates over the years.
stephane brings pieces back to paris and restores them to sell at clignancourt in his tiny, curated booth on rue paul bert. my mystery guests and i were the first to go behind the blue doors. although he was casual about the enormity of his collection, we were blown away.
every kind of imaginable style is stacked up in chilly, cobwebbed rooms filled with furniture, mirrors, doors, chandeliers, artwork and toys.
we must have been there for 5 hours going through every nook and cranny in the cold.
no one left empty handed and at the end of the day we were exhausted and tired but happy with our treasures.
as someone who loves to restore old pieces, i couldn’t help wanting to take it all home and bring it back to life myself.
still, my philosophy these days is ‘no projects’ especially since i’m preparing for my OKL sale in just a couple weeks.
so at least for now, the clocks and tables are safe and sound, sitting quietly in wait.
and until i have the chance to come back (hopefully in warmer weather)!
i’ll just settle for getting pieces that are ready to go like these little treasures we found at the market. we’re heading out again tomorrow and sunday to vanves and clignancourt for a big day of shopping and shipping so i’ll keep you posted and take lots of shots! have a great day and happy weekend!
allo all! it’s very late and my last post from paris this time around. it’s been a fantastic trip with lots of great memories and pretty things coming home. but for the first time, it’s a little different for me. as you know i adore the flea markets and all the stories they tell. lately though, i feel a little bittersweetness about it because the subtle ‘progressive’ changes in the city are becoming more apparent and i’m not sure they’re for the best.
ok maybe at times paris can be a bit of a gilded lily, and i can understand wanting to mix the old with the new. but paris is the worlds’ muse and we come for her beauty and inspiration.
le train-bleu, in paris’ gare de lyon
and as someone who loves interior and exterior architecture, i can’t for the life of me figure out why the french allow their beautiful city to be ravaged by renovators.
the changes are everywhere, from the windows coming down and satellite dishes going up
to small details like the books being pilfered for engraving and endpapers sold as scraps
glass fronts on traditional boulangeries and boucheries are tossed aside and the storefronts are cemented over
handpainted panels are removed and separated from the grand walls they once adorned
and apparently stained glass is considered passé
why someone would want to dismantle a marble fireplace and mirror is beyond me
and why would the city allow such destruction?
i mean, i’m not complaining, it gets circulated all over the world i suppose
but it just seems that in this day and age we should preserve what we have and take care of it as stewards
these apartments will be here long after us and what will be left?
where is the love?
and why is it being replaced with ‘sanitization’of the city’ as the french are calling it?
ok maybe i am complaining just a little. it’s happening throughout the city. these beautiful old tile frames in the metro are all coming down
and the old bouquinistes kisoks are being replaced with one of the prototypes below
maybe like joni mitchell sings, paris, is old and cold and settled in its ways. but isn’t that why we love her so? if the powers that be want to make changes, i humbly suggest adding a few more escalators in the metros, make it easier to catch a cab and run a design contest for a pretty something to cover the hanging clear plastic garbage bags on the streets. of course outlawing satellite dishes and making it a crime to dismantle apartments and store facades over 100 years old wouldn’t hurt either! but some say it’s progress. i say it’s heartbreaking. what do you think?
allo dear friends, how are you? i hope you’re into the fall weather and are getting your autumn on! we’re still running around and no matter where we turn paris is still ful of surprises. the day started with a rainy marche but it warmed up when we got to le square trousseau to meet friends/fellow bloggers, vicki, author of french essence and haleigh, blogger extraordinaire from making magique. both of these girls know how to live and they record it all with the most gorgeous photography! if you’re ever in need of eye candy or to drift off into neverland, just click your heels on over to their blogs. we shared ideas, tips and just had a great leisurely long lunch which i doubt any of us get to do very often! below is a glimpse into haleigh’s world in paris:
and vicki’s in provence
of course we couldn’t leave without lusting after the desserts…
we thought the day couldn’t get any better when on the way home claudia and i took a shortcut. we came across one of the last men working in his studio on the dying art of handmade engravings. when our friend ellen was here she was telling me all about the copperplates, hammering them backward with tiny pins to create the detail we see in so many familiar works of art.
olaf was diligently working but stopped to chat. he happened to have one of my favorite plates, le souper fin (below) which he purchased from a workshop that had recently closed. if you look you’ll see it was all done in reverse. the detail is incomprehensible and so is the idea that this is how so many important events were recorded! it takes black tar, ink, acid and god knows what else to produce a perfect engraving and it’s all done on handmade paper.
souper fin, Jean-Michel Moreau. he did admit he’s one of that last to do this painstaking craft…
not sure what this one was about but his work was stunning. i couldn’t resist getting a couple to bring back!
the day is now coming to a close and we’re nestled snug in our pied a terre, happily fed and another unforgettable day under our belts, but also aware it’s quickly coming to an end. when i get home lots of goodies will be waiting there. in the meantime, it was nice to know we got a little press in the states today! miles redd recommended one of tpa’s mirrored pieces in an article for the home section!
someone here asked me if mirrored furniture was ‘over ‘and i had to think for a minute. it will never be over, it’s a style that’s been around way too long to become passé now!i found this shot from the market last week and it re-confirmed my opinion that mirror is and always will be tres chic. it’s been worked on furniture since the 2os with details we can’t even produce now. how they manipulated mirror is yet another mystery the french started!
ok well this was a bunch of non sequiturs but isn’t that what a journal/diary/blog is for, to remember the details of life big and small? well, it’s time for bed, officially midnight yet again. have a great night!
bonjour mes amis, ca va? we’re fully immersed in parisian life over here, for another week anyway. i’m trying to make it last and enjoy every minute (even if that’s a nap here and there)! paris is like a laduree candy shop with unexpected, delicious beauty around every corner. especially at the markets. we can walk for miles and still only skim the surface.
the fleas are full from the vendors’ summer finds and we’ve been getting up early to make the most of it.
i definitely have a thing for chairs and have been getting sofas, slippers, vanity stools and bergers…
sad for the ones that got away…
but n love with what’s coming back to the states! thought you might enjoy a preview.
and we know you can’t get it all. but we sure try! we’ve been to the maison objet (a little uninspired this year but i’ll post the pics from it. then again everything pales in comparison to the fleas for me!) instead of heading back we went to the markets with our client for the past few days. she’s been shopping for her store, shed home and tomorrow we’ll be packing her goodies up to ship.
the photo above is dave bloom’s of sophie atlan’s booth in clignancourt at vernaisson. we spent a couple days shooting together for the new book.
the detail in this country never ceases to amaze me
the closer you look the more you find
even a tiny powder puff is still as pretty as ever.
well tomorrow is our last day together, and i believe a good time was had by all.
thought you’d enjoy a shot of cindy’s room at caron de beaumarchais. amazing what you can do with 4 little walls!
we’re invited to a big party at clignancourt on friday eve and a concert tomorrow. we’re hoping to get to the show above if we can squeeze it in! well it’s minuit, so more soon, have a great night!
hi guys, happy tuesday. i hope you had a good day and are about to have a great night!
strange but good timing around here. i’ve been working on the flea market stuff and when i googled jules valles, and discovered that the article i wrote for the girls guide to paris has gone live. not sure how i missed that but it’s a publication i really admire so thank you to the editor, doni for the opportunity to write a flea market article for them.
it’s funny how looking back things can be so surreal. it was only a couple months ago but don’t think i would write the same article today. at the time i was determined to write the about the gritty, dark side of the market when she asked for the article. i wanted to expose the not so pretty part where you have to get dirty, dig and sleuth around. but in the end you always will uncover buried treasure. i wanted readers and passionate flea market excavators to know that over priced and polished fleas are the norm but that if you don’t mind using a little elbow grease, you can go a few streets over and shop on the DL. but it’s not a pristine scene and i don’t know what possessed me to send her these crazy pics. girls guide is such a glamorous mag that of course after i sent in the shots and text and just of the brutal cacophony of this area, i wanted to re-do it. make it pretty. but doni went ahead with it, god bless her! anyway here’s the article. if you like it say hi on the her and let her know you came by!
this is something between a scrap yard and well, it’s pretty much a scrap yard of french things
this is a closeup of the above
there’a a lot of everything
she must have thought i was nuts! anyway i hope you enjoyed the back alley stroll~ have a great nuit!
hi guys what’s happening? it’s way late but i wanted to get here before turning in and share a little of what i’m working on. starting to anyway. i’ve been meaning to go through my pics from paris and organize them for a book about the city’s flea markets. so tonight i had the time and busted in to the jules valles folder. jules is one of the sub-markets at clignancourt in and a little off he beaten path but definitely a market to be reckoned with.
it’s an affordable, two aisle covered market brimming with good loot. i was hoping to get back this month to grab a few things for the big event coming up but i just can’t see getting on another plane right now.
the as of yet undisclosed event is on march 22nd. it takes 4-6 weeks by container so chances are i could miss the boat if the stars don’t align.
but it is tempting, this little marche! i thought you may enjoy a stroll down memory lane with me~
a couple of really dramatic booths amid lots of good chaos
an abundance of textiles
tassels and linens
that aforementioned chaos
and french moderne
so maybe i won’t get back for awhile but at least there are the shots to remember it by! well, have a great night mes sweetpeas, a demain!
hi guys, how’s life at home? c’est tres grand en paris but my days are numbered and flying by. every minute is jam packed and the moments in between are when even more can happen. it’s hard to keep up!
some of that magic happened unexpectedly when i met a soul sister my first day here. neither of us completely understand what the other is saying but we totally get each other. so i’d like to introduce my new bff, sophie atlan. her boutique is at the marché aux puces at Clignancourt, in Vernaison specifically. her dad was once a merchant there too, so the winding, tiny alley streets were her playground. years later it’s a family tradition that she radicalized with her bold and chic shop. she’s very private and never allows pics but we became real friends over the past few weeks and she let me shoot a couple real quick. i couldn’t help but share her with you.
*Sophie Atlan, Vernaison Market, Alle 8 Stand 163*
she invited me to a red carpet event that the market is hosting the evening of october 14th. all the dealers will hold soirées in their booths with hors d’oeuvres and champagne. if you’re going to be in town let me know cause i have 2 extra invitations.
i couldn’t leave without taking a piece of sophies’s world home so got a bunch of wallpapers to play with. i’ll show you the patterns when i get back. i thought it would be fun to put them alongside the armoire, on the back of the shelves, stuff like that. well i’m working all day tomorrow so will dit bon nuit. hope to get back here at a reasonable hour to post a un petit peu plus de paris. a tout a l’heure!
and i complain about the rain but there’s always a warm spot to dip into like this little spot in clignancourt…
hi guys, hope your week is going well. it was a day off for us so we really chilled and worked at home most of the day. these shots are highlights from yesterday. i fell in love with this little place at the flea in clignancourt, it kind of made me miss having a store cause it was filled with the girly stuff i love so much.
she collects all the things i die for…pink chairs, daybeds, glass sconces hats on stands with feathers. who wore these things? who lived that life?
le sigh, i’m a dreamer who loves carvings and flowers
but god my camera blows!
this is all from the same shop at the flea. the owner was chatting so i didn’t get her card but will be back this weekend to find it.
back in reality we shopped for the apartment and made a couple of what i thought were great buys like this versatile jansen table,
and this old mirror to go in the dining room with the less fussy chairs and table between the windows.
and we’re going to revisit this footstool (and i’ll get those chairs for karina gentinetta who loves them as much as i do)!
this was an option for the little desk in the guest room,
and these were the final choice for each of the reading corners in the bedrooms.
we got these pieces delivered to the apartment so tomorrow claudia t is going to clean up the crystals on this bad boy,
the man of the house found this little cutie.
and with a bit of agony, the armoire was carried into its new home where it will stay for all eternity. well, a good long time anyway!
the buffet got waxed up and is getting its second wind. so little by little it’s coming together. more shopping and deliveries tomorrow. i hope i’m not boring the crud out of you but it’s good for me to keep my notes and thoughts and progress all together here.
the highlight of our day off was meeting di overton and tara bradford down the street from our apartment at merci. they are two of the coolest, sweetest, most amazing women i’ve ever met. if you get a chance, dig into their blogs, they’ve been around the world and back and at the same time are just starting new adventures!
ok claudia t is about to pass out so i have to turn out le lumière so bonne nuit!
i don’t know if i mentioned that my friend claudia arrived to assist with the job this week. she’s been coming on the trips for more than 10 years and is the kind of friend who will do anything for you and doesn’t mind if i get cranky or bossy which i may have done once. or twice. ok, maybe 3 times but that’s it!
when we’re together she always reminds me how much i love the risque side of paris. for my other project i’ve been looking for the perfect something to illustrate the french playfulness between the risque and refined.
we love to dig through old ephemera and always come out filthy but with lots of paper treasures. she collects images of architectural elements whereas i look for souvenirs and sketches of the saucy side of paris.
on another note, i really wish i had time to refine my photography skills, almost everything is inspirational, even old cuffs and collars, costumes and plumes…
back on the decorating tip, i always find new ideas in old magazines
and as we headed back out to clignancourt yesterday, we slipped into the waaaayyy back
where you can find some of the best stuff. it’s where dealers who don’t mind getting down and dirty do it. you have to dig deep and you’ll leave looking like a disaster but there are treasures galore.
back in civilization on the other side of clignancourt, we shopped once again for some pretty things for the apartment. these are a couple things i’m daydreaming about for my own little fantasy place in my own little mind…
wood panel from the 1800s i could just EAT
blue satin chairs that have seen much too much of a muchness. believe it or not i love them ‘as is’!
sick i know but that’s the real me!
and i could just pop this paneling up in any room and be very happy there!
back in reality, we met with our clients in the morning who found these great 8 chairs in the 5 minutes waiting for me! they go perfectly with their harvest table.
and they found this little stool for extra seating.
can you tell i wasn’t there? she doesn’t want the place to be filled with as she says, too much girly stuff! so i think they’re striking a good balance. a quick decision was made on a buffet for the dining room which, besides a trumeau mirror is actually the first of the rooms to be completed!
they’re debating these chairs for the bedrooms as each will have a cozy reading nook with a table, lamp and ottoman. they’ve just been recovered with linen and nice soft stuffing so being ready to go is a huge selling point.
claudia found them this 1920s blue deco table that looks like it’s seen a lot of good times. it’s in debate but we’ll revisit it and the chairs, mirrors, coffee and occasional tables today.
oh god i just realized it’s getting late and i hate to be the last one there. these sconces were the last thing we got yesterday before we all pooped out. this afternoon i promised lorraine (claudia’s mom) to her give her apartment a facelift so it’s gonna be a trés loin jour. claudia’s back with my croissant so you know i better fly! more in a couple hours, who knows what but i love the hunt! have a great monday, hope it’s sunny where ever you are!