just an illusion

hey guys, i hope you’re enjoying the wee hours of a great weekend. i’ve been surfing for longer than i realized cause it’s after midnight. this was one of those nights i got very lost for very long sharing an obsession for french doors and walls with martin margiela.

he was at the maison et objet last year showing his home line. he uses drawings and photos of old classic doors and carved walls to recreate rooms with paper, fabric and stickers.

the architectural grandeur of the design against the playfulness of an illustration is a great contrast. i did this in my booth at the ad show and thought it was avant garde but martin took it to another level!

his store in tokyo, above, is decorated with drawings and engravings from a 1700s french room. they really were early blueprints for wall treatments. and the detail is exquisite. in fact one of the articles talks about the hotel he designed in paris, saying:


The place is a study in optical illusion. It’s got chairs and tables that appear to suspend in mid-air and trompe l’oeil wall coverings done up in the Hausmannian style that make closed doors seem like they’re open. Laser in on the photos, and you’ll be hard-pressed to figure out whether you’re looking at new wallpaper or molding that the architect, Jules Pellechet, dreamed up some 150 years ago. tommytoy.typepad.com

Maison des Centraliens aka Hotel La Maison – Champs Elysées
8, rue Jean Goujon
75008 Paris


so i definitely want to check it out when i’m in town. put it on the to do list!  it’s official, i’m heading to our favorite city september 5 through 25th. if you’re in town, let’s meet up!

L’atelier d’exercices – Sticker Porte Haussmannienne by Maison Martin Margiela


i guess i just can’t get enough of this guy tonite! i have a soft spot for interior architecture and a reverence for the beautiful old mouldings, ormalou and filigree that used to be de rigeur en paris.

you can actually purchase the door photos here: madeindesign.co.uk

so all this door talk brings me round to my project for the day.

i couldn’t let the weekend go by without at least trying to finish a little decorating of my own, the closet door. of course the screw is too long for the handle, the paint needs more touch ups, the old handle imprint needed sanding…this could be the never-ending door!

i came across this little metal ribbon that has been with me for years. i used some double sided tape that comes with those self stick hooks and stuck it up temporarily as a final accent to the door.  now i need to use something that’s a little more secure but not permanent. elmers?

i ripped this out of a magazine as inspiration yesterday when i still had grand plans:

and thought about adding more color like a black frame or turquoise insets but right now i’m just enjoying that it’s over, a project pretty much finished.  maybe blowing something like this up for behind the chair, life size and in color…

but first i’ve do something about that switchplate…gosh the details never end!

well, have a good night and hope tomorrow is the start of a great summer week!

August 15, 2011. Decorating, Maison et Objet.


  1. Leigh Chandler replied:

    What an amazing transformation! Love the doors and pull!


  2. Meg Crawford replied:

    Oh, why the gold ribbon? Just me, but I would have let that little guy be the center of a different project. This door is too brawny and strapping to be gloomed down by an itsy bow and flaxen rings. Maybe go on hunt for some vintage door knobs or rusted key hole plates. Paint them (or not) and apply.

    The door is beyond where it was before; do not get me wrong! And that gold trim is…well…tremendous! As for the rest of door (the unfinished white), try an off white background with a “pop” of subtle beige in a paisley stencil. These graphics wouldn’t be obvious at first glance, but I think with a special little factor like this, the door could really make its way from pretty door to viewer double takes (loaded with oohs and ahs).


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      you’re right, i was just being lazy and used what was lying around. but not to worry! the ribbon fell off last night and i won’t put it back :)
      i’ll mull over your ideas, thanks for being so vivid!


      • Megan Ross replied:

        no way! Im addicting to your blog already! and i’ve only been following for a few weeks now.

        make that bow a necklace or better yet…a belt buckle!


  3. Dad replied:

    I suggest mounting the ribbon on a small plaque using a strong adhesive and then when it’s cured placing the assembly on the door. Might even make the ribbon seem larger.


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      haha thanks dad, that is a great idea! still i think i’m done with the door and will just get a dang pillow for the chair already.


  4. Lily replied:

    The door looks amazing…I love it just with the little hint of gold trim and the little ribbon couldnt be any cuter !!



  5. The Paris Apartment replied:

    aw thanks, lily! i appreciate that!


  6. me replied:

    I love the way you write and the topics you embellish. I am always guaranteed a heart inspiring smile as I enjoy my 3:00p tea and 10 minutes with your blog!


  7. merillion replied:

    Love what you did with the door panels. Just curious, what will you do about the switchplate?



    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      aren’t we sticklers for detail? in my bag of tricks i do happen to have a mirrored one. it should be a crowd pleaser!


  8. Rosa replied:

    First off, you have completely transformed that door! A little gold paint and a new handle, complete with gold bow, made all the difference in the world!
    And I loooooove those architectural design elements as wallpaper… stunning!


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      how much fun is that wallpaper? my idea for the door was to show how easy it was to make a transformation. but it’s been a lot of detail work!


  9. Beadboard UpCountry replied:

    I was amazed to see this as there is the gray door in that shop in the North Marais, I have to tell you it looks so real I think I will come back with one….
    He is amazing……..Maryanne xo.


    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      oh you have to take a pic! do you know where it is? i’ll go too cause i’m staying in the marais. i can’t believe you know the actual door!


  10. le petit cabinet de curiosites replied:

    I love your creativity


  11. à la parisienne replied:

    I really enjoyed this post about the illusion of French doors. My husband already knows that I want molding out the whazoo in my future dream home whenever that may be…Budget-wise, I may have to settle for wallpapered walls, ceilings, and doors.
    I’ll have to show him this post.


  12. Pablo replied:

    Oh, my… This is just amazing, I love it…! Thanks so much for sharing!



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