and then there was cake


bonjour toute le monde et happy friday. it’s the mid january and seems like the whole country is bracing for some winter weather and indoor time. it’s even been dreary and cold here which is sort of good cause i tend to nest in this weather and get tough with the editing. day 18 into this project and focusing today on lots of ideas including raising my standards in every area, but right about now just having some creative fun and remembering what i love about what i do and who i do it with. isn’t it funny how your friends can pull you out of a funk you didn’t know you were in?


working around the apartment today with candy and liz got me to realize that since i moved in here it’s been a revolving door of decor. i buy and sell from home so if a painting or table goes out the door, it’s got to be replaced or there’s a gaping hole. well those glaring gaping holes were finally acknowledged today. i’m determined to give this place the respect it deserves and am about to launch into a makeover on it, just a little something each day.

i’ve always been in love with the decorative trims on the walls and doors in france. in fact i can almost say that they’re what inspired The Paris Apartment. after living as an au pair with a family who had an apartment that looked like its walls were made of icing, i was hooked.


i’m trying to remember all the things that have made tpa so much fun for me to build over the years. clearly i loved it enough to get up and work on it every day for two decades. today it hit me like a brick (or decorative) wall.


i’ve been studying illustrations and renderings of walls for years and even have a decent collection.


one elements i always added to my stores and homes was a bit of trim, however crude (cutting mitered corners with a hacksaw half the time). well who’s to say what the interpretation for inspiration should look like, right? but truth is the originals are so elegant and intricate. and no two rooms are ever alike.


i wonder about the women who dressed so beautifully and floated around those rooms of cake


what their daily lives must have been like with no central heat, hot tap water or even les toilets


but somehow they managed to create what i personally still consider the epitome of design in every aspect


even as a relic you can see the magnificence of an apartment like this


with mirrors inset and gold leaf trim


just who were these purveyors of such fine design?


there’s such beauty among the madness in 1700s france…a place where streets were sewers yet these ladies surrounded themselves in silk from head to toe as a way to rebel against the brutality of the time


amidst inequality, famine, fear and despair came the architects, textile weavers, wig styllists, porcelain, bronze and silver makers, furniture designers, painters…


and the salon hostesses showcasing it all…


even simple decoration is dramatic. no detail was overlooked from the ceiling to the doors.

shoes_1024x1024 copy

once the trim went up the riot of color began…

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photos found here:

i’ve been working with my friends and selling some of their things when they feel like tpa.  i’ve had two headboards here for a while that keni salvaged from the eden roc hotel almost 50 years ago. he wasn’t sure what to do with them, he himself has had them for  20 years. i took them from him thinking i’d sell them and secretly hoping to use them while they were here but it never happened and they were slated to go back today. but this bare wall (due to a mirror selling the other day) was calling and having candy and liz here inspired me to pick one up and see if it would work over the space. liz said it looked ridiculous but then candy picked up the other piece and instead of putting them side by side like headboards, she flipped it underneath.


it probably seems like an obvious move but to tell you the truth i’m not sure i would have thought of it. it made me realize that when you think of something in one way sometimes your mind will not let it be anything but that. to her they weren’t headboards so there was no barrier. anyway it was a wakeup call to think outside the box.


they’re light as feathers so with two nails on each piece it was up in less than 5 minutes.


and then i remembered: my plans for ‘Ballroom and Boudoir in a Box’. it’s something that could finally come to fruition after years of just ruminating on it.


so strange how things come to you just when you need them. or maybe it’s perfectly normal…


anyway that’s it for today. below is a silent tour of my place as is. guess i’m baring it all. have a wonderful weekend!


January 22, 2016. the paris apartment project, TPA Project.


  1. elizabeth harris replied:

    I’m just another Francophile who loves your blogs. Where did you get the mouldings you just put on your wall? Will you put any art inside it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      we were thinking that anything could go inside like a favorite color or a fabric, a cork board, or paint something on the wall that can change or be painted over eventually…i’m going to find out how to reproduce these and also create some new ones for the ballroom and boudior in a box idea~


  2. Chryle replied:

    Dearest Claudia~

    I love this post! I love your words, love your story, love your pictures… and I absolutely adore your headboard artistry! Looking at your pictures, it seems such a natural progression.

    I was with a Francophile (much as I love all things French and France, I think I’m a Europhile?) friend before Christmas, shopping in a rather eclectic shop (vintage, repurposed vintage, newly-made, and just plain funky) owned and operated by four very different women. They had an old, ornate unconventionally painted frame with a chalkboard in it. As often happens, we both thought it cool. She said she saw it and knew I’d love it because it’s how my head works – unexpected and out-of-the-box. I think that is one of the big reasons why I love The Paris Apartment, your Web site (though I’m sure you’d have to literally throw me out of your physical shop), your blog, etc.: You are not in any box, which, I’m guessing, is why thinking out-of-the-box is such a different concept for you – you’re not in a box so you have no need to think outside of it.

    Oh, I am looking forward to hearing much more about your “Ballroom and Boudoir in a Box” idea! That sounds like so much fun!

    I’m off to go headboard shopping….

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Paris Apartment replied:

      You have a wonderful way of making me feel so much better about things, Chryle. Your perspective inspires me~


  3. Susanne replied:

    I just love this idea and look of the mirrored frames. Magnifique !


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