ojects of desire
bonjour guys, happy friday! where do the days go? well, i can say that for the first time in awhile i know exactly where i’ve been cause my camera was with me for most of it. i was invited by my friends to check out their new store in asheville, nc, also known as the ‘paris of the south’. who knew? maybe it’s cause of places like the biltmore estate, below?
anyway they wanted me to get the feel of it and maybe do some buying in the upcoming months as well as have a hand in working with the brand. both prospects are right up my alley so of course i had to take them up on a visit. even though i spent three days there getting to know the store, the staff and the stuff, checking out their photos on instagram made me appreciate them even more so i’m gonna use some of theirs (clock photo above by zach.alexander).
as formal as ‘frenchy’ can be, it’s a contrast to this low-key, easy going town that welcomes you with ‘good vibes’ on the water tower coming in from the airport.
as you can imagine i immediately felt at home and was welcomed by the wonderful gang who run the show. (photo above by Molly)
my friends put me up at their beautiful hotel, the Windsor, which is flanked by their shop, DÉSIRANT. between the authentic antiques, art, sferra linens in the rooms and the amount of entertainment and eye candy in the store, i didn’t want to leave. (not to mention the world class restaurants…) in fact it’s a place i could go back to pretty easily since there’s just so much to explore.
they have a great philosophy and everything in the store is special and has been chosen with care. what makes it even more unique is that they source their collection from paris of course, but also find artisans and designers who love what they do and understand the desirant style. many are local, but some are from miami, others from new jersey! the point is that this is a place where creativity is encouraged to thrive. it’s a kind modern french salon, like the ones we imagine, where artists and patrons came to gather, share ideas, discuss art, music and feast! oh yeah, there’s a coffee bar here too.
in today’s world it’s hard to set yourself apart but when you understand what you want to provide it becomes easier. that’s one of the reasons desirant resonates with me i guess. the goals are simple: to live well. to collect what that you love, design your life, and style your environment by surrounding yourself with things that are beautiful and have meaning.
i must have spent an hour just in this section alone. from this shot it looks like you just could cruise through but i wanted to absorb every detail.
can i take you on a tour? the shot above is where you get in through the hotel lobby
these clocks are by a local artist who makes them out of spare parts and pieces she can repurpose. the second hands are playful fluttering feathers!
other clock faces are mounted artfully under glass.
and so are lots of other goodies…
the cases are filled with eye candy, some of it again by local artisans
like these necklaces and earrings by ‘my mother’s buttons’
and these by another who brings old watches back to life. these artists are so creative!
this curio was filled to the gills with one-of-a kind neckties and bowties made of feathers
and these ties below are made of wood!
these are repurposed chairs made by a local gal. each has a story to tell…
like the peacock chair with real feathers on the back~
i fell in love with these candy and coffee tins, they’re another pretty old relic being given new life…
and how about this sculpture?
and the art, don’t get me started!
of course there’s new stuff too, like fornasetti candles
and one of a kind purses,
robes and blankets you can’t stop touching
and pillows you have to have
candles, lotions and potions
some of those are one-of a-kind too
there are handmade chandeliers that look like jewels
and jewels that are well, drool worthy
and the clothes, the clothes!
i ended up spending a lot of time working from the cafe.
the barista makes a darn good latte and they open at the crack of dawn
so i got myself a journal and hung out with the books
i’m home now going through the photos. it reminds me how much i enjoyed being in a store. online is fun but there is something about the tactile element of a place like this. it’s a very special, almost lost art.
the maison et objet is coming to miami again in may and we’ll meet again there. so i’ll keep you posted as things develop. in the meantime, if you need a piece of paris, it’s nice to know that just a couple hours away in asheville, nc sits the paris of the south. if you’ve been there let us know what else earned it the title. if you can’t get there, check out and follow desirant here, they’re keeping the tradition alive!
ps: the winner of the boxes from the last post is lisa. congratulations and let me know your address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
i just realized that this is a perfect opportunity for desirant to host a giveaway so i’ll ask them tomorrow what they’d like offer. if you follow on one of their social media platforms, let me know which and we’ll draw a names from there. have a great weekend!