Bringing Parisian Style Home

claudia-strasser-paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bonjour everybody! please accept my apologies for not gettng back to announce the winner of the book last weekend as promised. i’m heading out for a month and it’s been crazy trying to tie up loose ends and just generally keep it together. the poor blog seems to come last which is sad cause it’s actually my favorite venue and I really thank you all for your wonderful comments through the week. i wish I had a case of books and could give one to each of you! but i will be getting review copies of lots of books this summer so there’ll be plentry of giveaways on the horizon. in the meantime, the random number generator was #63, so please, Ms. Lewis send me your address and i’ll get it out to you right away!

in other news, i came across this interview just now that my dear friend and colleague did with me a while ago. i’m reposting it here since some of you are going to paris this summer and i’ve been getting a lot of emails and questions, so i hope this helps and i’ll elaborate on it over the next couple posts. our iphone app also has lots of info like metro, hours etc.  it’s on the sidebar.

Interview by Linda Donahue (well an excerpt anyway, you can see the full thing here: parisiensalon.com-the-paris-apartment

Your book, The Paris Apartment, is all about how to bring Paris style home—no matter where you live.  What was your inspiration for writing it?

I was asked to write a book on my style about 6 months after opening the shop. At the time it was something I had never thought about so it was a bit of a struggle figuring it out. It ended up to be my philosophies at the time, which are still the principals I hold true today. Basically it’s twofold: That four walls can become anything, and that everyone has a personal style to uncover and develop instead of following trends.

What would be the top tip you could give someone to bring some Paris style into their home?

Authenticity. Even if your rooms are completely furnished with IKEA, it will gain character from at least one great piece, from an antique mirror to a chair or chandelier. Don’t ever decorate with kitschy stuff like Eiffel tower lamps or Frenchy stuff from TJ Maxx with ‘Paris’ written on it!

Does Paris style have to be expensive?

Not at all. Flea markets are one-stop shopping and everyone knows that’s where the bargains are. That’s why dealers and decorators shop them early mornings to get the best stuff. If you wait till the end of the weekend you’re likely to get even better bargains cause some people don’t want to pack it back up.

You were featured in Travel + Leisure magazine as you took some clients through the Paris flea markets.  There seem to be so many such markets in Paris? Which ones do you consider the best?

Well actually there are only 3 or 4 flea markets in the Paris proper and Cligancourt is the largest and most comprehensive. It’s a city in itself, with both upscale and dangerous neighborhoods, so it helps to know where you’re going. I would say if you only had time to visit one though, go to Vanves because you’ll get the experience without having to figure out how to navigate the maze that is Cligancourt!

After the countless trips you’ve made to the flea markets over the years, do you have an easy time navigating through them?

Finally! It literally took years to figure out Cligancourt. Every time I go I learn something new. It’s a part of Paris’ history that the city treasures and protects so it’s constantly growing and adapting. There are so many sub markets and alley ways and secret sections and dealer’s areas and special showings…it’s absolute infinity!

The Vanves flea market seems much easier to navigate than St-Ouen. What kinds of treasures can one expect to find there?

Vanves is a great microcosm because it’s just two streets. You can find a condensed version of the larger markets with furniture, ephemera, lighting, accessories, books, lamps, and rugs.  I’ve found some of my best treasures there.

What’s the difference between antiquités, brocante and vide-greniers?

They difference is in the range from bric a brac to high-end items. You’re going to find the chi-chi stuff at a place with antiquités, (usually auctions and shops), more affordable items at brocante fairs (outdoor fairs that are seasonal) and much lower (but still great) household goodies at vide-greniers, which are also known as ‘attic sales’, usually held on the street like a block party.

Can you get through Vanves in a single morning or afternoon?

Yes bu it’s tricky cause it closes at 1pm so you have to get there really early. Even so, you have a lot of ground to cover. The good news is you can go there on both Saturday and Sunday and still have time to visit other markets. Different vendors are there each day so it’s worth it to go back twice in one weekend.

When is the best time to hit the flea markets?

Marche d’Aligre is held almost everyday and that’s right in the city center. Vanves is weekends only and Cligancourt has special days for dealers on Friday mornings. Otherwise you can find everyone there on the weekends and a couple on Mondays. Montrieul is Mondays.

St-Ouen (also known as Clignacourt) is the biggest flea market in Europe. I’ve heard that people have gotten lost in there. Is there a strategy one should adapt before even attempting to visit the flea market?

Not really because you’re bound to find everything you want whether you cover the entire market or not. The truth is you could never cover the whole market. Ok, well, I have, actually! But it’s nearly impossible even for me. I suggest taking your time to look down every alley and not have an agenda. Bargains can be found everywhere.

Is there a difference between the different markets in St-Ouen?

Yes. Every one of the markets has a range from true high priced antiques to the one euro items.

It’s expected by all the vendors that there will be negotiations involved in any purchase. Any advice on that? And is the inability to speak French a barrier to a successful negotiation?

If something is a great price I don’t negotiate, especially on small items. But if I’m purchasing two or more things I’ll ask for the best price for all of it together.  When you’re asking for a price, always ask for the ‘Pour Export’ price (that is, if you’re shipping it), because they know you’ll have to pay duties and taxes and always give you a break. If it’s a small item, ask ‘How much is this?’ (Combien, monsieur?) Or ‘How much for both?’ (combien pour le deux?).

So, say someone makes a big purchase—a piece of furniture, for instance. How would they get that purchase back to their home (if they don’t happen to live in Paris)?

There are a number of shippers on the premises at Cligancourt and I like Edet and Hedleys. Most of them are on the main road, rue de Rosiers where everyone goes when they get off the Metro and make their way through the market. All are English speaking and will walk you through the process, which is involved but not overly complicated.

So, the Paris flea markets are a good place to go to bring that Paris style home with you. Any last words of advice to those who decide to hit the markets while in Paris?

Be careful at all the markets. As wonderful as they are, there are pickpockets and dangerous characters about. Wear good walking shoes, bring cash, and if you’re going to charge something, use Visa or MC because they can’t stand AmEx, and most vendors won’t take it.

I always bring an extra duffle bag to fill with treasures, so when you’re there, look for small things to bring back like compacts, sketches, small paintings, fabrics, books, jewelry boxes, lampshades, candlesticks and photographs. Have fun!

Photo by One and Only Paris Photography.

June 6, 2015. Clignancourt Flea Market, Clignancourt Market Paris, flea markets, Fleamarkets, France, Friends, Giveaway, Marché aux Puces, Marche d'Aligre Paris, Paris, Paris Flea Markets, Vanves Flea Market, Vernaison Market. 4 comments.

let’s eat cake

h9

bonjour toute le monde, ça va? i hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. it’s been BBQ central for so many days i’ve lost track and am finally finding a few minutes to myself. of course that translates into falling down a beautiful rabbit hole known as the world wide web of wonder.  i wanted to share two divinely lovely things, the first is my dear friend and source of endless inspiration, haleigh walsworth of making magique. she has an exquisitely gorgeous life that she shares through her blog and allows us into her personal world of deliciousness. i could practically eat her photos and want to revel in every post

h5

h8

of course a girl like haleigh couldn’t go unnoticed, and not just cause she’s a modern audrey heburn/brigitte bardot, (basically the toast of paris…in my mind anyway, and i love putting her on that pedestal), but rather because she’s the essence of magic herself. she’s taken her life in paris and turned it into a full blown lifestyle brand. the more i watch her grow the more i learn from her, mainly never to lose my joie de vivre and to be utterly fearless in every aspect of life. what did that attitude earn her?

1a1b

for starters, her very own blog on Lancôme where she has been charged with the glorious task of writing about everything from beauty

h1

to fashion,

h7

culture,

h3

travel and cuisine.

h2

so you can imagine how happy i was when she asked me to collaborate on a piece for her blog at Lancôme.

2

1

ta da!

Lancome1bcd

lancome-usa.com

this post got me thinking about what my blog readers might be interested in hearing about, talking about, sharing and what you’re working on. are you carving out a bit of paris in your life, are you working on your brand, interested in collaborating, connecting with and empowering other women (and men) and encouraging them to flourish? i’d like do lots of this and want this next part of my life to be filled with that. basically overflowing with beauty and inspiration. you inspire me…what are you up to and into?

May 26, 2015. Tags: . Decorating, Fashion, France, Friends. 8 comments.

elements she loves

elemements i love 3

good morning and happy monday! i hope your summer is jam packed with all the fun that only the blazing sun and vitamin d can bring. today i’d like to introduce a new friend i met on the trip to paris.

brooke

please meet the wonderful Brooke Crowle from Australia. her business is called elements i love and she’s working on every facet of it, like polishing a beautiful gem. she and i were sort of mutt and jeff, (she’s a tall gorgeous blonde) and hit it off right away.

elements i love 16

we’re both importers and had similar (sometimes tragic )! stories of bringing containers and products into the US. she’s taken it as far as importing from india and morocco so i was really eager to listen to and learn from her.

79f4b27b436268c1987ce8ff7c8c69ae

we have a similar aesthetic and her shop in surrey hills, australia makes me pine a little for a warehouse/workshop when i see the displays and projects she’s working on. LauraBaxter.elementsilove

she has her own special finishes and imports stunning linens and curtains. she doesn’t mind getting dirty with paint and stain but is also surround by such pretty things…maybe a trip to australia is in order!

elements i love 14

in the meantime, we have her many social media outlets to get a fix of her pretty pics

instagram.com/elements_i_love

elements i love 4

elements that inspire her

twitter.com/elementsilove

elements i love 7

vignettes she creates

elementsilove.com

elements i love 9

ways to keep up with what’s new

facebook.com/pages/Elements-i-loveelements i love 21

and play behind the scenes in her workshop

elements.net.au/stock-online/antique-furniture

10elements i love 1

these are some of the ombre curtains she designed and had made in india

pinterest.com/brookecrowle

elements i love 2

and the linens on the beds in her shop…yum!

elements i love 15

brooke’s photos are still rocking my world. love her perspective, edits and vision.

elements i love 13

blog.brooke-crowle-elements-i-love-my-week-in-pictures

elements of love 5

linkedin.com-brooke-crowle

Untitled9

if you’re in the mood for a little visual soul food, then i hope you get a chance to say hi to brooke. she’s  a really open and available source of knowledge with a great global vision. i know she’d love to hear from you and connect to what you’re doing too! and now i’m off to edit some pics of my own and get back to work. have a fantastic week!

ps: wanted to let peggy braswell know she is the winner of the book in the previous post. congrats!  :)

August 18, 2014. Tags: . Embrace Paris Trip, EmbraceParis, France, Friends, Paris, Paris Flea Markets. 10 comments.

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,887 other followers