Studious Colors in Paris
If you love interesting architecture and bright colors: this is one building to visit when you're in Paris: the Atrium of the Pierre & Marie Curie University in the 5th arrondissement (Jussieu). Designed by architects agency Périphériques and open since 2006, it is a color lovers dream. When visiting I noticed it is a bit "dated", not very fresh, but I loved it nevertheless. The vibrant colors on the walls, floors and ceilings are something I want for our future home too: it's bold but when the color is just right, it feels amazing! The cutout pattern in the concrete walls makes it a very playful building and you quickly remember in which area you need to be: every Science division has a different color and by taking one of the criss cross elevators you enter a new "world".
If you are discreet you can walk around the University's Atrium to admire the views while others are working hard to be(come) scientists. The custom metal study desks were almost all occupied, and behind the colorful doors were people researching in laboratories, working in offices and studying in classrooms, it was buzzing in near-silence. Studious vibes all over! What I found rather remarkable is that most people that worked or studied here in the past (and wrote about the place on blogs & social media) didn't appreciate the bright colors as much as I did. As someone stated: "this overdose of brightness before coffee on a 8:30am exam was a bit too much to handle". :)
Have a look for yourself:
Atrium of University of Paris Sorbonne Pierre & Marie Curie /// Place Jussieu /// 75005 Paris
Luggage check at entrance and it is appreciated when you are discreet as this is a place to work and study.
My favorites from Maison & Objet 2019
After a less surprising September 2018 edition, I really enjoyed this past January's Maison & Objet. The quality was really good and while I already shared a lot in Instagram Stories, I wanted to share some of my highlights here on the blog as well.
One of the gems I discovered is the porcelain skyline by Spanish designer Romina Gris. The shapes of her vase designs, as well as the velvet, glossy, striped, patterned and gold finishes are gorgeous. They'd look fantastic paired with some totems and lots of plants, leaves and flowers.
Another highlight was finally meeting the team behind Living Things. They design the most fun handmade terracotta pots and we've been in touch for several years. The Voltasol rolling plant pot and TriPot are some of my most-used plant pots here at home and their new Coppa is so fun for... totem building! It was really nice that we instantly clicked in real life as well. And the fun detail: when I passed by their stand at Maison & Objet, the sun came out! A beautiful sunshine for beautiful sunny pots ;)
Sleek and handmade, Voltasol and TriPot are so stylish and add a playful touch to lots of different homes!
Round shapes and mirrors are still very much on point and I can't get enough of them. Great examples at the Harto stand where they presented only new designs this time. And a fun mirror shelf by Danish brand WOUD. Don't you love it when functionality and style match so well?
These URA mirrors by Pierre Chaplin for Cinna are so cool! They add a dash of color through their colored edge and remind me of vinyls, CDs and donuts. Anyway, I think they look fab! And I realized that I spotted quite some dashes of yellow this season as well. Our yellow living room turned a bit more green, grey and pink in the last year, but I'm in the mood again for yellow!
Circular shapes, round bulbs, playfulness, fun colors at Maison Dada. I didn't know the brand before... at all! Founded by two Frenchies in Shanghai, Maison Dada proposes playful designs, like the new "Les chinoiseries" boxes and the pretty "Sachi Sacha" wall light:
Felt heaven by Muskhane. This booth looked so vibrant and cosy because of the good and warm lighting. And a fun carpet at Magic Circus. And again, bubble lights!
This was probably the most Instagrammed stand at Maison & Objet this year: the cosy and homy setting of HKliving. The colors were spot on, the styling very contemporary, trendy and warm. But after sharing this in Instagram Stories, I received several (rather violent and judgemental....) messages from people mentioning these ceramic wall ornaments were "stolen" from artist Uinverso. Now I know from experience, that copying and stealing happens so very often, but it's disappointing every single time. There are no real winners when it comes to copying or styling artwork, the only thing I know for sure is that it's not a compliment when an established brand uses your art illegally or uses it as an identical inspiration. I believe that mistakes happen all the time. A designer can use an uncredited image (source: Pinterest/Internet... ughhhh) and develop an entire collection, without anyone checking before production. I also believe mistakes can be handled with class and gracefully by getting in touch with the artist and find a mutally beneficial solution. The world needs more love and common sense.
Super soft living rooms at the Cinna stand. Loved the scenography by Francesca Avossa Studio with a lot of greenery:
A very clever trompe d'oeil stand design by French brand iBride. Every time I see their Alpaga cabinets I can't help but touch those fringes... it feels so good and is quite addictive!
One of my favorite stands at Maison & Objet was German/Colombian brand Ames. A perfect mix of handmade artisanal items, a fabulour color palette, contemporary shapes and paper plants by Sarah Illenberger:
Such a gorgeous color pallette:
A year ago I wrote that LRNCE deserved a bigger stand... and they did get more space at this edition of Maison & Objet! Love it when small brands like this build their empire and continue to create new inpspiring designs... I mean that sunny plate on the right <3
Love the contemporary sinks and bathroom designs from ex.t as well as this lush green stand at Gervasoni for their outdoor collection:
New colors for the timeless lights of Sammode (in a cute paper jungle) and on the left their re-edition of lights from the 1950s by French designer Pierre Guariche:
Check my @joelixjoelix Instagram pinned highlight, for some additional images, if you like!
Time Work Space co-working in Paris
Sometimes different worlds come together and create something wonderful. That's what happened when my talented friend Cécile started designing her new co-working space called Time Work Space in La Défense in Paris. At some point she asked me for some plant advise, because she got some FENCY shelves from Tolhuijs that she wanted to dress with plants. Now I have two of these shelves at home and restyle them every few days ;) so I know what works well. But little did I know she turned this space into such a fabulous place to work! I visited last week and loved it: good vibes, lots of color, quite a few plants, a very comfy Cubit sofa, plantshelfies, even a discoball, lots of light, and a luxury in Paris: lots of space. Bravo Cécile & the TWS team!
Let me show you a few photos:
Cécile designed the space to be bright with colors inspired by the view on the Seine & highway: the floor has the same shade as the Seine river that you can see from the big windows, the red frames of the windows have the exact same color as the structure of the highway signs and the yellow and green reflect the leaves of the trees. It's very clever and feels natural. The large Cubit sofa in the chill out area adds some bold colors to the mix.
The different heights, sizes and fabrics of the modular Cubit sofa are on display at TWS. You may recognize the design from the sofa that we have at home! It's been six months since our pink & grey Cubit sofa moved in and I can't remember where we chilled before! It's so nice to hang on the sofa, read a book or a mag, have a break, cuddle with Otta, watch a movie, some Netflix... The quality of the wool fabric that we chose is outstanding. Otta didn't destroy it, although her sharp nails caused a few tiny loops, but nothing mayor.
I really like the new multicolor Nevada fabric Cubit added to their collection:
The view from the sofa:
Time Work Space is a co-working & office space where the focus is on design, sound and image. On the ground floor are several professional multimedia studios that you can rent to create your podcast or video interviews. And in the open space are several "boxes" that are completely soundproof. Perfect to use for important phone calls, or to work on a video or audio project without the need of headphones. The workspace in itself is also very quiet: you don't hear the highway or any city noise! Bliss!
A yellow Clipboard Frame from Block Design:
I like how there are small "audio" details everywhere: microphones, vinyls, amplifier... and a golden pothos and Tradescanatia zebrina that are thriving on the FENCY shelves by Tolhuijs, as well as some impressive roots of the Monstera deliciosa cutting:
In another corner of the open space, Cubit created a huge wall shelf installation in white with walnut, oak, lime green and petrol blue accent colors:
Look, how sleek?!
In the back is a large soundproof meeting room with a large bay window and all contemporary office supplies, including phone chargers, high speed wifi and more. And downstairs are lockers for your personal belongings, a kitchen, bathroom, coffee corner... It's a friendly community with all services of a business center, in a designy spacious loft. I wish it was closer to home, so that I could work here more often, because it has good vibes! And friendly co-workers!
Speaking of co-workers: one of them even has a nice collection of plants! His Angel Wing Begonia is currently flowering:
Time Work Space /// 3 bis rue Jean Jaurès /// 92800 Puteaux /// Tel: +33 1 49 00 05 40
Metro Line 1 station "Esplanade de la Défense"
More faves from Maison & Objet 2018
Cane, dusty pinks & corals, terracotta, arc-shapes... and overall rather neutral color palettes. This September's edition of Maison & Objet didn't surprise by its innovative use of colors or shapes, but comforted in what we already know that's coming: more natural materials, better craftsmanship, terracotta, more pink, circular shapes. As always it was nice to speak with designers, brand managers and fellow bloggers (Coucou Ilaria, Valérie, Juliana, Freg, Nannette, Marie, Nathalie) (top image of the booth by Fest Amsterdam)
Let's go for a tour of some of my highlights of Maison & Objet, september 2018:
Maybe I was hungry, but I kept spotting bowls with beautiful fruit & veggies everywhere (prickly pears, cactus fruit on the left, fresh figs on the right):
Eco-conscious designs from vegetable tanned leather and recycled leather plant pot covers by Miolos Design. Made in Galicia (North-western Spain), a region which I love, and visited a few years ago. And in the stand of Sprout they had hundreds of cuttings growing in water, elegantlydisplayed on their Sprout porcelain dishes:
Not new at all, but a first for me: Danish brand OYOY. These amazing ceramic pots with balls made swoon... they're so pretty! The striped Confect pouf and Takara cushions are also really stunning...
The Inka Kana pots come in two colors: Sienna and Rose. And on the right: glass vases "Riflessi" by Milan-based studio Böjte - Bottari for Paola C:
More pink goodness by Bornn Enamelware from Turkey. How amazing is their new line of enemal dishware. The details and colors are just stunning!
These products may look familiar if you follow me on Instagram: I use the Fumario vases as planters for an Aloe plant and a Spider plant. Lucie Kaas' latest product is a set of "Leaflike" decorative leaves in chrome, brass, pink and black. They add a contemporary botanical touch to your home. And the shadow patterns they create are equally eye-pleasing!
I can't deny the bold (and trendy) colors caught my eye first: but the details, like the Hangry poster by Danish brand MADO made me smile. By the way, the brand is a collaboration of two Copenhagen-based design companies, All the Way to Paris and Paper Collective.
The Eye Rug by Dutch brand Maison Deux made me smile: super simple, fun and clever. The porcelain Tuba vases by Sebastian Bergne for Japanese brand Ha are also very desirable:
I couldn't resist touching these oversized Cloudy plant pots by Swedish brand DKBD. The cabinet by HK Living, on the right, almost mixed all trends of the moment: arc-shaped, cane paneling, brass base... and the pink is in the items inside.
Dutch design brand House of Thol launched their new product called "Flower Constellations", a perforated brass tool that comes in all the signs of the zodiac. It makes a few stems of flowers look like a million dollar bouquet. Also check out my Instagram Stories (highlighted to see how it works). And another favorite on the right: the lamp designed by Ionna Vautrin for the new TGV trains, by Moustache.
Dutch designer Renske Versluijs launched her new collection of wall jewelry at M&O. The designs come in mix of copper, brass, leather, ceramics, wood. And we find the same Mediterranean / Klein / Cobalt blue at Octaevo from Barcelona, that presented their new range of paper flower vases with bold and colorful designs:
And last, but definitely not least: my favorite booth at Maison & Objet by Valerie Objects. My phone photos don't do it justice, it was warm, contemporary, home-y, easy-going... like a real home where I could see myself hang out and feel good. Their booth looked also very different from their previous setups which were more clean like an art gallery. It reminded me of Veerle's own home in Antwerp that we visited during the Function + Form blogtour.
The new porcelain wall shelves and holders that you see below, would look great in a bathroom! There's even a mirror version, already available in the Valerie Objects webshop.
Check my @joelixjoelix Instagram pinned highlight, for some additional images and videos, if you like!
Leaf plant shop in Paris
Even though I just came back from two crazy and intense days in London, where I spoke at an event and wandered around the city (and visited several plant shops as well... bien sûr) I wanted to show you this peek into the newest plant shop in Paris today: Leaf shop végétal! After four years of contemplating, planning and preparation, owner Axelle opened the doors a few weeks before Xmas. Several friends that visited Leaf sent me messages that they loved it and knew I would too, so I knew I was in for a treat. The space of Leaf, close to the Place de la République, is designed by the talented duo heju. Remember, they also designed this beautiful courtyard of Les Petits Hauts. I think it looks just wonderful, very feminin, contemporary, bright and not too full: you can actually see individual plants and admire the ceramics. Let me show you around, here we go:
The space of Leaf is very very bright, lit with neon lights, white and pale pink walls and some iconic heju tiles:
The sleek counter is made in plywood, with 3 thrifted semi opaque vintage lights hanging above. The corrugated sheet wall behind it, frames the stock room where Axelle keeps a large amount of plants that needs to be repotted or taken extra care of.
The 3 thrifted vintage lights:
One of the things that is often overlooked in plant shops, is the choice of plant pots. Axelle's idea for Leaf was not only to propose a large selection of French-grown plants (where possible, as stocks are very limited at the French houseplant growers), but also show off the work of talented ceramicists from around the world. Which means that you can not only buy a nice new plant, but also find a unique handmade plant pot for it. Axelle will happily repot it into the plant pot of your choice. Speaking of finding a perfect gift for a friend... or yourself!
Most of the ceramics at Leaf have a truly contemporary, feminine and graphic look and have a drainage hole and sometimes even a matching saucer. You can completely change the look of a plant by changing its plant pot. It's all about the proportions of plant and pot, their colors, shapes and structures. I think Axelle is doing a great job of making a plantshelfie with small houseplants look simple and pretty (and makes you want to buy everything too!):
A key design element in the shop are the pale pink steps that allow to present colorful ceramics and a hanging Hoya:
Gorgeous ceramics from talented ceramicists like Cassandre Bouilly, La Cueva Studio and Working in the Red Woods:
Axelle at work:
The detail of the square ceramic tiles is repeated in the shop window:
A little seating area for humans & fiddle figs:
The cute little leopards and tigers by Dodo Toucan are hiding in the jungle:
I love the color mix as well of all kinds of greens, pale pink, bright white, plywood, and this rusty terracotta color on the door:
Leaf shop végétal /// 46 Rue Albert Thomas /// 75010 Paris (very close to République)
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am - 8pm
P.S. If you can't get enough of Leaf, hop over to Urban Jungle Bloggers as we are sharing more photos there too!
My favorites from Maison & Objet 2018
With January comes furniture fair season. Friday I spent a long day at Maison & Objet to check out the new collections of some of my favorite brands and to discover new (to me) brands. Along the way I met with fellow French bloggers Ilaria, Valérie, Juliana, Freg and Romain, which is always the fun and too short part of the day. I love how we all have completely different styles and curate different highlights from a design & furniture fair like Maison & Objet. Anyway, my day consisted of some green hunting for @urbanjungleblog (I shared a lot of plants in the highlighted stories) and of pink, deeps greens and playful designs. If you follow me on Instagram @joelixjoelix you may recognize some of the brands in this blogpost. Here we go for a colorful roundup:
First off is Cinna France. I must admit the plants attracted me to their stand, but I really liked the huge coral sofa above and the deep green and round shapes of the mirror and lampshades. And the lush banana plant of course:
One of my biggest crushes was on the new gradient "Shade" rugs from Nanimarquina designed by Begüm Cana Özgür. I'm such a sucker for good gradients and good colors and these rugs have it all. They are stunning!
Creating these rugs is an exceptionnally technical process. The warp and weft are both laid out in six gradient color threads as you can see in the room devider below, to create a smooth and regular effect:
The Shade rugs also look really good as poufs:
The blush and green color palette of Hârto echoes the one at Nanimarquina's. The new Hârto collection designed by Nathanaël Désormeaux & Damien Carette includes new wall cabinets, a side board and my favorite: two new Abel ottoman/coffee tables with removable velvet seating:
Another really nice surprise were the waterproof plant pot covers by Papier Tigre. At previous M&O they decorated their booth with plants wrapped in their iconic wallpaper designs. But on a day-to-day basis the wallpaper was not ideal when watering the plants: the paper would get wet, tear and look ugly. So they decided to create a new product: waterproof, tearproof, adhesive, recyclable and adjustable paper cover pots. So clever!
This brand really deserves a huge stand at the next Maison & Objet (unlike the really small booth hidden in hall 1): LRNCE. I've been following designer Laurence Leenaert for a while now and I'm completely smitten with her unique patterns, shapes, colors and branding.
Isn't this a cool lampshade? It's called Wagasa by Servomuto for Wiener GTV Design (part of the Thonet family). Also, this wavy wooden stool by LRNCE is on my wishlist:
More stool love: the WOW barstool by Aveva Design in 100% beech wood with a wool ball seating. The elegant bathroom furniture by Italian brand Ex.t. A joy for the eyes and hands, as their surfaces are so sleek and soft!
French brand iBride is really good at creating playful designs. Like the Babel products that I played with a few months ago. At this M&O they introduced their new cabinet called Alpaca, covered in fringes that you want (need!) to touch. You can use the cabinet in a dressing to display your favorite accessories, or use is as a bar:
This was probably my favorite booth at Maison & Objet: the paper stand by Molo Design. They created a labyrinth with honeycomb paper walls and pleated paper lights that could be easily transformed into news shapes. In the meeting room we were invited to scribble on some circular paper. A true experience that was hard to capture on a photo (you can find more in my Instagram stories if you like):
Beautiful rugs by CC-tapis. Left: Rotazione by Patricia Urquiola and right: Bliss by Mae Engelgeer:
And enfin, some product love for the mini/kids versions of the iconc SWIM chairs designed by Margaux Keller for Bibelo. And the brand new geometric Fumario vases by Lucie Kaas:
Check my @joelixjoelix Instagram pinned highlight, for some additional images and videos, if you like!
My favorites from Maison & Objet 2017
After a very festive weekend launching our #urbanjunglebook in French (read all about it here!) I visited Maison & Objet on Monday. It was much calmer than during the first weekend days, but as usual there was not enough time to see everything of the fair in just one day. I looked for greens and creative plant designs to feature on Urban Jungle Bloggers soon, but I also found some really nice contemporary designs that I loved.
My eye fell for high quality, circle shapes (my favorite "trend" right now!), saturated bold colors and playfulness. Designs that invite you touch, twist, turn, play, fold and that can have multiple purposes. I shared a lot of them on Instagram stories already, but also wanted to show them in more detail here on my blog. These were some of my favourites:
First up: the new Vega 175 designs by Isaas Piñeiro for La Cartuja. A Spanish brand, founded in 1841 in Sevilla that specializes in ceramic tableware. From what I knew about La Cartuja, they make very traditional tableware with classic motif styles. It appears that most Spanish families own at least one piece from La Cartuja, that they use for Sunday brunch or special occasions. I was pleasantly surprised to see their new designs, that are decorated with gradients (!) that have been airbrushed by hand, which makes every piece unique.
The Wall hook designed by Isaas Piñeiro for La Cartuja and another gem on the right: a key tray with details from historic motifs of La Cartuja, that form a very comtemporary pattern. Oh and did you see the La Cartuja logo? I love it!
Sleek and playful: the ISO A and ISO B tables by POOL for Petite Friture:
Unintentionally I loved quite a few Dutch brands that presented their products at Maison & Objet, like Puik (with their yellow setup in the first photo) and I also fell for some of the 10 (!) new products that Vij5 introduces this month, like this interesting new clock. It was 18:08 here:
The Tumble cabinet by Studio Vosk for Vij5 is not new, but oh so cool: when you pull the little oakwood lever on the left, the door falls open. It's an addictive mechanism!
The Dressed cabinet by Puck Dieben for Vij5 is brand new: it consists of a shelving unit (love the deep green!) with a textile ribbon from Kvadrat fabric, that you use to dress the cabinet by weaving it and thus creating different divisions. Watch the video below to see how it works:
After playing with the cabinet, I continued my search for playfulness at iBride, a French brand that launched their new Babel products at Maison & Objet. It's a series of 3 sculptural pieces (in green, anthracite and white) that consists of bowls, plates, cups that equally interlock with one another to create inifinite possibilities.
The glossy inside of the cups, dishes and bowls designed by Benoît Convers are decorated with illustrations from Rachel Convers that focus on the senses: touch, hear, taste and smell:
Sharing is the new eating according to iBride. Babel Eat, Babel Drink and Babel Make:
The Babel products are made of melanine and make you want to touch and feel them: the outside has a matte finish and a geometric 3D structure that allows the different pieces of the towers to interlock and keep in place. It looks decorative too:
Spotted for the first time earlier this year at IMM in Cologne: eclectic brand Ames Design. I love their use of bright bold colors, big fat planters (made in Colombia) and lush tropical plants:
More design goodness from Holland from Fest Amsterdam, with affordable design in nice fabrics and colors, like their collaboration with Mae Engelgeer.
Another all time French favorite: eno studio. I love how they always incorporate (healthy!) plants in their booths and use bold colors and shapes. The Moïra armchair (here in Bois de Rose color) looks so inviting:
Really liked this cluster of cute DOT pendants from Danish brand Woud:
I know "poor man's marble", also known as terrazzo is very trendy right now, but I really like the ERAT collection design by Alberto Bellamoli for Lucie Kaas. It's not simply a terrazzo print, or cheap terrazzo look-a-like, it's real marble scraps, pigment and marble dust cemented together. The stones have been hand picked by Alberto and the trays, candleholder and mirror are really heavy!
These pieces of art, designed by French Samy Rio are so beautifully made in collaboration with Cirva and Sevres cité de la céramiques. The vase from the Vases composées collection and Totem Mirror are a true ode to craftsmanship and industrial design. You can find a lot more information about them here, including some videos of how they were made. Stunning!
Scrolling through my phone, I realized I had more even favorites!
• Like the beautiful paper goods from new Notem Studio (props for their very consistent and stunning art direction!)
• The entire (!) collection from Valerie Objects x Muller van Severen
• The BOLT lamps by Dutch Tonone.
• The FAN stool by Finnish BEdesign.
Maison Louis Carré by Alvar Aalto
On your birthday you get to choose what you want to eat or do, right? Well, I know I do! The night before my sister and I baked a delicious Challah loaf and made Labneh. But before enjoying that feast on the "big" day, we were headed to a place that has been on my list for a while now: the Maison Louis Carré in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, 40km south west of Paris. In Helsinki we got to visit Alvar Aalto's studio and as you know, I loved it, so a visit to the only remaining building by Alvar Aalto building here in France, was a must.
At the end of a road in a residential area, we found this amazing building designed by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto for French art dealer and collector, and friend, Louis Carré. The maison is situated on the top of a mini-hill that Louis Carré purchased in 1955. He met Alvar Aalto at the Venice Biennale where the architect was working on the 1956 Finnish Pavillion, and they became friends. Monsieur Carré asked Alvar Aalto to build him a private home for him and his wife Olga, where he could also display his art and host small exhibitions and events. Apparently he had a "nearly" unlimited budget to build something wonderful, which he did, yet in a typical Alvar Aalto style of understated, pure design. You can feel (and see!) that no detail was ignored. The Maison Carré was completed in 1959 and the swimmingpool with ajacient poolhouse on the same property was finished a few years later, in 1963.
One of the things that I like most in Alvar Aalto's work, is his eye for form and function, not only in the construction of his buildings, but also in the furniture that he designed for all of his projects, that are usually "part of the deal". His pendant lights are not only beautiful to look at, they also have a fonction, in case of this Bilberry pendant light, it was designed to work as a spotlight for art:
Until September 3rd 2017, there is an exhibition at the Maison Louis Carré, called La politesse de Wassermann by Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, which I found to be in a complete contrast with the building itself: it emphasises the extraordinary/insane things that could have happened at the Maison, through references like Hugh Hefner (the texts on the windows and the silver silk sheets on the beds) and others. While I don't grab the entire idea and story of this exhibition (more about it here if you like), I found it quite daring to install such a bold exhibition in such an understated home. And at some points it creates an interesting dynamic:
One of the bedrooms with a view over the garden:
One of my favorite pieces in the house: the Bell pendant lights above the dining table with extra spots to highlight the artwork on the walls!
Love this color combination of offwhite, dusty pink and brick red:
One of the bedrooms, with a temporary installation by Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann:
Louis Carré died in 1977, and his wife Olga, lived in the house until 2002. Many of the original artwork was then sold, but the old photos in the bedroom show what the interior really looked like, several decades ago, and the view over the countryside:
Another part of the exhibition that I completely didn't understand, but that I quite liked: it's a Sunday Night Pool Party waiting to happen, right?!
Unfortunately the first floor is not open to the public, it used to be the housing of the staff and has not been renovated (yet):
Si Non Oscillas Noli Tintinnare on the left window: if you don't swing, don't ring. A reference to the Play Mansion:
Why redesign a chimney, if you can use your own lamp-designs, turn them upside down, and use this instead! The chimney on the roof is actually inspired by Aalto's A110 pendant lights:
The garden was designed as the ideal backdrop for many garden parties:
And the most recently renovated part of the property: the swimming pool and poolhouse, with some very beautiful garden lights, designed by Alvar Aalto himself, bien sûr:
And there, in that fitting room, if you look closely: does your eye see what I see?
Exactly, a bunch of eyeballs. Also part of the exhibition. Usually they float on the water in the pool, but the staff didn't have time to put them in the pool again, after a big photoshoot at the Maison Carré the day before.
Overall I warmy recommend to visit the Maison Louis Carré if you ever have the chance. Make sure to make a reservation for a guided tour (it's the only option!) and enjoy the only remaining building of Alvar Aalto in France. And while you're in Bazoches, head to the other side of the road for a visit of the Jean Monnet house and enter a completely different world. And if you're lucky like me, you get treated to some fresh challah loaf with labneh and pancakes when you get home ;)
Maison Louis Carré /// 2 chemin du Saint-Sacrement /// 78490 Bazoches-sur-Guyonne
Open Saturdays and Sundays from 14 to 18 by guided tour only. Advanced booking required, more information here.
KOTI a Finnish sleepover in Paris
In the middle of this bustling and extremely busy week with IMM in Cologne and Maison & Objet in Paris, I found a slice of calmth and design: at KOTI in the heart of Paris. Although it also felt very Finnish! KOTI, Finnish for home, is a creative idea launched by and in the Finnish Institute in Paris where they built a group of six wooden cottages in a typical Finnish style. You can book a cottage for 1, 2 or 4 via airBnB and "escape the hectic pace of modern life, savour the luxury of simplicity, the importance of home and the value of sharing unforgettable new experiences".
The vibe during the launch event reminded me of the friendly, down-to-earth and unpretentious people we met last year in Helsinki and of the Finnish design (which is not the same as Scandinavian design!). The lovely bites prepared by chef Antto Melasniemi, paired with a cocktail of the finest Finnish gin and apple juice (yum!), reminded me of all the delicious dinners we enjoyed in the Finnish capital. And it reminded me that I really want/need/have to go back and explore some more. Until then, I can pretend to be in Finland, during a sleepover at KOTI in the middle of Paris. Not too shabby if you ask me ;) Have a look:
In the big hall of the former cinema that is now the Finnish Institute in Paris, six cottages were built for the KOTI project: 100 days of Finnish hospitality in the heart of Paris. Each AITTA (cottage in Finnish) has its own pastel colored wooden sliding door: pink, grey, dove, green, white or blue:
"Linda Bergroth is the creative engine behind KOTI and a multi-talented lead designer. Originally hailing from Finland, Linda lives and works between Helsinki and Paris. She brings her signature style: a Nordic love of pragmatism and natural materials, coupled with her unique zest for bold color, to the conceptualisation and curation of KOTI. Inspired by the simple pleasures of holiday stays in a Finnish countryside cottage, Linda hopes to share the delights of an aitta with guests to the Finnish Institute in Paris. With her charming cottage designs and a hand-picked selection of collaborators, Linda invites guests from all over the world to experience the warmth, tranquility and communal hospitality of a shared Finnish sleepover".
The KOTI project will remain open for 100 days (and nights) to celebrate the 100th anniversairy of the independance of Finland. After these 100 days, the cottages will be transported to Finland and reinstalled and opened to the Finnish public for another 30 nights. As the cottages are a living art installation celebrating the Finnish home part of this installation, they are open to public viewing during the day from 1pm-6pm.
On the beautiful wooden bedside tables designed by Matti & Merz you'll only find three items: a wake-up light by Innolux, a vase designed by with a few twigs and a wooden hand mirror by Studio Kaksikko. I love the custom designed bedlinen by Lapuan Kankurit in grey with a bright yellow stripe:
Below: the lovely bites prepared by chef Antto Melasniemi. During a stay at KOTI you can enjoy a communal breakfast on the large wooden breakfast table in the middle of the space. A typical Finnish breakfast is served every day with rye break, finnish butter and blueberries.
A peek inside the family cottage:
More linenware by Lapuan Kankurit:
Even the youngest guest seemed to appreciate KOTI <3
KOTI sleepover Institut finlandais Paris /// 60 Rue des Ecoles /// 75005 Paris /// France /// +33 1 40 51 89 09
All bookings via AirBnB from January until May 2017
Empreintes The French Craft Concept Store in Paris
Concept Store. I don't like the two words: they are overrated, underestimated, hasbeen and are ever so often used for shops that gather a lot of "stuff" without any concept other than pushing customers to cheap consumption. Not at Empreintes, a new Concept Store for French Fine Crafts in the Haut-Marais in Paris. Their concept is very well thought of: it's a gallery, it's a shop, there's a café, a library and a small projection room in the sous-sol. All focused on les métiers d'arts: fine crafts. The staff is very welcoming, eager to inform you all about the items at display and tell you the many many stories behind the more than 1000 limited edition pieces and their makers.
Empreintes is big and spacious with its 600m2, which feels very un-Parisian! It's a light filled shop that is very well thought of, in a scenography by Elizabeth Lerich. It is calm, you don't feel any pressure to buy (even though you want to because there are so many unique and beautiful pieces that would look great at home or that would be perfect gifts), Empreintes is a very slow place and I love that.
Contrary to more traditional craftsmen shops, the selection of items at Empreintes is surpisingly contemporary and has nothing to do with oldfashioned objects that are indeed made by hand but that you wouldn't even give to your grandma. Ateliers d’Art de France, the French federation of fine craft professionals, proposes a new kind of concept store with objects made by French craftsmen and artists without any middle men or big corporations. Just the best in French fine crafts, available at any budget.
And if you want to test-drive the beautiful mugs, cups, teapots or plates that you can buy at Empreintes, have a little break at the Season café on the first floor, where they serve delicous organic food. The wall behind the counter is decorated with a jungle of plants:
The exhibition about WOOD with artists Etienne Moyat, Benoît Averly, Bertrand Lacourt, Pascal Oudet, Sébastien Panis and Julian Schwarz:
A cabinet de curiosité with sculls, glass domes, anatomic figures, ceramic coral creations and a papier maché lamb head (top middle) by Marie Talalaeff:
The beautiful eathenware cups by Christine Waxweiler:
A big crush on the beautiful ceramics by Eric Hibélot:
At Empreintes they don't only show the finished products: in special artist's booths you can see (beautiful!) pictures of the artists' workspaces and ateliers and read more about their indiviual stories.
The view over the rue de Bretagne:
Empreintes - Le Concept Store des Métiers d'Art /// 5 rue de Picardie 75003 Paris /// France /// +33 (0)144010830
Open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm
Mama Petula at Welcome Bio Bazar in Paris
Congratulations! Mama Petula now has a second point of sale in Paris! Talented Caroline worked with the team of Welcome Bio to create a very inspiring planty corner in their brand new concept store called Welcome Bio Bazar. It's a spacious corner in the back of the shop where you can buy lots of interesting plants, like Alocasia, ferns, rubber plants, Philodendron, Begonia and plant accessories and planters. I love how Caroline always chooses out-of-the-ordinary plants and works with old terracotta pots. Remember what she did at the über-Parisian Sézane shop? Looks like a true décoratrice végétal, right?! Let me show you some more of the newly opened plant corner:
Lush hanging plants, like the Senecio rowleyanus, also known as the string of pearls:
A gorgeous and big Begonia Rex:
And besides gorgeous plants, Welcome Bio Bazar also proposes a very nice selection of sustainable, bio, organic products for the home, like Octaevo paper vases, adorable and super soft Main Sauvage pillows and puppets, wooden kids toys, kitchen tools, and even some products from Etsy France!
Caroline didn't only bring in the most gorgeous plants, she also selected lots of watering cans and urban gardening tools for the Welcome Bio Bazar corner. You can also scoop some soil and clay balls to give your plants what they need:
Mama Petula at Welcome Bio Bazar /// 13 Rue Boulle /// 75011 Paris
Monday - Saturday: 10:30 - 19:30
Peonies Café et Fleurs in Paris
Plants are my thing, but I also really enjoy flowers. But not nearly as much as my flower friend Elodie from Madame Love. Earlier this summer we picked the most beautiful Café au Lait Dahlias in her second home here in the Oise. The other day we had lunch at a brand new café in Paris: Peonies café et fleurs.
The concept is as simple as delicious: Peonies is a café where you can sit down at one of the pink terrazzo tables, have a coffee or lunch/brekkie/brunch/cake and buy a nice bouquet for a friend or yourself. Model and DJ Clémentine Lévy recently opened this hybrid cafe. She learned how to create her bouquets at Flower School Catherine Muller and now works with seasonal field flowers that come from growers from l'Île-de-France, the region around Paris. A very refreshing florist with natural flowers:
Homemade jams, with mouthwatering combinations like grapefruit & orange blossom, strawberry & mint and apricot & lavender to takeaway:
The Poenies icon on the flowerwrappers is really cute too:
Clémentine's Peonies menu is simple and delicious. If you're looking for a lunch café with dozens of options, this is not your place. But if you like some Avocado toast with cacao nibs, homemade granola, grilled cheese or a healthy salad, this is where to go. Elodie and I also had a really nice tea à la Rose from Les Jardins de Gaïa. No dessert for us this time, but I think we need to go back for a slice of yummy cake or a cookie. Some are even vegan and glutenfree, if you prefer.
Golden (brass) flatware... nothing less:
And what do you do when you visit a cute flowery café like this? You Instagram it... of course. Right, Elodie?
Peonies Café et Fleurs /// 81 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis /// 75010 Paris
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10-19 and on Sunday from 10-16
Maison Chateau Rouge in Paris
Mix a graphic interior, tropical plants and creative ideas with a welcoming athmosphere and you win me over. When I saw some first glimpses of the newly opened Maison Château Rouge on l'Instant Parisien's instagram, I knew I had to visit this cheerful shop as soon as possible. Youssouf, co-founder of Maison Château Rouge and Les Oiseaux Migrateurs (a foundation that supports African businesses), was very friendly and easy going and told me what Maison Château Rouge is all about: bringing good wax and nice African products to the people of Paris... and beyond!
All the wax fabrics used in MCR's designs are purchased from shops in the Château Rouge neighborhood in the 19th arrondisssement, just a little walk up north from Gare du Nord and not far from Montmartre. The skirts, trousers and tops combine a sports jersey fit and contemporary prints with traditional African wax fabrics, thus creating a fun mix of cultures. Definitely a colorful touch to the neutral/black Parisian outfits ;)
Cool urban skirts and sports jerseys in wax fabric:
Did you know the haut de gamme in wax fabrics come from Holland?
And a cosy and bright yellow nook to read your favorite magazines, including The Good Life, Monocle, Kinfolk and l'Instant Parisien:
The space of Maison Château Rouge as well of the idea behind the brand felt very refreshing and not just because of all the yellow ;) Good vibes all over, truly inspiring!
Youssouf was preparing these fun bottles of Bana Bana real African bissap, a 100% natural juice with hibiscus, made in Senegal. For the EURO16 they created limited edition bottles with all the famous football players, like Zlatan, Zizou and Pogba! Yum!
I felt so inspired by the colors, plants and wax at Maison Château Rouge, that I decided to trade my hat for a wax bow at the Prix de Diane. Funny detail was that I received lots of compliments from the Africans that attended the event <3
Maison Château Rouge /// 40 rue Myrha /// 75018 Paris
Wild & the Moon in Paris
The other day I passed by this window on my way between two client meetings in Paris. Especially now that we're working on #urbanjunglebook I see plants everywhere. So I couldn't not go in here and take a look at all those plants. I was pleasantly surprised: this café and restaurant looks really nice: old moulures on the ceiling, a tiled white counter, hanging plants everywhere and a big table in the back where you can work in an urban jungle. I was so obsessed with all the plants, that I only realized Wild & the Moon actually serve raw and vegan food when I paid for my drinks at the counter.
Wild & the Moon is not just about the nice interior (which I loved) but about the food. In their own words: We go for wild, local, plant-based, ethically sourced, seasonal and pure. We use vegetables, fruits, herbs, roots, nuts and super food. And we like to serve them that way: cold-pressed, raw, intact, and prepared with love. No processed ingredients, no additives, no chemicals, no GMOs, no gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar.
Personally I'm not vegan or a raw food addict, but I like pure ingredients and food prepared with love. I promise that next time I'll be at Wild & the Moon I'll focus on the food instead of the plants ;)
I mean look at those ferns above! There are also mini Hypoestes plants on every table in all kinds of mix-matched plant pots.
A string of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) and a string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), casually hanging out in front of the window:
A very graphic display with the different Smoothies, vitality shots, le plat du jour and coffees:
Imagine this window display without the plants... impossible right?!
The hanging jungle in the back with ferns, rhipsalis, pothos, zigzag cactus, philodendron, above a large table where you can plug in your laptop and work :)
Wild & the Moon /// 55 Rue Charlot /// 75003 Paris /// +33 9 51 80 22 33
Open Tue - Fri: 8-19 and Sat - Sun: 9-19
Au revoir Paris, hei Helsinki!
Two weeks ago I walked past Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge for the first time since the Paris attacks. I never really felt the urge to see the places where such tragic events took place, with my own eyes. Somehow I ignored that they put up colorful buntings shortly after the attacks. On the buntings of colorful fabrics people and children from the neighborhood wrote messages of peace and kindness. And look at it: doesn't it look SUPER powerful?!
Today I'm leaving my beloved French capital to explore the Finnish capital Helsinki for a week. Snow, Finnish design, saunas and Laskiaissunnuntai. Yes the latter is a fancy Finnish word for shrove buns, or cream puffs. Yummm! I missed the typical Swedisch version Semla when in Stockholm a few years ago, so I can't wait to indulge ;)
If you want to see what I'm up to in Helsinki, follow me on Instagram or Snapchat. And if you have any Helsinki tips, feel free to share them in the comments below :)
Mama Petula plant concept store in Paris
Happy Valentine's Day! No hearts or roses here today, but big heaps of green love!
Yesterday I was invited by Caroline to the opening of her (long-awaited) plant concept store Mama Petula in Paris. Last summer she was given the opportunity to rent a small house on the site of a former hospital in the 14th arrondissement. In the past months she showed peeks of all the hard work on her Instagram, and l'Instant Parisien featured her on their website while she hunted for old furniture and objects in the abandoned hospital. Some of these old medical accessories are now used as fun plant pots and decoration of her new concept store. But there's nothing like seeing a new creative endeavor with your own eyes. And I loved it! Of course I made a lot of photos to show you what this new green gem looks like. Here we go:
The little maison has a few different rooms that are rather bright and white, despite the gloomy rainy weather yesterday. There are lots of quirky details everywhere, like a 1€ vending machine with tiny plant cuttings, a baby succulent nursery, vintage pharmacy bottles, plants pots in all kinds of shapes and beautiful plant hangers. And of course: a lot of plants. Not the kind of plants you can easily find at IKEA or your local garden center, but some more home-y ones, like the super popular Pilea peperomioides, also known as the pancake plant or Chinese money plant.
What I loved about Mama Petula, is that it's not crowded with plants. Sure there are a lot of plants you can choose from, but there's room to actually appreciate the details of the plants. Caroline told me that she's currently experimenting with all different kinds of plants, because la petite maison has a particular kind of light and it's rather warm and dry here. It shows she truly cares about her plants, she wants to make sure they are happy and healthy in her shop and doesn't just "sell plants" because they are hip & trendy.
The #jungleanimals wall paper on the left, was custom made by Mues Design. And Mama Petula also sells unique botanical artwork by Asha Hope, a talented illustrator living between Paris, Toulouse and Switzerland.
So if you are looking to get yourself an Oxalis, a Pilea or a polkadot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya), you know where to go:
You can also find these bigger leafy plants, like the Philodendron or the Fiddle leaf fig at Mama Petula:
Mama Petula isn't only a place where you can buy plants and plant accesories, Caroline and her team can also help you if you're having plant troubles and sick planty patients (see: it's still a bit of a hospital!). And as of February 20th there will also be workshops for children (age 4+) at Mama Petula. Subscribe to the newsletter to be informed about all the details.
My favorite room in the house, was in the back: the light was gorgeous and you could still get a glimpse of bygone days.
All kinds of cuttings growings new roots in their glass bottles:
By the way, the site of former Saint Vincent de Paul hospital, is very interesting to visit as well. Lots of creatives and artisans are using the different buildings as their workshop, gallery or boutique. There's a ceramist atelier that I loved, and a thrift store with not-so-Parisian price tags. Also, there's a bar and salle de fête where you can relax and have a drink. It's nice and buzzing!
Below, a fun French touch to the Kokedama: the moss balls were stuck in some old wine bottles and attached to the ceiling. Makes for an interesting spin on the more traditional hanging planters, right?!
Mama Petula Décoration végétale /// 82, Avenue Denfert-Rochereau /// 75014 Paris /// +33 (0)6 17 76 15 09
Open saturday and sunday: 14:00 - 20:00 (but check Mama Petula on Instagram to get latest updates on opening hours!)
(enter the site at Les Grands Voisins, walk 50 metres straight, then Mama Petula is on the left)
Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie in Paris
Once I found out talented duo heju was working on the new Klin d'oeil boutique & gallery in Paris, I couldn't wait to see it. I really love what they did at the courtyard of Les Petits Hauts (I blogged about that here), and the sneak peeks on Instagram with this fabulous Sudbury Yellow by Farrow & Ball made me happily walk to the 11th arrondissement in Paris. Let me take you on a little virtual visit, let's go:
For the past few years, Klin d'oeil has been "famous in Paris" for its creative pop-up events with many different designers and artists. They gathered a clan...I mean "Klin" of like-minded people that love handmade, contemporary design, great food and cool music. And that's exactly what you'll find at their new boutique & gallery! It's beautiful, cosy and refreshing.
Lampshades in colorful wool, inspired by Ana Kras:
Colorful ceramics, jewelry, bags and pouches by Studio Walkie Talkie and Atelier Dimanche, accessories, paper goods, cushions, vases, soaps by Le Baigneur, embroidered artwork by Sophie Bazin, post cards... and plants!
A cosy nook to hang out and relax:
Postcards withs lots of winks (clin d'oeil means wink in French) and risoprints by artist Lea Maupetit:
If you love color & plants & unique design goodies, this is the boutique to go:
*Wink wink* by Tapamtapam:
If you plan to visit the new Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie in the Rue Deguerry, it's hard to miss:
Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie /// 6, rue Deguerry /// 75011 Paris /// +33 1 77 15 22 30
Open every tuesday to saturday from 11AM to 7PM
Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier
Visiting plant nurseries makes me really happy, but visiting amazing architectural masterpieces is my second favorite. This Villa Savoye in Poissy, just outside Paris, was on my want-to-visit-list for a while and finally I got to go! At several places stood "leftover" Tolix chairs and stools from the dedicated Tolix exhibition at the Villa Savoy earlier this year. A really great color match and both designed in the same era, the early 1930s.
Different layers of green to in the end: find the perfect shade of green:
See, what did I tell you: mint Tolix chair beautifully arranged in front of the glass wall near the entry:
The Villa Savoye was designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, and built between 1928 and 1931 using reinforced concrete. The house in the outskirts of Paris, was originally built as a country retreat of the Savoye family. After being purchased by the neighbouring school it became property of the French state in 1958, and after surviving several plans of demolition, it was designated as an official French historical monument in 1965. It was thoroughly renovated from 1985 to 1997, and under the care of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, the refurbished house is now open to visitors all year round.
When reading the letters between the Savoye couple and Le Corbusier in the early 30s, it was very amusing to read they had several problems with leakage. The roof wasn't waterproof and according to one of the letters: "it was raining inside". Even though our concrete home was built 30 years later than the Villa Savoye, we do have the same issues as the Savoye couple ;)
One of the things that could be improved at the Villa Savoye is the vegetation. My hands itched when I saw the poor flower beds and dry shrubs. I think any Urban Jungle Blogger could (and would!) go WILD here!
Peachy pink in the living room:
And a very particular hue of blue:
Gorgeous light fittings:
Des Petits Hauts courtyard in Paris by HeJu
A little warning: this will be a super pastel post. Not that there's anything wrong with pastels, but just so you know. Ever since the creative duo behind heju revealed their design for the courtyard of Parisian boutique Des Petits Hauts, I wanted to see it in person. So when I was in the neighborhood the other day, I popped by and made these photos.
The pastel mint, blush and pink tiles make me want to tile our entire garden. It looks so sleek and bright with the climbing and potted plants.
The inside of the boutique is particularly "cute". Des Petits Hauts sells very feminine and very Parisian tops, dresses, cardigans, supersoft knitwear and more.
What's not to love about some succulents in terracotta pots:
The wooden & pastel barcart, also designed by heju, has been used this entire summer for small parties. And on Saturdays in September, Amandine & Myrtille from Pickled will serve fresh lemonades and ice teas in the courtyard!
It looks like my shoes belonged here!
See, this is what I mean when I said that it makes me want to tile our entire garden:
Des Petits Hauts /// 5 rue Keller /// 75011 Paris /// +33 1 75 44 05 84
Open monday 2pm - 7:30pm and tuesday to saturday from 10:30am - 7:30pm
Hotel Joke in Paris
It's one of the questions I get very often: Judith do you know a nice hotel in Paris? Usually I sleep in my own bed when I'm in Paris... obviously ;) But for my birthday, Astotel invited me for a night in their brand new hotel in the 9ᵗʰ arrondissement: l'Hôtel Joke. I had a really nice stay, so now you know which hotel I'll recommend next time... and that's no joke ;) Have a look:
The name of Hotel Joke describes the concept of the hotel pretty well: it's playful, with funny touches and small jokes all around. But beside the quirky design of the lobby, staircases and rooms, the staff was super friendly and welcomed us with a smile. The alcohol-free minibar is included in the price of the room, which was great because I was thirsty on my birthday ;) In the lobby is also a free snacks & drink area where you can serve yourself some cake, fruit, nuts, dried fruit, lemonades, sodas, coffee or tea. Even if you're not hungry, being able to grab an apple before heading out for a day in town, makes you feel more welcome and "at home", right?
This is the lobby and breakfast area with lots of playful details: toys, books & plants on the shelves, mirror lamps above the "target" tables and carpets. Those target tables reminded me of the beautiful design of the Islandic Opal candy boxes.
Throughout the hotel and in the elevator are different screens with non-stop "funny joke videos" from tv/YouTube. You can even watch the Joke Channel on the television in your room.
Our room was bright and clean. Not very big, but just what you need to store your suitcase, clothes and other stuff. And there was room for play: above the bed was a magnetic board with words. I felt the crazy need to change the typefaces of those words right away: my graphic designer eyes longed for some more sophisticated letters ;)
But Robert had a go and wrote this sentence:
Another quirky detail: a banana on the curtains:
And a mirror above our bed! After a night of sleep I woke up feeling one year older, no joke! But only because it was my birthday ;) The bed was very comfy and the bathroom products by Algotherm smelled really nice too (so nice that I even "stole" the body cream!).
Bonne nuit from my bed in Hotel Joke:
Hotel Joke /// 69 Rue Blanche /// 75009 Paris /// +33 1 40 40 71 71
The hotel is located close to the Moulin Rouge, metro Blanche (and Pigalle, Place de Clichy, Saint Lazare)
Full disclaimer: Hotel Joke invited me for one night in Paris. I had a great stay and decided to blog about it, and as usual: all views and photos are my own. Merci Hotel Joke!
Rue Crémieux in Paris
Paris isn't nearly as colorful as Berlin or London, but we do have our own Notting Hill-like street! La Rue Crémieux is one of the most Instagrammed streets in Paris and it was fun to see it in person in stead of on millions of Instagram shots. It's actually a very very regular and small street near Bastille. But with lots of potted plants and flowers, color and quirky details. Have a look:
As you can see, la Rue Crémieux was empty when I visited, but I've been told it's usually the place to be for fashionbloggers and selfie-stick tourists... There's also a small hostel-like hotel on Number Fifteen, called L'Hôtel Particulier, with double rooms starting at 80€.
Painted wisteria vines on the pistachio green house:
If you would ignore the typical Parisian terracotta chimney pots, this could be Portobello Road in London:
Yummy Indian cress flowers:
It wasn't 5:43, but never mind, it's a cute detail of the Rue Crémieux:
Plants on Pink:
And some more neutral hues, like pale green and white at Number Twelve:
And a hunting cat at Number Twenty-Eight:
Would you choose the yellow, pink, blue or this peachy blush house as your home?
Rue Crémieux /// 75012 Paris /// metro Quai de la Rapée or Bastille or Gare de Lyon
Click here for the exact location on Google Maps
Jean Jullien at l'Imprimerie Paris
A few photos from this cool exhibition in Paris that I visited a few weeks ago. Between the presentation of Jean Jullien's work at Colette and the exhibition at l'Imprimerie, it' was hard to miss JJ's colorful bold illustrations in Paris. If you don't know Jean Jullien: he's a French illustrator that lives between London and NYC. I've been following him on Instagram for a long time and I love his quick and witty reactions on world's events. I also enjoy his use of color (flat bold colors!), the visual jokes and his nerdy characters. His work doesn't need any explanation, it's very recognizable, clever and really crafted by hand. Or as he puts it himself: "In my personal practice, I find excitement through the challenge of practicality and through the use of what I do. ... I do daily visual commentary, communicating about life."
For this exhibition on the theme of "food & drinks" and presented by Fricote and Colette, Jean Jullien designed the packaging of different chocolate products for A la mère de famille, with chocolate spread, lollipops, ice cream and chocolate palets Montmartre:
I was truly impressed by the deep colors and print qualities of the artwork exhibited. It's not easy to see on screen, but the colors really popped and the details showed beautifully detailed paintbrush strokes:
Keep your eyes out for Jean Jullien's work or follow him on Instagram. Warmly recommended :)
Jardins, jardin in Paris
You may think I go from one Garden Fair to another. And actually it's kind of true! With a lot of work and projects in between that keep me busy though ;). After Les Journées des Plants in Chantilly, I visited a completely different garden fair in Paris last week: Jardins, Jardin. It took place in the middle of the Tuileries gardens, under a beautiful blue sky.
Where the event in Chantilly was mainly about buying plants, Jardins, Jardin was more about the joys of a garden and balcony. Which meant it was much more creative, with all kinds of solutions for the Parisian lifestyle with its ultra small apartments and reduced outdoor space.
This was one of my favorite ideas: a garden fence made out of tropical tree trunks. Very strong graphics and a nice way to upcycle these trunks.
Beautiful "planters" in the stand of the Haviland prize-winner Le Pack, actually these are the terracotta chimneys you find on so many Parisian rooftops!
While I took the picture below of those geometrics cut-outs, I heard someone calling my name: Paule from 1000Lieux! She's part of our UJB community and was designated to choose a press-winner for best balcony design at Jardins, Jardin. Le Pack was an obvious winner, I really love that they united a "pack" of people and skills to pursue their ideas of more green in the city. It was really nice to meet you Paule!
A little hideaway in the middle of some bold and bright varieties of maples:
This cool stand by Les Jardins de Gally made my Urban Jungle Bloggers heart skip a beat. They proposed all kinds of creative ideas for a "fertile office": a desk in which you grow your own tomates, a strawberry bar (you just pick as much strawberries as you like, and get back to work), an airplant roof in an indoor/outdoor workspace...
I posted some additional pictures on my Facebook page, you can see them here! I hope you enjoyed the beautiful (at least here in France...) weather this weekend. Have a great week!
I heart Hartô again and again
By now, it's not a secret anymore that I ♥ Hartô. Hartô is a small Paris-based furniture & accessories brand that uses bold colors with a vintage twist, or like they call it: clever & colorful furniture for happy homes. Most of their designs are perfect for small space living (it's like they were created for tiny and stylish Parisian apartments!). And even though we have 27 spacious rooms here at Studio Sapique, I wouldn't mind adding a few pieces to our home ;)
One of the things that I love above all, is Hartô's use of color: petrol blue, salmon pink, minty green: they are not afraid of color. Visiting their booth at Maison & Objet always makes me want to paint our walls in all different kinds of shades. Colored walls create such a nice "negative space" around objects and furniture. It makes them stand out in a completely different way than a bright white wall.
Side table and lamp Josette now comes in a new cérise color:
Another piece of the new collection is this secretary desk, Hyppolite. It's a little bit deeper than the secretary desks in their existing collection, which makes it easier to work on a laptop with books (and the regular desk mess hihi).
Hartô also makes the cutest mirrors, very playful with a little shelf, like the Modeste, or super sleek for your wall and/or table, like Odillon, that litterally rocks on your table:
Of course I had to make a #selfie in the new Lubin mirror in oak, designed by Thomas Kral:
The eycalyptus branches made this part of the booth smell really nice. The red and orange cushions on the wall have a new print, called Plumes (feathers), and on the right wall you see coat rack Fermin in strawberry red:
What do you think? Would you like some Hartô at home too?
Previous collections of Hartô at Maison & Object: January 2014 and September 2014.
Greens at Maison et Objet 2015
After a particularly busy week, I spent an afternoon at Maison et Objet in Paris this weekend. My main goal was to spot greens in interiors and see some of the global trends in interior design (and secretly do some virtual shopping for our own home hihi). Let's start with my biggest green crush... all the way from Italy!
I love this very theatrical terracotta plant pot called The Phytophiler designed by Studio Dossofiorito. This young design duo (Livia Rossi and Gianluca Giabardo) from Verona plays with the idea of enhancing the relationship with your plant. They do so by adding accessories to the plant pots, like mirrors or magnifying glasses to admire the hidden beauty of the leaves. It's the perfect mix of a contemporary planter, a tad cabinet of curiosities and it's also very playful.
Before taking these photos, I observed the people passing by the booth for a while and literally everyone had to take a look through one of the magnifying glasses. It is truly attractive and stimulates curiosity. Love it!
In another hall of the fair, I spotted the brand new plant pot collection by Ferm Living, that we also featured on Urban Jungle Bloggers last week. I'd love to order a few dozen of these planters, their shapes and colors are really nice. Oh and can I also add a few of these very graphic plant walls?
See: they hold your plants with style and let them crawl their way through the powder coated wire:
Another highlight was meeting with designer Doreen Westphal from Mensch Made Design. Her cute little egg and geo shaped plant pots intrigued me, because they reminded me of my Easter styling for UJB from last year, when I filled some real egg shells with small succulents and cacti. After working a lot with concrete to create larger plant pots and vases, Doreen used a 3D printer to create these tiny plant pots, that you can wear around your neck as a bijou.
It turns out she loves designing for plants so much, that she decided she'll only design plant related objects from now on. I can't wait to see what she creates next!
You probably know the Designletters cups and plates with ABC typography by Arne Jacobsen, right? For Maison & Objet they spiced up their booth walls with their new Cup Up, a steel wall mount that expands the use of their letter cups. Perfect if you want to create your own vertical garden with a Scandi touch!
Besides the Cup Up, they also introduced a new plant pot and saucer in porcelain. Now can we just write Urban Jungle Bloggers with their cups & plates?
And only because I loved it so much, another photo of the Phytophiller by Studio Dossofiorito:
You can find last year's green highlights from Maison & Objet, right here. Or check out other favorites from M&O here.
Urban Jungle Bloggers in Paris
Finally! We can finally show you the video that we shot early November with The Joy of Plants in Paris. We were blessed with the warmest November weekend of the century, Paris was in full glory with sunny bright sunshine. Igor and I visited some of our favorite green spots in the city, had coffee, discussed the upcoming projects for Urban Jungle Bloggers and worked together with a great team. Without further ado: have a look, we truly hope you like it!
(if you can't see the video below, click here to watch it!)
Oh and by the way: some of the green locations we visited in the city: The Green Factory and Le Comptoir Général. Definitely worth a visit if you're here. And for good coffee: Craft Café!
And the weekend was topped off with a gorgeous sunset overlooking the Eiffeltower:
Green Factory in Paris
Last night was the official opening of a wonderful new green place in Paris: Green Factory. Unfortunately I couldn't make it, but I was lucky to visit a few weeks ago and seriously: if you are an Urban Jungle Blogger, you want to add this place to your Paris list. And even if you're not that good with plants, owner Noam Levy has a solution for you.
In their very cute workshop & boutique close to the Canal Saint Martin, Green Factory proposes a large selection of self sustaining terrariums in all different kinds of shapes. Miniature landscapes with a real tree as its main character:
You've heard it before: I don't think a black thumb exists. Of course I've killed more than a few plants, but I believe that if you take time to care for your plant and do your homework (just Google to find out what your plant likes), you'll have a fair chance of enjoying a thriving urban jungle.
But if you like plants but don't have time for them, you should get yourself a Treeki. Taking care of plants couldn't be easier than with this completely self sustaining ecosystem in a glass jar. A Treeki is equipped with a LED light, powered by a solar sensor in the lid. Which means if it becomes dark, the light goes on and you still get to enjoy your beautiful greens. (you can see what that looks like right here)
The little LED light doesn't really change anything about the photosynthese, it's purely decorative. You only have to water your Treeki twice a year and nature takes care of the rest: the water is absorbed by the plants, they reject it as steam and this becomes liquid by condensation on the glass walls. Which means the water is constantly recycled inside the jar.
The shelves in the store are also recycled, from nice wooden pallets:
A little Kokedama:
I love that the workshop of Green Factory is in the middle of the action. You immediately get a peek behind the scenes, with misting tools, glass containers, little Ginseng ficus trees, planters and soil. My hands got all itchy, I wanted to make something too:
Another corner of the store with a large diversity of plants like les Filles de l'Air (air plants), mosses and beautiful Asparagus ferns:
So, what do you think? I know I'll be back soon for a real workshop ;)
Green Factory /// 17 rue Lucien Sampaix /// 75010 Paris /// 06 07 96 67 16
open every wednesday through sunday 11:30 - 19:00
sunset over Paris
Paris is always a good idea. It's so cheesy but when filming for Urban Jungle Bloggers in Paris last weekend, we just had to include a rooftop view. We were lucky to be there during Golden Hour. Just minutes after we finished shooting, the sun went behind the clouds and "the moment" was over.
I've seen the Eiffel tower so often ever since we moved here twelve years ago, but really, this view never gets old:
I think Igor agrees:
Have a wonderful weekend, in Paris and beyond!
Le Comptoir Général in Paris
Le Comptoir Général in Paris is one of these places that's been in a corner of my mind for a long time, but I never visited it. While filming for Urban Jungle Bloggers this weekend (see our Facebook page for a peek behind the scenes) we walked by the Canal Saint Martin on our way to Holybelly and had to go in. It's a real urban jungle out there with surprising details everywhere. They call themselves the "Temple of Ghetto Culture as well as an art museum: the result of creativity that springs up in poor or marginalised places all over the world. And especially in Africa."
Have a look:
Lots of potted plants, succulents and cacti... in a true cabinet of curiosities. Or like they call it: La Petite Boutique des Horreurs...
The trees and plants grow across the entire (huge!) space:
Unfortunately we didn't have time to sit down for a drink, but it looked very relaxed, a bit boho and a bit Berlin (it is so un-Paris-like spacious here!):
My favorite details were not the plants (wow!) but these African hairdresser signs. Straight from another era:
I also loved to see that this place is not another hipster-white-Parisians place. Sorry, but it's just very nice to see a large variety of people here, old, young, European, African, Asian, vibrant!
Le Comptoir Général is also quite a nice place to write a bit next to a thriving Monstera:
The entire space has different areas, the Endemic Garden, a ballroom, a hairdresser, a library, a classroom and a coffee shop:
What do you think? Don't you agree this place doesn't look like Paris?! Definitely a nice spot if you need a break and want to enjoy something a little different.
Le Comptoir Général /// 80, Quai de Jemmapes /// Paris 10e /// +33 1 44 88 24 48
open every day from 11:00 to 01:00
Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil in Paris
Yes, I'm done editing some of the 250 photos I took at the Jardin botanique des Serres d'Auteuil. Botanic gardens make me so extremely happy, especially if they include palm trees, cactus plants and succulents, that it always results in too many pictures ;)
This garden in Paris has been on my must-visit list for so long and when I heard a few months ago that it risks to be closed and destroyed on behalf of another Roland-Garros tennis court, I knew I had to go NOW. I sincerely hope the City of Paris, who owns the botanic gardens, realizes the value of these 19th century greenhouses and gardens in time, because it's so very gorgeous. Have a look:
I wondered around the garden before and after my visit of the Molitor Rooftop garden while it was empty and sunny. A few gardeners were around taking care of more than 10.000 different tropical and subtropical plants. Some of which are ultra rare and almost extinct.
One of the most amazing elements of the garden is the Palmarium: it seems like the Palm tree is captured in the greenhouse:
The majestic palm tree is really tall, nearly 16 meters and grows up to the top of the dôme of the greenhouse:
Molitor rooftop garden in Paris
Last week my day started with a visit of the new garden and roof bar of the iconic Piscine Molitor. Well it's not "just" a swimming pool, but you can sleep, dine and workout here too. This spring Molitor, built in 1929, finally reopened its doors after 25 years. When Molitor closed in 1989, it became very popular with graffiti artists and skateboarders. Parties and concerts were held in the empty pool. The renovation is beautifully done, the Art Deco aesthetic is still there, with a hint of streetart in the lobby. And of course: I loved the yellow.
Molitor was never free to the public, but with a price tag up to 180€ per day it's rather expensive to take the plunge. But if you are lucky to sleep and swim here, I can warmly recommend taking the elevator to the rooftop. Your view will be something like this:
And on top of the building,Thierry Dalcant, former fashion designer at YSL & Nina Ricci and now landscapist / stylist / designer, transformed the flat surface into a lush garden. Well, it's still young, most of the vegetation is rather small and it's definitely not a jungle yet, but the potential is there.
From the rooftop you can see the Jean Bouin stadium (on the left) and characteristic Haussmanien buildings:
And between all the greens, two distinct "terrace rooms" that can be used by hotel guests for private lunches or dinners. Imagine how lovely it would be to enjoy your breakfast right here:
While you sip your grapefruit juice, you're surrounded by lots of aromatic herbs (that smell amazing!) as well as grasses, sedum and perennial plants that cover a 30cm layer of soil and also grow in wooden crates.
But the best thing, according to me, were not the greens (wow!) but the beautiful Moroso chairs. They have exactly the right shades of colors: aquamint, green and red and they're actually comfy too!
These chairs blend in so well with the colors of the garden, the rooftop colors of Paris, the wooden crates and the flowers:
And there, right there, just in front of that (oh so random!) Eiffel Tower, is the rooftop bar with a huge herb garden:
The hotel chefs use these aromatic herbs when they cook à la plancha on the brushed inox cooking stove. Lots of fresh mint, sage, rosemary, basil, lemongrass...
But my favorites by far, are definitely these pretty polyester fiber chairs, called Tropicalia designed by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso:
Even though the Molitor rooftop garden is nice and has a lot of potential once it grows bigger, it couldn't compete with its neighbor: the Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil, one of the 4 botanical gardens maintained by the city of Paris. I literally took 250 pictures of these greenhouses alone (yes, I know I went totally Urban Jungle Bloggers crazy!), so I need some more time to edit them, but I'll show you very soon. I think you'll love it!
For now, you can check out my favorite jungles of 2013 if you like ;)
Tina Frey Designs in pink
Oh yeah I have more pictures from Maison & Objet! Last January I fell for the bright colors of the resin planters from Tina Frey Designs. This time I was really surprised: the entire stand was soft and fuzzy: black, grey, white... and pink!
Very different colorwise, but with the same sensual feel of resin and a handmade look. And a new fun touch: little pompoms! A reference to the bunny Tina Frey Designs uses in her identity as well.
For the new fall 2014 collection, Tina was inspired by winter: Falling snowflakes on cozy pom pom hats and Blushing cheeks in the cold. Personally I really love pom poms: I have a Pinterest board dedicated to pom pom beanies and even pin them in the middle of the summer ;)
What do you think? Do you like this new pale pink color? As an Urban Jungle Blogger I really like her hanging plant pots:
Want to see more of my favorites from Maison & Objet in Paris? They're right here.
I heart Hartô again
I have a few more beauties from Maison & Objet to share with you. Over the week I checked the M&O coverage and realized I didn't get to see at least 80%, but I'm happy to show you the booth of my January crush: Hartô. This time around, this fresh brand from Paris presented a more toned down collection, colorwise. With a hint of retro and a bit of toile de jouy in the new Moogli cushions and pouches:
New is also a jewelry box called Edmée in painted ash and a mirror on the lid. I'd love to use the Suzanne carpet with its swimmingpool feeling in our new bathroom (once it's finally finished, that is...):
Navy and cobalt blue carpet Noé... for a very cosy winter feeling:
Can you so what's in this little bowl on the table?
Yummm... Hartô candy by Papabubble! (they are coming to Paris this fall!)
And of course I couldn't help taking a #mirrorselfie ;)
I think my favorite new Hartô product is the Léon tray in laquered metal (like the pale and salmon pink ones above). Ultra sleek and a round twist of the famous Hay kaleido trays.
Have a great weekend! I'm getting so excited because I'm close to running for the 200th time! Reason enough to throw a little party, right?!
Mama mia, Mamama!
A pale pink stand and a brand called Mamama: for an instant I thought this had to do something to do with mamas and children. But mama mia! I was wrong! Mamama is a French design company specializing in innovative tableware. At Maison & Objet they presented their Sfumato collection with 2 cups and 3 plates. The names explain it all: volcano, mountain, lake. These shapes help to dress a plate and serve a beautiful dish.
Six times a year, mamama invites food celebrities, chefs, bloggers or enthusiasts to put their mark on the design of the collection. Hmmm this looks very graphic and tasty!
mamama ma mama mama mia ! mama miam mmmh, aaah... ma+ma = ma
"Brochettes gently lean against the mountain, sauce coats the lake, stock gives off steam as from a volcano".
The beautiful pure identity was designed by WA75. Somehow it looks very Dutch to me, this makes me so proud, because I'm slightly frustrated with French graphic design. Merci!!!
More of my favorites from Maison & Objet, right here.
I love Love Reykjavík
It's one of these things that can be a dealmaker... or breaker: product display. At big tradeshows like Maison & Objet you'll see anything between a table and a white table cloth as a background, to stand designs in marble & (real!) gold. And somewhere in the middle you'll find creative people that create magic with a limited budget.
One of my favorite stand designs at M&O this weekend was made for a union of designers from the most magical country I've ever visited: Iceland. Five designers united under the name Love, Reykjavík presented their products in a landscape of glaciers, vulcans and waterfalls. All built in chipboard, a less expensive version of plywood that made me pin like crazy.
Love Reykjavík represents Ihanna Home (the birds & cushions), Umemi (you may know them from the knotnot pillows), Marý (the plywood clouds are storage hangers), Anna Þórunn (Sunrise tray) and Hring eftir Hring (handcrafted jewelry).
And my favorite, the Experience sheets by Ihanna Home, that splash like a waterfall:
And you? Have you ever seen a stand design you really loved?
Aufschnitt Berlin Textile Butchery
Yesterday I was at Maison & Objet in Paris and my first crush was a rather unexpected one. It took me two seconds to realize this was fresh and different (and let's admit: a little bit crazy too). Aufschnitt Berlin is a Textile Butchery: they create products that mimic regular sausage and meat products in traditional sewing techniques.
Designer Silvia Wald is a vegetarian but loves creating cold cuts in wool, lycra, microfiber and fake leather. She also designed human organs, like lungs, a stomach, a tongue-backpack and a beautiful heart:
I never thought I'd say this: but I fell in love with a sausage! My favorite is the salami, but look at that Face-sausage:
The chicken leg below has a removable skin (eewww!):
These are not just some kind of cheap plush toys: they're actually really well made, some fabrics are tie-dyed to obtain a very meat-y aspect and the fillings are customized to ressemble the fat and veins in real sausages.
What about some bacon & eggs, a.k.a. a sleeping mask and pillow:
And not only do the meat and organs look great, their entire branding and styling is spot on. I'm such a sucker for nice branding...
Another fun fact: earlier this year Aufschnitt presented their sausages at Markthalle9, where Streetfood Thursday takes place every week. If you're ever in Berlin on a Thursday, you don't want to miss it. I wrote about it here.
Silvia showing me her lungs:
Although Aufschnitt is a Berlin-based brand (hence the pretzel!) they also included French baguettes in their collection:
So, what do you think? Yayy or nay? I totally wishlisted the Heart and a Salami.
I'll be back very soon with more design from Maison & Objet. In the mean time you can check out my favorites from last January, if you like. Enjoy your weekend!
My Paris tips
By popular demand ;) some of my favorite places in Paris (updated February 2016):
► La Trésorerie /// 11, rue du Château d'Eau /// 75010 Paris /// a mix between Dille & Kamille and Merci: goodies for home & kitchen.
► Kidimo /// 227, rue Saint Denis /// 75002 Paris /// Vintage letters for your home from France, Eastern Europe and South America.
► Merci /// 111, boulevard de Beaumarchais /// 75003 /// Merci doesn't need an introduction, right? Trend setting homewares, goodies, furniture, fashion and more. The Used Books Café is a nice place for lunch or drinks. Also visit Bon Ton (kids furniture, fashion & goodies) and get inside the photomaton.
► Adeline Klam /// 54, boulevard Richard Lenoir /// 75011 Paris /// Japanese paper goods, stationery, pillows, photo albums, Japanese fabrics, DIY books, wooden toys and more.
► Papier Plus /// 9, rue du Pont Louis-Philippe /// 75004 Paris /// Quality paper goods in a wide range of colors, since 1976.
► Rooftop view over Paris /// Take the escalators to the top floor of Printemps Haussmann for a 360° view over Paris, 100% free and without standing in line /// 64, boulevard Haussmann /// 75009 Paris.
► Institut Suédois /// 11, rue Payenne /// 75003 /// Delicious Swedish kanelbullar and nice art exhibitions & concerts at the Swedish Institute.
► Les Succulents Cactus /// 111, rue de Turenne /// 75003 Paris /// Cactus & succulents a.k.a. Urban Jungle Bloggers paradise.
► E. Dehillerin /// 18-20, rue Coquillière /// 75001 Paris /// Traditional kitchen utensil paradise, for chefs & foodies. It's a true cavern of Ali Baba with cookware from basement to ceiling.
► Papier Tigre /// 5, rue des Filles du Calvaire /// 75003 Paris /// Beautiful paper goods with a humorous twist.
► Green Factory /// A new Urban Jungle Bloggers paradise in Paris: a workshop & boutique close to the Canal Saint Martin, where owner Noam propose creative terrariums that need very little attention.
► Molitor rooftop garden /// Avenue de la Porte Molitor /// 75016 Paris /// Relax in one of the Moroso Tropicalia chairs, with a view on the Eiffel tower, after a dive into the famous piscine.
► Jack Gomme /// 16, rue St-Claude /// 75003 Paris /// leather goods made in France since 1985. I particularly like their clutches.
► The Broken Arm /// 12, rue Perrée /// 75003 Paris /// Good coffee & very well curated shopping (fashion, accessories, books...).
► Klin d'oeil boutique & galerie /// 6, rue Deguerry /// 75011 Paris /// The clan of Klin d'oeil now have a fabulous new boutique & gallery (open since January 2016). If you love color, plants and handmade, this is the place to go.
► La Grande Epicerie (at Le Bon Marché) /// 38, rue de Sèvres /// 75007 Paris /// Food from around the country & world (I go there for the nice packaging design), nearby you'll find The Conran Shop.
► Jardin des Serres d'Autueil /// 1 avenue Gordon-Bennett /// 75016 /// Nineteenth century greenhouses with a giant palm tree, tropical plants, cacti, Monstera... an Urban Jungle Bloggers paradise!
► Muskhane /// 3, rue Pastourelle /// 75003 Paris /// rugs, cushions, baskets and objets in felt and wool from South Asia.
► For the best coffee in town, check out Lindsey's fab coffee guide (I had coffee at Fondation Café the other day and it was really good).
► Le Comptoir Général /// 80, Quai de Jemmapes /// 75010 Paris /// An urban jungle where you can get a coffee, a haircut, buy plants, listen to music: a creative hotspot that doesn't feel like Paris. At. All.
► Paris isn't particularly colorful, apart from the beautiful grey rooftops, so if you crave some color, take a walk through the Passage de l'Ancre, a small private passage in the 3rd. /// 30, rue de Turbigo /// 75003 Paris.
► More unexpected color in the most Instagrammed street in Paris: la Rue Crémieux, with its colorful houses (including a small hostel-hotel!), potted plants and cats /// Rue Crémieux /// 75012 Paris
► If you have more time:
►In stead of visiting the Castle of Versailles, I warmly recommend you to visit the Château de Chantilly. It houses the largest collection of paintings after the Louvre, a splendid library, wonderful gardens. And nearby you'll find the Horse Museum, several beautiful hotels including the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, race tracks & forests for a nice long walk. And of course, don't forget to get yourself a hot chocolate with crème Chantilly a.k.a. whipped cream in the tea room of the castle ;)
► Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace (Air & Space museum). Even if you're not an aircraft nerd, you can have a great time at the oldest Paris airport. The halls are a little vintage, or beautifully renovated like the former departure hall, and you can visit the inside of a Concorde, see some real "wings" and the first hot air balloons, there are flight simulators and more. I love this place. Very kids friendly too!
► And my best Paris tip ever: walk around! You don't need a cab, a bunch of metro tickets and a nice pair of shoes (and some good company!) is all you need. Take a metro to a random spot on the map and get out, walk around, explore. Don't be afraid to miss the touristic spots! Simply sit down for coffee, pick something from a bakery, have a little pique nique, visit a gallery or museum. When publishing this guide there was a fabulous exhibition of Dries van Noten at les Arts Décoratifs.
Have a great time in Paris! Profites-en bien!
Summer in the city
My absolute favorite season in Paris is early springtime, when it's still chilly and the sky is pale blue. But summer isn't so bad either, especially in August when all Parisians are on holiday, shops are closed and the streets are empty... until la rentrée in September.
Last week was warm and sunny: perfect for a refreshing lemon & mint & ginger lemonade at the Used Book Café at Merci. Or some fresh fruit juice from their temporary Vitamines Bar. Do you recognize the vintage letters by Kidimo?
Kidimo in Paris
If I'll ever make it to Las Vegas, I want to visit the Neon Museum. It's basically a huge collection of old and newer signs that contributed to the history of the gambling capital of the world. From the pictures I've seen online, it's pretty rad (if you like signs of course). But if you can't make it to Vegas, or you prefer decorating your home or office with nice letter signs, there is Kidimo in Paris. I've been a longtime follower of Nicolas Flachot's work online and had only seen Kidimo's popup shop at Merci a few years ago. But last week, sweet Lauren reminded me he also has an awesome store so I went for a little visit. A true letter nirvana.
I didn't buy any letters, because we still have a few Restaurant letters left and very few walls. But I think we will use some in our new bathroom!
Nicolas collects lots of French letters: some that you recognize immediately (like the Casino grocery store one below), some from Eastern Europe or Argentina. All ready to form new words, like r e s p i r e (breathe):
Last week Kidimo opened their Cave of Ali-bla-bla at night! Can you image what it must have looked like? Neons lighting up everywhere <3 (here's how!)
Oh and please, if you decide to buy some words at Kidimo, choose something else than "home" or "cuisine" or "bath". Make a word that truly means something to you or that has a beautiful look or sound. I've seen way too many ugly signs with bad typography. You're worth it!
Kidimo /// 227, rue Saint Denis /// 75002 Paris /// +33 685 42 93 42
The Broken Arm in Paris
My days in Paris are always packed. I try to get most out of my time in the city, before taking the train home to our just-outside-the-banlieue city. This means: meetings with clients, a visit to an exhibition or conference, random walks, a little shopping at Uniqlo or COS and the best part: meeting with old & new friends. Last week I met with Sivan and Merav at The Broken Arm, where the coffee was good (even if you have special foam requests!), the sunshine was great and the store very well curated.
The greens seemed to love the sunlight in the window sill. I wonder if that succulent in the middle came from nearby cactus store Les Succulents Cactus...
Ever since being an Urban Jungle Blogger I can't help but spotting greens everywhere. I love this indoor tree:
In the basement I discovered this beautiful leather bag collection from Germany by Phillip Bree, called PB 0110. Their branding is so elegant and pretty: ( ) and their leather goods very very soft.
Besides their nice selection of magazines and art books, I particularly loved the headwear they carry by Études (also in bright yellow and electric blue!):
The Broken Arm - boutique & café /// 12, rue Perrée /// 75003 Paris /// +33 (0)1 44 61 53 60
boutique open: tue-sat 11-19 /// café open: tue-sat 9-18
Les Succulents Cactus in Paris
One of my favorite things to do when I travel, is visiting the local garden center, plant nursery or pépinière. Especially around the Mediterranean you can find the prettiest olive trees, agaves and palm trees in these centres. I always love bringing home a little succulent souvenir. But when you live in Paris and want to add some spiky green friends to your urban jungle, this is the place to go: Les Succulents Cactus.
As you can see, the entire shop is filled with different cactus plants and succulents. I first visited a few years ago, but when sweet Lauren reminded me of its existence, I knew I had to go back. So that's what I did when I had coffee just around the corner:
The funny thing is, that all their cactus plants are so perfect! They have no flaws, because they're selected by hand, which makes this place a bit surreal. But still: their collection of over 300 different species is really beautiful. Can you believe I left empty handed? My urban jungle grows so fast, that I don't allow myself to buy more... for now. Which makes it even more hilarious that when I came home a big new cactus was waiting for me. A sweet gift from my husband <3
The owner of the shop, Anne Floux, is very passionate about everything cacti. And if you decide to adopt one of her plants, she makes sure you get all the information you need to take good care of your new green friend. Because contrary to popular belief: you really have to take care of your succulents and cactus plants!
Les Succulents Cactus /// 111 Rue de Turenne /// 75003 Paris /// + 33 1 48 87 07 18
Open every tuesday to saturday from 11:00 to 19:00
Greens at Maison et Objet
Plants have been part of our interior for years, but now that our Urban Jungle Bloggers community is growing and growing, I see greens everywhere. You may call it trendy, although I wonder if people will get rid of all their cacti plants when they feel the trend is over. Because plants are living things, you get attached to them. At least that's what I do. Most of my plants have a little story: about where I found it, if someone gave it to me, how it grew over the years. Well you get it, right?
Anyway, I spotted a lot of greens at Maison & Objet and thought I would share a small(!) selection here. Above you see the wooden wall fixtures by French brand Bellila. They also carry some clever coffee tables with incorporated planters: really cool!
Ferm Living also loves cactus plants, aloë veras and ferns. Their entire stand was filled with some nice species and some where shining in their brand new plant stands:
I'm desperate for some nice new planters, so for now this is what I'd do too: put some cactus plants in a ceramic jug. These are called Harpo and are designed by Eno Studio:
Belgian brand Serax carries a lot of different planters, pottery and glassware. Their textile planter collection by Marie Michielssen is one of our most popular repins on our Urban Jungle Bloggers board!
More greens by Ferm Living, Serax and French company Bacsac:
And some very subtle plants between books and stationary on shelves by Universo Positivo:
Wish you a nice & green weekend! Oh and did you know we just opened an Urban Jungle Bloggers Facebook page with plant inspiration from bloggers all over the world? We hope you like it!
Maison et Objet in wood
It's probably because I can't wait for lighter days, with more energy and blooming greens, that my eye caught lots of wood, brightness and a hint of color at Maison & Objet last weekend. Today I'll show you some bright wooden designs that I liked.
Delightful color combos by Scholten & Baijings on tables and platters for Karimoku New Standard:
Beautiful plywood shelves via Eno Studio:
Clean shapes in marble, matte white aluminium and wooden fungi shelves by Danish brand Menu:
More plywood and brass & neon light by Chinese brand Neri&Hu:
Loved this beautiful corner shelf in beech wood designed by Marie Dessuant for Cinna:
Manufactured by French specialist for steel furniture Tolix: the concept kitchen designed by Kilian Schindler for N by Naber:
Wooden mirrors Mirette designed by Guillaume Delvigne for French brand Oxyo:
Still not enough wood? I've been pinning like crazy on my Knock Knock Plywood board ;) And soon more color and greens from Maison & Objet!
Xmas after Christmas
Ohhh it feels so good to take down all the Christmas decoration, right? No more light strings and pine needles everywhere. And even though we don't have a bulky christmas tree inside, it seems like there is more space. Sometimes I wish we'd live in a minimalist space with clean lines without any stuff... but then again: I do love my clutter!
So... you can imagine I'm a bit hesitant to show these images today... images of over-the-top classic Christmas decoration! This week we spent a few days near Fontainebleau and visited the Castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte. Like "our" wonderful castle of Chantilly and the castles of Fontainebleau and Versailles, the Vaux-le-Vicomte castle is located just outside Paris, and often a little bit too far for weekend tourists. But if you have a few more days to spend, a visit to the "countryside" is very rewarding.
Especially if you go to the castle of Vaux le Vicomte: with a calendar full of special events, there's always a good reason to visit the masterpiece of 17th century architecture and its French formal gardens. In the summer you can enjoy candle lit evening visits (which looked absolutely amazing from the pictures they showed), but while we were there, it was Christmas all over again:
No real Christmas in France without a few La Durée macaron towers:
Even after more than 11 years in France and near Paris, the view over the Parisian rooftops, doesn't get old. The other day I escaped the Christmas shopping rush on the boulevards and saw this. Grey, blue and more grey ♥.
I wish you a wonderful weekend, in Paris and beyond!
Papier Tigre in Paris
There's a new gem in town! A few weeks ago, Papier Tigre, opened their first brick and mortar shop in the Haut Marais in Paris. You may already know Papier Tigre products: they create beautiful and contemporary paper products with a humorous twist.
Their new space is like their webshop: bright, smart and with funny puns everywhere. And a beautiful cardboard Christmas tree of course!
I had never seen these awesome marked & numbered "poly marbré", marbled paper shapes. They remind me of my adventures with the Paper globe ;)
One of my favorite Papier Tigre products is The Assistant, a complete agenda in recycled paper (of course) to plan your workload. It also includes a list of "how to be kind" in 21 languages, hihi! Another favorite is The Greengrocer: a vegetable moving disk calendar that shows you which fruit and veggies are "in season". So clever! And of course their snailmail products: beautiful foldable writing paper you can send right away. Oh and who ever has enough notebooks? I know I don't!
#bisou to Papier Tigre! Grrr ;)
Papier Tigre /// 5 rue des Filles du Calvaire /// 75003 Paris /// +33 1 48 04 00 21
Open every tuesday to sunday from 12:00 to 19:30 or shop online!
My favorite Aire de Jugy
I love traveling in my own country. The Oise region is really nice, but nothing makes me happier than driving on the Autoroute du Soleil. Ohhh... the promise of sun, la mer and pine trees in the South of France... ♥
A break at one of the many rest areas along the road makes it even more fun and relaxing. Especially if you happen to stop at Aire de Jugy. Before reaching the aire de repos, located near Chalon-sur-Saône (in the Burgundy region between Dijon & Mâcon) there's little bit of suspense:
As a kid it was always such a joy to spot these fellows along the road. On our way to the Provence last month I couldn't help but stop to take a few playful pictures. Unfortunately most mushrooms are for kids only, but they look fantastic.
I can highly recommend to make a stopover at Aire de Jugy if you'll ever travel southbound, with or without kids!
Did you have a nice weekend? Here in the Oise we enjoyed a super sunny Saturday and decided to visit a random place. Along one of the roads leading to our place, is a sign that points to a castle where we had never been. We Google Streetviewed the sign, tried to see what it read (as you can see it's very pixelized), found out and drove to the Château de Raray.
We were in good company, so no matter where we'd end up, we would have a good time. Turned out: the surrounding village was cuter than expected and the very well maintained castle overlooked a huge golf course. Perfect for a nice little walk along the green, where I spotted this cool trash bin.
There were also 40 hunting dog statues, some with quirky tails:
The castle itself is used as a conference center and hotel, there's also a restaurant and sunny terrace, but above all: it's a really nice and quiet place to play golf (which we didn't).
I liked that they used the deer and dogs in the logo too:
It was a very random visit, at less than 25km from our home, that felt like a mini-vacation. Do you ever go on trips like these?
Not a fan fan
The title says it all: I'm not particularly fond of electric fans. But as we are in the middle of a heatwave here in France, we need them. Our home has no windows, only 2 doors and the outer walls are made of glass, so we almost live in some sort of greenhouse. We try to stay cool with fans but at the end of the day (or after 1 hour) I'm just so fed up with the noise of the electric fans. Ugh.
But on the other hand: I love eating popsicles and be fan-less outside. I wish you a very cool weekend!
Artwork "Beyond the Fans" by Zilvinas Kempinas: 2 perfectly positioned electric fans keep loops of magnetic tape in the air. Dynamo Exhibition, Grand Palais, Paris.
Dynamo @ Grand Palais Paris
Today I'm not sharing an exhibition you should visit too, because actually you can't. The Dynamo exhibition in the Grand Palais closed its doors last week. Before I visited, I read that you can devide the Parisians in 2 groups: the ones that had seen Dynamo and the ones that didn't. So I had to see it ;)
With an overdose of mirrors, (self) reflections, virtual illusions, it's obvious why the exhibition was such a huge success, in this era of instagram, tumblr and twitter. It was impressive to see that many visitors were overly enthusiastic about taking selfies (I'm a little guilty too...) and watched the exhibition through the lens of their phone. I agree with certain critics: the Dynamo exhibition was a bit Disneyland-ish, but there were many wonderful artworks to be admired and experienced as well. My favorites included work by Ann Veronica Janssens and Anish Kapoor.
This projection room, Slow Arc Inside a Cube (2009) by Conrad Shawcross, particularly turned my stomac upside down:
The RGB room was really awesome: Chromosaturation (1965) by Carloz Cruz Diez:
The lines and reflections of this artwork were static, but once you walked by they started swirling:
A detail of Transformation Instable Juxtaposition Superposition (1963-2011) by Francisco Sobrino:
I really enjoyed staring at this pattern, 4 Double Trames (1958) by François Morellet, it looks like dripping water in a puddle:
After well over 2 hours of color, light and movement in an amazing venue, the Grand Palais, it was time for ice cream. And some rest for the eyes!
A playful week
When Tina and I were playing around with Google doodles for her Vive la Différence series, she mentioned that both our homes are full of toys even though we don't have kids. I guess we both have a playful spirit!
This week I stretched the limits of my playfulness by going on a little tour through the park on a miniature steam train. The Friends of Steam, organized an afternoon of free rides for everyone, which turned out to be a great dose of unexpected fun! I loved it!
And later this week I was invited to the oldest theme park in France: La Mer de Sable. Fifty years ago it started as a playground near a natural dune in the forest, where retired circus camels enjoyed a calmer lifestyle. Many Isariens visited the park during their colonies de vacances, but recently it was completely updated.
For younger children (4-12) it's a great alternative to bigger parks like Asterix and Disney: hardly any lines, it's very clean, spacious, well decorated and I never heard so many laughing kids in other parks. The stunt show with Cowboys and Indiens was also a highlight. And a big plus: no It's A Small World tunes on repeat the entire day ;) La Mer de Sable is located at 45 mins from Paris. More info here.
The palm trees at La Mer de Sable made me dream of summer holidays in the sun, chilled drinks and the sound of cicadas...
Probably I won't hear any cicadas during this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, but it will be a festive weekend, that's for sure! Hope your weekend will be sunny & festive too!
While most of the visitors of the Paris Air Show were enjoying the buzz outside, we went inside the Museum of Air and Space for a quick visit. As I've said before, this museum is really one of my favorites ever. The atmosphere is so unique, a little retro, but in a good way. And surprise surprise: the former arrival and departures hall was entirely renovated. Including this wonderful clock:
All of you that have been reading my blog for a while, know that I love traveling. I was seventeen when I boarded my first airplane and I still think it's a little magical to go somewhere else so fast, in stead of long hours by car, bus, train or bike.
People at airports make me so curious: where are they going, why are they going there? What's their story? Who are they leaving behind? That's why I'm a total sucker for television shows like Hello Goodbye (in France and NL). I'm always amazed by how much people share in front of the camera... but that's a whole other story ;)
The renovation of the Salle des 8 Colonnes took well over a year, but wow, it's really breathtaking (watch the 360° panorama view!). It transports you right back to the 1930s. I love time traveling. Do you?
At the Paris Air Show
This weekend I spent some time in this male dominated environment called the Paris Air Show. Lots of state of the art aircrafts, engine noise and numerous drones, which I guess is the latest aeronautic hype. I was mostly drawn to the blue white and red smoke from the Patrouille de France team that performed above our heads. It had the same effect on me as fireworks... Woahhh!!! And it looks rather romantic too, don't you think?
In the air
After a crazy week, I'm more than ready for the weekend. Yesterday I spoke in front of 200 people in the Horse Museum in Chantilly about blogging in the tourism industry and I think I had reached my maximum dose of craziness by then.
What are your plans for the weekend? I'll be unwinding at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget where it's all about aircrafts, aeronautics and space. I'm not all that interested in airplanes and such, but the Museum of Air and Space is absolutely one of my favorite museums ever. It has this retro interior with lots of old aircrafts, vintage mannequins, glossy linoleum floors and dreamy air balloons. And it's very photogenic with all the bleu-blanc-rouge. I wrote about it last year, if you'd like to read more.
Wish you a wonderful weekend!
2 Popcorn Girls
Maybe I'm starting this tradition of bending the rules: last month for the first #2flowergirls tag I used daffodils in stead of ranunculus. And today I'm showing you the requested flowers, hydrangeas, but I didn't photograph them at home. Actually I didn't find fresh cut hortensias near my place and even in Paris they only came in shrubs.
However I really like this popcorn hortensia I spotted at the Flowermarket on l'Île de la Cité in Paris. The name and original shape almost make me want to eat them... with a nice friday night movie ;o) Happy Weekend!
Weekend tip: la Brocante
My favorite season started: brocante season! Visiting a flea market on Sunday is like a national sport here in France. After visiting numerous marchés aux puces, I must admit that I became quite addicted to the art of junk hunting. It's a nice opportunity to visit new places in the Oise, discuss (or negotiate!) with locals and maybe find that one thing that I've always wanted but didn't know I needed.
The best online resource to find out if there's a marché aux puces going on somewhere nearby is vide-greniers.org. The site really hurts my eyes, but has very up-to-date info on brocantes all accross France. You simply select the region or département of your choice and off you go. I always prefer the vide-greniers (empty your attic) over the brocantes, because it's more exciting when there are less professionals selling their overpriced antiques. Simply strolling around the streets, watching people and their old stuff... aahhh I love Sunday mornings!
My best find ever was a pair of near new Ann Demeulemeester riding boots for 10 euros. Unfortunately they were too small for me, so they were sent off to a lucky Australian eBayer...
Do you like visiting flea markets? And what's your favorite brocante treasure?
I'm lost in Cheeseland
Maybe you've seen it? Last friday I was featured on Lindsey's wonderful blog called Lost in Cheeseland. As part of the Franco File Friday series I answered a few questions about my life in France.
Although my day-to-day life certainly doesn't consist of (only) sipping wine & munching on cheese, and whilst I sometimes struggle with French bureaucracy, and miss my Dutch family, the decision to move to France (almost 11 years ago) has been one of the best we've ever made. We've built a home, made new friends, tasted lots of delicious things, discovered wonderful new places...
So I'm definitely not lost in Cheeseland: I'm at home here! And you? Where do you feel at home?
Photos taken at Palais Royal, Paris
Chirp chirp! I hope these fake birds will encourage the real birds to kickstart spring. Finally! I can't wait for warmer days without coats and scarfs.
I spotted these little birds at a small Floral Art Fair in Paris. I was not impressed by the quality of the flower arrangements exhibited but it was a nice occasion for some spring pictures.
City halls in France are so very pretty: high ceilings, squeaky parquet and stained glass windows:
Come on spring! I know you can do it!
A night in Sweden
Ever since returning from Stockholm, I've been kind of stuck in Sweden through the books of Stieg Larsson. I'm in the middle of the third book now and watched the American and Swedish movies too. I remember my guide in Stockholm pointed out Lisbeth's and Mikke's apartments in Söder. It didn't mean much to me then but totally makes sense now. Did you read these books? Did you like them?
Last week I spent an evening at the Swedish Institute in Paris. First for fika at Le Café Suédois. Hmmm! Next door, glass & ceramics artist Mårten Medbo was exhibiting his work. I like how his sculptures are not quite abstract or figurative, but mostly very organic and inspired by nature.
The displays and colors reminded me of what I saw at Blås & Knåda and Konsthantverkarna in Stockholm:
After visiting the exhibition it was time for some music. Or better said: some "sound" by Midaircondo. A Swedish duo exploring avant-garde sound art, electronica, jazz and melancholic pop. They were in town for a concert at Unesco the next day for International Women's Day.
The motion graphic backdrops portraited the women themselves walking up and down a stairway.
My favorite piece by Mårten Medbo was this comic blob sculpture:
► The Swedish Institute in Paris is a really nice place to relax after a stroll through the Marais neighborhood or a visit at concept store Merci. In the summer you can enjoy your kanelbulle in their quiet garden. Bliss!
Institut Suédois /// 11 rue Payenne /// 75003 Paris /// +33 (0) 1 44 78 80 20.
Open every tuesday through sunday: 12PM - 6PM.
A whipped weekend
In French Chantilly also means whipped cream. So, besides the Chateau and the horses, that's what Chantilly is known for as well.
Last weekend, Framboise invited* me & my husband for a romantic get-away in a brand new hotel in Chantilly, called l'Auberge du Jeu de Paume. I think it was the first time that we spent the night somewhere so close to our home (at only 10 minutes) and it felt a bit weird. But the venue made it all worth it.
In complete opposite to our all-white bedroom at home, our Suite looked like a classic French fairy tale: with a toile de Jouy headboard, mirrors in Murano glass and Musée Condé reproductions everywhere.
Highlight of the weekend was a treatment in the luxurious Spa. I didn't get a simple exfoliation... but a "Crème de Chantilly wrap". In other words: I got covered in whipped cream! Cleopatra bathed in donkey milk to hydrate her skin and that's exactly what whipped cream does as well. The application of the cream feels sensational: it's very cold and milky. It made my skin feel super soft & smooth.
My favorite decor in the hotel were the original (!) 18th century wooden panels with monkey scenes, lent by the Musée Condé. They are over-the-top kitschy (see first photo), but the monkeys' faces are hilarious!
The hotel is a located at 30 minutes from Paris and at a stone's throw from the Château, its park and the Grand Stables:
Auberge du Jeu de Paume /// 4 rue du Connétable /// 60500 Chantilly /// +33 (0)3 44 65 50 00.
* We stayed at the hotel and received a Spa treatment free of charge, but all words and images are my own. We had a fabulous stay :o)
Adeline Klam in Paris
Earlier this week I blogged on Jillian in Italy again while she is recovering from surgery on her hand. I'm introducing you to a super cute & welcoming boutique in Paris, called Adeline Klam. Check it out here!
Adeline Klam /// 54, Boulevard Richard Lenoir /// 75011 Paris /// +33 (0)1 48 07 20 88
Open every monday through saturday: 11AM – 7PM.
Xmas in Paris
Can you believe we're only a week away from Christmas?
This is what xmas looks like in Paris: above Andrea Crews for Uniqlo, below the Repetto store. The light swirls around the ballerina dress remind me of the beautiful Le Deun lights.
This made me laugh, I bet I'm not the only who took a picture of this Mini:
Check back tomorrow as I'll show you our xmas tree!
Merci prepares for Xmas
Two weeks ago I quickly hopped into Desiree's favorite shop in Paris again: Merci. The visual merchandisers were preparing the store for Christmas with trees & light bulb stars. I realized that I'm not quite in the mood for Christmas yet, although I did buy my first xmas gift there. ( can't tell you what, because it's for someone who reads my blog... )
Anyway, have a look at how Merci is preparing for Xmas:
If you don't know Merci yet, you can read more about it here. Are you in the mood for Christmas yet?
Short days, more light!
Rise & shine it's monday morning! I hope you had a lovely weekend? Mine was filled with snow, Saint Nicholas treats and family fun. So let's start off this week with some nice lightning. I'm usually not a big fan of exposed lightbulbs because they blind my eyes. But the bulbs above ( several dozens (!) in the cafeteria of the Verbeke Foundation ) and the bulbs below ( at restaurant Grazie in Paris ) are pretty nice though!
Reminds me that I really like Plumen too. Do you know them?
Muskhane in Paris
Sometimes you see a lovely design that reminds you of someone else. That happened to me last week when I was in Paris on my way to the Maison d'Anna G pop up store. I passed by this amazing shop window of Muskhane and then it hit me: the buntings! the craft! the colors! Totally Giova's style.
So hop over to One Bunting Away to see more of this beautiful Parisian shop window!
update: Giova went to check the store out herself. Check it out here!
Le Deun Luminaires
Last week I walked by the showroom of Le Deun Luminaires in Paris. I was hiding under my umbrella when these illuminated circles caught my eye. Wow!
I'm always a little annoyed when I see lightning shops that have all the their lights turned on. Such a waste of power! But when I read that Jean-Luc Le Deun, the designer of these beauties, only works with LED lamps, I felt more comfortable. And at the end of november we can all use a little extra light, right?
A selection of lamps is avalaible for sale here.
Le Deun Luminaires /// 18 rue Saint Gilles /// 75003 Paris /// +33 (0)1 55 28 50 61
My favorites @ TRANOÏ Paris
Recently I visited Tranoï, the most creative fashion trade show in Paris, to find fresh inspiration. I'm currently on the lookout for a new winter scarf ( since I lost my favorite one in Berlin ), and am obsessed with soft fabrics.
While strolling along the booths I admired "old favorites", like the amazing hats & footwear by Reinhard Plank, and the spring/summer '13 collection of Humanoid, and also found some new favorites.
My first crush was on the Swedish prêt-à-porter brand SVEK. And especially on this crisp white shirt: the collar & front of the shirt is the same piece of fabric. Very innovative & easy to wear!
The Italian sales assistant of Horo completely enthralled me with her enthusiasm for her products. While wrapping a fabric bracelet on my wrist she explained that their prints are actually 24K gold & true palladium. The prints are graphic & timeless and knowing that you're wearing true gold adds a little touch to it. Horo designs are hand printed on super soft fabrics like silk mixtures, cashmere and modal with milk. Loved it!
One of the main materials of our home is concrete, my Pinterest board "When can I move in?" is filled with big chunks of concrete as well: I just ♥ it!
No surprise that I also loved Ivanka's Cement Couture. Ivanka is a Budapest-based design company specializing in concrete projects. They recently launched their first fashion collection in fabrics which look like cement & concrete but actually feel REALLY soft! Where can I get my concrete scarf now?
Dans un jardin
Earlier this summer, my husband & I spent some time in this Parisian jardin where he proposed to me over 14 years ago. We had not been back since. It felt completely different & yet I felt at least just as happy as back in 1998. Can you guess in which garden I took this picture?
This is what caught my eye at one of the least stylish places in the Oise. I liked the contrast between the grungy place with garbage trash all over & the YSL label...
Braids in Paris
Yesterday my Italian friend & I went for "fika" at the Swedish Institute in Paris. Fika means having a coffee break with pastries and as one of my Danish readers pointed out, fika is only used in Sweden ( and not in Denmark ).
I was looking forward to a delicious kanelbulle, but no luck: the Swedish Institute was closed for the entire summer. Paris is very slow & empty in August, which I think is bliss!, but some of these nice places like the SI with a beautiful courtyard are unfortunately closed.
Finally we ended up at Merci again for coffee and a refreshing citronade with ginger & mint. Not so bad either ;o)
Merci is one of those Parisian hotspots that doesn't need an introduction anymore, does it? The best thing about concept store Merci, besides their interesting selection of products, is the space itself: it's huge & spacious. Every time I visit it looks completely different and last week a giant palm tree welcomed us. What more could I wish for, as a true palm tree fanatic myself :o)
Some of these photos were featured on Vosges Paris yesterday! Desiree is one of the biggest Merci fans I know and I thought she'd like to see how Merci looks in the summer...
In case you didn't know: Merci is the first “Charity Store” in France, it means that 100% of their profit will go to a charity association helping women & kids in Madagascar.
Merci carries fashion ( Isabel Marant, Paul & Joe, etc. ), accessoires, chairs & sofas, great lighting, jewelry, perfumes ( Annick Goutal ) & skincare ( Aesop ), beautiful paperware ( including Hay and masking tape ), cool gadgets, Paola Navone suitcases & tableware, Jerôme Dreyfuss bags, Paul Smith shoes, kitchen utensils ( Royal VKB ), tableware and so so much more...
The red vintage Fiat 500 in the courtyard is pretty famous. This little Japanese girl with fake freckles (!) was being photographed in front of the car for a Japanese kids fashion magazine. Cool huh?
Merci /// 111 boulevard Beaumarchais /// 75003 Paris /// +33 (0) 1 42 77 00 33.
Open every monday through saturday: 10AM - 7PM.
La Galerie Végétale
One of my alltime favorite boutiques in Paris is definitely La Galerie Végétale. I'm a sucker for succulents and wandering around this former carpentry workplace makes me really happy.
In this lush green shop you find a unique selection of succulents & cacti, a large diversity of planters ( in reclaimed rubber, ceramics, plastics, zinc, concrete, porcelain... ), paper stationary, glassware, vases, natural home perfumes and cool new designy things.
La Galérie Végétale is one of the only shops in France where you'll find the Ashiato animal footprint flip flops by Kiko+. Also check out their website, because every now and then they host special evenings with music & theater performances...
You can even hire the place for an event or get a weekly fresh flower subscription and receive a new bouquet every week. J'adore!
La Galerie Végétale /// 29 rue des Vinaigriers /// 75010 Paris /// +33 (0) 9 54 32 19 68.
Open every tuesday through saturday: 10AM - 2PM and 3PM - 7:30PM.
Some urban colors
Some urban colors to pimp up this grey & cold friday. Above: a two-headed fish in the making near the Canal Saint Martin, Paris.
Some poetry in Beauvais (Oise, France) by Ray Charles: Je suis aveugle mais construire plus malheureux que soi... j'aurai pu être noir.
Aloha my name is... lots of stickers outside Album Comics store near Saint Germain des Prés, Paris.
I love this stork! Boulevard Magenta, Paris.
Rendre à l'art la simplicité de ne pas l'être. Stencil by William Benhamou.
Weekend tip: Le Bourget
You've climbed the Eiffel tower, visited le Palais de Tokyo, shopped at Merci, ate dozens of LaDurée (or Pierre Hermé) macarons and you just love Paris. But you like to do something else for a change?
One of my favorite museums is "La Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget, just outside Paris. It is one of the oldest aviation museums in the world (1919) and has prototypes of many French aircrafts including the super fast Concorde. I'm not extremely interested in all the aircrafts, but the beautiful old fashioned interior of the museum truly appeals to me. The floors are made of glossy linoleum and have beautiful & colorful graphic patterns.
It's a great place to go with kids of all ages because you can go from "just watching some airplanes" to learning in detail how mankind started trying & succeeding to fly. I like visiting the museum to enjoy its look & feel: industrial, colorful and very unique.
Oh and it's rarely very busy. And if it is, you won't notice, because this place is HUGE.
Have you ever been here?
LV & MJ at Les Arts Décoratifs
What starts on the first floor as a calm presentation of the innovative trunks and "fashion carriers" created by Louis Vuitton, ends on a more eclectic note on the second floor where a selection of designs by Marc Jacobs for the French fashion house are on display.
Why visit this exhibition? To enjoy the patchwork with Marc's favorite video extracts (Rosemary's Baby, Marc Jacobs on South Park, David Bowie, Annie, ...), to watch the beautiful and poetic synchronized dancing Fan Club video (also here) and gaze at the beautiful blue mannequin heads with balloon knots.
The only thing missing in my opinion was a good documentary about his life and work, as I crossed many lost visitors not knowing who Jean Paul Goude is and what they were looking at. However there was a video showing brief impressions of his projects and some shorter videos like the hilarious "How to improve your body proportions by adding shoulder pads, 30cm heels and a dental bridge" from the 70's and of course some Grace Jones music videos.
Some of my favorites were the series of Naomi Campbell and Björk. The images are so well executed, with such eye for detail and love for proportions, the human body&identity, colors and aesthetics, it's almost overwhelming. If you haven't seen it already, go visit the exhibition, you won't regret it.
So Far, So Goude
Anyway Jean Paul Goude made an impression, in every sense, on our (and my) imagination. My interest in his work and life grew slowly after watching several documentaries and reading interviews about him and his work. Mr Goude is a very intelligent man with a great sense of humor and an exquisite eye and an even greater esthetic vision that I really relate to. That is why I absolutely want to & will visit his current exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris: Goudemalion. Jean-Paul Goude une rétrospective / 11 November 2011 – 18 March 2012
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