Posts Tagged: Paris


“Each of us has an enchanted vision that we carry around in the treasure house of our minds….your personal approach to your own magic.”-Tony Duquette

When the opportunity arose to host an event in Paris during Deco Off and Maison et Objet, I thought what could be better than to have a celebration of creativity surrounded by the most talented people I know? In searching for a theme for the evening, I decided to take a cue from two of the most fascinating figures in design…Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette. Gay Gassman of Architectural Digest captured the magic of the evening in the lovely article below…

The table setting for Cathy Austin’s Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette-themed dinner party in Paris. Photo: Kelly Marshall


Design has taken over Paris this week with the 10th anniversary of Paris Deco Off and the opening of global trade fair Maison + Objet. Besides the massive fair, this means more than 100 fabric and furniture showroom open houses, countless pop-ups and special events, and streets festooned with oversize lampshades swinging from the buildings in the City of Light. It also means every night is jam-packed with cocktails and dinners hosted by the big industry showrooms, but there are also smaller private events. One of the most intriguing invitations of the season was the beautifully designed one for “An Unforgettable Romp in Paris: An Evening Inspired by Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette,” hosted last night by Charlotte, North Carolina–based interior designer Cathy Austin of Catherine M. Austin Interior Design at the Paris home of AD 100 designer Frank de Biasi and designer Gene Meyer.


“Haute couture dresses have the unique and unexpected quality of a work of art. They are among the last things to be made by hand, by the human hand whose value is irreplaceable, for it gives everything it makes what no machine can bring: poetry and life.”-Christian Dior

We have just returned from an incredibly inspiring trip abroad and one of the highlights was “Christian Dior: Couturier du Reve” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The brilliant retrospective celebrates the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior, I have always been intrigued by the intersection where fashion, art and design collide. What I admired most about Mr. Dior is that he was truly a student of the world. His love of travel and art is reflected in his 70 years of designs.  These works highlight Dior’s perspective by showing the connections he created between couture and all forms of art.  The exhibition shows that his gowns were full of references to painting and sculpture as well as everything that makes up the art of living: wallpapers, fabrics, china and chinoiserie.


There were so many amazing new introductions at DecoOff that it is hard to know where to begin! One of the most whimsical and charming collections was “Ardmore” by Cole & Son based on Ardmore Ceramic Art celebrating African traditions and culture. Cole & Son describes the collection:

“Drawing inspiration from Ardmore’s colorful and quirky ceramics the collection explores Africa’s exotic flora and majestic fauna: from rare birds to big cats, elephants, rhinos and mischievous monkeys; as well as the beautiful patterns of Zulu beadwork and woven basket ware.Color palettes are drawn from the natural landscape: from the chalky, ochred desert plains and sun-bleached shimmering outcrops to the vibrant fresh greens of water-kissed rain forests and exotic coloring’s of native flora and fauna. The result, a strikingly sophisticated collection of wallpapers that includes soft and subtle explorations of the majestic landscape as well as colorful creations capturing the vibrancy of traditional African culture.”

Cole & Son always does an incredible job teaching the designer about the inspiration behind each of their creations. Every paper tells a story. In addition to their fabulous story telling skills, they also do a fabulous job showcasing their papers in a variety of interiors from traditional to contemporary and the varied methods in which their papers can be applied. 


“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” – Henri Matisse

My head is still spinning from my Parisian design adventure filled with inspiration, ideas, and awe. What began as an initial visit to see Deco-Off, Maison et Objet and shopping the Marche aux Puces turned into a full fled art immersion with so many amazing exhibits taking place in Paris at one time.  It was truly an art lover’s dream and I have never felt pulled in so many directions! 



When a client brings a spark of inspiration to the design process, it makes my job as a designer much more rewarding. My primary role as an interior designer is an interpreter…being able to translate my client’s tastes into successful spaces. In doing so, the rooms become like the individuals and no two turn out alike. I recently had the privilege to work on a project that was inspired by a client’s favorite Hermès scarf. It embodied everything she desired…the colors, the pattern and the luxurious feeling she wanted for the space.


The last time I was in Paris, I saw the Hermès textile and wallpaper collection for the first time…The spell that this line always casts had me completely enchanted.



I was thrilled to see the latest collection which has several fabrics that will work beautifully for the  scheme above…


Zébrures takes its inspiration from a zebra’s coat. The stripes form a wave, like palm leaves in the wind. The motif appears in the cotton weft over a silk chevron background which gives this jacquard fabric texture and contrast.





The Hs fit together like links in a chain to form undulating lines. This brocatelle jacquard, made of cotton and linen is sturdy and matt. It is available in neutral or high-contrast two-tone colour schemes.



Croquis de tigre, taken from one of painter Robert Dallet’s sketches, depicts the profile and portrait of a majestic tiger. The elegant cotton-silk jacquard perfectly complements the animal’s natural beauty. The satin weave background is available in three rich, deep hues to offer the perfect contrast for the tiger’s powerful presence. These sketches, placed across the width of the fabric, could be used for upholstery so as for cushions.






Fermoir H evokes the subtle and close-fitting clasp. In this jacquard interpretation, the outlines of the links elegantly adorn a twill background. This classic geometrical pattern in cotton and viscose reconciles durability and sophistication in a range of seven colour schemes.





Jungle Life’s repeating pattern depicts the jungle surrounding the big cats in love from the now iconic Jungle Love silk scarf designed by Robert Dallet in 2000. The design brings to life an imaginary world of luxuriant vegetation. Jungle Life is printed on a graceful heavy silk twill that is new to the collection. It perfectly symbolises Hermès’s creative approach and renders the print even more stunning in three variations, each with 21 colours.


A contemporary interpretation of the iconic Chaine d’Ancre. The striated rings evoke motor racing tracks


Pierre Marie Agin plays with ribbons which uncoil and escape from their coils. They find their way into the complex interplay of concentric circles and geometric games in the ribbon factory. Mixes of warps and wefts, and yarn crossing reveal a palette of precious colors in subtle shades of changing effects.


This original drawing from Jeff Fischer recalls coastal flora in a medallion composition. The vegetal patterns with colors patinated by the fresh air reflect pallets of grass, algae and sea water. The quality of the linen support and the regularity of the threads allow a perfect gouache effect and provide a particular smooth feel to the fabric.



The world of fantasy and travel, very important in the Hermès tradition, presented in a cotton print by Philippe Dumas


Inspired by the eponymous silk scarf created by Christine Henry in 2010, Arbre de vie is printed using the rare and exacting technique of warp printing before weaving. This exceptional 100% silk version transcends history with a radical change of scale. Emerald green dominates, plunging into a monsoon of lush, exaggerated greenery.




The iconic sailor motif revisited by Anamorphée plays out in a two-tone checked pattern developped in a contempory spirit. Reversible, this fabric with bright or marine colors is matched with Rayures Rocabar material. Water-repellent treated.


1) The famous fashion house was founded in 1837 by German-born French-raised Thierry Hermès.

2) Hermès began as a small harness workshop in Paris, which was dedicated to serving European noblemen, creating luxury harnesses and bridles for horse-drawn carriages. The Hermès logo is a royal carriage and a horse.

3) Thierry Hermès’ son, Charles-Émile Hermès, took over the management of the business and moved the shop in 1880 to 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré – where its flagship boutique still remains today.

4) Under new leadership and with fresh premises, Hermès introduced saddle manufacturing for the first time and began retail sales.

5) With the help of his sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice, Charles-Émile grew the business’ global reach catering to Europe’s elite, with customers as far afield as North Africa, Russia, Asia and America, then in 1900 the firm introduced the Haut à Courroies handbag, which was specially designed for riders to carry their saddles with them.

6) Once Charles-Émile retired, the two sons renamed the business Hermès Frères and by 1914 had employed 80 saddle craftsmen due to huge demand, particularly from officials in Russia. The duo began using zips on their leather goods and were the first to introduce the device in France.

7) In the 1920s Émile-Maurice launched the firm’s first accessories collection and in 1922 the brand’s debut leather handbag was produced after his wife complained that she could not find a suitable one to her liking.

8) A decade later, the luxury label launched its Sac à dépêches bag (later renamed the Kelly) and in 1937 introduced its signature headscarves for the first time. The Queen is a firm favourite of the colourful silk designs.

9) In 1949, the same year as the launch of the Hermès silk tie, the first perfume, Eau d’Hermès, was produced.

10) Jean-Louis Dumas (great-great-grandson of Thierry Hermès) took over as the new head of the company in 1951.

11) After a commercial lull in the ‘70s, Dumas then concentrated on silk and leather goods, as well as revamped ready-to-wear, and the company’s fortunes began to turn after he modernised the business.

12) Dumas had nerve and put faith in new designers, hiring the unconventional Martin Margiela as creative director in 1997, and Jean-Paul Gaultier to replace him in 2003. The company was valued at £9.2billion at the time of his death in 2010.

13) Hermès kicked off the craze for naming handbag styles after celebrities. In 1956 a picture of Grace Kelly showed the silver screen icon using her Hermès Sac à dépêches bag to shield herself from a scrum of paparazzi photographers and so the style was renamed the Kelly. Each Kelly bag, like most Hermès designs, takes from 12 up to 18 hours to make.

14) But by far the most famous, and most collected design, is the Birkin, named after British sex kitten Jane. After a chance encounter on a plane with Dumas in the early ‘80s, the actress told him how her Kelly bag wasn’t big enough for everyday use, so they dreamt up a new design together and the Birkin was born.

15) A Hermès Birkin bag will set you back anything from £5,400 to a cool £100,000 in exotic skins such as saltwater crocodile, and its allure is further enhanced since the style isn’t available to buy instantly. Instead, you have to join an elite waiting list that can allegedly last years.

16) Hermès celebrated its 178th birthday this year

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.  Thanks for reading and please come back again!



I have been immersed in Sue Roe’s book In Montmartre this summer learning about the birth of modern art in intense detail. I always thought I understood the basics influences and philosophies, but the author brings the era to life with the passionate personalities and eccentric characters that shaped this defining time in art history. The ardent competition between Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani and other artists searching for innovative ways of expression, the influence of African sculpture, the patronage of the Stein family and the community they fostered are beyond fascinating.

I was delighted to see the new introductions from Bungalow 5 capture the essence of these influences with their furnishings, art and accessories. Bugalow 5 does a wonderful job explaining the influence behind each piece and they have added several pieces that will work in any interior. I have selected several of my favorites below along with other pieces that highlight the colors and complement the lines in the artwork.HEA-675-333_lgThe Hearst silk painting is a cubist composition of triangles and other geometries in prismatic blues, grays, greens, charcoals, pinks and golds. Paintings like these sought to modernize art by remixing 400 years of three-point perspective. The dense, energetic, three-dimensional results represented the world as they saw it. Each unique image is a great design solution that captures the spirit of fine art in beautiful hand painted silk.COC-400-97_lgAfrican aesthetics were a powerful influence on jazz, Cubism, Surrealism, Modernism and Lost Generation artists who wanted to move beyond western representations. Cocteau Tables are made of solid mahogany to capture the spirit of Paris between the wars. They feature graphic zig-zag legs, pretty bronze-finish solid brass stretchers, all-over hand-gouged texture and rich color.

SAF-800-108_lgThe Safira Lamp is a modified Yaolingzun or “Mallet-Shaped” vase that originated in the Ming Dynasty. Our version has a long, elegant neck with a slim, rolled collar atop the flared base. Available in light blue or white porcelain with antique gold leaf base and finial.DLS-700-804_lgThe monumentality and mystery of Cycladic sculpture like our Delos Head inspired generations of artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Brancusi and Cezanne who admired the ancient style’s sophisticated abstractions. Great as bookends or decorative objects at home or office.AVI-675-333_lgThe Avignon silk painting is one of those beautiful 1940s French experiments into the optical effects of color. Rectilinear planes of houses at dusk flatten into watery blue, gray, charcoal, rose and soft yellow. This abstracted vision of Avignon, France reflects in mirror image on the Rhone river’s flowing surface. Each hand painted image is a great design solution, which captures the spirit of top-level art in beautiful, décor-friendly materials.

KAY-800-111_lgThe elegant, medium scale Kaylin Lamp has a classic amphora shape and horizontal banding for texture. Artisanal Chinese porcelain delivers luminous color, updated styling and a modern spirit to a traditional form. The base and finial are gold leafed. Shade sold separately.BOU-350-63-TB_lgThe Bouquet Collection is a curvy, deco-inspired design that appeals those who want polished, decorated rooms. The romantic, serpentine front profile is finished with lacquered grasscloth that resembles the look and texture of a painted strié finish.FLX-700-804_lgThe Felix statue is inspired by Alberto Giacometti’s 1951 “Cat” sculpture which arose from a memory of his brother Diego’s pet moving, “just like a ray of light”. Giacometti’s most important works consist of rigidly frontal, radically simplified forms. The emaciation and anonymity were recognized as metaphors for the human condition in post-war Europe. Great at home, office or sophisticated kid’s menagerie.CTL-675-08_lgCastelli silk paintings are sophisticated, large-scale calligraphy that capture the spirit of blue chip art in beautiful, hand painted colorways. Each gestural, graffiti-inspired painting bridges antiquity, traditional notions of European beauty and post war American painting.


The Union depicts two standing figures that merge into one. This statue emerges from the visual language of Henry Moore and generations of post WWI artists who sought to make sculpture that was relevant to the times. Great as decorative object at home or office.


JNK-450-68_lgThe Janak, large 4-door cabinet is a super-glamorous, high-style design that bridges Bauhaus principles and mid-century styling to create a craft intensive version of Hollywood Regency. The design features colored, textured grasscloth sheathing and a shaped top with two central doors that emerge to break the long surface with pretty dimension and matched, diamond patterned nail heads.


The smoky, Silhouette figure might have been seen in Paris during the spring of 1911 at the first Cubism exhibition in the Salon des Indépendants. We see an alert standing figure that explodes three-point perspective into abstract planes.This unique image captures modernisms inventive spirit in beautiful, hand painted shades of griege on silk canvas. Calm. Strong. Fashionable.


The Karl Collection appeals to lovers of texture, contrast and a refined ancient-modern vibe. Skilled craftsmen carve planks of solid mahogany into legs with a tiered shingle detail that displays maximum grain. Each leg has a sawtooth profile edge that narrows toward the top from a wider base. An artisan-made antique glass mirror top complements the design’s warm, natural appeal.

MSL-675-08_lgThe Marseilles French sailors are realized in beautiful hand painted cobalt blue and crimson red on silk canvas. They interact in a flattened cubist style, which emphasizes bold color and graphic lines that maintain the effect of a third dimension. Each dynamic image is a great design solution, which captures the spirit of blue chip art in beautiful, décor-friendly materials. Vivre a la Jazz!DEM-700-804_lgThe Demi Statue of an interwoven circle captures the energy of Lost Generation modernism, which sought to make sculpture relevant to its times. Our design is similar to small studies by sculptors like Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore or Constantin Brâncusi that show the artist’s hand on every surface. Great as bookends or decorative objects at home or office.LNE-690-70_lg

Lane Mirrors in beveled antique mirror with copper cabochons are a fashionable take on Egyptian Revival styling. The exuberant mirror-on-mirror ziggurat shape has gem-like cuts with intricate faceting that suggest wings that might have surrounded the inspiration jewelry. Available in two sizes.


The Red and Black is painted in Russian avant-garde style, which comes from a time of utopian experiments in art and politics. Here we have a figure that completely breaks with the traditions of western academic painting. This new aesthetic is abstracted to its modern, dramatic essentials. High-contrast red, black and cream capture the spirit of great art. Get your manifesto on.


MAL-375-91_lgLike its namesake country, the Malta dining table is a cosmopolitan mix of Spanish, English and African influences. This rhythmic design in solid mahogany and mahogany veneers features very decorative, downward-facing crenellated and pegged stretchers. The lyre-shaped legs have interesting, inward-facing rounded corbeil feet that repeat in reverse where they meet the simplest tabletop.

QRT-675-01_lgThe Quartet silk image depicts a period in early cubism when the art of its time exploded the boundaries of easel painting. This modern image in graphic black, white, cream and pale blue celebrates the energy of African art in Paris between the wars. Interlocking, all-over figures capture the spirit of great art in beautiful, hand painting on silk canvas.BOR-450-09_lgThe Bomeo Collection is hand carved of cape-lilac mahogany. Details like architectural reveals, sender legs and geometrically textured carved fronts give it the spirit and lightness of Italian mid-century designs from Gio Ponti and others.


Like its namesake, the solid mahogany Zanzibar Side Table is a spicy mix of textured global influences. This dynamic design displays hand carved planes of positive and negative space ornamented by a pattern of vertical chisel scoops. The architectural vibe is grounded by a circular top and bottom with matching vertical chiseled edges. Totally totemic.


The Ernst Lamp is inspired by a1930s classic from the Giacometti brothers for Jean-Michel Frank. Available in matte white or black resin that is a convincing substitute for the original plaster. Shade purchased separately.

Please feel free to contact the studio if you are interested in any of these items. For more of my design inspiration, please be sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading and please come back again!




Holly Phillips, blogger and designer extraordinaire, announced that she had been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Blog Awards (SOWBA) by Sarah Sarna a few days ago. Holly shared her list of 10 nominees of which I am one. Thank you to my travelling/design partner in crime!

A Sisterhood of the World Blog nomination means I now answer Holly’s 10 questions, select 10 new bloggers, and then ask them my own 10 questions. I love interviewing design talents for my Creative Minds series and this is a great way to ask some of my blogger pals the same questions!

1. What is your perfect paint color?

imageBenjamin Moore Fruit Shake- a perfect pink with a touch of coral like the inside of a conch shell. It complements all complexions and it is a great background for art. It also pairs well with just about every finish from black lacquer to gilt to antique mirror.

2. If you could have any job besides the one you have right now, what would it be?imageArtist, dancer or surf bum

3. If you could pick any designer, living or dead, to decorate your house, who would it be?image

Jacques Grange– A complete original and the ultimate design icon.

4. What is your dream trip?



Surfing Safari around the world

5. Best meal of your life?

image image

For me the setting and company are just as important as the food to make a meal extraordinary. My fondest dining experience was at Le Gaiac at Le Toiny in St. Barths celebrating our fifth anniversary. We were supposed to be there for our honeymoon and a hurricane hit so we ended up in Bermuda. Going back for an anniversary made the milestone ( and the delayed gratification)  that much more special!

6. Pick an all time favorite movie and an all time favorite book that you think we should all watch and read?

Movie- The glamourous side of Interior Design featuring the best interiors and wardrobe that rarely exist anymore!


Book-Who wouldn’t want a palace on the Grand Canal and canoodle with all the greatest artists of the 20th century?!?


7. Best gift you have ever received?

For my baby shower, my college girlfriends each wrote a note to my future daughter wishing her well and relaying their craziest memories of her future mama. I am waiting until her rebellious teenage (or college) years to reveal these embarrassing stories!

8. Favorite wallpaper?


The exquisite handmade papers by Fromental make me weak in the knees! I adore all of their chinoiserie and 20th century designs. Here Paradiso in Fern shows how a classic chinoiserie pattern can feel contemporary with a bold color palette.

9. If you could rewind twenty years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?


10. Chicest Hotel that you have visited or seen?




Nestled in a courtyard off Place des Vosges in Le Marais, Le Pavillion de la Reine feels like your own pied a terre in Paris. Inaugurated in 1612 under the name of Place Royale, the Place des Vosges was built on Henri IV’s initiative who died before the works were even completed. Once the Place was ready, Le Marais soon became the Mecca of high Society gatherings with the likes of Mme de Sévigné, Racine, La Fontaine and Molière. The hotel, slightly set back from the famous Place, was coined its name in honour of Anne of Austria who once stayed in the wing standing between the hotel and the Place des Vosges.

11. Piece of art that you most covet?

imageLa Tristesse du Roi-Henri Matisse


ANYTHING by Helen Frankenthaler…especially this work from the Fort Worth Modern

I nominate the following lovely ladies…

Marisa Marcontonio of Stylebeat

Jennifer Boles of The Peak of Chic

Jeanne Chung of Cozy, Stylish, Chic

Michelle Workman of Furnishing a Fabulous Life

Julia Buckingham of Material Girls

Danielle Rollins

Liza Tobias Sharp of Trellis Home

Denise McGaha

Jennifer Mehitidash of Dec-a-Porter

Sara Eilers of Lucas Eilers

And now for MY questions….

1. If you had a theme song, what would it be?

2. What is your idea of bliss?

3. What was your latest creative breakthrough?

4. What would be your dream vacation?

5. What is your secret vice?

6. What is your favorite design trick?

7. What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

8. What is at the top of your bucket list?

9. If you could own any work of art in the world, what would it be?

10. What is your favorite interior of all time?

Have fun ladies!

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading and please come back again!




Matthieu, Vincent and Pierre Frey

Pierre Frey has always been one of my favorite design houses. From studying their textiles in design school to working with their products on current design projects, the quality, history and originality the company represents is incomparable.

The company was founded in 1935 by Pierre Frey in the heart of Paris and is still headquartered there. Since 1972, Pierre’s son, Patrick, has run the company and still remains active in the day to day activity as the President and Creative Director. Patrick’s sons, Pierre, Vincent, and Matthieu assist running the business side of the fabric house. Pierre serves as the brand ambassador and travels the world presenting the launches of new fabric, home and accessory collections.

Patrick Frey
President & Creative Director

Patrick instilled in all of his sons a love and appreciation for design. Many of their family trips have led to the creation of new fabrics that are added to the collection.

L’Entree avec Steve Nobel

In 2003, Pierre Frey created the archives which now include over 30,000 documents dating from the 16th century to the present day. The designs, fabrics, carpet samples, and garments can be searched by period, color, motif and technique. Pierre Frey gave us a wonderful tour of the showroom, offices and archives.  The Pierre Frey archivist walked us through the history of textiles drawer by drawer….

This piece was likely used as a vestment for clergy and dates from the 17th century. I was surprised to hear that it would have been used for this considering the brilliant coloration until I saw Jacques -Louis David’s Coronation of Napolean (1807) at the Louvre a few days later….voila!

These vibrantly colored fragments provide inspiration for the new Pierre Frey fabric creations. Patrick Frey visits the archives (located on the bottom floor of their offices) very frequently. The archivist told us that he looks to the historical documents for motifs that can be reinterpreted through changing the scale or coloration. By looking to the past, he can then recreate something completely modern for the contemporary market.

These more classical fabrics are circa 18th century.

In 1991, Pierre Frey acquired Braquenie, a French fabric house that was established in 1824. The house is best known for their Indian fabrics, cottons, toiles de Jouy, and carpets.



After our visit to the archives, we had a behind-the scenes look at the design studio of the fabric house as well as the personal offices of the Freys. I am fascinated by the creative process and watching the step by step of how the textiles come to life was mesmerizing!

These images above of Patrick’s office reflect not only his personal style, but also the philosophy of the company. A gorgeous antique desk blends beautifully with mid century modern furniture and contemporary touches.

Patrick also let us glimpse at a couple of designs in process that will be added to upcoming collections.

In addition to Braquenie, Boussac, and  Fadini-Borghi, Pierre Frey has also recently acquired Maison Le Manach  It was one of the last French houses able to produce French silks and velvets on handlooms. This addition to the Frey empire reflects their dedication to preserving the tradition, legacy and innovation of French design.

If you are interested in any additional information on any of the fabrics seen here, please do not hesitate to contact us at the design studio.



“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast”– Ernest Hemingway (1950)

The Library-Restaurant Bon

Several of my friends have heard me raving about all of the fabulous places we dined while we were in Paris. Our charming host for the first part of our trip was Steve Nobel of Nobelinks. He planned an amazing trip catering to a group of interior designers from all over the country. He did exhaustive research finding restaurants designed by well known French designers that would inspire our group. Below is a feast for the eyes of some of the places we went….

The Wine Room-Resturant Bon

One of my absolute favorites was Restaurant BonPhillipe Starck was the mastermind behind this brilliant restaurant. Starck is an architect, interior designer, product designer, as well as an international design superstar. After dropping out of school in the 1970s, he designed two nightclubs in Paris. The clubs were so successful that they attracted the attention of President Francois Millerand who asked for Starck’s design help on one of his palace apartments. After that, his career took off…creating interiors for the Cafe Costes in Paris, the Royalton and Paramount Hotels in New York, the Delano in Miami, and the Mondrian in Los Angeles.

The Fireplace Room-Restaurant Bon

His spaces and products are always designed to surprise and delight while they push boundaries and challenge expectations. Each space in Restaurant Bon has a completely different atmosphere allowing the guests to have a unique experience every time they visit.

The Boudoir-Restaurant Bon
The Lounge-Restaurant Bon
Le Fumoir-Restaurant Bon

After spending the day at the Marche aux Puces, our group gathered at another Starck-designed restaurant called Ma Cocette. This had a much more casual vibe than Restaurant Bon, which was exactly what we needed after being on our feet all day at the markets.

Wine Break-Ma Cocette
Alfresco Dining-Ma Cocette
We literally stumbled upon another of our favorite restaurants in St. Germain de Pres called La Societe. After a painful walk in heels to the Louvre, we were looking for a spot close to wonderful Hotel Pont Royal where we were staying. Holly Phillips, my designer friend and partner in crime, and I hoofed it all over the arrondisement trying to find the perfect spot.

This ultra modern restaurant was decorated by Christain Liagre. There is no sign and it is hidden behind a huge door opposite the church of Saint Germain. I had read about it before our trip  in Ines de la Fressange’s guidebook to Paris, but it sounded like it was impossible to get reservations. Fortunately for us, they could take us for a late dinner and voila….we had a fabulous meal in a gorgeous setting!

La Societe
La Societe

Best known for its bar and outdoor courtyard, Hotel Costes is still just as much fun as the last time I went there almost a decade ago (and pregnant as well!) The over the top decor was created by Jacques Garcia in 1991. What looks like a den of opulence turns into a racuous dance club late in the evening.  It is worth every penny for the people watching alone.

Hotel Costes
Courtyard and Interior Shot-Hotel Costes
The setting at Cafe Marly is so spectacular that we actually went there a handful of times during our trip. Any trip to the Louvre would not be complete without a stop here for lunch, dinner or drinks.
Overlooking IM Pei’s Masterpiece-Cafe Marly
Arcade View-Cafe Marly

Hotel Particulier was completely different from any other place we went. Literally, hotel particulier means a townhouse of a grand sort. Located on a side street in Montmartre, through a gate and past a bocce court, we felt like we had been invited into one of Paris’s most sophisticated residences. The food was outstanding, the service charming and the interiors were spectacular!

Library-Hotel Particulair
Dining Room-Hotel Particulair

Of course, we had to hit Cafe de Flore…located on the corner of Boulevard St. Germain and Rue St. Benoit.

Open since 1885
Le Petit Dejuener

The gorgeous courtyard of Ralph’s was the perfect spot for lunch in the 17th century setting…


Le Castiglione was an ideal setting for a shopping break on the Rue St. Honore.  If it is nice, the sidewalk tables are divine. If cold and rainy, nestle in to a booth on the second floor overlooking the boulevard.

After our design tour had ended, my husband joined me to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. His favorite spot was Le Relais de l’Entrecote which basically serves as much steak frites as you can handle. Their secret green sauce and simple menu executed to perfection has people lining up outside for hours to eat at this delightful spot.

Les Fleurs-Le Relais de L’Entrecote
Mon Mignon sur
Notre Anniversaie de Mariage

Finally, here are the other restaurants I am dying to try that we did not have time for on this trip….Next time!

Les Ombres is situated on top of the Musee du Quai Branly. The museum showcases indigenous art art cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The restaurant offers unparalleled views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.

Designed by architect Jospeh Dirand, Monsieur Bleu is located in the new wing of the Palais de Tokyo, a space for artistic experimentation and cutting edge exhibitions.

Also designed by Phillipe Starck, Kong is an ultramodern glass space loactaed on the top of the Kenzo building in front of the Pont Neuf.

What are your favorite Parisian places to share?



“Style is thumbing its nose and the dogma of seriousness. A cunning maximalism is making life happier. Disrespectful mash-ups, quirky subversions, provocative collages and chaotic combinations are mixing up the codes of neoclassical culture and digital pop culture. Chic and striking, the new iconoclastic bling style is going all in for boldness.  On the entertainment menu: humor, derison and quirkiness.” – L’Observetoire de Maison et Objet

One of my favorite art installations at Maison et Objet was a booth entitled “Funt@sy.” It was such a refreshing reminder to not take ourselves too seriously and have more FUN with adorning our interiors. The tongue and cheek display took items from hundreds of vendors at the fair and did a clever mash-up of what to expect in art, design and fashion going forward…

Iconic and Ironic Pillows
Upholstered Decorative Surfboard
French Funt@sy Commode
Balloon Bean Bags and Lanterns
Koons Inspired Lamp atop “Up” Cocktail Table
Lucite Foosball Table (only 20K Euro!)
Graphic Game Table
Colorful Critters
Koons-inspired perches

Curiosities and taxidermy were prevalent everywhere…from the fairs to the design boutiques to the flea markets.  For the real thing, Deyrolle is still THE place to go.  For the preservationists and animal overs out there, these items may be more appropriate below…

If you are interested in any additional information on any of the objects seen here, please do not hesitate to contact us at the design studio.