The Artful Lifestyle

March 10, 2019

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Chasing Cicchetti in Venice

Last week, we were wrapping up a quick shopping trip for art and one-of-a-kinds in Italy, when we needed to get to back to France for the weekend. The least expensive flight actually left from Venice (I swear it did, Meg!), so we hopped on a train and decided to spend the night there.  Having done no advance planning, we were a little taken aback by the number of people dressed in flamboyant  medieval costumes … until we realized that we had actually timed our visit with Venice’s very celebrated Carnival!

Hmmm ... why were people dressed like <a href="www.google.com" target="_blank">this</a>?

Despite the lure of festivities, I’m not one for huge crowds so we chose to bypass most of the city’s tourist attractions and taking a cue from a very timely New York Times article about Venice’s “Cicchetti,” focused our 12 hours on food.  (Read https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/travel/venice-cicchetti-small-plates.html)  Cicchetti are the Italian equivalent of the Spanish Tapa, usually consisting of a marriage of fresh local flavors combined into delectable small bites.

Chic outdoor spaces

Such a tease.  Mother Nature gave us a couple gorgeous mild days lately which got everyone thinking about being outside – and then, just like that, we’ll be down to the 40s this week. (And a nod to our Northern readers – we know that doesn’t sound too terribly cold to you, but after you’ve lived in Atlanta for a while, anything below 50 degrees qualifies as “wintery”!) So, hurry up, Spring – we’re ready for you.

We’ve been itching to get out to our porches, patios and pergolas (or enjoy a meal al fresco or walk the fun Beltline) but while we wait for warmer temps to come our way, we’ve been stalking our fave publications and Insta for inspiration for those chic outdoor spaces that we’ll spend hours dreaming about. Take a peek:

Pools to drool for

Take us away, please, to this little oasis created by <a href="http://www.melanieturnerinteriors.com/" target="_blank">Melanie Turner</a>. (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Mali Azima)

 

Kelly Wolf Anthony dreamy and splashy pool.  So gorgeous. (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/destination-home/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Emily Followill.)

 

A poolhouse to die for.  (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Erica George Dines.)

 

How about this one? Green grass, palm trees and a perfect beachfront home. (<a href="http://www.traditionalhome.com/" target="_blank">Traditional Home</a>/Robert Brantley)

 

This is so Atlanta – and we love it! Boxwoods, hydrangeas and a classic, simple pool. (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Erica George Dines)

Pretty porches

Here in Atlanta, we’ve got the porch thing nailed down. The key is to treat is like any other room so it has comfortable seating and all the creature comforts that an interior room would have.

The secret ingredient to a perfect porch? Make it feel like any other interior room.  <a href="https://bethwebb.com/" target="_blank">Beth Webb</a> sure knows how to do that.  (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/outdoor-elegance/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Emily Followill)

 

More porch perfection from designer <a href="https://bethwebb.com/" target="_blank">Beth Webb</a>. (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/coastal-command/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/ Erica George Dines)

 

A soaring ceiling, a gorgeous fireplace and beautiful, comfortable furnishings make this the place to be for outdoor time. (<a href="http://www.traditionalhome.com/" target="_blank">Traditional Home</a>/Emily Followill)

 

Oh be still our hearts! White and blue perfection on a porch.  (<a href="https://www.southernliving.com/" target="_blank">Southern Living</a>/Geoff Hodgdon)

 

Simply Southern. (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/country-idyll/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Erica George Dines)

 

We loved creating this fun and bright porch for the <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/history-in-the-making/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Showhouse</a> in 2017.

Al fresco? Yes, please!

We’re not sure why but food and drink taste even better when they’re being enjoyed as the sun is going down or under the stars.

The pavers. The umbrellas. The chic seating.  What else could you possibly want? (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>)

 

Simple, pretty and perfect for an outdoor feast. <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>.

 

<a href="https://amymorrisinteriors.com/" target="_blank">Amy D. Morris </a>conjured up this sweet spot that’s just perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/jeweled-beauty/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Erica George Dines)

 

Bon appetit! (<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/uncovered-gem/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>/Erica George Dines)

So, until Mother Nature decides to play fair, you better zip up that parka and keep dreaming! What’s your favorite kind of outdoor space? We’d love to hear.

Ta ta.

Wicker, rattan and bamboo

One of our favorite trade shows is the tony Maison & Objet Salon held twice a year outside of Paris.  This show is like none other.  Despite the vast space of 7 football-field sized pavilions linked together around a courtyard, and the enormous crowds of professional shoppers on a mission, there is a quiet buzz that permeates the entire area,  punctuated from time to time with the welcome pop of a champagne bottle.  There is so much beauty to look at, from the artfully displayed new products to the gorgeously accessorized vignettes that it’s both exhilirating and overwhelming.  Of course, we love every minute, as we hunt for new products and try to decipher what trends are happening in the European design world that may or may not translate across the ocean.

You’d have to be unconscious not to pick up on this year’s top trend:  Shades of bamboo, rattan, and wicker seemed to spill out of every vignette, adorning the home furnishings area as well as the tabletop and accessories.

Bamboo lanterns spilling out of countless booths

 

Wicker and bamboo of all types at Maison et Objet

 

How fun and cheeky was this display, with the hats lining a bamboo nook!


This is not a new trend, of course, and we’ve been avidly collecting pieces that span the last two hundred years.  But there is a new spin on it, and we’re smitten:  It’s all about the mix and how you use it!  Too much of the same thing is boring, and a little can go a long way.  But peppered in with other eras, designs and materials, a little wicker or bamboo or rattan is just awesome.  See how some of our favorite designers are using the trend today:

Wonderful Atlanta based designer Shayelyn Woodbery redid a screaned porch in wicker and bamboo (AH&L magazine)

 

Margaret-Kirkland did a beautiful sun porch using lots of wicker accessories for the AH&L 2018 Holiday House

 

And Mark Sikes mixed antique wicker chairs in this pretty vignettefeatured in Elle Decor, with photo by Dominique Vorillon

 

Beth Webb wove in some wicker armchairs in this pretty room featured in AH&L magazine


Although we love the modern interpretations, we tend to gravitate more towards the vintage pieces, that show some wear, tear and patina, and are unique one-of-a-kinds.  We had barely gotten off the plane and were headed bleary eyed into Paris on our last trip, when we spotted this table at the famous Marche aux Puces.  Bingo!  Our first purchase.  We loved the shape, the legs and checkerboard top that was classic in the 1960’s and is now a collectable find.

Paris Flea Market find

 

And we couldn’t resist this pair of classic chippendale style chairs with their chinoiserie motif

 

Be still our heart when we spotted this vintage bamboo chest, with its plateau in a faded herringbone motif!

 

And then there was this curious floor lamp, with its twisted barleycorn stand!

 

For a long time, we’ve been thinking of getting rattan mirrors, but have held off because the new ones are  so readily available.  We vowed that we’d only buy unique one-of-a-kinds that have real age, patina and interest, which is what we found sprinkled along our travels during this last trip.

We bought two of these pretty star shaped vintage bamboo mirrors

 

We fell for the age and patina on this mirror, along with its pretty necklace!

 

Another pretty rettan mirror that we snagged along the way

 

And I just love the image of this mirror with the purposeful man in its reflection!

 

Now we can’t wait for our next container to arrive so that we can build our wall of mirrors:  It’ll be a veritable Huff’ington Versailles a la bamboo!

So what’s our advice about all this?  Have fun with it!  Use it sparingly, mixed inwith other pieces, or go all out and do a whole room with it, as in this fabulous porch:

Room designed by Mary McDonald and featured in an excellent blog post by <a href="http://www.jessicagordonryan.com/the-entertaining-house-fashion-decor/2015/4/9/elegant-casual-timeless-why-wicker-furniture-isnt-for-sissies" target="_blank">Jessica Gordon Ryan</a>.

 

You can buy vintage signature pieces and mix them with new accessories, as in the vignette by Margaret Kirkland above.  And I bet you never thought you’d hear THIS from us:  Guess what store has a fabulous wicker pendant:

It’s all about the mix, and yes, we adore these bamboo pendant lamps from Ikea!

Remember that bamboo looks fabulous with art and wallpaper:

Kenian Home merchandised by <a href="https://lisamendedesign.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Lisa Mende</a> in High Point showroom

 

Imagine how great this vintage dressing table would look if it were up against that wallpaper!

 

Or imagine how chic our sexy vintage bamboo armchairs would look …

 

… if they were dropped in to this room, surrounded by modern art and decor?

 

A perfectly sophisticated little wicker elephant side table.

 

Ta ta,

HH

 

P.S. If you need help mixing it in with your own beautiful finds, we have a design team that’s ready to help.

 

Chic showhouse

Were you able to feast your eyes last December with a visit to Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles’ Home for the Holidays Showhouse?  If you didn’t make it, you can catch up on all the design inspiration in their February issue.

We’re big fans of AH&L and love what they’re doing with their showhouse series: bringing together the best, brightest and most talented design talent in the Southeast.  At their Home for the Holidays house, the design flowed effortlessly from room to room with each space complementing adjacent rooms. Not to mention, the house itself was pretty wonderful.

Takeaways?  Color and pattern are in the spotlight again.  Texture has a big role.  Wallpaper is everywhere.  And, beautifully patina-ed antiques play nicely with clean, modern pieces, which reinforces what we love to say around here: it’s all about the mix.

Take a peek at some of our favorite shots (and gorgeous photography from Jeff Herr & David Christensen):


We don’t know if we’ll ever stop loving a classic white kitchen, but we’re glad color is creeping back into the heart of the home. Especially when it’s a dusky blue that gets a lift from some sassily upholstered bar stools. <a href="https://www.lizgodwininteriors.com/" target="_blank">Elizabeth Godwin Interiors</a> & Kingdom Woodworks

 

<a href="http://laurendeloachinteriors.com/" target="_blank">Lauren Deloach</a> created the most delightful living space with a fun mix of pattern play – and a beautiful little vignette in the corner that contains a luminous Louis XV commode and a crunchy mix.  Brown furniture is back!

 

<a href="http://cweaksint.com/index_pc.php?pg=A%20Buckhead%20Townhouse&for=text&user=cweaksint" target="_blank">Carole Weaks</a> mixed it all up in the dining room with geometric abstract art and glossy black chairs.

 

Rattan is hot! <a href="https://www.margaretkirklandinteriors.com/" target="_blank">Margaret Kirkland</a> adds a liberal dose of it here in the breakfast room and then tempers it with a serene landscape by Andrea Costa and plenty of green topiaries.

 

<a href="http://jessicabradleyinteriors.com/works.html" target="_blank">Jessica Bradley</a> created a cozy cocoon in the master bedroom with a masterful mix of antiques and new pieces.  Love that barometer.

 

When a master bath feels like a room you want to spend the day in, you know it’s a beauty. <a href="http://www.csocci.com/home.html" target="_blank">Chris Socci</a> worked his magic (and, we’re proud to say, with items from the store.)

 

The upstairs lounge by <a href="http://davenportdesignsltd.com/services" target="_blank">Lauren Davenport</a>. We love enveloping a room in a single, rich color – especially when it’s a deep, dark green like this.

 

The bubbly duo, <a href="https://montgomerygratch.com/about/" target="_blank">Montgomery Gratch</a>, wanted a bedroom that would be perfect for a well-traveled young lady who loves art and fashion.  We think they nailed it!

 

<a href="https://www.laurenelaineinteriors.com/" target="_blank">Lauren Elaine Interiors</a> used Pyne Hollyhock wallpaper to make a statement in the cheerful and absolutely adorable (and Instagrammable!) laundry room.

 

The porch, perfect for all-year lounging, gets its chic on with a geometrical chandelier, jazzy Thibaut upholstery and an original painting on mirror by Stacy Milburn. Design by <a href="http://kkongdesigns.com/index.html" target="_blank">Kristen Kong</a>.

 

This makes us so happy: a bright and beautiful abstract by <a href="https://huffharrington.com/collections/melissa-payne-baker" target="_blank">Melissa Payne Baker</a> over a beautiful antique commode.  Ying and yang, apples and oranges, new and old – we love the mix. Lauren Davenport designed this lovely space.

 

We love how this spectacular show house embodies everything that’s going on in design right now – and we’re hoping the fun, colorful trends we’re seeing just keep on keeping on.

What’s your favorite design trend right now?  We’d love to hear.

Ta ta.

Newbies before and after

We always love receiving a new container of one-of-a-kinds and antiques, but perhaps it’s never more fun than when we’re  doing it with newbies experiencing it for the first time.  That’s what happened this week when two new employees (whom we will introduce you to at another time) were there to help, box cutters in hand, excited with every reveal.

The chaos of unloading a container? Not really! With our great team of workabees and two newbies, this mess got unpacked and cleaned up within three hours – and on the floor just a few hours later!

Seeing it through the eyes of our newbies  made us relive the thrill of the hunt in the first place.  There were lots of oooh’s and aaaah’s as things got unpacked, and almost as many questions:  Where are they from? What are some of our favorites? What’s the history behind them? What were they used for?  How do you find this one?   And (Sam Jones’ favorite question), was this bought before or after lunch?

The answer to Sam’s question is simple:  Our treasures are uncovered often in the dark, at trade-only wholesale fairs that take place a few times a year  very early in the morning, and come with a mad rush, laced with adrenalin and caffeine, that lasts for just two hours.  If you haven’t found your treasure in the first two hours after the gates open, you’re too late.  So to answer our newbies’ questions, here are some before and afters that will take you from “dans son jus” (what the French euphemistically call “in its juice” to define a piece that has never, for better or worse, been altered) to the cleaned up version that you see on the floor of our store.

We loved this table because of its legs – and we knew the bird poop on top would be cleaned up in a jiffy!

 

Sure enough, a star is born … minus le poop!

 

These vintage Madeleine Castaing style tables were posing regally for us at the fair, but oh my, were they dusty!

 

It wasn’t until we got them home that we knew for sure that their tops could be cleaned!

 

One of our favorite leaps of faith was spotting this 1940’s Italian burled wood bar in the basement of a showroom in Paris.

We thought it would clean up nicely! Sure enough, we’re all gaga over it now!

 

When we saw this pair of doors stacked behind others in the back of a showroom, we weren’t really sure what they looked like from top to bottom.

Unpacking them this week, we heaved a huge sigh of relief: Perfection!

 

Ditto for this pair of Trumeaux which we bought without seeing them from top to bottom.

Bingo!

And same for this chest: We weren’t tall enough to see the top. Was it marble? Painted wood? Did it have a big hole or scratch? We loved it and took our chances.

 

And it paid off! The top is a beautiful old marble, with a great patina that is original to the piece.

 

We weren’t so lucky with this piece, which came with a broken leg and got sent straight to the “hospital” for wounded furniture.

 

One of our favorites was this gateleg table which was so covered in dust that we weren’t sure what it really looked like beneath the white layers.

 

Luckily for us, the finish was beautiful, and all it needed was a major dusting to uncover its gorgeous patina!

 

Another favorite was this funny little commode with 18 drawers. When we bought it,, it was sealed shut on the corners and we couldn’t open the drawers.

 

But when we unpacked it and found the key, we opened every drawer and marveled at its beauty and originality!

 

And what about that horse that Meg and I were fighting over? Well it got a lot of attention too … and we may be fighting over it for a long time!

 

The A team – they got it done in just two hours!

So it was fun reliving our container through the eyes of our newbies and telling them the stories behind each piece as it came off the container.  We always love to see all of our employees’ reactions and appreciate their support and excitement as each piece is unveiled and questions are asked.  Of course we sprinkle our stories with embellishments of all the hard work, waking up at the crack of dawn when we’ve barely had any sleep,  digging through snow, plowing through wet fields covered in so many layers we can barely walk with sniffing noses and rain soaked clothes.

We show them lots of pictures like this …

 

… and not so many of these!

Ta ta,

HH

P.S.  We can’t wait for you to meet our newest arrivals — the goodies we brought off the container and the newbies we have working at the store!

Townhome living: yes or no?

Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with a very Atlanta-centric trend: townhome living.

Just like that, we’re officially empty-nesters. One birdie is finishing college soon and the other chickadee actually has a real job, a real salary and a real place to live.  Are they ever coming home to live? Probably not…which leaves us figuring out our next step.

After we sold the Nest and as a little experiment, we’re trying out townhome living, or vertical living, or whatever you want to call this nice scenario where you don’t have to worry about lawns or sprinkler systems or repainting the windows and doors.  Zero maintenance is all of a sudden looking kind of sexy…and we have quickly found out there are plenty more positives to vertical living.

Loving this beautiful and open floor plan and the <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/city-sleek/" target="_blank">chic decor</a> by Nina Nash. Photo credit: Chris Little/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

We’re renting a three bedroom, four bathroom unit. It seems the floorpans are all pretty much the same in vertical homes: garage, entry, bedroom/bath on the lower level; kitchen, dining and living on the next level and two more bedrooms on the third level.  Do they come with four bedrooms? I haven’t seen many but I’m keeping my eyes peeled.

There are lots of thumbs-up for this vertical thing, especially for hubbie, who travels a lot and has an intense work schedule.  So what do we love?

Most of the townhomes I’ve seen are a nice blank slate – which means plenty of opportunities for gorgeous art and interior decor.   And we are loving our nice, open floorpan on the main level.

Pure <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/art-of-the-craft/" target="_blank">high rise magic</a> by designer Barbara Westbrook.  Photo credit: Erica George Dines/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

 

A couple years ago, we worked on a <a href="https://blog.huffharrington.com/design-docs/" target="_blank">client’s townhome/condo</a>. I love how the blank slate of a new townhome equals a great art opportunity!

Zero maintenance is just that.  Zero.  If a shutter falls off in a tempest, you just email someone.  Your little spot is always meticulously cared for and the community landscaping is perfect.  After decades of taking care of a home (no small job), this is quite exhilarating.

Lauren DeLoach created this pretty <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/the-high-life/" target="_blank">townhome kitchen</a>. Photo credit: Emily Followill/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

You get to lock the door and walk away.  Apart from our sweet, but needy cats, we can lock the door and fly off for as long as we’d like.  We actually don’t do that very often, but it’s nice to think we could.

With an open floorplan, it makes good design sense to keep a simple palette and statement-making furniture.  And let the art shine.  From Barbara Westbrook. Photo credit:  Erica George Dines/<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/art-of-the-craft/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles</a>.

Instant neighbors: people who live in townhouses seem very fun and lively, or at least this is our current experience!  Is that because they’re not worrying about all that maintenance? We have some neighbors who actually hang art in their garages.  Everything is tidy and pristine.

This is such a <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/easy-elegance-2/" target="_blank">tasteful hallway</a> by designer Vaughn Connerty. Photo credit: Chris Little/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

I’m kind of kidding here but vertical living is good for your health: lots of stairs to go up and down on a daily basis.  Most townhomes come with elevators but the unit we’re renting does not.  And I don’t mind that at all – except after a big grocery store run.

I love how Melanie Turner worked a casual, laid-back vibe to this <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/up-in-the-clouds/" target="_blank">pied-a-terre</a>. So pretty.  Photo credit: Emily Followill/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

 

I’d be okay with this bright, clean kitchen in my future <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/up-in-the-clouds/" target="_blank">townhome</a>. How about you? From Melanie Turner. Photo: Emily Followill/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

Is there anything not to love about this easy lifestyle?

Being the project junkie I am, I admit I’m pretty picky about a lot of things and one of those is attractive and functional outdoor space.  Atlanta’s mild climate is perfect for year-round outdoor living and we happily got used to a covered porch with a fireplace, which we used as our main living space ten months out of the year. The townhouse has a little deck, which we’ve gussied up as best we can…but I sure do miss that fireplace.   Some newer units we’ve seen actually have rooftop terraces with fireplaces, so that’s promising if we decide to go down this path.

Do I have a potential list of to-do’s if this arrangement becomes permanent? You bet.  I’ve already noted down a couple non-negotiables like my favorite super-dark stained floors, re-doing builder grade bathrooms with plenty of light marble and interesting tile and maybe, if I’m ever so lucky, a new kitchen appliance package.  I’d love to really have at it with a gorgeous mix of decor – my few treasured antiques happily mixed with some fabulous new, clean pieces that would feel fresh and modern.  And I’m seriously losing sleep over the art opportunities.

(And I’ll check in with my biz partner in crime, Ann, who ditched the single-family house years ago and is now the go-to expert for pied-a-terre renovations and living. We’re trying to persuade her to photograph her new little Midtown jewel box.)

Okay. This might work.  From Melanie Turner.  Photo credit:  Mali Azima/<a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/pret-a-party/" target="_blank">Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.</a>

 

The <a href="https://atlantahomesmag.com/article/easy-elegance-2/" target="_blank">townhome</a> floorpan lends itself to a clean design aesthetic. By Vaughn Connerty. Photo credit: Chris Little/Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

 

So it’s a thumbs-up for a slightly more lazy lifestyle and we’re loving our little vertical experiment – stairs and all.  But I can’t promise I’ll be able to ignore the lure of a ranch re-do or a custom cottage. Stay tuned!

Ta ta.

A Paris renovation

A client asked our design team recently, after reading our blog post, Place Dauphine: A before and after Renovation,  “Wow, how do you get all these great gigs?”  We’re the first to tell you that we pinch ourselves when these come through, because they are great gigs, and we love doing them. But how does it happen when we are an ocean away? And how can we pull off the final reveal in just a few days? And what makes a great gig anyway?

This has come to mind again as we embark on another cross ocean renovation, this time for a house in the South of France that needs a refresh.  We’ll start by revisiting the Place Dauphine renovation for a little inspiration.

So how does it work when you’re an ocean away?  It takes lots of planning, a wonderful client who shares a million pictures along the way and has faith that it will all come together, some trusted vendors in the U.S. who help us navigate the perils of metric conversions, and an amiable hometown airline, who lets us carry on multiple bags of heavy home furnishings! Oh, and did we mention, a little vision and a lot of brawn? And, in the case of Place Dauphine, strong legs that got stronger with our Parisian workout, running up and down seven flights of stairs. (The beautiful elevator was installed, by the way, but not until AFTER we finished our job!)

The gorgeous elevator that we never got to use!

So here is a glimpse of the process, from the early visits to the many emails back and forth with our client, to the final install (which included 41 pillows stuffed into multiple bags on Delta!).

The initial plans that were sent from the architect.

 

The first visit in January. Taking pictures and measurements.

After this, we started a long back and forth via email, sending inspirational images, and loads and loads of pictures of furniture selection.

Helping our client choose the furniture involved a lot of back and forth PowerPoint presentations via email.

We have often been inspired by our first apartment in Paris, a beautiful one that is now for sale <a href="https://www.parisperfect.com/investors/own-your-own-pied-a-terre-in-paris.php" target="_blank">called Beaune.</a>

 

Some of the selections of sconces that our client looked at. We nixed some, approved some, and congratulated her on the broad selection.

 

A winner

 

Let’s not do this one!

 

When we arrived for a site visit in March, it was starting to come together.

 

We visited some flea markets and found a fabulous collection of 19th century gouaches that we knew would work well in groupings.

 

There was a lot of back and forth about framing, until our client got it just right.

Fast forward two more weeks, and we returned to Paris, armed with 41 pillows, a suitcase filled with decorative objects, books and anything else we could fit in at the last minute.  When we arrived, our client had done the bulk of the work, and it looked great.  With a few more adjustments, some furniture rearranging and the placement of accessories, it went from great to fabulous, within three days.

Before : With so many gorgeous architectural details serving as backdrops, it only took a few tweaks to make a wow.

 

After:  We let the art dictate the color in the beautiful <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/muscat.php" target="_blank">Muscat</a> apartment and gave the couch a more tailored and sophisticated look with black pillows.

 

The <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/ceron.php" target="_blank">Ceron</a> apartment went from great to ….

 

Fabulous — with the addition of a few pillows, accessories and punches of color!

 

And again, we let the art dictate the color scheme.

 

The lively colors in the <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/ceron.php" target="_blank">Ceron</a> bedroom just brought everything to life – and yes, we hand-carried the pillows across the pond!

 

The view from the bedroom, onto the Place Dauphine, makes waking up even more of a pleasure every day!

 

The warm and welcoming <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/loupiac.php" target="_blank">Loupiac</a> apartment

 

We found some original paintings from the flea market and loved adding them into the <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/loupiac.php" target="_blank">Loupiac</a> bedroom.

 

Before:  The charming <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/monbazillac.php" target="_blank">Monbazillac</a> needed some fluffing when we arrived.

 

We love the grey and gold sophisticated palette in this beautiful penthouse apartment.

 

A view towards the terrace on the 6th floor of <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/monbazillac.php" target="_blank">Monbazillac.</a>

 

Love is always in the details.  Here we went for crusty textures, with the clean lines of the sofa, and the classical mantel.

 

Our favorite cozy bedroom: <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/monbazillac.php" target="_blank">Monbazillac’s</a> beautiful linens, custom pillows, taking their cue from the artwork, and the piece de resistance:

 

Breakfast on the terrace of <a href="http://www.parisperfect.com/apartments-for-rent-in-paris/monbazillac.php" target="_blank">Monbazillac!</a>

So are we up for it again?  Bien sur! With lots of photos back and forth, dozens of Powerpoint presentations, and help from an accommodating hometown airline that doesn’t blink an eye when we have a few extra bags of curtains, rods, pillows and accessories, we’re there! Because there’s nothing we love more than using art and design (and a little vision and brawn) to transform a space into something fabulous, whether it’s in Paris, Provence, Peoria or Palmetto.  It comes down to working with great clients and loving what we do.  And that’s what leads to great gigs and great digs!

Ta ta,

HH

P.S.  If you can’t do a Paris apartment but you love the look … we’ve just unpacked another container of one-of-a-kind rare finds from Paris that our team of designers will happily share!

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