Chouette: Autour des blogs Monday, Aug 16 2010 

Been so busy — what with moving home après-flood and a primary election we won by 11 votes (NEVER think your vote won’t count).

Just tonight, though, I found time to catch up on some of my favorite design blogs. Without further ado, let me share some of the splendid:

from my girl Claudia at Paris Apartment, some San Francisco grandeur:


By the by, go DIRECTLY to the iPhone app store and get her new Keys to the Fleas app, all about the wonderful markets all over Paris. (No iPhone?! Oh, don’t get me started!)

then, stop by the lovely Aged and Gilded, for dreaminess like this:


Now, it’s on to the brilliant Tina Givens, who prods my own creativity without mercy:


and for a little oh-la-la-ness, step into the Parisien Salon:


and if that didn’t jack up your blood sugar, there are always a few treasures at La Pink Paperie:


and wind down with a little whimsy from Savvy City Farmer:


It’s all good, n’est-ce pas? But the best is yet to come …

As promised, the renaissance of our home will unfold here very soon. Just a little more flood mud to wash away, a few special touches to put in place, and we’ll be ready for company — you!

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

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Après le déluge Sunday, Jun 20 2010 


Louis XV, king of France, famously said: “Après moi, le déluge.”

Literally translated: “After me, the flood.” What he meant: “After I’m gone, it’s gonna hit the fan.” It did, and his grandson, Louis XVI, and his Austrian bride, Marie Antoinette, paid with their heads for all the aristocratic excess.

I am borrowing part of the phrase, “Après le deluge,” for posts about our recovery following the Tennessee 1 May floods.



Part of the recovery is refurnishing the living room. Interestingly, I’ve picked up several repro Louis XVI pieces, inspired by my blog mentor, Paris Apartment, and some of her finds (like the ones above and below) on a recent decorating foray in Paris.


I love the understated, slightly feminine elegance of Louis XVI style. It’s less prissy than Louis XIV,
less puffy than Louis XV.


I particularly like the use of canework in this style. I found two fun pieces with caning: a chair, above, and a graceful, if slightly needy, little settee, brlow. Great prices on both.


I’m looking at the taffeta, above, for cushions on both pieces. It reminds me a little bit of the upholstery on the chairs at the Ladurée on rue Bonaparte (below).


Another lovely little post-flood discovery was a Louis XVI chair with claret and brown toile. (As you may or may not know, the color red is verboten in my home, where the Detroit Red Wings are spawns of Satan.)

So, there is some good to be found in this particular natural disaster: an excuse to pick up some new treasures and a new look for our abode. And a chance to tap into a little French inspiration.

New drywall goes up tomorrow, a huge step in flood rebuilding. I’ll keep you posted on the more aesthetic aspects.

à bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

Chouette: Images de la France Wednesday, May 26 2010 


Just a few glimpses of La Belle France, from my girls, Aged and Gilded and Paris Apartment…


A bastide, or farmer’s house turned retreat, so typical of le Midi (the South of France), from the outside, above, to…


…the inside, with its rough hewn edges and “rainfall shower.” Courtesy of Aged and Gilded.


Views of a Paris studio apartment from, who else? Paris Apartment.


She rents this studio in the Marais during the off-season. Bookmark it, ma chère.


And the Mosaic Monday from Aged and Gilded leaves me wistful for my own Paris.

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

Throw the rice! Sunday, May 23 2010 


Paris Apartment dedicated her latest post to a box of love letters she found at a Paris flea market. It seemed like a great image to use as I announce that Mike and I were married Friday!

The deputy county clerk did the honors, and we left for Bell Buckle, where we stayed in what has to be one of Tennessee’s finest bed and breakfasts. Post to come…

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

Chouette: Allez, les puces! Wednesday, May 19 2010 


Nothing delights the spirit quite like a stroll through one of the flea markets of Paris — les marchés aux puces.


No, the floods did not send me off again to find refuge in La Belle France. But my blog mentor, Paris Apartment, has been over there for several weeks decorating the apartment of a client.


She regularly makes these trips and graciously shares her lovely finds with those of us who start longing for Paris before the wheels of our return flight even touch down.


Her latest post truly cemented the bond between us. She included wonderful images from textile and mercerie stalls at the Vanves puces.


Particularly fascinating are old inventory sheets, the kind kept by a fine fabric merchant, that she found. They are a study in the French ability to turn something as mundane as a business record into an expression of elegance.


She also confessed a weakness for pink chandeliers. Well, who wouldn’t swoon over such a treat?

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

Chez Déluge: Vive les roses Sunday, May 16 2010 

The rains came. And they came. And they came.

Three feet of water later, our lives were changed. Quite a lot.


But once the floodwaters receded and we were able to go in and see the damage, I had a marvelous surprise.

The roses were just fine! A little mud on the lower foliage, but OK, a symbol of resilience.


None of my books made it — from my French textbooks to my vast collection of books about dollmaking, embroidery, children’s sewing and costuming, many of them older than even me. I’m sad about that.

The first night, I was sure all my vintage baby knitting books and yarns were destroyed. But when I got into the house, I found the books in a box with my French design magazines from the ’30s and ’40s — all safe and sound, where I moved them in the hasty minutes before we left for safety.
And the plastic bag holding the yarn actually had floated and kept it dry!

In those first few days of cleaning up and throwing out soaked belongings, there was great comfort and joy everytime I found something undamaged.

Another silver lining to this disaster that has challenged the soul of Middle Tennessee: the jobs that the recovery and repair are already creating. Once again: Hope we can believe in.

We’ll be away from home for awhile as the pieces are slowly dried out and put back together. But I won’t stop finding pretty things to share with you, and I won’t stop creating, either.

Stay in touch to see what the spirit of resilience brings forth.

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

A rose by any name… Saturday, May 1 2010 


In some ways, this is the best week of the year in my little garden. Two of the three roses are in full bloom and the third us covered with buds, ready to pop.

My old garden Bourbon rose, Variegata di Bologna, above, has only bloomed this one time every season. But what a flirt this “bella donna” of Italian origin is, in her striped flounces.


Her busty buds look almost like peonies (or pivoines, as the French say, which just sounds more appropriate).


Then, there is my prim and prissy pink David Austin English rose (the name of which escapes me — had her several years). She stays full of buds off and on throughout the spring and summer, into the warm days of September and October.


If you’re wanting to dabble in roses, you can do no better than the Austin roses. They have those wonderful cupped petals that give them that “full figured” look of the roses in the paintings of Fragonard.


Besides their beauty, the great thing about the old roses and the David Austins is how easy they are. Old garden and antique varieties are bred from old European stock — some several hundred years old, so they are hardy and disease-resistant. (As opposed to fussy and self-absorbed.)

This about the Austin roses, from Sir David’s Web site:

He “set out to breed roses more suitable to the needs of the gardener, which would be outstandingly beautiful, yet very easy to prune and care for. This meant going back to the wonderful shrubby habit of the old roses which made them perfectly at home in the mixed border or the traditional English cottage garden.

“The flowers would have the cupped and rosette forms and heady fragrances of the old roses but would have the repeat flowering capability and wider colour range of modern roses.”

Also in bloom this week is one of my irises, our Tennessee state flower.


I have grown to love the state of my birth so deeply over the past few years, as I have worked for a number of my fellow Tennessee Democrats.

I’ve had the good fortune to drive along many of the hills and hollows, to walk about the town squares, and pass by the tiny “pocket” cemeteries and handcrafted architecture along the way.

Please come visit this pretty place. Our schools, like everyone’s, I suppose, are struggling, and we need your money. You’ll find Tennessee to be a bargain.

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

Location:Sawyer Brown Rd,Nashville,United States

Chouette: Notte al fresco Thursday, Apr 29 2010 

Consider the latest post at Aged and Gilded, one of my perennial favorites, where the subject is long lunches outdoors. My compliments, especially for the images, a few of which I share here.


The question is posed: What is your favorite meal? I couldn’t say; each has its charms.


But if you ask which meal I favor outdoors, it has to be dinner — long, lazy, taking the time to enjoy much wine at a gentle pace.


Here’s an exercise: Imagine a meal in each of the pictured locales, only at night, under the light of festive lanterns or flickery candles.


I think dinner in the garden pavillion above would be especially enchanting. Or the setting below, among old best friends, where all laugh at the things they once took so seriously and there’s always room for dessert.

á bientôt, from my iPhone…Tatie

Location:Sawyer Brown Rd,Nashville,United States

La Poste: Ageless, timeless West Coast design Saturday, Apr 24 2010 

Atelier AM home in Rancho Santa Fe

Reading yesterday’s daily Remodelista newsletter, I was about ready to close it up and move on. Not every newsletter is going to connect with every reader. But I am glad I stuck it out to the end of this one.

The last item introduced the West Coast home designers at Atelier AM. I fell hard for the first image, above, of a home in Rancho Santa Fe,  so I wandered over to their site.

Alexandra and Michael Misczynski describe their work as possessing “qualities rare in our culture of trendy, grab-n-go design: patina, depth, character, and soul. Their approach to design defies superficial style labels and antiquated distinctions between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern.’ Instead, their work is defined by connoisseurship, quality, and authenticity, regardless of the context or architectural style of a particular project. They treat Belle Epoque grandeur and 21-century minimalism with equal elegance and aplomb.”

I concur.

More of the home in Rancho Santa Fe:

Rancho Santa Fe home

And this, in Malibu:

Malibu home

home in malibu

home in Malibu

Am I the only one who always finds a rich Mediterranean feel in true, pure California style like this? I can almost smell the lavender and cypress.

à bientôt…Tatie

Chouette: Light through old glass Wednesday, Apr 21 2010 

Light, through old glass, seems mottled and mournful, with a grace all its own.

I’ve been drawn to images of light and glass of late. Those below come, respectively, from:

Savvy City Farmer
European Antique Market
The World According to Isa
And last but never least, my blog mentor, Paris Apartment

à bientôt…Tatie

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