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


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

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

Chouette: Beds in bloom Monday, Apr 19 2010 

Over at Aged and Gilded:

Oh so lovely beds, to be experienced at the grey of a European dawn — upon awakening, thirsty for the new day, or just coming in, welcoming the sunrise with indulgent slumber.

Such rich sleep might offer dreams of pretty posies, like those pictured in Monday’s mosaic: fine, old roses and tulips by the armsful, like so many little blushing baubles.

à bientôt…Tatie

Liberty, equality and oil cloth Saturday, Apr 17 2010 

When Olivia was little and I had the great pleasure of creating a classic wardrobe for her, one of my special treats was buying one piece of Liberty of London tana lawn fabric and turning it into a sweet little day dress.

I’ve had a passion for Liberty ever since, and I even had the opportunity to shop in the legendary Liberty store in London a few years ago.

So, it tickled me recently when Olivia and I were in
Target and discovered that they were carrying a line of Liberty products. She was enchanted by the Art Deco-influenced prints and bought a darling
spring frock. I love it when things come full circle!

Then, I learned about a neat little concept store in Paris, Merci, where they are carrying a special Liberty collection. The oilcloth is truly la crème!

So much goodness! And the icing on the cupcake for me was finding Liberty’s Victoria & Albert fabric collection, celebrating the quilt exhibition at the V&A, my favorite London museum.

Hope you enjoy all of the Liberty images as much as I did collecting them. Vive la Liberty!

à bientôt…Tatie

All my eggs in more than one basket Wednesday, Mar 31 2010 

At the Holiday Inn known as chez moi, it’s Easter season, and I’ve had so much fun this year decorating eggs and baskets. My favorites are above.

At left is a small dark brown basket that I distressed with plain old acrylic paint. (I mix my vintage-look pastels by starting with a creamy ivory, then adding color just a tiny bit at a time  — instead of starting with a color and trying to lighten it. I get softer, older looking tints that way.) Nestled inside is a papier mâché egg box, which I painted and spattered, then découpaged with German diecut scrap. Top and bottom of the egg box is edged with tiny Dresden beading. All of which, of course, came from D. Blümchen & Co.

The basket at right is one the Easter bunny put together and will deliver Sunday. It includes another papier mâché egg box, painted and splattered and decorated similarly to the green one. The bunny filled the basket with old-fashioned excelsior, in thoroughly modern pink and green, and added a family of antique chalkware chicks. I found them last week at Elena Graves’ wonderful Spring Fling sale. And don’t the crêpe paper posies bring spring to life in this basket?

A couple of other variations on the papier mâché egg box are below. I am especially fond of the one that I découpaged with Cavallini Paris map paper and Martha Stewart ribbon.

I also worked with some vintage Easter containers. First was the old egg carton that I painted and embellished inside and out with various techniques — including acrylic gel image transfer and stamping. As you can probably guess, I am especially fond of my set of Cavallini French word. stamps.

A lot of you are too young to remember them, but I found a couple of old Easter cottage cheese cartons on eBay, and they made nice homes for a few of my little eggs, along with whimsical bunny florist’s sprays.

Last is a robin’s egg basket that I distressed with brown paint, which made a fine nesting place for a dapper white bunny in a bow-tie, another find from Elena’s little market.

Well, thanks for indulging me in this l-o-o-o-o-n-g post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and that you all have a wonderful rest of the Easter and Passover week.

À bientôt!…Tatie

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