Paule Marrot: born to art

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Doves . Paule Marrot via Natural Curiosities

Destiny – perhaps Paule Marrot was destined to be an artist.  At just 14 years of age she attended L’ecole Des Arts Decoratifs. She was painter, a textile designer, an engraver, and a  teacher.  She was a favorite of Jaqueline Kennedy, who used her textiles to design a room in the White House.  Two dimensional  in nature – at first glance, they may appear to be simple, but they are in fact quite sophisticated.

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Shell 2 . Paule Marrot

They are cheery and whimsical.  They are a walk through a European garden in summer.  They are in full bloom, when you are in need of a smile.  Drawing inspiration from nature, and the ocean, Paule produced over 320 textile designs during her career.  Collaborated with Renault and sold one of her fabric designs to renowned fashion designer, Paul Poiret.

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Trees . Paule Marrot

Today her prints can be purchased from Natural Curiosities, and fabric from Brunschwig  Fils.  I adore them, and would love to have them in one of my homes, and I wouldn’t ever sell it.

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Cherries . Paule Marrot

Perfect Picks for People Like You and Like Me

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Zara Home . Golden Sphere Coffee Table $199.

Take three parts obsession, mix with two parts curiosity, and one part spending problem and you’ve found someone – ME –  that finds a lot of things.  Things that I fall for, quickly, like a crush.  I know it’s just as likely to be a passing fancy.  Two primary reasons for that are money, and space.  It’s true that some of those obsessions keep me up at night.  Some find their way into my dreams, and skip along into my waking hours.  These I know will likely not leave me alone until I find a way to make them my own.  Least you think I get whatever I want, I’ve been doggedly hanging onto the idea of the Jean de Merry sea urchin chandelier in wrought iron.  This I spied for the first time in 2007, eleven years ago.  I want it nearly as badly as I wanted it that first time I walked into BG on the 8th Floor of Bergdorf Goodman.

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Zara Home . Rattan Cage Coffee Table. $199.

Sometimes the anticipation is nearly as good as the actual getting of the thing.  Sometimes…but other times I just want it immediately.  This week I came across a few gems I thought I’d share.  First, Zara Home has put out a collection that is really affordable and super cute.  The Golden Sphere Coffee Table, and second the Rattan Cage Coffee Table, both $199.

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Seraphina Velvet Bed . CB2  $1099.

CB2 has a simply angelic, tufted bed called the Seraphina Velvet Bed, in a soft off-white that will send you into pillowy clouds of heavenly sleep.

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Voila Custom Seating . The Wing . NYC.

And last but not least…Voila – a contract design and furniture fabrication shop.  Voila in deed.  If you can imagine it, which I do ALL the time – they can build it for you.  How cool is that.  The Belgian founder, Katrien Van der Schueren first brought her skills procuring and framing prints to the LA in 2008, and later added staging, furniture design, and events to the line-up.  I wonder if she has plans to open on the East Coast?  While I feel entirely worthy of the pieces, the price of shipping these days is a killer.

Some day – until then, I’ll dream a little dream.

Gaining “Clare-ity”: Clare V. and the Collaboration Chain

Yesterday, I posted about Clare V. and her collaboration with The Inside.  Today I want to talk about her collaboration with Wallshoppe, an LA Based on-line wallpaper company.  I’m excited, fascinated, and daunted by all that these young ambitious designers do.  I wonder if they struggle, but eventually reach a tipping point where the opportunities flow, and one need only respond – YES – more than one says no?  Whatever their secret – they are leveraging the heck out of it, and borrowing – or associating – themselves with other like minded designers, to cross promote.

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Clare V. X Wallshoppe . Stipes Onyx . 27″ x 54″ Removable Lengths at $58.

I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland after having fallen down the rabbit hole.  The Everygirl took me to The Inside, the Inside took me to Clare V., Clare V. took me to Wallshoppe, Wallshoppe took me to Laurel + Wolf an Interior Design firm founded by Leura Fine, who is the brainchild behind Wallshoppe.  First she set out to democratize interior design, with her on-line consultancy – need help with a single room?  Multiple rooms, a whole house, and know that you want options – there are three different pricing packages to meet your needs, and designers that match with your style (they help you figure out exactly what that is – by the way), create a floor plan, interact with you about the selections, and they purchase the items you want and have them shipped to your home.  Floor plan in hand, and styling assistance a live chat away, you can be sitting pretty in your professionally designed living room in less than a month.  (Merchandise availability and lead time dependent). No wonder the venture capitalists went gaga for this gig.

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Nate Berkus  X Wallshoppe . Malibu Blue and White

Wallshoppe has done something really smart, a mon avis, as it relates to those more timid souls, afraid of making a mistake, and staring for the next 40 years at a pattern that makes them ask themselves – “what the hell was I thinking”? – They made it in both traditional rolls, and in removable, easy to install, coordinating patterns and colors.  If Farrow and Ball and Schumacher are boardroom and stilettos, Wallshoppe’s collaborations with Nate Berkus and Clare V. are flip flops and a day at the beach, or a walk barefoot in the grass.  They are easy, and cheery, playful, and whimsical, and they make me smile.

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Wallshoppe . Y Not – Pushpop

I do hope that Clare V. will not be offended that I plan to augment her design.  After all, it is inspired by HER design, that is making me want to change the paper.  Let me explain.  She has designed in collaboration – of course – this pale pink on white wallpaper – Liberez Les Sardines.  That’s French for “free the sardines”.  Maybe some of you are catching on to why I like her so much.  While she hails from Minnesota, she worked in France for a TV Station, married a Frenchmen, and her designs – with their signature stripes – are quintessentially – French!

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Clare V. X Wallshoppe . Sardines in Pink.  Just imagine it with that hot pink stripe, gold and green!

So I asked myself – where are those stripes when I want them?  Need them?  They are missing from the Liberez Les Sardines!  And I simply cannot have that, so I will be introducing them to the removable wall covering.  What’s the worst that could happen?  It wrinkles up?  So what – even without my neon pink stripe, my mossy or kelly green ( I haven’t decided yet), and metallic gold, it’s going to look fabulous inside the closet of the pink bedroom on the Cape.  Oh happy day.

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Nathan Turner X WS . Splattered in Watermelon

 

The Inside Scoop: furnishings at swoon worthy prices

It’s not often you swoon over something you can absolutely have, it’s usually things that are, well out of my reach, that make me fall all over myself.  That 12 carat diamond ring that I attempt to convince myself I wouldn’t want for fear of being held at gunpoint, or the shear weight of lugging it around (I’d risk both).  The yacht that sails around the Caribbean with my own personal chef capable of supporting whatever dietary whim strikes my fancy with delectable meals that make me forget there’s any dietary restriction at all.  I could go on and on about the things that make me swoon, but the point of this fainting episode awaits.

The Insider CL Headboard

Camelback Headboard . Blue Buffalo Gingham. Queen $559.

The Inside is the brainchild of  Christiane Lemieux.  I didn’t know of her before I stumbled across her site via The Everygirl who I follow on Instagram.  Instagram is my primary source for new design information, inspiration, and products – not magazines, not the real life designers that I work with and around everyday – Instagram.  Get on it, and start following it.

The Inside . Claire V Settee

Clare V. Sardine Settee. $999.

Christiane is a Parsons grad, which on its own is to be revered.  She is the founder of Dwell Studio which was sold in 2013 to Wayfair.  She is the author of two books:  Undecorate and The Finer Things.  She is the Founder of Cloth & Company a textiles outfit, and now the Founder and CEO of The Inside, a furniture line – that in her words is: “designed . Created . Made in the USA.  With a mix of colors, patterns, textures, and collaborations – Clare V., Peter Som, and now The EveryGirl – this furnishings line, which is produced using 3D models and digital printing, arrives at your doorstep via UPS in 3 weeks.  It’s custom made for you, and it’s incredibly inexpensive – think dozens of options for under $1000.

The Inside Peter Som Stool

Peter Som . Chinois Bench. $689.

I nearly fell of my sofa and spilled my tea when I saw it.  I’ve come across many inexpensive lines that admittedly held my attention – some old favorites (HomeGoods . Target . West Elm), some new to my resource bandwagon – Urban Outfitters, but The Inside deserves not just a look, but the swipe of a credit card.

The Inside Citrine Stool

The Inside . Citrine Cabana Stripe . $299.

Clare’s cheeky designs will bring a smile to your face.  Peter’s refined and traditional prints will bring sophistication, and the crisp classic neutrals of The Everygirl collaboration, collectively – they leave you with no excuses.  Go ahead.  Add it to your cart.  After all, you don’t need to cart it home.  It will arrive on your doorstep, and your home will thank you.

A final nod to Clare V. because I cannot stand how cute these are.  I simply ADORE them. Left:  Racer Stripe Monogram (put your initials there)  $339.  Right:  Eyes Settee. $1149.

Sail Cloth: Putting together a coastal fabric collection

In my mind’s eye I breeze through the perfectly designed rooms of The Manse in a flowy cotton Ulla Johnson dress,

admiring my careful selections with pride, and a knowing nod to myself, just as I imagined it would look.  In reality…there are dozens of mistakes I will make, returns, concessions, screamed vulgarities, frustration, some tears followed by elation.  If I am making it sound terrible – it’s not.  It’s this very part that keeps me going.  That has me dreaming of different color combinations, fabrics, and patterns – textures and scale.  Like a golfer that swears they will quit, and then hits a perfect shot, I’m in for life.

 

I’ve already bought, and plan to return a number of items that upon further reflection – will not work.  If this were a Chatham Bars Inn buffet – my eyes would be bigger than my stomach – the repercussions are worse than a stomach ache though, because the beds won’t fit in the rooms!  Ugh.  New plan.  While I think I’ve come up with an alternative approach, it’s a disappointment.

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Cheeky Monkey . Add a little red felt heart on Harwich and we’re in business.

I want to be sure to get the fabrics right so I am laying out several scenarios and asking for input.  Jo-Jo will weigh in here of course.  I was turned onto a fourth generation textile design company out of Sheffield, MA called Tillett Textiles & T4 run by Kathleen Tillett and son Patrick McBride.  This company is hot!  They allow you to choose your pattern and your color way along with about a dozen materials from which you can print it.  If you are in love with their designs, and want a coordinating wallcovering you might consider printing on a lightweight fabric and then having it paper backed before hanging it.  Helen Baker of Helen Baker Interiors Inc. turned me on to them.  She knows the coolest resources!

White and Blue Bedroom:  2nd Floor

Top Left:  Carp Allowed It in Navy – Tillett Textiles (Roman Shades)  Top Right:  Bolero in Indigo – Sister Parish (Window Seat Cushion) Bottom:  Beans and Boys in Red – Tillett Textiles (Pillow for Window Seat).

Sister Parish is a textile and wallcovering brand founded in 2000 to honor the style of and spirit of Sister Parish of the influential Parish-Hadley Interiors firm that famed designers Brian McCarthy and Bunny Williams once called their work home.  I became familiar with them a few years back when I saw a pattern called Serendipity with it’s happy little stars and polka dots – two things bring a smile to my face.  Their patterns are perfect for a coastal haunt.

Pink Bedroom

Left:  Mally Skok . Mewar Pink Orange. (Window Seat Pillow piped in kelly green). Right:  Sister Parish . Clara B . Simply Pink (Window Seat Cushion.

Above:  Similar Wicker Chair – Antique Market Find with Top Left:  Tillett Textiles . Puffy Petals in Forest Green.  Top Right:  Tillett Textiles . Dots of Non in Forest Green piped in pink.

Above Left:  Tillett Textiles . Dots of Non in Forest Green – converted to wallcovering for bedroom closet interior.  Right:  Sister Parish . Clara B – custom upholstered daybed.

Last year, while at the Innovation and Design Center in Boston’s Seaport, I met Mally Skok.  I went to the talk because I had seen a room she designed for a show house and I was struck by the organic patterns and playful motifs.  She has a fascinating story, and is as lovely as her designs.

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Custom Upholstered Day Bed with Trundle by livenUpdesign. Via Etsy.

I love so much of what Serena and Lily produces, but struggled with colorways that would work in this particular application.  If I have to be honest, which I do, because what’s the point of writing all this if I am not honestly sharing my preferences, thoughts, and opinions.  I’m not perfect – nobody is and NObody likes a property that looks too perfect.  It feels inauthentic (probably because nobody lives there) Don’t you forget that.

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Louis J. Solomon . Commode for inside the closet nook.

So S & L is out and I am embracing a mix of designers that you may know, and others who may be new to you.  I do hope you approve.  Comments are sometimes welcome – just kidding – if I couldn’t accept input and alternative suggestions, where would I be?  Please do write.

Astounding Beauty

Mary Oliver – famous American Poet gave instructions for living a life.

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

PAY ATTENTION . BE ASTONISHED . TELL ABOUT IT.  It’s good advice.  There is beauty even in the mundane.  The things we take for granted, the snow that we lament as it piles up – looking past the flakes, all startlingly intricate in their icy formations, all worthy of our attention.  A blade of grass, an artisans technique, commitment and belief.  A meal savored rather than devoured, a kind gesture given or received. A smile, a tear, laughter. Inspiration is all around – even in the sawdust, I am beginning to see gold.

This year I didn’t buy anything or sell anything.  What the heck?  I am a buyer and a seller.  I feel empowered by the frantic energy that is expelled in the activity, and this holding pattern that I am sitting in – doesn’t sit well.  Still is is giving me an opportunity to see things not only as a whole, but for the rather amazing sum of their parts.

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Ladurée . The Grove . LA

I discovered that my commitment wouldn’t wane regardless of this year spent without spending.  I learned a few new tricks.  I remembered a few that I had forgotten.  I became acquainted with several designers for whom I have great admiration including; India Mahdavi who designed Ladurée in LA and Sketch in London – regarder – Ils sont fantastic.  Sandrine Place a stylist and interior designer who collaborated with Baptiste Legue on the design of a Pied a Terre above the Owner’s retail store – Chez Marie Sixtine. Oh lordy, do I ever want to hide away in the perfect pink and gray little home, and write myself silly.

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Chez Marie Sixtine

I began work on my biggest project yet – the Manse.  I traveled to Dallas, I would be remiss in my round-up if I didn’t make mention of my fondest state-side house of interior inspiration – Blue Print.  I visited Nashville, Nantucket, New Hampshire, New York City, and Nauset.  DC and Paris where i saw the single best exhibit of my existence, but even that did not top the very best thing I did in 2017…fall in love.

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Blue Print . The inspiration makes my cup overflow….thank you.

I feel blessed.  I am amazed, and I am telling you all about it.

Happy New Year.

Winging It: co-working on the fly

When I was in my 20’s I used to pack my bag in the morning with my work shoes, my lunch, my workout clothes, toiletries, and head out to the T – that’s public transportation here in Boston. I would often add to this a cake, a tray of cupcakes or bags laden with cookies and other baking delights.  Oh for the days where I had THAT much time on my hands.  Not only did I bake, but I worked out 5 days a week.  My gym didn’t allow for overnight storage so I carried everything on me – like a pack mule.  I thought I was going to be a princess – it had come to this.

To be fair, though my circumstances have changed considerably since I was in my 20’s, I am still rather like a pack mule – though what I tote around has become much larger, and slightly less frequent with my house flipping.

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Audrey Geltman and Lauren Kassan co-founders of The Wing decided it was disrespectful to have to change in a bathroom between meetings, to have no place to gather ones thoughts, prepare for a meeting, meet with potential business partners, talk, listen, engage, have a glass of wine to unwind or gear up for the night ahead – a place that was all about women – for women, exclusively.

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So The Wing was born, first in the Flatiron District, then in Soho – plans for one in Washington D.C., and I think California – sadly, not Boston.  Would you pay $2000. clams for a place to shower, store your clothes, listen to a lecture, attend a book signing or throw a baby shower?  I think I might.  Particularly if I could buy it off in food and drinks while entertaining clients.

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The designers of this hip space are from CdR & Co. , Chiara de Rege and Hillary Koyfman. It is really no surprise that the space drew me in – aside from its decidedly practical side, it’s pinks, pale grays, and gold accent are tops on my happy place colors.  Then they go and add a powder room in the perfect pink poof of a paint and attached Coco Chanel’s name to it and voila, it was love.  They painted the floor, ceiling, and all the doors and casings in one of two pink tones – genius.  It’s a womb of a women’s room, and I feel calm, relaxed, and certain that I will emerge rosy cheeked, and fresh.