Coup de Foudre: Paris awaits

Even though this French expression suggests the sudden striking of emotion – a thunderbolt of love – I struck anew by its power, every time I visit Paris.  Wednesday I get to sneak away in the night and awake in the warm embrace of the City of Lights.

paris flee

Marche aux Puce . Paris

It’s been three years since my last visit.  I’ve been warned by my friends and family NOT to visit Marche aux Puce again.  For those of you that have just started following, this is the flee market at which I purchased the infamous Italian, Mid-Century-Modern, Chandelier.  There were a number of indignities associated with this purchase, not the least of which was the fact that the vendor sent me a chandelier – but not the chandelier that I bought when I was at the market.  It was close, but a little worse for the wear.  I paid a fortune to have it rewired, have my ceiling reinforced, and hung, not once, but three times.  A story for another day.

Paris 1st

I submit here in advance my apologies to all – I will be going to Marche aux, and I make no promises that I won’t return with another monumental light fixture.  What fun would a trip to Paris be without the dream of a magical find at the market?  A trip that I wouldn’t be interested in taking – that’s the kind.

Paris 1

Frank Gehry designed Foundation Louis Vuitton

I’ll be staying in the 1st – which I haven’t stayed in before.  I’ve stayed in the 3rd, the 6th, 7th and 8th.  I love La Belle Juliette in the 8th Arrondissement, on Rue Cherche Midi, but I like to try new things, and the hot, hip boutique style hotels that have been popping up in the 1st caught my attention.  Hotel Therese is where I will be for my super fast 3 day trip.

Paris dior

1948 Couture Dior . need I say more?

Here’s what I plan to do because its what I love almost more than anything else…eat, drink, and shop – for clothing and furnishing, fixtures, and materials.  Les Arts Decoratifs has an exhibit, that for me, is a must see.  The House of Dior opened its doors 70 years ago – that’s 1947, I know because my company, Elaine Construction is also celebrating its 70th anniversary.  How cool is that.  Over 300 couture dresses are on display, so it goes without saying – I have purchased the tickets to this exhibit already.

grand coeur

Grand Coeur . 41 Rue du Temple . Paris

Foundation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry is an architectural wonder.  It has been on my list, and this trip I will get to see it in person.  The texture and the light, pattern, and materials are amazing sources of inspiration and awe for me.  I can’t wait to see this building, and by the way, I hear the exhibits aren’t bad either.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Happy Saturday.

Belle of the Ball . A good feeling

La Belle Juliette 1

I’ve been raving about that little boutique beauty, La Belle Juliette, and yet I am not quite finished.  There is something about great design that just feels right.  If you analyze it too much you can always come up with a number of decisions that you wouldn’t have made.  The red laquered chair, the cherubs that have a little too much of that Victorian Age feel for your liking, the hallways that are a little too dark – don’t do it.  There is brilliance in the whole.  The whole person, the whole place, a whole idea.  Everything and everyone has imperfections.  It adds to the intrigue, eradicates sterility, and increases our overall comfort, for we know that we can live up to it, and in a place like that.  When everything is in order, we feel that something is off, a sensation that we are not welcome, that we don’t belong.  Great design makes you feel like you are coming home, even if its to a place that you have never been to before.  A calm washes over you, it delights and surprises, and makes you want to return again and again.  Such was the experience at La Belle Juliette for me.

Belle of the Ball No. 2

Belle of the Ball No. 2

The color selection included a variety of greys, which it is no secret I adore, a series of pastel hues; pink, violet, pale greens, aquas, and tiffany blues, metalic accents, and the interesting decision to include bold red furnishings.  No room that I had access to utilzed less than three or four paint colors in a single space.  Sometimes subtle differences, others not.  Color can be hard to get right, particularly in these dangersous quantities, which is why we see so many interior designers stick to a very neutral palette.  It’s safe, it’s clean, it’s unopinionated.  It’s boring.  There – I said it.  I find it very boring.  To my eye, La Belle mostly got it right.  I know this because I can see in my minds eye the lovely color combinations they visioned, and a warm happiness spreads through me.

Belle of the Ball No. 3

Belle of the Ball No. 3

I realize the appeal won’t be there for everyone.  No worries.  There are thousands of hotels from which to choose in Paris.  I hope that your next visit takes you, and that you experience the same childlike delight, that La Belle J. gave me.  Wherever you find yourself, don’t miss out on a visit to La Spa de La Belle Juliette.  The very best masage I have ever had, with absolutely not a single qualification.  Simply the best.