Travel: Design Details in Paris

I feel so lucky to have spent so much time in Paris in the last decade. I’ve gotten to know some of the areas quite well, I’ve seen a lot of the major tourist attractions, and I now love to just wander the city. The store windows are inspiring, the architecture is unbelievable, and there is always always always something exciting going on in the city!

This post highlights some of the small(er than the Eiffel Tower) design details I captured in Paris.

1. This crazy cool light fixture that was in the Grand Palais gift shop.

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2. Angelina’s was a new stop for me this year. My friends and I stopped in for a rich hot chocolate and dessert. The interior was gorgeous and we had a really happy and friendly waitress. In between sips of hot chocolate, I looked up and noticed that Angelina’s has the same light fixtures as me!

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3. More amazing chandeliers were to be found at the Marché aux Puces. Amazing. There were hundreds (or thousands?) of crystal chandeliers around the market stalls and they were all brilliantly shiny. Oh man. So lovely.

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4. Lighting wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye. I am fascinated by Paris architecture. This wall and window and clover-detailed window grate was on a wall behind the Sacre Coeur. While everyone else was staring at the magnificent cathedral, I was taking photos of lesser-known walls around Montmartre. Can you imagine lifting and laying each one of those massive stones?

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5. This little detail was on a rather simple building in St. Germain (on Rue Cherche Midi). It was just sitting up there over the doorway. Love the bow.

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6. I think this next simple white door and wall was around Place des Vosges in Le Marais. I like that all the straight lines are broken up by a round window.

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7. I only just noticed that above the face is “J’écoute” (I listen). This was also above an entry way and I am impressed by all the details…look at those flowers. How, how, how did people do this kind of thing centuries ago?

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8. The Sacre Coeur. Okay – so I lied in one of the above comments. Just like everyone who visits Montmartre, I stared at the Sacre Coeur. It’s too incredible. And very white. It’s made of self-cleaning stone.

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9. My friends and I attended Sunday mass at St. Sulpice. It was beautiful. No surprise, right? The organ concert after mass was incredible. Did the Da Vinci code mention the organ?

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10. A few bridges in Paris are getting filled up with padlocks-of-love, but I think Pont des Arts definitely has the most! I hope the bridge can handle the weight of them all.

Pont Neuf-Paris-White-CabanaAnd there you have it – another Paris update. See more here.

Design: Merci Paris

I hope to get to Merci on this trip to Paris. I’ve read so much about it, and I’m eager to have a look for myself. Wish me luck!

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White metal A chair, Tolix by Xacier Pauchard, €190

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salad servers, €16.90

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1L teapot, €79

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table lamp with hinged arm, by Bernard-Albin Gras, €415

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golden bell pendant – Artek by Alvar Aalto, €379

Uptown: The Tronchi Lighting

When I bought my house I thought one of the first things to go would be the hall light fixtures. They looked, to me at least, to be too flashy and I couldn’t really imagine how they would match my furniture. The dark burgundy walls didn’t help their case.

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before: the foyer with dark walls and a fancy chandelier

Once I painted the place white, the chandeliers seemed to (almost) disappear. They looked less gawdy than before and they actually began to grow on me. In fact, I’ve become such a fan of them over the last few months that I have now decided to keep them.

And I don’t seem to be alone in my interest in this style of chandelier.

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From the Right Bank

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47 Park Avenue

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via Ebay

The chandeliers in the above photos are the tronchi style. They’re made of crystal and each piece is in the shape of a tube or trunk (hence the Italian translation of the name). These handmade Murano glass Venini chandeliers can also be made up of prism crystals and balls like the gorgeous fixture from 1st Dibs below.

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via 1st Dibs

A couple of weeks ago, I found a few similar chandeliers and decided to scoop them up for other places around the house. I’m completely hooked on these now and I have completely embraced their fascinating style! I should say, though, that my collection of lighting fixtures is made up of the budget/imitation version of the Venini glass chandeliers but they still reflect the light beautifully and are interesting to look at (not to mention great conversation pieces). The lucite prisms in my chandelier collection are proving that they work perfectly with my decor. I’ve dropped a few of the prisms as I cleaned them so I’m pretty thankful that the pieces are durable. They’re fairly lightweight too which has made installation smooth. Be on the lookout, people. I have no doubt that we’ll be seeing more of these Venini chandeliers (or the lucite versions) all over the design blogs and magazines soon enough.

Check back soon for a full lighting reveal!

Drop of white

I’m absolutely in love with this stunning drop lamp in the window at Zig Zag, of one of my favourite neighbourhood shops that specializes in mid-century modern furniture. Joe Graafmans, who owns the store and curates its offerings, has very good taste and the best modern lighting pieces I’ve seen in the city.

The light fixture I’m featuring here today is made in Italy by Vistosi and is an outstanding piece of art by day and night. As far as I know it’s still for sale ($1,195). I stopped by recently to admire it in the evening:

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Image by me.

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