Monthly Archives: January 2012

An Interior Designer in Paris – Travel Entry #3

Direct from the floor of Maison & Objet show in Paris, this silk worm cocoon shade was divine.

There is something apropos about shopping for lightning while visiting the “City of Lights.” My experience at the Maison & Objet show in Paris continued to excite and delight me as I discovered one section of the show that was completely dedicated to lighting. As even the do-it-yourself designer knows, lighting is extremely important to any room–it not only serves a functional purpose by supplying the light we need to see, but it also plays a pivotal role in setting the mood in any room. Lighting can make a room feel warm and cozy or bright and expansive.

I could get lost (and did) in all the beautiful lighting installations I saw while exploring the trade floor of Maison & Objet. Like the “Ethnic Chic” section I wrote about earlier this week, I found the lighting section truly illuminating. Wandering through this area gave me plenty of ideas to bring back stateside with me. There were so many different, dreamy variations of illuminations that I wanted to be sure and share some pictures here.

I desperately wanted to go up and run my fingers through this heavenly looking sheep's wool shade.

There was one booth, called Cocons de Soie, which displayed two fabulous examples of lights that do more than light a space they make it heavenly and airy. The silk worm lamp (seen at the beginning of this post) and a sheep’s wool lamp, seen here, were two of my favorites.

This beautiful floor lamp reminded me of a tree after an ice storm.

Additionally, I came across this fantastic floor lamp that reminded me of a beautiful tree after a wintry, ice storm.  I loved how the light reflected off the long hanging drops of crystal.

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An Interior Designer in Paris – Travel Entry #2

While at home in the states, one of my favorite ways to see firsthand what’s evolving in the world of home decor and design is to visit a handful of trade shows every year.  Walking through row after row of these massive shows often provides me with a renewed love for my profession, plenty of inspiration, and of course, exercise.  This year I’m so thrilled that one of the shows I’m using to fuel my insatiable need for all things “new in design” is the Maison&Object Show in Paris.  In English that translates to: home fashion showcase,  but doesn’t it sound so much more intriguing and inviting in French?  If you’d like to learn more about the show and I would encourage you to do so, it’s truly a feast for the eyes, you can view pictures of the show’s collections by visiting www.maison-objet.com.

Pieces made from many different types of recycled materials could be found throughout the Maison&Objet show.

During my time at the Maison&Objet show, I was particularly taken with one section of the show that was dubbed “Ethnic Chic.”  Geared toward a more environmentally-consciencous, bohemian, and often younger crowd, these designs are creative, unique and earth friendly.  While walking through this section I saw one of a kind furniture like the piece seen here on the left.

Old textiles made new again.

This was by far my favorite part of the show and apparently the Obama’s designer, Michael Smith of Los Angeles agreed with me!  He just purchased the piece seen hanging on the wall for his showroom from a Belgium exhibitor who collects antique textiles and then “edits” them into her own beautiful and colorful items. I loved them!

After a fabulous day walking the floor,  I was exhausted, but also very grateful that I had the opportunity to see all the items that will dominant interior design in 2012.  If you’re ever in Paris in the winter, I highly recommend you bring an interior design friend along (the show is only open to people in the trade) so you can see for yourself this amazing show!  And in case you’re wondering, I will gladly make myself available to be your travel companion.

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An Interior Designer in Paris – Travel Entry #1

The amazing view from our "Paris-perfect" apartment.

Bon Jour! I’m so excited to post from the City of Lights. During the next week, I will get to enjoy all that Paris has to offer. I plan to shop, visit galleries, and keep meticulous notes of ideas and concepts to bring home to all my wonderful clients back in California. I thought while I was here, I would share some of the photos from our trip and keep you up to date on all the wonderful design ideas that I’m collecting while enjoying all the sites, sounds and beauty of Paris.

My travel companion (my husband Scott) and I arrived on Saturday with high hopes that our Paris apartment would live up to the lovely Internet description, and much to our surprise, it did!  The street below is located in the “silk-stocking district of the 7th Arrondissement, and beyond that you can see the Eiffel Tower.

Janice shopping for fresh, local provisions on the Right Bank.

After settling into our apartment, we set out to explore the city. First things first, we took to the streets and headed to a lovely market on the Right Bank to purchase provisions including fresh vegetables, seafood and fromage.

Our first day was busy and exciting, we ended the day with a stroll through the streets where I snapped this photo of the Effifel Tower.

What is a trip to Paris without a picture (or twenty) of the Eiffel Tower?  It’s quintessential Paris!

The Effifel Tower in the Evening

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Oh Suzani

Recently, I began seeing an interesting trend emerge among designers, the trend? The use of suzani-inspired fabrics as either a wall hanging, a throw pillow or as a duvet cover.

Historically, a suzani was fashioned by women in Uzbekistan. The painstakingly detailed, embroidery work of a suzani was started by an Uzbek woman upon the birth of a daughter. Work on the suzani would continue, with the help of female friends and family, until the daughter was grown and able to marry, at which time the suzani became a part of her dowry.

As the Soviet era ended, and Westerners discovered folk art from Central Asia, the price of antique suzanis skyrocketed. Today, it is fairly easy to find affordable fabrics inspired by suzani designs, but it’s rare and difficult to find an authentic suzani. In fact, I have used suzani-inspired fabrics in my own design work. For example, the throw pillow seen in this photo was a piece I had made for use in a client’s bedroom.

And late last year, while visiting an antique fair in San Francisco, I came across this handcrafted suzani. I was enamored by its beauty and in awe of all the work that went into creating such a beautiful piece of art.

If you are ever fortunate to see an authentic suzani, be sure to study and appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity. And remember that each suzani is unique and inspired by the close-knit bond of the women who created it.

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