Monday, November 23, 2009

Reflections on the Holidays and my Second Home, Interieurs

Saturday morning I woke up to a beautiful pure blue sky. Going outside I felt the crisp cold air of late November here in the northeast and suddenly felt the spirit of the coming holidays sweep over me.

I really love the winter holidays, especially Christmas when its time to decorate the tree, my house and especially finding new and creative ways to gift wrap Christmas presents.

When my children were young, every Christmas over a period of now uncountable years, we hosted "Christmas" lunch for all our friends. Often we would have as many as 28 people (of all ages, shapes, sizes, hues and faiths) trek out to Connecticut from Manhattan for a stunning feast prepared by my husband and we would luxuriate in the gifts, food, wine and, most importantly, companionship. Often my parents would come from France and my mother-in-law would come down from Newport to join us. These celebrations gave my sons a great sense of comfort and community. They now tell me how much they long for and will always remember those great Christmas parties past. Alas, now, almost all of those friends and their children (now all grown up) have scattered to new cities and countries, so re-capturing those times can only be done from our memories and photo albums.

As our friends began moving away in the years after September 11, we left behind the large dinners of Fondue Chinoise (or Canard-a-L'Orange, or Beef Wellington), Rose Champagne, Bordeaux wines, foie gras, salmon roe caviar and chocolate/hazelnut Buches de Noel.

In 2004 we started a new family mini-tradition of traveling to Asia where, that first year, we spent Christmas Day in a Dayak village in Kalimantan (See my post Deep into Kalimantan). For a period of several years afterward we went to Asia every year for the holidays (except 2007 when we went to Whistler B.C. after a very quiet Christmas at home). Last year we spent Christmas in Bangkok and New Year's Eve in Phuket having already fully pre-paid the trip just before the economic tsunami hit here at home.

This year we will spend Christmas at home, something my now college student sons Alex and Hadrian actually look forward to, as do my husband and I. After so many years of semi-nomadic holiday traveling, we look forward to a quiet regrouping of our emotional and financial resources. As I'm sure most if not all my readers can readily agree, 2009 has been a really tough year. Celebrating the holidays at home, with loved ones and close friends will be a wonderful and welcome change.

As I reflected on the holidays, I realized that Interieurs really is my second home. It also dawned on me that I have never fully introduced you to that part of my life, so Saturday morning I headed down to the Manhattan Flower Market district where I loaded my trunk with greenery to style my Showroom's windows for the Holidays. As I worked along, I took a few snapshots of the space to share with you here. If you are planning to be in New York, I hope you'll stop in for a visit.

Interieurs... My TriBeCa Showroom

My Welcome to the Holiday Season

Jose Esteves' "Peace Bird" greeting the
holidays by our "Audrey" Sofa

Interieus' Bamboo "Marcelle" Bed named
for my paternal Grandmother

Interieurs' "Julien" L-Shaped Sofa with re-purposed
industrial furniture from the South of France

I love these old hand Re-bound books.

Our "Aurelie" Sofa and "Antoine" Bamboo cocktail table

The "Jason" Steel Sandwich table.
Most "Jason" tables are unique pieces made
from re-claimed industrial parts here in the U.S.A.

Interieurs' Walnut or Oak "Armande" four post bed

Below, the same showroom, styled for an advertising photoshoot to introduce our Le Bambou Interieurs furniture line. Photos: Michael Grimm, another of my favorite commercial photographers.


  1. That is so interesting, the story about your holiday travels! And your store looks beautiful!!

  2. Home might be a lovely departure for you this year. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and leave the store decorating until will look fabulous after a few days off.

  3. Your Christmas' past sound truly special. Isn't it fun when your children become adults and then share their interpretation of family traditions and experiences? I now realize how exciting that is to hear them tell others of what they remember. Usually with a whole lot of laughter and embellishments thrown in. Thank you Francine for thinking of me this Thanksgiving. Your message meant a lot. I will be thinking about you and your dear family as well.I bet you have incredible sons! Thanks for sharing your second passion, your work with us. Your showroom, your website; all of it is spectacular. I'll take one Aurelie sofa & a Jason table to go! All the best to you xx Deb

  4. Your Holiday celebrations sound so festive and unique. Your showroom is stunning. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  5. I will definitely put your store on my list to visit! Thanks for your great comment!!

  6. Wow Francine - your showroom is just gorgeous. What a lovely 'second home' to have!
    Warmest wishes to you for Thanksgiving!

  7. What a beautiful showroom you have Francine!!!!The years that I have been home for the Christmas holidays have been great for me also. I remember the first Christmas that I spent away from home, we went to Mexico and although it was a great vacation, we were nostalgic for waking up at home on Christmas morning to open presents in our PJ's and then happily preparing the turkey. Life is so great that we can have all kinds of different experiences. Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season!!
    Kindest Regards

  8. Francine, your showroom with and without the Christmas decoration is simply divine!
    This year we also decided to celebrate the holidays without the usual extravaganzas - simply with close family and friends. Ultimately, that´s what I believe Christmas is all about: love and hope and bringing joy to the people that really matter in your life.

  9. Wow, Francine- what a fabulous Christmas history you and your family has had. But also, how nice to return to a "home" celebration.

    I loved the peek into your showroom- and will definitely have to stop in the next time I'm in the city. Meanwhile, will send my friend Jilly on my behalf. :-)

  10. Your showroom is absolutely fantastic! I'm totally drooling over the bamboo line of furniture you have - especially the bamboo coffee table and the bed frame that is flat against the floor, oh and the last sofa lol. I love all the touches of greenery that you've added to the store.

    Karen Olivia

  11. great furniture. if you ever need painting for your shoots I'll be happy to lend some


  12. Beautiful...I love your story :) I wish I could come and visit your store -- it looks stunning.

    Wishing you a fabulous week*

  13. I missed these Christmas gatherings. The food, the laughter and just the sense of belonging. You and your husband know how to make people feel at HOME. I look forward to your famous Daube, the decorations and will post a review!

  14. What a beautiful showroom and great furniture pieces. Love the mix of modern with industrial. Defenitely not a mainstream showroom
    I discovered your blog today. Will visit regularly.


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