I've just returned from the Maisons & Objets Salons trade show in Paris, followed by my "Industrial salvage collection" purchases in the south of France.
I have been attending the French "Salons" for more than 10 years and am always in awe of the creativity, the perfection of displays, all under one giant roof. My typical buying trip is spending my first day, since i usually land in the very early morning, dropping by to my favorite spots in Saint Germain where I always stay.
my lunch: warm goat cheese on toast divine
Modenature showroom at 59 Rue de Seine
My dearest friend Henry Becq owns Modenature. Interieurs would not be what it is today without its long relationship with Henry and Modenature. Our professional relationship has become a very strong frienship. We actually discovered after a few years of working together that we both come from Lot et Garonne in South West France
La Maison Rustique
My favorite bookstore on 26 rue Jacob for design and garden books
I cannot end the day without crossing the Seine and
admiring the Louvre and its stunning glass pyramid
During the Furniture Salons, my typical day's schedule is quite grueling, up at 6:30 AM, catch the RER train by 7:30 for an hour's ride to the convention center not far from Charles de Gaulle Airport; early meetings at the "Club Maisons et Objets", then walk, look, talk, walk, look, talk... always, always, always looking out for new ideas, products and vendors. At 7pm, rush with thousands of maddening and maddened people back to the RER station, while trying to avoid being crushed by the crowd of commuters all hoping to catch the next train back into cental Paris. Wait, and wait some more, usually under freezing rain, for the next train, too often facing either the occasional and suddenly announced train strike, or a bomb alert (which was the case this trip that almost caused me to be crushed by the crowd after a 2 hour evacuation delay for a train.... Finally, by 9 pm, the the thought of the taste of my entrecote keeps me going. Then its time to wait yet again in line with hordes of diners all begging for a table at Le Relais de L'Entrecote.
Le Relais de L'Entrecote where the only two menu choices are
steak, either saignant (literally, bleeding) or a point (medium).
My husband believes he's cracked the secret of the restaurant's famous
sauce, a long and very closely held family secret and the real story
behind the small chain's amazing success.
This year, glitter and shine seemed de rigueur at the shows, it is not my cup of tea but still, it was refreshing and uplifting
I love this simple installation, very bucolic
I also noticed touches of humor in contemporary designs and enjoyed the colors, the whimsical chances that these designers were taking.
Some of the new pieces and collections I purchased for my (soon to be moved) Interieurs Showroom
A Sofa from the New Paola Navone Collection
Overall, I felt that everyone in france, feeling the impact of a high Euro and decline in sales were playing it very safe; the mood was not very uplifting.
One of my favorite parts of my work in France is catching the TGV to Avignon where I spend a couple of days working with Bernard on our industrial pieces for the next container. As I mentioned in a previous post I love looking for industrial pieces to salvage and transform. It is such a fun challenge to give a new purpose to these industrial discarded "obsolete" pieces... such a part of history and the Industrial revolution.
Luke, my husband, came along for the ride and I showed him the Provence I love where we hopefully will ultimately live for at least part of the year.
Gordes, an old city in the Luberon section of Provence
Then on to my family village for a few days with my parents and extended family. A surprise feast prepared by my cousin Gaby awaiting us and all dearest cousins Andre, Francoise and Marie Therese were there to welcome us. These moments spent with the ones you love are really what is important in life...the rest...work... so you might as well work with passion and try to find time for yourself, your friends and family... I believe that we too often tend to forget that in the States...
Clermont-Dessous, my 12th Century village