Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's wedding bells time!!!

It seems that it was yesterday that I said yes to this charming fun loving handsome young man that completely swept me off my feet...We were married on May 16th at his beautiful family  house in Brooline, Massachusetts..... a month later on June 16th, we said yes in God's  12th century church in my village of Clermont Dessous, France. I had met Luke by pure chance just a few months prior.

It has been an amazing journey ever since, with bumps and laugh's, tears and joy, adventures, simple pleasures of watching my children grow, constantly being put to the test, but never, dull, boring. I have never taken any day for granted and always thankful for this extraordinary gift of life.

This is the month of wedding bells and the time for the future brides and grooms to receive tokens of love from family and friends...Newlywish, crated and designed by the beautiful, smart, talented Amanda Allen is the perfect registry for traditional and creative, one of a kind gifts.
As Martha Stewart says... "I am always on the look out for new on line registry sites, and I'm thrilled about this one..."

We were very pleased to be asked by Amanda to be part of Newly Wish...I always have a soft spot for future first assistant planned her wedding seating next to my desk, I hosted our head designer Greg's wedding in our house,which took place on a perfect snowy evening. My dearest friend in the world Suzanne was married on the grounds of my house...a stunningly beautiful enchanting wedding. She looked like a dream and silly me, exhausted from the stress of preparation, would cry everytime I would look at her.

Presently, Estera our project manager is engaged to marry her long time fiance Will in a beautiful country farm....I'll try my very best with decoration and flower arrangements...

So it is really fit and appropriate that this hopeless romantic blogger should be part of a bridal registry
And this is no ordinary bridal registry, it so interesting and fun that you do not even need to be a bride. Anytime a gift is needed, just leave the site open on your husband's / boyfriend's / girlfriend's computer....   hint...


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ICFF... The International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Light by Aqua Creations

I have never missed the ICFF  in New York, a must for architects, designers or anyone for that matter who is passionate for contemporary design. I even showed my Interieurs Collection a few years in a row at the ICFF. This show is not about selling volume, mass market, knock offs, playing it safe. This show is about creative design, going out on a limb and showing the best you've got! I admire the young brave artists who dare to be different.
 On sunday, I discovered a fantastic lighting designer from Brooklyn and will set up a meeting to discuss working with her, I placed a fairly large order on ecologically safe non vent outdoor and indoor fireplaces and worked the Limited Edition booth, meeting potentially new clients. I carry Limited Edition rugs in my showroom, by far my favorite rugs on the markets with endless possibilities to design your own rug as well. Limited Editions won the Best Award for carpet and flooring at this year's exhibitions...Congratulations are in order!

I (or should I say Ania, Interieurs party planner extraordinaire...on her way to entertain more clients in Las Vegas)  gave a party for the winners of last year Best Design on our terrace, where they invited potential clients to view their favorite pieces in context.

I will illustrate a few of my favorite personal discoveries.

Limited Edition rugs, made in Belgium, available at my INTERIEURS Showroom 

Color and style collage of some of my favorite LE rugs

Fantastic cardboard cut outs from Japan

A pink fuss-ball with choice of girls or boys players...

Always thinking of my very young clients, Contra design house from Lithuania

Loved the artistic wallpaper and organic pillows by Eskayel of Brooklyn

Will be setting up a meeting with Evelyn, designer of these water inspired chandeliers

We work with this amazing group Amuneal, love the miniature models of their projects,stairways, pipe playground, table etc...

Great Bike hanger by Jason of 44 steel whose products are displayed at Interieurs

Who needs to build a house when you can purchase a free standing cabana by Puck and Blossom
As shown 12'x16' ZIP cabana

I am building a shed and would like to attach a kitchen coop. I fell head over heels for this Brooklyn made chicken co-op, created by raad studio

And of course, what would be a Contemporary show without Philippe Stark surrealistic creations.

Now back to work, four  client's installations by Memorial week-end...

Friday, May 13, 2011

A stroll through Paris...a personal journey

image: flicker

I was very honored when Christina of Greige Design suggested that I could be a guest blogger while she enjoys time away. Blogging has become a very personal journey as I am able to share ideas, design inspirations, travel stories via words and images, an electronic common place book of sorts. My blog Francine Gardner Art De Vivre is a synopsis of who I am, someone who just loves family, life, nature, far away cultures and brings all these experiences into my design work.
I left the South West of France at the age of 18 to study in United States (Boston), a country that has fascinated me to the point that I am now a US citizen. But I will always love PARIS. I believe if there is a "place one must see before you die",  please make it Paris.

Paris through the eye of Henri Cartier Bresson

You may, if you wish, follow me on my stroll through my favorite part of this extraordinary city.
Arrive early morning at the small Lenox Hotel on Rue de l'Universite in Saint Germain where I always stay, shower, clean clothes and off I start my free day before meetings, shows etc.. breakfast at Cafe Flore where wealthy locals and tourists meet to chat , see and be seen. Then a long magnificent walk along the Seine to my favorite museum, Musee du Quai Branly.

 Cross the Seine and heads to the Musee de l'Orangerie  where all walls of two large rooms are covered with massive canvases of Monet Water Lillies. A profound beautiful experience not to be missed.


Keep walking through gardens and enjoy a well deserved lunch on the terrace of Cafe Marly, overlooking the Louvre.
Then on to some shopping, all Streets of Saint Germain are filled with art galleries and boutiques but I always end up at the Bon Marche, their food emporium is a treat to all senses, their hip women's fashion department irresistible, let's not  mention the shoes....there, you see french women at
Back to the Flore for a chevre chaud, dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, alone or with friends, then, my nightly walk, through Place de Furstenberg, magical at night, getting lost in the small streets of the quartier latin and crossing the bridge to Isle Saint Louis. Along the way, I spend hours browsing the shelves of the bookstores which stay open until midnight. The french love to read... I usually end up buying boxes of books that I ship back to New York.
My free day is over, off to sleep.

My dear friends Monique Duveau, food critic and style editor at Cote Sud, and artist Jose Esteves have  introduced me to their favorite restaurants, numerous memorable diners that still tease my taste buds.

Lily-Wang, designed by Jacques Garcia. Simply superb Asian fusion dishes.

40 Avenue Duquesne, Paris 7th # 01 53 86 09 09

Casa Olympe: Olympe is one of the most celebrated chefs in France, fresh breads, inseason truffles, cheeses from Corsica, crayfish...her dishes are an inspiration and a delight to the senses.

48 Rue Saint Georges, Paris 9eme. 01 42 85 26 01

Le Severo Bistrot; the land of Holy meat, best quality, cooked to perfection and at prices easily digested..
Charming bistro, only eight tables, best meats and french fries in Paris.

8 Rue des Plantes Paris 14eme. 08 99 78 72 43

Bistrot Paul Bert: Exquisite comfort food, very parisian food and atmosphere, killer deserts, Paris-Brest is a must.

18 Rue Paul Bert,Paris 11eme 01 43 72 24 01

My favorite stores
Merci! Not to be missed, hip boutique, eclectic mix of fashion and design, great place to shop,be inspired, have an espresso or lunch

111 Blvd Beaumarchais Paris 3eme (near le Marais)

Caravane; the owner Francoise Dorget and I share the same passion for travel, home and design

6 Rue Pave, Paris 4eme, 19 nRue Saint Nicolas, Paris 12eme, 22 Rue Saint Nicolas
image: Caravane

Gallerie Yves Gastou: decorative arts of the 20th century
12 Rue Bonaparte, Paris 6eme.
Table by Robert Couturier

Miller et Bertaux: Home, fashion and scents
17 Rue Ferdinand Duval

Hope you enjoyed!

Paris, a bientot...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Inspiration meets design...working with an artist

Jose Esteves photographed by Serge Anton

On wednesday, we will be unveiling Jose Esteves's new collection at my Interieurs Showroom. If you are in New York, please come and meet Jose, he is so incredibly talented,charming, passionate and he will entertain you with his stories...

Jose's studio photographed by Serge Anton
Jose at work photograph by Serge Anton

When envisioning an artistic collection made of unique sculptures, I always reach deep inside my soul. I feel a very strong connection with nature.Trees, birds, animals, flowers are my sanctuary. I then convey these inspirations and feelings to Jose during our one meeting, usually held in Paris, in this instance, over dinner at the fabulous restaurant Lilly-Wang. The sketching begins in a Picasso fashion. As I express my vision and intentions for the collection, Jose starts sketching. Birds, trees, everything that my mind tries to express is brought to life via Jose's hand and pen.

I will not unveil the collection yet but will share our creative process from concept to final installation.

From loose sketches, the final drawing is revealed.

From drawing, the sculpture takes its form via shape and material

Constantin B in all its simple beautiful splendor.

For the event, we have placed the sculptures and lights in various contexts

Just imagine Constantin B in his new environment. The possibilities are endless. The artist is offering you a unique piece that can be your own vision.

Sketch for "Cream Egg"

Cream Egg lighting sculptures

Envision Cream Egg in your environment...

Augustin B.

For my blogging friends who will be attending the event, please make sure to give me your card and I will have a very special gift (a candlestick created by Jose Esteves for a winner randomly picked by Jose (out of a hat!)

Have a great week!

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