Monday, November 28, 2011

Thank you House Beautiful and Interior Design

The support of the press is a critical element of the design world. As a designer, having our work published is a mean to reach out, share our design point of view and establish our reputation. As a product designer and showroom owner, having our products endorsed by the press is  extremely important and beneficial . I really enjoy my relationship with editors as one can share ideas, trends, exchanges thoughts and point of views. Editors are exposed to such a vast array or products and  to so many designers, that they really are the pulse of our industry.

If you have a moment, do check out my website Interieurs, you will have an overview of my collaboration with the press and their support.

I will just share the last month worth of press and really want to express my gratitude to House Beautiful and Interior Design magazine. Let me know what you think...

We sold out of our chinese urns (center)

Interior Design magazine is the most influential magazine in the design industry. I feel so fortunate to have established such a great relationship with the magazine and they very often include our products in their editorial. I am thrilled to have 3 placements in this current issue.

The white Pouenat free form table is currently in the showroom. i love to mix it with modern sofa and rough industrial accent pieces

The egg pendant by jose Esteves is one of our very popular light and can be totally customized.

I just love the Unopiu Collection and particularly the white lace bench/sofa surround as featured above.

A Bientot,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Perfect Imperfections: The doors of Zanzibar

Welcome to Stone Town, Zanzibar

In writing for my  blog, I need to dig deep into my own persona: who am I, what do I really like and dislike, how do I live this passage of time that is life? A while ago, I worked with Sean Low who helped me define the process of running a creative business. This exercise was very personal as I needed to really understand and assess the core of my creative mind. In the end, it became evident that my design aesthetics are not about the expected perfection of an object, a piece of furniture or a space but quite the opposite. I need to feel a space, touch an object, to see and feel a piece of fabric, the texture of a chair or a table needs to stand on its own. The design of a piece of furniture or the inspiration for a new collection always comes to me from a part of the past, a discarded object or material, or even a few lines from a book.

It all came so clearly to me, what speaks to me, what I strive for in design and in my personal life is perfect imperfections. The essence of beauty seen, felt, breathed, touched... from this I  will be writing a small series of jottings on perfect imperfections.

Hidden in the corner, I am indeed the lady in black

I will start with the doors of Zanzibar. I travelled all the way to Zanzibar, a rather small island off the coast of Tanzania to see its famous entry doors. The splendor of Oman's influence and its wealth is long gone, but what remains is a richness in history, texture, display of wealth, tortuous narrow streets, decayed gardens, ancient palaces and  one's imaginations can go wild with visual stories of exotic days gone by.

For hours, I walked under tremendous heat in Stone Town's narrow streets, admiring, touching, watching the inhabitants of these houses go in and out via these magnificent doors. These doors are mute witnesses to the richness of the ancient Omani culture, beautifully sculpted in rare woods or sometimes just simple doors that evoke the terrible human suffering during the sordid times of slavery and far too often, death.

The doors with a chain design belonged to the slave traders. Zanzibar was once the main center for arab slave trading. The inhumanity of such men is almost palpable as one walks through the narrow street and enter some of the holding cells for enslaved men and women.

My imagination was running wild while looking at these remnants  of past splendors

Very tempted to ship this one home!

More to come on fascinating Zanzibar, its culture, people,architectural heritage and its famous beaches and hotels.

A bientot,


Friday, November 18, 2011

Jeffrey Bilhuber: A book signing

The Showroom was ready, hors d'oeuvres laid out, the wine bar fully primed, sound equipment and projector fully tested, music on, RSVP growing by the minute... and then, as New York, a city full of surprises is prone to do, played a trick on us unloading a steady penetrating downpour  from its very dark skies.

For you familiar with New York, treacherous rains in this city essentially mean the kiss of death for an event, no cabs to be found, traffic in full gridlock. Then Jeffrey arrived followed by a relative handful of some 40 hardcore New Yorkers who would not permit the elements to hinder their objective of meeting and listening to Jeffrey Bilhuber' talk about his latest book: The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty.

I already knew Jeffrey as an immensely talented designer, but as I sat down to hear him talk about the book, design, history, I was totally taken back by his wealth of knowledge, his eloquence, his historical reference. Jeffrey is simply an amazing story teller, without fluff, he takes you through the core of his creative process, he shares his passion and love for design, his complete dedication to his craft and to his client and his great love of New York.

I felt elated, trusting my instinct , energized from his talk. Jeffrey is simply an extraordinary motivational speaker! His book is a must have.

Showroom ready...

Estera and Jenn ready to ring up the books

Devon, a talented designer working with Alexa Hampton,  Jeffrey, Me and
Beth Neuhaus, founder of Interior Connector.

Devon is the beautiful daughter of Liz Morton of Dovecotedecor

A Bientot,


Friday, November 11, 2011

Meet Jeffrey Bilhuber

If you happen to be in New York on November 16th, please come and meet Jeffrey Bilhuber. Jeffrey will be speaking about his design philosophy and signing his latest book: "The Way Home: Reflections on American Beauty." I would love to welcome you.

I have had the pleasure to know Jeffrey for many years, as Jeffrey has been a client of my showroom Interieurs. His office is actually just a block away from Interieurs. I have, over the years, followed his work and always admired his sense of color, his individual style and his amazing success stories.

"Jeffrey Bilhuber's design style reflects how we live our lives to day. His uniquely American perspective breathes new life into traditionalism with a confirmed understanding of modern sensibilities. He mixes periods and design ideas with a confidence and instinctive style, whose rules are self evident: practicality and sheer beauty. Bilhuber is recognized for his fresh spin on classic design and universally acknowledged as a major style force in this millennium."

A few of my favorite rooms deigned by Jeffrey:

 My all time favorite!

Hope to see you. Please RSVP to Estera

A Bientot,


Monday, November 7, 2011


I don't often feature my second home, INTERIEURS on my blog, as Art de Vivre is more an expression of myself, my likes and dislikes, my life as I live it. However, for the past 15 years, Interieurs is  the chore of my work, an extension of my daily life. I love designing furniture, finding that unloved object and defining a re purposed life from a strictly utilitarian piece to a beautiful appreciated, well cared for piece of furniture, accessories or lighting.

This is a unique SALE in the showroom...hopefully these amazing pieces that I am so fond of, coming from different corners of the world, will find their way to a welcoming new home.

Industrial pieces on display in the INTERIEURS showroom entry

A few of my favorite pieces on sale:

A Bientot,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Luxury Portfolio International

This summer, I met with the dynamic Rebecca Miller, the Luxury Ambassador of Luxury Portfolio International. After reviewing high end designers in New York, she asked if I would be interested to be part of their exclusive group of leading interior designers. Of course,I accepted immediately and was very honored to have been selected. A great party sponsored by Porshe design introduced the program, champaign flowing...

A few notes on Luxury portfolio international:

Luxury Portfolio International® was created in 2005 in response to the sale of the Sotheby’s Real Estate Network. Its parent company, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, dates back to 1963 and is home to the top independently branded real estate firms in over 30 countries worldwide.  The 600+ member companies represent over 5,000 offices and 150,000 sales associates worldwide.  Collectively the network is responsible for over 1 million home sales valued at nearly $300 billion in the U.S. annually – more than any other national real estate organization or franchise group.

Luxury Portfolio International magazine features fine properties targeted to an audience with an average income of $1.6 million! As described by Paul Boomsma, Editor in Chief, the magazine examines the latest lifestyle and design trends with tips from favorite designers, as well as fabulous European resort destinations. 
This issue feature a stunning South African escape, a legendary Beverley Hills Estate,a stylish Aspen retreat  and a grand Parisian palace!

I am extremely pleased to be featured as one of the handful design partners (only six top designers featured) who defines good taste and can make the ultimate personal statement for a client's home.
As part of the Design Collection, we are called to work with clients on advising while they consider purchasing high end real estate. 

A bientot,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Aspirations and Invitation Only

Welcome to my dreams...

My first time being part of Marsha's group of gifted writers... Marsha as you may know is the incredibly talented blogger known as Splenderosa. It's early Saturday morning, coffee on my nightstand, sitting in bed, computer on my lap, I feel very intimidated to be part of such accomplished writers... Tish Jett, Greet, Vicky, name a few.

The subject is very dear to me ..."tell the world what you have always wanted to do or wish you could do, but just haven't done it yet "

I have reached the age of reflection, a time when I can look honestly at my life. I have been a very tough self critic, but with enough years behind me now, I am trying to be a little kinder to myself. This subject is touching a sore chord, very deep inside all the mixed emotions .

Frankly, I have wanted to do everything (except politics) ... see the world, fly airplanes, climb mountains, write a book, build my dream houses.... (yes, that's right, its Houses, not a typo) but feel that I have accomplished so little... My bucket list keeps growing and I can never hope to catch up!

My heroine Emilia Earhart...while flying my small Cessna, I would dream of her adventures

Let's be a little wild and as Marsha suggested, forget about time, money, obligations.

Everest through my lens

I have a vision... following months if not years of preparations and training, I reached the summit of Everest. I feel the pain of breathing, every muscle screaming, the burning fear of the descent, the tears of joy, and the purest love  of life. I would have survived the harshest conditions where life is so fragile that the wrong step, the slightest mistake, or simply bad luck will kill you.
I must have read nearly every mountaineering book, watched so many documentaries and lived vicariously through the great climbers. Listening to stories told by Peter Hillary during the evenings following our days trekking in Tibet, I would block out the world and live through his words, sometimes brutal,describing with such precision the harsh realities of mountain climbing.

This is actually a smile of pure joy with Mount Everest in the background

With Peter Hillary following in his father footsteps as the greatest mountaineer ever...
A fabulous story teller as well

Wake up! this is just a dream but isn't it fun to dream...

I feel so fortunate and thankful as I live my life fully, never looking back. As a young girl, I flew my airplanes, skied as if the devil was in me, and dreamed of America (Please keep in mind I was born in a village with fewer than 500 inhabitants in a remote beautiful part of France, Lot et Garonne)

My small village of Clermont Dessous

I made it to America and many of my dreams and wishes have been fulfilled! I am blessed with a wonderful family and amazing friends. I love designing, gardening,hiking, skiing,reading... but most of all, love showing the world to my two sons. (now worry to death as my younger son is becoming passionate about.... roped mountain climbing!)

I have yet to build my dream mountain house, or my hut on some deserted island or write that book about life, design, travel and adventures, get back into the pilot seat, and still need to visit 147 out 195 countries !!

Found "my" island in the Indian ocean, off the coast of Zanzibar

Found "my" hut

Go and live your dreams...

A bientot,


Please, visit Marsha at By Invitation Only and read about these bloggers dreams

Marsha Harris

Members of "By invitation only"























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