Thursday, October 30, 2014

A day at the Paris Flea market - Marche aux puces


We've moved!  

Please see the latest post here: 

...... and all future Design Beat Seattle posts - on the new Piacenza Design website!  

a bientot!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Maison et Objet 2014 - Interior Design trade show par excellence!

Maison et Objet 2014 was enormous, informative, overwhelming and amazing!!  Look at the size of this place - and this was only one building of eight!
The predominant impression was Calm & Serene: pale and pastel colors, (quite a bit of greige, taupe and mauve – but not in an ‘80’s way!), natural fibers, animal prints (yes!), and lots of copper.
I did see a bit of saturated, primary color represented..... but.... 

.......notice how the  bright colors of these candles are only about 25% of the color range.  And....
 .....copper was everywhere!
 Vintage-inspired items were also in great supply.


Lots of natural fibers....

.....and, of course, the whimsical.....

After seeing what's on the horizon for home interiors, it was time to experience history at the flea market.....Stay tuned!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Neighborhood Beat - Madison Valley Bastille Bash July 12, 2014

Francophiles Unite!  Madison Valley's annual Bastille Day Celebration is July 12th, 2014 from 3pm - 8pm

Last year's Bastille Bash was such a hit that this year it's bigger and better! There will be French-inspired food from such notable restaurants as Crush, Cafe Flora, Luc and Voilà, among many others; Northwest and French wine tastings... music & entertainment - even jugglers and burlesque (oh la la!).... a street festival atmosphere.

Funds raised from this event benefit the Detlef Schrempf Foundation and Art with Heart.

Check the Bastille Bash Facebook page for updated information on participants, entertainment, schedules and more:
Tickets for food and wine are available hereBon santé !

Monday, June 23, 2014

Countdown to Maison et Objet 2014 - Part deux

It's now just over 2 months before we leave for Italy & France and it seems like there's more to do than ever!

About midway thru the trip, we'll be attending Maison et Objet, one of the largest - if not THE largest interior design/homewares trade show in the world! The 2014-15 theme is:

“Sharing”Our era is clicking on the “Share” icon. Generation G for Generosity is bashing cynicism and liking “We”. New uses and values are reconfiguring ways of living together, exchanging information, goods, services and experiences. In the digital age, networking information is producing new tools with emerging practices in an economy of collaboration and cooperation. We are seeing a dynamic of creative sharing which is programming the future of a caring world.

Hopeful and nice.

Here are some images from the 2013 show...

                                                                Oh la La!

Our Paris home, (I love the way THAT sounds!), is located in the  Village St Paul neighborhood of the 4th Arrondissement, near the Marais.  

                                                               Village St Paul
We booked through Guest Apartment Services.  They actually specialize in Ile St Louis, the oldest Master Planned Community I've ever seen, developed in the mid-1600's and about 2 blocks wide.  Ile St Louis is bisected by one main road - St Louis en l'Ile - running its length and is absolutely filled with restaurants/cafes, residential buildings, a few hotels.  Ile St Louis also boasts the original location of Berthillon, maker of world famous ice cream.

All so beautiful!
Our apartment is about 2 blocks and a bridge from l'Ile St Louis.....

Besides scouting out the emerging interiors trends at Maison et Objet, I'll also be mining the past by scouring the Paris Flea Market, Marché aux Puces,  with Toma Haines' company, The Antiques Diva.  We're looking forward to finding some unique and beautiful things, like those below, (yes, please!) to send home.

Before France, we'll be in Italy, where I'm intending to make it to the Porta Portese  flea market in Rome's Trastevere neighborhood and hopefully find unique and wonderful objects there, too, to send home.... 

like these.... perche no?

But the bulk of the trip will be spent in Paris.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Did you know that mirrors, as we know them today, were perfected by the Venetians and that they had a corner on the market until Louis XIV came along?

And that during the Renaissance, a fine Venetian mirror cost more than an old master painting and was framed similarly?

According to "The Essense of Style, by Joan DeJean", Louis XIV (the Sun King) wanted his palace at Versailles to outshine all others; he decided to tout his wealth and power through the display of his French artisans' mirror-making talents. Prior to this, mirrors were difficult to make larger than a little more than 2 feet high; hand mirrors were even tremendously expensive!

Louis had "huge expanses of mirrored glass measuring 18 feet high and 6 1/2 feet wide" installed in Versailles in what became known as the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces). The panels reflected seventeen windows directly across from them, and the luxurious gardens just outside.  The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles became an immediate tourist attraction and remains one to this day.

After mirrors were able to be produced more efficiently and size was (almost) not a problem, the possibilities became endless.  

In interior design, mirrors are a wonderful way to open up a space and add a little sparkle to a dim area....

 ....including kitchen backsplashes .....

......and furniture for every room in the house.

French mirror makers have given us so many beautiful choices!