No, this is not the title of a long lost manuscript by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple is my new favorite luncheon spot in Paris and it’s not just for the food. The décor is utterly sans faute and ticks off so many design elements du moment that I adore. Here’s a taste of what’s to be found:
Deep, jewel tones on the walls, cushy leopard print carpet
Velvet covered banquettes
Gallery wall with old prints
Big old landscape painting sans cadre, gilded mirror, crystal chandelier – √√√
Chic runs in the family of the two who opened this lovely spot last spring: Marie-France Cohen, founder of Bonpoint and more recently Merci, and her equally chic sister-in-law Martine Cohen, who is at the helm here. I spotted the über stylish Marie-France Cohen having lunch there on two occasions.
The name befits the atmosphere. You feel as though you’ve stepped into a cozy English teahouse of a bygone era. A cheeky portrait of Miss Marple greets you on the left as you walk in. This version bears a striking resemblance to Iris Apfel.
The food is simple, delicious and healthy fare: salads, quiches and a daily special. The risotto on Tuesday is a must. The food is much like what can be found at Merci, the other Cohen family temple of chic. It’s a bit pricey for such simple fare but worth it if only to spend a moment in this beautiful spot. The service is friendly and welcoming.
I’m heading there this week to celebrate a friend’s birthday! Bon appétit!
Miss Marple – 16 avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 7th arrondissement
Tuesday through Saturday 9:00am – 7:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm
We bought our apartment in Paris almost twenty years ago when I was pregnant with my oldest son. It’s a beautiful Parisian apartment in a building that’s about 150 years old. It has all that you would expect to find in a classic French apartment from the Haussmann era: high ceilings, herringbone floors, five sets of interior French doors, gilded mirrors, floor-to-ceiling windows, paneling, crown molding. What it didn’t have, when we first moved in, was a SINGLE closet! Can you imagine? What’s a girl who likes to shop to do?
Well, armoires in the bedrooms did the trick for a while until we managed to carve out some actual closet space when we undertook a renovation a few years ago. Even still, storage space is limited. Apartment living requires you to make your belongings fit into the space that you have. You’re forced to edit, which is a good thing. The most stylish Parisiennes all seem to have a “uniform”. They know what works for them and stick to it.
Despite its one major shortcoming I still love our beautiful apartment. So what if I’ll never have a proper dressing room, that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about what mine would look like if I did. Aerin Lauder’s dressing room, pictured above, is about as close to perfection as you can get.
Here are some of my dream dressing room musts:
A vanity with a lovely big mirror for putting on make-up and accessories.
A beautiful view would be nice too.
A plush rug or carpet to keep my bare feet warm.
Shelves for shoes!
Lots of storage for handbags and accessories.
A spot to sit and relax and enjoy my private retreat.
Fantasizing about my dream dressing room got me thinking about how I’d pull this all together if I had an extra room to devote to my clothes.
I’d start with a beautiful backdrop like this breathtaking wallpaper from Gracie Studio. I’m not sure if this is the exact one that Aerin Lauder used in her dressing room but it’s quite similar.
The ultra-feminine wallpaper is the obvious star here. To keep things from looking too froufrou I’d add streamlined accents and plenty of white to ground the space: white linen drapes, a plain plush white rug (no shoes allowed!).
I’d want lots of built-ins like these.
With these knobs.
Touches of brass add a bit of glamour and warmth to a space and the clean lines of these pieces lend a modern vibe.
Pretty hooks for planning my outfits.
Lighting is key when getting ready and natural light is a plus, but the sky is often gray in Paris so I can’t always count on that.
I’d use these sconces.
And this pendant. I always find a pendant to be the best option for lighting a space from overhead. This one is really special thanks to its brass rod and rim. I wish I could find one here in France!
Vanities are always much too small so I’d choose a writing desk instead to have more tabletop space.
And add a simple and comfortable slip-covered chair.
An oversized mirror for my vanity.
And lastly, this wonderful chaise.
It’s a good thing this is just a daydream, I’d never want to leave!
The other day, my cousin posted on Facebook that her heart was growing heavy. I empathize. It’s hard to be an informed citizen these days and not feel a bit desperate. I’ve become a news junkie over the past few months which has the unfortunate effect of leaving me feeling hopeless and anxious at times. It’s these instants that make me realize how important it is to take a step back for a moment to regroup and recharge.
While decorating and home decor can seem utterly frivolous in the greater scheme of things, I truly believe that creating a beautiful, welcoming home is beneficial to one’s well-being. Comfort and beauty are good for the soul and help get the positive energy flowing again. We all need a place where we feel contented, secure and relaxed.
This makes me think of a funny little word that keeps popping up on my Pinterest feed : hygge (pronounced HOO-gah). It turns out that it’s not the latest bestseller from Ikea, like I assumed, but an actual Danish word with meaning. It’s about creating a cozy place of warmth and sanctuary that contributes to a general attitude of well-being.
At the start of a new year, I feel a rush of motivation to clear things out, clean things up and start afresh.
I’m not alone. It was funny to see how many of my favorite bloggers and IGers, who went all out for Christmas, had every last ornament packed up and put away just two days after. It takes me longer than that, but I must say that, when the tree and the trimmings finally go, I always feel recharged.
I’m no minimalist, for sure, but after the pomp of the holidays, I’m drawn to pared down spaces. These rooms feel refreshing and calm. The excess has been whittled away and what’s left just looks serene and inviting.
I love this setting. It’s a perfect spot for a cup of tea, a game of cards or an apéritif in the evening.
A welcoming seat to plop down onto after a long day.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to linger here over a late weekend breakfast and the Sunday paper?
A peaceful setting to get some serious work done.
The perfect place to end a busy day. My best friend gave me that same vase for my birthday last year!
It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year, especially on Pinterest. I wanted to do a round up of my favorite Christmas pins but there are so many I didn’t know where to begin. Here are some beautiful outdoor decorations.
This is one of those photos that I like or pin every time I see it. I recently realized that I had multiples of it on my “exteriors” board. I deleted the duplicates but I’m sure I’ll just pin this one again next year. What a perfect little house. So warm and inviting. It can even be rented for weddings.
I love the simple beauty of this front door on one of my very favorite houses. It’s a good foretaste of what is to be found on the inside.
Green looks wonderful against a crisp white exterior. This understated wreath looks fabulous above those gorgeous black barn doors.
How a minimalist does Christmas.
This is so elegant.
And then of course green looks lovely mixed with natural woods. I love the earthy vibe created here with floppy pine wreaths on natural wood doors.
This perfect little garden gate would be pretty on its own but the wreath makes it look so welcoming.
This snowy scene and the thought of the cold outside make me want to curl up in front of a warm fire. Brrrr!
When it comes to finding furniture, sometimes I live with a “filler” until the perfect piece comes along and sometimes I just wait it out.
I’ve been waiting it out for a new coffee table. I redecorated our living room in Paris a few years ago and changed a couple of big ticket items. One was our couch because my beloved rolled arm Conran Shop one had finally bitten the dust after too many running leap belly-flops by my boys. I had no trouble deciding on a replacement but finding the perfect coffee table to go in front of it has stumped me.
For everyday use, we’ve been using a big rectangular ottoman, but its down-filled cushion, while comfy for lounging and watching tv, is too squishy to hold drinks and snacks. Whenever we have guests over, I just move it out of the way and place a couple of smaller tables in front of the couch.
Our living room has four sets of French doors and we cross through it constantly so I didn’t want a giant rectangular table intersecting it. I decided that our square living room needed a round coffee table.
Well, I finally found the perfect one. It was delivered a couple of weeks ago and I am in love. I discovered it just in time too because it’s been discontinued!
It came from Flamant on the beautiful Place de Furstenberg in the 6th arrondissement.
This is the type of interiors store that I could easily live in. It’s full of beautifully made antique reproductions along with Belgian Modern and Gustavian designs. Think lovely linens, supple leather, warm woods and patina galore. There isn’t a thing in it I don’t like. It’s a shame their website and online catalogue aren’t more Pinterest worthy. I’m always frustrated when websites don’t make it easy to save a pretty image.