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Let me preface this long post by saying I have lots of gorgeous pictures following (on the bottom)..but I hope you might take the time to read about my trip, French life and Paris in general as I think it sets the tone…..

Bon Jour! Oh my….we got back late this morning and I am still floating on a cloud from my wonderful short jaunt to Paris. This is the 4th or 5th time I have been… certain “rites of passages”  that one normally puts at the top of their must see list have long been checked off mine but there is something so magical even after several visits,  about seeing the buildings of The Louvre, the iconic Eiffel tower and the  Arc de Triomphe time and time again. We spent most of our time at the Maison & Objet show which was overwhelming, beautiful, inspirational,  exciting and totally exhausting (my poor feet even from wearing my most comfortable shoes had to pay the highest price of the miles and miles of walking that we did) So what did we see at the show besides millions of people from all over the world…… The reclaimed wood theme is HUGE and was seen everywhere, saw lots of color everywhere, plenty of modern ( a big reflection of the European market) we got to see the newest Phillipe Starck collection of Baccarat chandeliers, met with the President of the Fendi furniture company. (very much not my style however it is big for the moneyed Russian, Middle Eastern and European set) My husband knew many people there so we got an “insiders take” on many things from trends, to whats new and exciting, to the climate of the home furnishings market which fingers crossed, is improving as hopefully the economy is!  I am writing a lot today, I realize but hope you will take the time to read….I have so much to talk about and in reading this post, will help you get the real feel of our trip!

 I am enclosing lots of pictures from the show since so much time was spent there. We found things to be expensive, particularly with the dollar’s weak exchange but we did order a few fabulous chests from a company we have ordered from before, they make the finest french furniture, replicated from Louis XVI and Louis XV period.We also found (one of the reasons we went) a fabulous Louis XVI antique mantle.  I have also enclosed lots of pictures of those pieces as well. One of my favorites things about being in my favorite city is just getting lost in looking at the most spectacular architecture, the limestone buildings with  details that are mind boggling, the long exaggerated copper roofs, the fabulous light/lanterns and wrought iron detail that seems to decorate every building. So you will see I took liberty to take many pictures of beautiful buildings, perhaps my appreciation has increased since we are going through the building of our own home. My mind cannot wrap itself around the fact that these buildings were done completely by hand hundreds of years ago. It is truly breathtaking.

 Last of course we found plenty of time to enjoy many wonderful meals. People here in the U.S. eat to survive and sustain themselves, people there eat to enjoy and relax and socialize.There really is a difference and its so wonderful and inspiring to watch. I made a few observations that perhaps as I have gotten older, have become more astute to notice and these are my observations:

7 of my many observations while in Paris

1. I observed over and over,  french people greet each other (lets say in a restaurant someone is waiting for their friend to join them) they really give the most genuine hugs and kisses, you can see they really mean how happy they are to see the other air kisses, no fake greetings.
2. I love that they really do posses the “joie de vivre” or key to life. I loved watching them dine, they sit there for hours, enjoying good wine, fine foods, linger over their Dixie cup sized cup of coffee, revel in their decadent desserts, no scraping off the cream, no ordering a salad with dressing on the side, you would be looked at like an alien if you did! Then when you think they are getting ready to get up and go after completing their meal…..they order another glass of wine! Gotta love it!
3. They really are just that much more sophisticated, I hate to admit it. So while en route to the show one day, I took notice of  our taxi driver. Here is what he was wearing, chic orange corduroy pants, a plaid dress shirt underneath,  a Barbour type jacket, a scarf, a beret ( of course) and he was playing opera music……only in Paris!
4. I have never encountered the “rude Parisian” who doesn’t like  Americans. I am sure they exist but believe me every one we encountered couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful
5. Your money will not go as far as it does in other countries, but its such a memorable trip always and a true visual feast for the senses in all the beauty that envelopes you when you are there
6. You almost rarely see French women in jeans (at least not in our hotel and where we went about town) I asked someone about this who we talked to over dinner one night and she explained that they don’t feel its refined to be out on the street in jeans (exception younger people in their 20’s and under) Having grown up with a mom who never ever wore jeans, and I rarely do too….I appreciated this nod to ladylike dressing.
7. Over lunch one day, we were seated next to a young  twenty something year old girl and her mother, I am nearly certain. They had been there long before we got there and I wish I could have understood what they were saying. It was such an animated conversation punctuated with lots of laughter, holding each others hands and every few minutes, the young one would whip out her iPhone camera and put her head close to her moms and snap away taking pictures of them smiling, hugging, holding each others hand, marveling at a dessert,etc…… It was so sweet and endearing….I enjoyed watching them so much, they were oblivious to anyone around there, just so happy to be together. It was so sweet  to watch that it brought tears to my eyes (happy tears) and reminded me to cherish those you love and enjoy the days we have together. 

I could go on and on and I am sure I will bring up Paris in some way or another in the next few days to come but here are some highlights.  So today I will share some hotel photos (yes I did over obsess over the small details but since we are building a french home, we wanted to “take note” of every little detail plus the hotel was so fabulous…Le Meurice. I also include photos from the Maison & Objet show, tomorrow will share my architectural wonder pictures and our about town photos. Enough talking, now its time for showing…….so many pictures. Too many for one day!~  Now time to go “sample” (aka devour)  my macaroons that beckon…….au revoir!

Stunning view of the inlaid marble floor in the lobby of the Le Meurice hotel
A room with a view, from my perch at breakfast…..throw in a cup of espresso and a chocolate croissant and its perfection!

The columns and murals were spectacular as was the low wattage lighting

The oh so fabulous bar, even prettier in person…tres magnifique!

Gorgeous main restaurant of the hotel, restaurant Le Meurice
Lobby of the hotel…so opulent and decadent.

The breakfast and salon off the main foyer
Not a bad fireplace to have dinner in front of……..

On to the room and the details…..
I am choosing my doors now so focused a lot on the doors in the hotel! The three panel looks like its winning…

Close up view…they trimmed this in gold, pretty but a little too formal for our house

Want an egg shaped knob with a backplate, similar to the hotel’s door

Entering the room, they did a lot of faux painting in pretty small corners, no space was untouched

Love the stair rail in one of the hotels’ hallways- we too are putting in iron

The iron detailing on one of the doors, in the interior

How gorgeous are these doors? I was obsessing over them!

We are putting in very similar sconces, loved the mirrored paneling

Looking downstairs from mezzanine to breakfast salon

Fabulous chandeliers were everywhere, they were all antique..of course!
Love this marble tub….

All walls were encased in limestone

Beautiful limestone detailing going up the stair

Another balcony shot

I fell in love with this mirrored “window” above the door going to the bathroom
Part of our beautiful room with its 16 foot ceilings

Entrance to the spa, the walls were the palest celadon green in high gloss…so beautiful

Love orchids, always adds such an elegant touch to an already ridiculously elegant hotel

Moving onto the show…..
A beautiful setting over at Christopher Guy

Christoper Guy’s showroom, though I am not a huge fan of his line, the booth was quite magnificent!

Beautiful blue and white

Love the color of these stunning velvet green couches
Lots of reclaimed wood mixed in with the antiques

Found this fabulous line of French made marble mantels to replicate the antiques

Ordered these lanterns, they are about 4 feet tall and amazing!

A line of antiques and antique reproductions

Even the booths had french paneling on the walls!

 More of the reclaimed wood is being used in much of the French furniture as well

This was one of our favorite vendors, makers of fine french furniture

Another masterpiece,  it takes about 45 days to make this start to finish, all by hand

The stunning mantles made of antique marble is just fabulous!

Lots of super over sized coffee tables in the reclaimed woods

Trying to figure out where I can use this piece, fell in love with it….kitchen? Butlers pantry? Any ideas?

I want an outdoor porch with this very chic!

Lots of creative displays, so inspirational and so many talented people!

This line from Scotland was so fabulous, I want a ski house just so I can furnish it with their things!

Another view of their pretty showroom
Antique fabulous collection of french chests

Beautiful little reproduction black and walnut table

That blue and white always gets my attention!

Another view from Scotland”s finest!

This was a 20 foot wall of all blue and white plates….so pretty

Love the neutral palette with the blue and white

This was a such a visual treat!

Colorful kilims were everywhere
These furniture pieces were made of kilims and were a popular line at the show….a lot of fun!

A vibrant collection of kilim covered pieces

This was a pretty kilim chair in various shades of pinks and blues

Another great collection of pillows…this booth was bustling!

A nice line of pillows artfully displayed

Love this chest..made by one of Paris’s finest producers of fine reproduction French furniture, they do this in 14 different colors!

Gorgeous desk from the same company

Lots of huge colorful planters were everywhere

Another gorgeous chest

Love this  massive black library cabinet, it was about 14 feet high and so stunning!

This gorgeous booth was done in the darkest green, almost black and loaded with fabulous lighting and furniture

Even the fake flowers were unreal!

More reclaimed wood

Beautiful faux book wall of cabinets

Another view

There was a lot of all white too…reminds me of the beach

The colors, orange and turquoise were seen quite a bit

A beautiful wall of walnut cabinets

Fabulous faux orchids

More floral splendor

This was a 30 foot high wall of creative and dramatic!

This was just too unreal to not take picture of! At almost $12,000 it can be yours!

I loved the orange interior of this antique reproduction Secretary

Another view of this exquisite little desk

Fabulous black chest, from the rolls Royce of small french furniture makers

The Phillipe Starck signature chandelier for Baccarat (the pink/red you see are red crystals randomly inserted amongst the clear person it was quite stunning)
Hope you enjoyed this visual getaway… was such a treat. I will share more pictures tomorrow……au revoir!

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Hi Tina,
sounds like a lovely time in Paris…
love your observation between the cultures..and love the mom/daughter exchange…my daughter and I are still (mostly) like that…
good to have you back..

OMG Tina, those lanterns you ordered, I have two of those here in my studio!!!!! Don’t be shocked by the size of the crates they arrive in they’re huge! If you would like to see a picture email me and I’ll send you one. You are going to love them! My studio is in an 18th century carriage barn and the barn sort of dwarfs them but I love them so much. It sounds like you had a fabulous time in Paris. I’ve been there probably forty times, mainly for work, and I never get tired of it. I love the pace over in Europe they don’t rush about like we do. What a feast for our eyes so many wonderful things at that show I’m begging for more here already. Thank you for taking us along!

[email protected]

Your photos are incredible and everything is just how I would expect Paris to be. Alas, I have never been. Definitely on my list when all colleges expenses are paid. So glad you had a wonderful time. Lucky, lucky gal. πŸ™‚

I am just starry-eyed, in love, love, love with all things Paris!!!

Merci beaucoup!

I can’t wait for Part II!

I have died and gone to heaven! Oh my, these pictures are to die for. I can’t stop looking… must have been just starry eyed at all the beauty. I haven’t been in about eight years but suddenly feeling like I need to get back right away. Thanks for the visual get away. I needed it!

It sounds like you had a fabulous time, not just at the show, but in Paris itself. I love your observation about women in jeans – neither of my parents have ever owned a pair of jeans…

Thanks for sharing all your beautiful pictures – I went ga ga over the ones of the blue & white jars – they are all stunning – I would love a couple of those really large ones in my home!

Wow…Tina, such a feast for my eyes. I’ve only been to Paris once, and now am dreaming of going back. So many beautiful pieces – you must be thrilled with the lanterns…absolutely spectacular. The piece in question would be fabulous in your butler’s pantry – it’s a must!!

Wow! I can’t believe all this “fabulousness” in one post! Love the lanterns and i can stop scrolling up and down the page:-). Merci, merci! XX

My goodness, talk about eye candy!!! What amazing stuff, I am ready to redecorate my whole house!
I adore paris, and I always leave feeling so inspired and happy, that’s why its one of my favourite cities in the world.
*kisses* HH

What a fun time I had reading your “travel Journal”…your French observations were divine. Love your lanterns and that sink was really cool. How nice to be able to rest and enjoy Le Meurice. Love it all.
Merci beaucoup. Following you for more πŸ™‚
Mary Ann

Welcome to blog land and thank-you for alerting me to your enchanted home. Love to capture your home in an illustration. What a lovely and enchanted home you are creating!
Love Paris…..

Hi Tina, thanks for visiting Chic Provence and leading me to your blog and gorgeous post about Paris! So good to see all the color at M & O this year!! great photos, felt like I was there.

Your home looks wonderful, I’ll stay tuned!

Hi again Tina, I’d love for you to join us on the Chic Provence Design Tour at the huge antiques show at Easter in l’Isle sur la Sorgue! Please check out the details and come with us! You would LOVE it!

I couldn’t find your email address on your blog to contact you thus the second post here!


Tina – FABULOUS post!!! Just loved taking this vicarious trip with you! Love the Meurice – have never stayed but have had coffee. Oh that bathroom!! And loved seeing all the gorgeous booths from M&O – I must ask you – who was the manufacturer of the beautiful wicker chairs and round table – was it Janus

Wow, thanks for coming and getting me over here today… what an absolute treat! I love how you started the post with your spot on observations, so true! And then you rewarded us with those seriously overwhelmingly gorgeous photos. It was so much fun. Intense eye candy and unbelievable talent. Isn’t it amazing just in your hotel how much detail and beauty there is in just one square inch!!
I swear those French have so much talent it really does put us to shame. That je ne sais quoi really nails it. I can’t wait for tomorrow!
I have so much admiration for you buliding your beautiful home… it’s a lot of pressure! I can tell though you are up for the challenge and have a great eye πŸ™‚
A Bientot!

WOW…sounds (and looks) like a truly fabulous trip! Thanks so much for posting all those great pictures. I am obsessing over that wall of blue and white plates – will definitely be bookmarking that for future use πŸ™‚ So glad you had a nice time!

xo Kelly

Thank you for sharing this with us! WOW! I’m starting to get into decorating, and your blog is really inspiring me to have more confidence in my taste. My house is coming along.

Also, I have to agree with you observations of French people. When I was there, I noticed the same things. I really like the comment on jeans. Have to agree with you!

so many great pictures!

thank you so much for visiting mosaicology.

good luck with everything!

i hope you will come by again.

check out my newest posts. sending mosaic e cards and all kind of e-cards from around the world.

Oh good heavens, this post is sheer bliss on a monitor! I cannot tell you how delightful it is to see all of the fabulous photos from the show, not to mention the hotel. It’s been several years since I have been there, and we both are more-than-ready for a visit.

Like everyone else, I am always struck by the ‘no jeans’ on most French women, it used to be one of the easier ways to spot tourists, although I don’t know if that has changed. It’s definitely up there with the “why French women don’t get fat” sort of aesthetic, to be sure.

You are too wonderful to stop by and visit our goofy blog, nowhere near as stylish as yours, but it’s our little piece of daily efforts at creativity!

I’ll be back to visit, this is too much fun to miss!

Bonjour! Well we just might be sisters from another life! I cannot believe how much you love Paris and I think it is as much as me. What a beautiful, beautiful trip and the fair looks incredible. I would love one day to go to the Maison fair as I know it would be spectacular and your gorgeous pictures have shown that. I have been to Paris and France 4 times over the years and each time I go back I just feel enchanted, overwhelmed and stunned at the history and beauty that surrounds me. We are actually going again in July and I can’t wait! We have previously stayed at the Hotel de Crillon and The Ritz and this time we were thinking either Georges 5th or Le Meurice and your photos are just beautiful so thank-you for sharing.
The marble, the door panelling, the gilding, the green velvet chairs, everything is just stunnng and you have taken such beautiful photos.
Thank-you for visiting my blog and I have just joined yours! Your blog is “enchante”! I can’t wait to see all the news with your new home!
With best wishes always
Frances aka M.A. the 2nd

I have been drooling into my keyboard. This post is simply amazing and did a great job of whetting my palette for my spring trip to Paris! Love the orange secretary…absolutely stunning! The lanterns you ordered are eye catching. Oh, my goodness, you certainly are building a dream home.

You have expressed the same experiences I had on my recent trip to Paris. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words. Loved the dining and sensory overload of all the many beautiful things. Eichholtz was one of my favorites at Maison show.

I found your blog googling ginger jar lamp. Hahaha. Am very impressed with your “eye”, and could only wish that I could acquire such a magnificent and sophisticated sense of aesthetics.

Two things we have in common. I am passionate about blue and white and French style! Will put the Maison et Objets in my bucket list for next year.

Tina…this post is beyond fabulous!! I had never seen it before and devoured every little detail…it is about as perfect as a post can be!

Thank you SO much for sharing this for my link party AND so I was able to enjoy it – made my day!


What a great post! Or rather two posts in one! I loved reading your insights into Parisian life and then seeing all of your gorgeous photos. I’m going to focus on finding more joie de vivre in my life (which I could surely do if I spent some time inside those lovely celadon walls of the spa in your hotel!).
Visiting from the No Passport Required link party.

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