Category: Paris

Rodolphe Parente (and no, I’m not dead)

Sorry for the radio silence folks! I know its been an eternity since I last posted…a few sweet emails saying how much you missed posts are enough motivation to get me back to blogging. Its been a combination of being busy and lacking inspiration. Luckily I’m on holiday now and came across these stunning images of a Paris apartment by a new-to-me designer, Rodolphe Parente.

I’m loving the mix of new and vintage furniture, the colours, and all those amazing details. How great are those doors in the bedroom, and the metal inlay in the bathroom floor…Swoon!










Le Flandrin

Le Flandrin, Paris is another stunning creation by Joseph Dirand….one of my favorite designers at the moment (and a bit of a crush too). Love the colour combo, those stunning floors, the use of antique mirror, and those walls look like they’re clad in gold leaf. Stunning. Adding it to my list now…








Hôtel Vernet

Sorry for the radio silence folks…we had a wonderful launch party for the magazine a few weeks back and then I flew down to Melbourne to catch up with friends and family and to get some much needed R&R.

I’m still getting through the glut that is my inbox, but in the meantime I thought I’d share some pics that I found of the newly renovated Hôtel Vernet in Paris by one of my favorite French designers, François Champsaur. Love it.

For more images of the rest of the hotel (this is just the restaurant) check out Yatzer

Champeau & Wilde

The Parisian apartment by design duo Champeau & Wilde in the latest Elle Decor absolutely took my breath away. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, its the mix that makes it work. What I wouldn’t do for that original wall panelling…

Marion Vidal

I’m absolutely loving this latest collection of necklaces from French jeweller, Marion Vidal. I love the sophistication of the simple black/gold combinations and the cute candy coloured beads. They look good enough to eat.

Vidal originally studied architecture in Paris and Milan for 6 years before transitioning to fashion in Antwerp where she ended up at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After returning to Paris, Vidal started her eponymous collection in 2004. Her mixed education is evident in her work, and the materials she gravitates towards: wood, ceramics, metal and textiles. Each piece is still hand crafted by Marion, and in addition to creating her own range she has also been asked to work for the likes of Céline.

Marion’s jewels can be purchased online via her own site, and in Hong Kong through the online store Chariots on Fire.

Paule Ka

While I’m on the subject of Paule Ka…I have to share some pics of the collection campaign for Fall/Winter 13/14.  The clothes are incredibly chic, but I also love the photography, and the location. If anyone knows what/where (I presume Paris?) this building is, I would love to know!

Serge and his muse

I have loved the French fashion label Paule Ka for quite some time…so I was pretty stoked to find some images of the Paris home of founder and designer, Serge Cajfinger. He says his real passion is interior design, and that’s pretty evident from these pics. Filled to the brim with great art and furniture…and a bird’s eye view of the city of light…from his bed! So jealous. Maybe in another life…

Serge with his muse, photographer Sonia Sieff.


Photos by Christopher Sturman for Harpers Bazaar Arabia, Jul-Aug 2013.

Mr Blue

Spotted on Yatzer, the dreamy new restaurant in the Palais de Tokyo, Paris – Monseiur Bleu. Designed by a man who is fast becoming one of my favorite designers, Joseph Dirand. I love his use of colour in this space (I have always loved green, not just because Pantone says so)…and how he’s played around with light and dark. It looks fresh and new and so timeless at the same time. If the food tastes anywhere near as good as the place looks, I am making a reservation now!

a working holiday

Well, I’m back. Have been for a week, but have been to busy this week to even think about my poor neglected blog. Our short, but very sweet, trip was amazing. I’ve had a few readers ask for tips and recommendations…so without boring you all senseless, I’ll try to keep it succinct.

We had only 4 days, one of which was the wedding we attended (at the Montague on the Gardens Hotel – super cute, very small rooms, but served a great afternoon tea!).  

Hyde Park on a lovely sunny day

Some of our favorite eats were:

Daylesford Organics, Notting Hill – We had breakfast here, our first meal in London. A great way to start the trip. Everything about this place is inspiring, and a concept that is sadly lacking in Hong Kong. We bought a lot of preserves here to bring back with us.

Granger & Co. Notting Hill – possibly a silly choice as Australians to patronise the establishment of another aussie whilst in London, but it was highly recommended by a few people. We met an old friend for lunch and enjoyed the food immensely.  Our friends whose wedding we attended ate there a week later and sat next to Stella McCartney and her husband. Great food, great interior, both with a very relaxed Australian vibe.

Somewhere we didn’t make it was Ottolenghi, in the same neighbourhood as these two. Also was highly recommended, and the deli style food I saw in the window when we walked past between breakfast and lunch looked amazing. I actually asked my husband at 10am if it was too early for another coffee and some cake. Needless to say it will be high on my list for next time, as will the sister establishment, Nopi in Soho.

Fortnum & Mason – the new Diamond Jubilee Tea Rooms designed by none other than David Collins are stunning. The afternoon tea set, which regrettably I did not have with the champagne that was available. Nor did I have the appetite to make the most of the endless refills of the delicious scones (best ever, which I can only say now that my Grandmother has passed away) or the cake trolley. Slightly wasted on us as we were so full from the previous 2 amazing meals we’d had that day, but amazing none the less.  I recommend you go with an empty stomach though.

Borough Markets – we wandered around for hours, on what was only our second trip here.  I would quite like the time to spend an entire day here and have 3 or more meals.  So much to taste and tempt you. We bought many varieties of saucisson, cheese and potted meats to take with us to eat on our travels, some of which actually lasted til we got home.

St.John – We had dinner here with the bride and groom to be, and I was  not disappointed. I love the space and the ambiance.  I thought the food quality, the serving sizes and quality of service was amazingly good value in a city with a reputation for being expensive.  It outclassed anything I’ve had in Hong Kong (although I have to say, most of our meals in London did). I was slightly underwhelmed by the main I ordered, but all in all I loved it and would definitely go back again.

Massimo – in the recently refurbished Corinthia Hotel, also designed by David Collins. We enjoyed  a very well priced set menu with the good friends we were staying with.  I enjoyed my meal, and the interior was captivating.  So many beautiful details, that Mr Collins is known for, that we could have sat for much longer and still picked up on something new. 

The Serpentine Pavillion by Ai Wei Wei and Herzog & De Meuron 

Other highlights: 

Tate Modern – Getting to see the Munch exhibit at the Tate was definitely a highlight, as I have admired his work greatly for many years.  I own a book of his work so was familiar with much of it (and was not disappointed at all that none of the versions of the famous “Scream” paintings were included), but was still pleasantly surprised by just how vivid his use of colour was. So inspiring.

Potterton Books– Definitely one of the best design bookshops anywhere handsdown, with outposts in New York and LA. I bought a couple of books, and could have spent a fortune on more had my credit card and weight limit as an economy passenger not restricted me…

The Orangery at Kensington Palace


We were fortunate enough to here to celebrate our 11 year anniversary whilst in Paris.  Bofinger was recommended by a few people to us, and was fortunately a short walk from our charming hotel in Le Marais. We were taken to a table upstairs, which the waitress described as ‘très jolie’, and it was. However, the photos of the downstairs dining room with the lovely Art Nouveau detailed ceiling was what sucked me in, and I kinda wished we’d been able to sit there.  Despite this, the food was lovely, very rich in a traditional French sense, but very enjoyable.

L’ oulette – this was probably the best meal of the trip, if not at least in Paris.  A charming little bistro, also a short walk from our hotel, which has a great menu of French classics.  I had Duck confit (amazing), and my husband had Cassoulet (also equally amazing). 

Our last night we dined at Chez Julien (from the stable of the Costes brothers, of Hotel Costes fame), also recommended by a friend.  The food was more of a modern French style, which I enjoyed, and the interior is also quite charming.  Luckily also walking distance from our hotel, which took us along the Seine.

Parisians enjoying a sunny Sunday in the Place des Vosges

Other highlights:

I finally made it to the Decorative Arts Museum, a place I had been dreaming about ever since I discovered its existance, shortly after my last trip to Paris six years ago.  The collection is small, but amazing.  Pieces by Royère, Arbus, Prouvé – just to name a few. The bookshop attached is also a jaw dropper if you are into rare and out of print books on French design.

A rainy Paris day, as seen from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

And of course, Maison & Objet.  My first trip, and somehow I manage to cover most of it in a day.  A pretty mean feat, anyone who has been will tell you.  Not sure where to even start, which was pretty much my feeling when I arrived there.  The vast range and quality of product on show is overwhelming. I don’t know that I will list off my faves in this post, but if I ever get around to perusing my fair catalogue I might do it in another one, another time.  Needless to say, if you’re in the industry its a must see.  Now that I’ve checked that off, I am now aiming for Milan next year.

A good day to be inside, the Louvre in Paris

Brittany / Normandy:

We stayed at Maison Violette, a lovely 300yr old cottage in a tiny but very cute town named Bazouges la Perouse. The town itself is definitely one of the prettiest in the area, and is only a 45 min drive from Rennes, the capital city of Brittany.  We took a train down from Paris (about 2 hrs), and then hired a car and drove for the rest of the time.

Maison Violette, in Bazouges la Perouse.
Making Bazouges our base, we did a lot of driving over the next few days…and without going into excessive detail, these were the highlights of that part of the trip…
The stunning Mont St Michel, only a 30 min drive from where we were staying
 Stunning seaside walled town of St. Malo, about 40 mins from Bazouges
Coastal town, Cancale, home to the best Oysters ever!, very close to St. Malo, we did both in a day
the Château de Combourg, about 20 mins drive away
and last, but not least, the crumbling ruins in Fougères, the largest medieval castle in Europe
(only 30 mins away from Bazouges)

all photos taken by moi!

Saint Germain inspiration

Things are a little hectic around here…so in lieu of a “real” post…I will leave you with this eye candy…and if you like go grab yourself a copy of the new Vogue Living (Aus). I would love an apartment in Saint Germain full stop, but one like this, yes please!


Perfect Paris Pad

I know this place has been blogged about a million times already, but I couldn’t help myself. L’Wren, I’ll take the apartment, but you can keep Mick 😉
Photographed by François Halard for Vogue

Dealers Choice

I’m not sure why it took me so long to come across this book, but I’m glad I finally have a copy. “Dealers Choice” (released in May this year), with a foreword by Michael Bruno of, is a stunning compendium of the homes of some of the worlds greatest dealers of furniture and design. There are so many well known names amongst the list, but its the home of Parisienne, Mary Jourdan, in particular that has caught my eye. The monochromatic palette may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love the quiet sophistication of it. This is but a taste of her apartment, let alone the entire book, so if you like what you see I highly recommend it.

The Baroness

From the same lady who created this, from the cover of Elle Decor April 2008 (photographed by Roger Davies)…

…remember? We now also have this to drool over…

from the latest Australian Vogue Living (photographed by Richard Powers).

The Baroness de Pampelonne has created a spectacular apartment in Paris for a wealthy Russian client, who received the apartment as a present. As you do.
Its absolutely stunning, and easily one of few spaces I’ve ever seen I feel I could move right into without changing a single thing. The colours, the furniture, the art…the mix is perfection. I spy pieces by Hervé Van der Straeten, Gio Ponti, Eric Schmitt, Angelo Mangiarotti, Les Lalannes, Baguès, Ico Parisi, Jean Royere, Otto Wagner and Philippe Hiquily…its like a roll call of my favorite designers! I won’t spoil it for you by posting all the images, even though I’m tempted. So make sure you go buy a copy, because the entire apartment is to die for.

La Villa

While searching for inspiration during the week for a new project I’m working on I found these images of the fairly new Gilles & Boissier designed “La Villa” restaurant and bar in Paris. It was about this time 4 years ago I was last in Paris, celebrating my birthday. While I may not have immediate plans to get back there, I think I’ll be quite happy doing some armchair travel while checking out the rest of the images on the website. The interior is simply breathtaking, and I’m completely in love with the colour palette! Hope you enjoy…


Antiquités Chinoises

Seeing Anouska Hempel’s new London home reminded me of another old favorite – the Paris apartment of US based furniture retailer, Holly Hunt. I first saw this in Elle Decor’s Margaret Russel’s book “Designing Women” published a few years back. I fell in love with this apartment and may well be what first introduced me to the work of Jean-Michel Frank and the other French moderne masters. And as I had never heard of Holly Hunt, it may well have also been my first introduction to the work of Christian Liaigre and Axel Vervoordt (there are pieces by both in the apartment). That’s a lot to learn from one apartment! But this place certainly has style in spades.

I absolutely fell in love with this cabinet when I spotted it. I’m sure I’d never seen anything like it at the time and while I couldn’t quite put the style into words I knew immediately I was onto something. Did you spot the books on top? I certainly did. Monographs on Jean-Michel Frank and Eugene Printz sparked my curiosity as did “Les décorateurs des années 40” . I was living in Tokyo at the time and tracking down copies of these books took me forever! In fact, I’ve only just got my hands on the Printz monograph recently.

The rosewood and parchment cabinet was designed by Hunt. Its obvious, as I came to learn later on, that the design is highly influenced by the work of Jean-Michel Frank. He was so ahead of his time…

I fell in love with the sense of relaxed glamour in this space. Everything looks so stylish and so comfortable at the same time.

And lest you wonder how all this loveliness reminded me of Anouska Hempel’s home…these lovely Chinese antiques fit right into this space along with the over sized sofas and the french moderne pieces. It’s no wonder Jean-Michel Frank was such a fan of Chinese antiques, they can be incredibly modern looking, depending on their surroundings.

All photos taken by John M Hall for “Designing Women: Interiors by leading style makers” by Margaret Russell.