Posts tagged #Paris

Buon Natale and Joyeux Noel! Piacenza Maison for the Holidays...

The virtual store.... lovely mural on canvas by Shannon Noel

The virtual store.... lovely mural on canvas by Shannon Noel

I fell head over heels in love with Europe the first time I visited. Everything about it spoke to me: the art, architecture, café life, chic residents and the sense of grounding that comes from generations of established society.  (Also, the lack of skyscrapers.....!)  

September, 2015

September, 2015

Since I live in the rugged, upper west corner of the US where the reigning (ha!) style is known as "Northwest Contemporary" and, being the Francophile that many of you know I am, it's been challenging for me to source, locally, European "Haute Brocante" (Flea Market) items for my own home.  I love a collected-over-time aesthetic and sense of genteel, but not precious, warmth - without breaking the bank.

Antique Louis Phillipe mirror with new Aidan Gray candle sconces

Antique Louis Phillipe mirror with new Aidan Gray candle sconces

So, I started shopping!  The last couple of trips to France, I discovered some wonderful things and had them shipped back to Seattle.  The delivery was anxiously awaited!

Italian gilt painted furniture arrives!

Italian gilt painted furniture arrives!

And now, the Brocanterie is "live" on my new store website, Piacenza Maison.  It's a mix of French (Louis Phillipe mirrors, vintage copper cookware, finishings, art), Italian (gilt painted furniture, Venetian mirror, handmade paper goods, art) and New items that reflect the same "Haute Brocante" sensibility.

I absolutely love what I call "The Mix".  It's a blend of high/low, antique/modern, and streamlined/ornate.  It's really what the term Contemporary means to me: Of the moment. (vs "Modern", which is a style in its own right)  My goal is to offer furniture and accessories at Piacenza Maison that will bring to your home or office a little touch of Europe and, when mixed with new Modern or even rustic pieces, will impart a truly Contemporary essence.

Philippe Starck Ghost Chair mixed with French reproductions and antique Oriental rug

Philippe Starck Ghost Chair mixed with French reproductions and antique Oriental rug

And just in time for last minute Holiday shopping, we have a category called "Little Luxuries" - items that are all $50 or less.   Here are a few samples:

   Monogrammed French Tea Towels  - never used! 

And, we're giving back - we have handmade African horn earrings whose proceeds benefit a school in Uganda.  

I wore this pair of horn earrings 2 years in a row thru Italy and France.  Light as air and stylish, too!

I wore this pair of horn earrings 2 years in a row thru Italy and France.  Light as air and stylish, too!

We invite you to browse Piacenza Maison and perhaps see something that speaks to you.... And please contact us with comments or questions!


Posted on December 15, 2015 and filed under Shopping, Holiday, Piacenza Maison.

Trends: Maison et Objet 2015, Merci and paris streets

Seen again and again - teal and nutmeg

Seen again and again - teal and nutmeg

After being completely overwhelmed on my first-ever visit to Maison et Objet 2014 - but thrilled at the same time - what could I do but plan a return visit??  And, of course, I coerced my favorite photographer (my husband, Bob) to accompany me, again....

I didn't see everything - there are 8 enormous convention center-sized halls, so we had to prioritize - I did make it to 5 different buildings!  

It's almost hard to fathom how huge this show is

It's almost hard to fathom how huge this show is

Here are some of the interesting standouts.  First of all, color:

Look at the colors here.... nary a primary in sight

Look at the colors here.... nary a primary in sight

The color combinations were intriguing.  I was struck by the candle display, above.  These are the products that vendors believe will sell in the near future - not a lot of bright here!  Contrast it with last year's display:

More saturated color in 2014

More saturated color in 2014

Then, there's what I like to call "The Mix".  To me, this is truly Contemporary (not to be confused with "Modern", which is a style in its own right) and reflective of Collected Design, which is really how we live.

Note the mismatched chairs - all styles!  I love everything about this.

Note the mismatched chairs - all styles!  I love everything about this.

This year, as last year, I saw TONS of copper and lots of baskets, bringing a natural warmth to spaces.

All of the above fixtures are by  Light & Living , which doesn't seem to be available in the US.....hmmmm

All of the above fixtures are by Light & Living, which doesn't seem to be available in the US.....hmmmm

Love the baskets, retro/vintage light fixtures and, of course, terra cotta!

Love the baskets, retro/vintage light fixtures and, of course, terra cotta!

This is interesting.... lots of "Wild West"/Native American influences:

Right at home on the trail....

Right at home on the trail....

Made to look vintage/worn

Made to look vintage/worn

More of the Teal & Nutmeg.... with a little bit of a 1970's Missoni feel

DSC00422.JPG

...and talk about colors!  Vivaraise, a French company, had the spectrum covered - and this was just 20% of their display!

Everything textile one can imagine....

Everything textile one can imagine....

So many of the vignettes are utterly charming...

Candlesticks and battery-operated candles - what's not to love?

Candlesticks and battery-operated candles - what's not to love?

After we recovered from Maison et Objet, the next destination was Le Marais, in general, and Merci, specifically!  If you've never experienced Merci, it is amazing:  wonderful women's and men's clothing, housewares, small home appliances, electronics - a hip destination.  Plus, there's a super cute Fiat in the front courtyard!

Merci front courtyard

Merci front courtyard

Once inside, a few things struck me - like the "Fistful of Dollars" vibe of these ponchos:

Once again, the Wild West

Once again, the Wild West

Was this the muse?

Was this the muse?

I explored more of Merci and was struck by this on-trend display of Murano glass, industrial chic and stoneware.  The Mix!

Upstairs at Merci

Upstairs at Merci

As we strolled down Rue Beaumarchais on our way toward Place des Vosges, this window display caught my eye -  that color combo again!

..... and, farther into Le Marais, here it is again:

It was so enlightening to see how trends cross cultures and industries: fashion influences home decor and vice-versa, Old World influences New and back again.  It's a small planet!  

Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Trends.

Countdown to Maison et Objets 2014

11 months to go!

Now that I’m focusing my travel planning energy on France (and Italy, too, since we’ll be starting the voyage there), just as you seem to see a particular make of car - constantly - when you begin to even consider buying one, I feel like like I’m seeing French-inspired design everywhere I look:

I believe it’s never too early to begin detailed planning so I’ve been researching flights, train schedules, car rental agencies and, most importantly, Paris apartments…..

There are some amazing rental companies in Paris and they offer everything from the uber-pricey to places that looked like a college kid just decamped for a semester abroad.

I love this Myra Hoefer –designed pad (though it's probably out of our price range!) through Chez Vous , a Sausalito, CA company:

J'adore this unit on Ile St Louis offered by Special Apartments, except that the bedroom is a loft…may not work.  But isn't it grand?

I love both of these apartments, fromGuest ApartmentServices:

.....sigh....so much to think about - but what fun problems!  A bientot!

Dreaming of Paris.....

Those who know me know I love all things French:  the language, the architecture, the food, the wine - j'aime tout! 

All of this.....

Oh la la!

I've just started planning a September, 2014 trip to Paris to attend Maison et Objet - the French interiors and accessories market.

I have always wanted to go to this show because, as a designer, I think it's important to stay current - and what better way than by experiencing products that might not be seen anywhere else, learning about new market directions and just absorbing the ambiance of an industry trade show in Paris?!

So, I've been researching apartments in Paris through Special Apartments and

Guest Apartment Services , zeroing in on the arrondissements we want to stay in (4 and 6) and, along the way, I discovered The Girls Guide to Paris.  Not that I'm a girl anymore - far from it, actually - ha! - but this website and the accompanying blogs are terrific!  And useful...

The funny thing is, though, while researching Paris apartments, I discovered that many have been decorated in a sleek, modern, Euro style - which is really cool, but not what I envision in my home away from home in Paris.  I'm trying to find a place with modern appliances and plumbing (!), but feel like I stepped into another time - like Gil (Owen Wilson) did in Midnight in Paris.  

And, what's really ironic:  my own home looks more Parisian, to me, than some of the apartments I've been finding.... Amusant, n'est-ce pas?

.....stay tuned....