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Archive for November, 2009

Cooking up Ceramics with Claire de Lavallée

Gold-enamel-ceramics

All photos by Fabrice Fortin for Paris By Appointment Only™

Certain disciplines (music and film, fashion and sculpture, design and architecture) go together like peas in a pod, but did you know that pottery and pastry making were creative soul mates too? I hadn’t either until I ventured into the wonderfully cluttered Left Bank atelier of French ceramicist Claire de Lavallée.

Claire-deLavallée-portrait

Surrounded by wall-to-wall cupboards, cutting boards and rolling pins galore, de Lavallée has the baker thing going on big time. But instead of turning out batches of rustic tarts or bulbous baguettes, her industrial ovens are filled with glistening handmade vases, plates, cups and bowls in the most gorgeous shapes and shades imaginable.

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Framing Paris: Rent a Flat with a Fabulous View

Eiffel-Tower-Rooftop-Sunset2

The most in-demand Parisian properties are the ones with amazing views. It’s no surprise, really: Who wouldn’t want this cityscape as a live-in tableau? Luckily, there are some incredible furnished flats with views available for short-term rent. So on your next swing through the city, skip the claustrophobic hotel and rent a light-filled apartment instead. You’ll not only be able to throw impromptu soirées, cook up market finds in your own kitchen, gain space and save precious cash, you’ll have a frame on the city that most Parisians dream of.

For the inside scoop on the most picturesque Parisian pads on the market, please welcome guest blogger Erica Berman, owner of the divine apartment rental agency, Haven in Paris and the HiP Paris Blog.

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Place-des-Vosges-Fall-Foliage

Text by Erica Berman, photos courtesy Haven in Paris

When I first moved to Paris seventeen years ago I lived in a tiny, lightless studio in the heart of St Germain. My second flat had bars on the windows and overlooked a small cement courtyard. It was even darker, but what did I care, I was in Paris??

It wasn’t until my French friend Evelyn swung by to check out my new digs that I literally saw the light. Upon entering my cozy cave, she blurted “C’est tellement sombre ici, il te faut de la lumière!” According to Evelyn, light and views should be a top priority when choosing an apartment in Paris. Since the city is so overcast you need to brighten the corners whenever and however you can in order to stay sane.

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YSL’s Country Home Blow Out at Christie’s France

YSL-Winter-Garden

Photos of Château Gabriel @Marianne Haas. All other images @Christie’s

The dismantling of a collection of objects amassed with care and love over a lifetime can be a rather somber affair. Especially when it belongs to the dearly departed Yves Saint Laurent. Yet after the very serious, very lucrative auction this past February of the masterpieces he and his partner Pierre Bergé collected, the upcoming second YSL sale at Christie’s France has a lighthearted, uplifting air about it.

table-with-nature-inspired-base

You see, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé had a much different aesthetic in mind for their weekend home in Deauville than they did for their museum-like Parisian pad. Created with the help of French decorator Jacques Grange, their ocean-side oasis was a Proust and Visconti-inspired pastiche of 19th century decadence.

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Meet Maïa: Your Personal Porcelain Painter in Paris

portrait-maiai-piano1

Photos by Fabrice Fortin and Nicholas Calcott for Paris By Appointment Only™

It’s funny how a deep childhood frustration can become a creative manifesto later in life. Case in point: Maïa, the Paris-based porcelain painter. As a kid, she tried every night to decorate the table with her family’s finest, only to be told to return it to the cupboard for the everyday stuff.

Now, not only does Maïa set the table with beautiful, eye-popping designs whenever she likes, she’s made it her business to make sure that others do too!

porcelain-tea-set

“It’s a democratic way of bringing art into the home and a touch of fantasy to the table,” says the first-name-only artist who found a way to bridge the dishware divide between fabulous and functional by fusing the two in one.

Maïa started ten years ago with a teacup, and now hand paints everything from jars and dishes to bowls, vases and tea sets on porcelain made by one of the last remaining artisanal factories in Limoges, France.

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