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The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing in France: the Antiques Diva goes to Chatou

Some people shop flea markets as a hobby. For Toma Clark Haines (also known as the Antiques Diva), antiquing is a sport, a profession, an art, a lifestyle. What started out as a blog to share her passion for digging up rare gems in markets across Europe quickly evolved into tours, an online store and a popular international following. Today, we are happy to present her advice for making the most of her very favorite of flea markets, the world-renowned National Fair for Ham and Antiques at Chatou. – Geneviève

The fair coordinators who organize my favorite French flea market – La Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons in Ile de Chatouwhich is going on in the Paris suburbs March 11-20, 2011, have compiled “Les 10 Commandements du Chineur a la Brocante de Chatou” or “The 10 Commandments of Flea Marketing at Chatou” to help customers shop the fair.

Because their version is only available in French, I thought I’d provide you with a rough translation (and a few ad libs) to let you know what the French fair coordinators have to say about what to do – or more importantly what not to do – when shopping this National French Fair of the Flea Market and Ham.  Now that’s what I call the inside scoop à la française!

1) Se lever tôt et venir en semaine. Get up early and come shop during the week (to avoid weekend crowds).

2) Ne pas hésiter à revenir souvent: la marchandise se renouvelle pendant la durée de la Foire. Don’t visit the market just once; return often as many vendors continue to put out new inventory throughout the duration of the fair. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Events | 7 Comments »

Paris Fashion: 5 Fall Essentials

Badaude, the talented illustrator and Paris editor at the Style Bible, brings us here her top 5 fall fashion must-haves, as portrayed by her characteristic sketches of Parisiennes. Thanks to her advice we are off to start building our collection of opaque tights in bright fall hues!

What’s a French classic? We all know about trench coats and berets, though I’m not too sure many people wear them outside Amelie. There is a Paris ‘uniform’. If you want to fit in – or if you want to give it a go because, well, fifty million French girls can’t be wrong, here are the items I see on the street all the time.

Have I missed anything? Let me know…

Badaude - Five Essentials for the Fall
Paris Fall Fashion Essentials – Badaude

Continue reading for more Paris fall fashion essentials…

Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Shopping | 12 Comments »

Apartment Makeover: Before & After in Erica’s Montmartre Studio

Hip Paris blog friend and fabulous resource on all things Paris, Parisien Salon, recently stayed in our little Montmartre studio and published this article about our very own Erica Berman and her amazing job renovating Pilleux, Haven in Paris’ cozy Montmartre studio. We are pleased to share the story and the before-and-after shots here.

Paris Pilleux Montmartre Studio ViewView from Pilleux Montmartre Studio

Erica Berman has a gift. She can look at a crumbling shell of a hovel and see its potential as a beautiful apartment. This gift has served her well over her 18 years living in Paris, as she’s renovated upwards of 15 apartments that started out as “blah” (at best), only to be transformed into “wow.”

Pillexu far wall after renovations
Pilleux Wall before renovations Pilleux Studio – Murphy bed with antique doors, after and before

Her most recent project really put her abilities to the test, as she and her partner Alain renovated a small studio overlooking the Cimetière de Montmartre. Having stayed in what is now a fantastic apartment, I was stunned when Erica shared the story of its evolution.

“There was nothing there but the bones when we bought it,” explains Erica. “Just a shelf.” Looking at some of the “before” photographs also reveals peeling walls, unremarkable floors and an enclosed bathroom that cut the space dramatically. “There was nothing in there we wanted to keep,” she adds.

Erica and Alain worked with an architect to determine the best way to use the space. Once they agreed on the layout, they got to work with a contractor. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Homes, Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

Homes: Spotlight on Elzevir, Fabulous Marais Flat

When I first considered living in the Marais, I was drawn, like most, to its centrality, its tiny cobble stone streets and its fabulous shopping (on Sundays, when the rest of Paris is as good as dead). I was tempted by its offers of falafel and its proximity to Berthillon on the Ile St. Louis. I loved that it was quiet and lively, sophisticated and fun all at the same time.

Paris Elzevir Apartment Vacation Rental

I have now been lucky enough to live in a couple different parts of this wonderful area, and I have to say, it remains one of my very favorite places to both live and spend my time while in Paris.

Elzevir Appartment Marais Paris

Although the streets can fill with tourists (both from other countries and other areas of Paris — jealous of the scene-y café terraces, bars and Sunday shopping), on a rainy afternoon or evening you’ll still find neighborhood cafés spotted with low-key, well-heeled locals reading the paper, sipping a glass of wine, or tapping away at their laptops.

Elzevir Marais Apartment Paris

Haven in Paris’ Elzevir apartment, a gem of a one-bedroom that I just know is dying to be graced by my shopping bags and worn out shoes, is located on a quiet street in between the more residential northern Marais and the livelier south Marais. Right smack half-way between the famous Place des Vosges and the rue des Archives’ great terraces, it truly is a haven of designer furniture, open spaces and sophisticated touches. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Homes, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

L’Institut du Monde Arabe: Contemporary Architecture in Paris

building view

When I lived in the 5th arrondissement, I spent hours pounding the pavement (or the cobblestones, as it were) just exploring and trying to make sense of the diverse elements that make up the neighborhood: the historic Place de la Contrescarpe with its charming cafés, the lively market street Rue Mouffetard, the wild Jardin des Plantes, the magnificent blue-and-white-tiled mosque (La Mosquée de Paris), and the unexpected Arènes de Lutèce (a first century Roman amphitheatre). But more often than not, my walks ended with me staring up at the breathtaking Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute), my face tilted skyward as I struggled to take in the awesomeness that is this structure. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

Maison & Objet: Home Fashion Invades Paris

object_collection_hiresObject of Sound collection by NOCC studio. Image courtesy of NOCC.

As if Parisians weren’t already chic enough with their fabulous clothing and accessories, this weekend the city throws its twice annual home fashion show, Maison & Objet. And fashion show it is indeed – much like the runway shows, Maison & Objet has a degree of exclusivity and is invitation-only. Sadly, the invites are available only to professionals in the home & furnishings industry. Luckily, our secret sources have slipped us a few photos of pieces that will be on exhibit, and we just couldn’t resist sharing them with you. Of note is NOCC, an up-and-coming Paris-based design studio that we love and that has been selected as one of the Talent à la Carte designers to be featured at the show. They will be displaying their Object of Sound, Radiation, and Undished collections. Don’t have an invitation to Maison & Objet? Fear not, you can find them at their studio in the 12th arrondissement… more information on their website.

Maison & Objet-1Items from NOCC’s Object of Sound collection. Images courtesy of NOCC.

More photos from other designers after the jump… all images below courtesy of Maison & Objet.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Events | 1 Comment »

French Interior Design Showcased at Pompidou Centre, December 16 – February 1, 2010

VIA - Images Courtesy of VIA.frImages Courtesy of VIA.fr

Not that there is any shortage of exciting things to do in Paris in December and January, but the Pompidou Centre has just teamed up with VIA to put on a stellar exhibit featuring some of France’s most influential contributions to the interior design field in the past 30 years. Conceived to present pieces considered “most representative of French design when applied to lifestyle” to the public, you can expect early and important works from giants such as Philippe Starck, Martin Szekely, Jean-Paul Gaultier and many more. The exhibit runs from December 17 to February 1, 2010. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Design, Events | 2 Comments »

Paris: Made By Hand

Looking for a gift for the Paris-obsessed people in your life? Pia Jane Bijkerk’s book Paris: Made by Hand explores 50 of Paris’ hidden shops where artisans of all kinds are crafting one-of-a-kind items. You can read more about Pia’s work as a stylist, photographer, and author on her blog. Guest blogger Vanessa Joie (of Pois Rouge) discusses the book and some of Pia’s secret spots…

pmh lettersAll Photos: PiaJaneBijkerk.com

Text by Vanessa Joie

I’ll be honest, growing up the words “handmade” or “homemade” made me cringe. I had visions of little old ladies knitting big, bulky, awkward sweaters I would be forced into while my friends wore something cute and “store bought.” I would long for Oreo’s while my mother spent hours in the kitchen baking delicious smelling treats. Fortunately, when I was 19 I took my first trip to Paris and fell in love—not with the big shops, but with the markets and the boutiques and the studios where the real treasures of Paris were hidden. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Shopping | 4 Comments »

The Paris Apartment with Claudia Strasser: Bringing Paris Style Home

Two of our favorite francophiles, Linda Donahue (of Parisien Salon) and Claudia Strasser (of The Paris Apartment) sat down to chat about Parisian style. Check out the interview below!

claudia-strasser-paris

Interview by Linda Donahue; Photos by Claudia Strasser and One & Only Photography

Claudia Strasser is a style doyenne, a successful entrepreneur, a Jersey Girl and the author of the ever-popular book, The Paris Apartment.  And on top of managing a thriving business, writing another book (or two) and planning her frequent trips to Paris, Claudia still finds time to keep her blog—also called The Paris Apartment—constantly updated.Claudia’s followers—and there are many—have learned how to bring Paris style to their homes in the U.S. So we’re thrilled that Claudia took the time to sit down with Parisien Salon. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

October 8-11: Paris’ Vintage Decor Events

pucesdudesign

Attention all design and interior décor gurus! This weekend there will be no respite for the aesthetically minded. After a week devoted to decorating the flesh, it’s time to think about the home. October 8-11, two not-to-be-missed events are competing for weekend shoppers – the Puces du Design and the Mondial de l’Antiquité – and turning the outer-limits of Paris into a playground for decorators and amateurs alike. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »