Tuesday, August 9, 2011

En Vacanes: Paris

I had thought my desire to live in Paris would forever remain a dream deferred.  I've long regretted passing up the opportunity to study at the Sorbonne my junior year in college, opting instead to live off-campus with my best friends where we could host parties in our backyard.  At the time it was an easy decision to make, and now all I can think how is short sighted I was.  Yet this summer I had a chance to sample what that experience could have been like (minus the academics, the extended three-month stay, oh, and being 20-years-old and single...and I'll stop there, clearly still regretful) when my husband and I concluded our European adventure with a week in the city of lights.  It was a dream realized when one of my oldest friends and her husband quickly accepted our invitation to join us in a two bedroom pied a terre within an 18th century, newly renovated, mansion house in the vibrant neighborhood of Marais.

entrance to the private courtyard of 17 Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

Le Jardin de Places des Vosges

We filled each day to its fullest, navigating Paris by its intricate subway system and well designed bike share program.  No matter how ambitious our agenda, we made sure there was always time for a mid-morning espresso pit stop and a relaxing, pre-dinner glass of wine in our charming flat.  Most days included a lengthy sidewalk cafe lunch, an afternoon stop at the most authentic crepe cart we could find, and, on our last night together, we sprawled out in the park on Place des Vosges with stinky cheese, ripe fruit and a bottle of rose for a picnic en plein air.  Here are a few of the sights we saw and a few of the bistro chairs we plopped down in along the way.

Looking up beneath L'Arc de Triomphe

La Tour Eiffel, just as grand and romantic as I remembered her

Les Jardins Tuileries

what's a trip to Paris without a stop at the red light district?

view of Paris from the top of Sacre-Couer in Montmatre

The Sun God's staircase, inside Versailles

gilded doors at Versailles

Le Chateau Versailles

gardens at Versailles

And because this is a blog about interiors and inspiration for home decor (I admit I've been a bit too much into travel journalism lately), here are some pictures from a few of the shops I explored in the Marais district.

antique French tile shop in Marais;
I found some great ideas for backsplashes and floors for our new kitchen

loved this for a backsplash; it would look good in the kitchen we are planning
which has stark white cabinets and grey countertops

this shop right off Place des Vosges had a rugged, safari feel;
it sold mainly repros and vintage pieces 

i love these silver antler pillar candle holders

we bought pieces of this red coral for a bathroom display


  1. If your counter tops are scarred and dated, another way to update the kitchen countertops is to install new counters.

  2. Knew all those bistro pics would be worth it! Great post!!!


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