Posts tagged france
Whimsical Decor By Nathalie Lete

I'm a big fan of, and subscribe to, Milk Decoration magazine and love reading their website as often as I get a chance. I came by so many great stories there this morning over breakfast but one stood out because I've been getting press release after press release lately for Nathalie Lete. Milk covered her too so I thought I needed to share her latest work because apparently she's all the rage - again! NathalieLete_2

I say again because she was big for awhile and then I didn't see much from her for a period of time but that's changed because now I'm hearing about her newest this and her latest that all of the time!

I first learned about her first in design school. I did a case study on her. Her work is very folksy and colorful and I think it's just great. You may have seen some of her work at stores like Anthropologie, for instance. She's a big name in Japan, they love her over there. Here are some peeks at what she's been up too lately...


This German-Chinese artist has lived and worked in Paris for so long that everyone assumes she IS French but she's not -- her father is Chinese and her mom is German, which is why her work is so fairytale inspired as Germany is the land of so many of the fairytales westerners grow up hearing. She has her paintings on everything from paper to fabric to clothing and beyond, it's all so interesting to see since I've been following her career for over a decade.

And look at this apartment, it's her atelier and showroom in Paris, check out the sleep space! She worked with French architect Nicolas André and cabinetmakers Antonis Cardew and Matthew Impey to create it - what a unique interior.


Nathalie is inspired by American artist Kiki Smith, William Morris - "English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, he was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production", Bernard Palissy -"French Huguenot potter, hydraulics engineer and craftsman, famous for having struggled for sixteen years to imitate Chinese porcelain", and American Folk Art.

I always appreciate learning of the inspirations behind famous names in the art world and to then look at the work and see how those inspirations were translated into patterns and objects. Fascinating.


Rugs, chairs, tiles, pillows, prints, dolls, hangers, wooden stools, wallpaper, glassware, trays, lamps, wall hooks, clothing, tea towels and plates, ceramics (my favorites), wall stickers, stools and tables, silk scarves, there is nothing her imaginative work hasn't touched.

Can you picture being a painter and illustrator and having your work influence so many products and people? It's really a dream come true, she must feel so fulfilled by the outpouring of love for her whimsical work.

(Photography: Karel Balas)

Home Tour: Harmony in a Rustic French Home

Hi guys, it’s Holly Marder and I am excited to show you around a harmonious French apartment with subtle wintry and rustic touches to kick off March. This home, a culmination of two buildings - a former post house for horses dating back to 1755 and its hay reserve - has been lovingly melded into a family home for webshop owner Fanny Roux, her husband and two children. I'm sure you will love the open layout, moody kitchen and the many delicate details to be found in this chic Saint-Germain-en-Laye home, which is located in the western suburbs of Paris about 11 miles away from city center. I hope you love it just as much as I did photographing and styling it together with Fanny! holly_paris_8







When their second child was on the way, Fanny and her husband went in search of an apartment that was large enough to accommodate their growing family. When they first laid eyes on what would become their home in 2007, it was NO love affair. The space was dark with cracked walls and unattractive tiling throughout. Its only saving grace was the size and history of the building - it was spacious with potential in spadefuls.

The couple had dreamed of a home where the whole family could interact and live together without feeling cramped, in a green neighborhood that would offer a quiet and safe environment for their children but also be close to Paris.

With a knack for seeing beyond imperfections and an expert in the art of rethinking and reinventing abandoned objects, Fanny quickly realized the potential the property possessed ,and on the condition that she could make the necessary changes to the space to make it into the family home she dreamed of, she and her husband purchased the space and got to work.





The renovations took two months and were an intense time for the family. Walls, floors and ceilings were renovated with the help of local builders. Hardwood flooring was fitted throughout and skylights added to the ceiling to increase natural light to the living area. The original structure of the apartment remained untouched so the original wooden beams became a feature in the spacious living area. Gradually, their characterless and gloomy apartment became a bright and comfortable family home as you can see.

With a penchant for vintage and diverting objects from their original function, Her love of vintage goes beyond the walls of her home - Fanny turned her hobby of unearthing and reinventing vintage objects into a small business success with her online shop Le Repere des Belettes. Fanny creates surprising yet beautiful moments throughout her home through carefully crafted corners, shelves and tabletops. In the kitchen, an old manger serves as a vegetable rack, an old cake mould becomes a flower pot and an abandoned window becomes a mirror. Fanny balances out her passion for vintage and antique with modern and simplistic pieces, creating a peaceful harmony between the old and the new.

Fanny carefully selected the color scheme for each space, wanting to give each room a different atmosphere while maintaining a sense of harmony throughout. She used soft, neutral colors as a base, only adding color through furniture and accessories, which allows her to change up the interior regularly as she shuffles things around and brings in new pieces. As a webshop owner, this is not only a fun hobby but a necessary part of the job enabling her to live with the products she sells which makes her closer to the product and able to help her customers in a more intimate way. In fact, many of the things in her home she sells online.




Launched in 2011 with her partner Karine, the online store offers a carefully curated selection of design, crafts, industrial, unique and contemporary objects with a nod towards earthy materials and natural textures. Old military crates, chairs and school desks are cleaned, sanded and stripped before painted in harmonious colors and given a new lease on life.










What are your favorite aspects of this home? I can’t get past those beautiful wooden beams and all the textural lines throughout.

See you guys next with another inspiring home tour not fall in love with - Holly

(Photography, Text, Styling: Holly Marder. Editor: Holly Becker.)

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly

Hi there, I’m a brand new columnist here on decor8 and my name is Gintare Marcel. I'm a cookbook author (4 of them so far) and an avid traveller. I’m originally from Lithuania, but now I divide my time between the mountain covered Swiss countryside and sunny Provence with my French husband, with a few other stops here and there. I’m very excited to join Holly and the whole team at decor8. Each month I’ll be sharing a delicious recipe and sometimes a glimpse of food from my travels. I hope to inspire you to roll up your sleeves to cook, enjoy food, and perhaps dream a little. To begin, I have something very indulgent and all about chocolate since February 14th is just around the corner. GintareLOWRES Chocolate seemed like an appropriate topic for Valentine's Day to linger upon and it is my firm belief that chocolate is indeed a quintessential ingredient to a happy life. What do you think? There can never be too much of it. So, how about a smooth and decadent cup of chocolate for you today?

_DSC9723LOWRES Pot de crème is a French classic that has as many variations as stars in the sky but for a good reason. It is a quick and easy dessert that results in wonderfully indulgent chocolate cups with delicate orange notes and a touch of liqueur, if you like that sort of thing (wink).

Untitled-1LOWRES However, the unsung hero of this desert is the rosemary. Yes, really. I love to add a bit of a savory kick to my desserts and rosemary goes so well with chocolate. It makes an easy dessert a little more special. The rosemary cream is simple to make and you can use the same method to infuse any regular cream with lavender, thyme or any flavor of your choice for experiment.


Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème 130g dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped 4 egg yolks 1 tbsp sugar 1 orange zest, finely grated 1 cup/250 ml milk ½ cup/120 ml cream 1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Rosemary Chantilly ½ cup/120 ml cream a few rosemary sprigs 1-2 tsp sugar

How To: Place the chopped chocolate in a blender, set aside. Heat milk and cream until just simmering. Beat egg yolks with sugar and zest and pour in the milk stirring vigorously. Stir in Grand Marnier. Return to the stove and continue stirring on medium heat until it starts coating the back of a wooden spoon (it will take a minute or two). Pour everything on top of chocolate and blend till smooth. Divide between 4 cups or glasses and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make rosemary whipped cream, bring cream with rosemary sprigs to simmer and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Then, strain and chill until needed. Whip cream with sugar and top each pot de crème with a spoonful.


Enjoy, Happy Valentine's Day, and I'll see you in March with another delicious recipe from my kitchen to yours! - Gintare.

(Photography, Styling and Words: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)