Posts tagged paris
Whimsical Decor By Nathalie Lete
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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...

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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.

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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.

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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)

Parisian Handmade Flowers Laurence Aguerre

Our trip to Paris yielded so many good experiences and memories, beyond words, really. From meeting (and lunch!) with Artistic Director Daniel Rozensztroch of Merci to hanging out with the delightful Cécile Figuette of Bien Fait, making flowers with shopowner and author Adeline Klam... It was all so fascinating... Oh and did I tell you that we were treated to a beautiful lunch and dessert at Ladurée? We were indeed. We also visited the much envied children's online store Smallable in their first new storefront. Oh, and there was the great hotel that treated us so nicely, Grand Pigalle, with a bathtub I could have slept in... It was a beautiful week. But there's more... I got to meet a fan of my blog who is also an exquisite artist, a textile designer with the hand of a magician, who transforms delicate fabrics into blooms that you simply have to see to believe. Her name is Laurence Aguerre. Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

We spent time with Laurence chatting in mostly French (thank God I had my friend with me to help!) in her tiny, sunny studio that is part of a collaborative artists' space where you have to win a lottery to get your own atelier (or not) there. The  35 ateliers are located in a large building in central Paris called Les Ateliers De Paris, which is known as a incubator of creativity or as the French would say, "L'incubateur des métiers de création."

Laurence was such a joy to meet and as sweet and calm as the flowers she creates. Clearly passionate about textiles and production, it is one of her dreams to see her work in the window at a store like Anthropologie because she wants to touch many more outside of her native France. After working for two decades in fashion, she furthered her education by returning to university to study textile design and today, she's doing installations and creating things from fabric, wire, beads and string that are quite impressive.

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Her love for nature, particularly flowers and plants, inspired her recent work to make poetic, dancing flowers that are peeking out of a wood board while others are mounted in raw cement holders. And they do indeed dance. When you pass by, or open a window, they sway magically just as they would in nature. These light and airy blossoms captivated me and I only wish I had been able to spend more time with Laurence to examine each more carefully. Yet the time I was able to observe her creations was so inspirational to me because, upon close inspection, each flower is so meticulously made that you really couldn't walk away without enormous respect for the time that must have went into crafting each bud and blossom.

Thank you Laurence for having us and a special note of thanks to dear Amelie for setting up this special visit for us, and to Toni for the translation and the beautiful photographs. I would be no where without the wonderful people I work with and the fantastic chances I get to meet such special artists. Merci!

(Text: Holly Becker)

My Visit With Adeline Klam in Paris
Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

Hi friends! I was in Paris not too long ago and got to meet and tour the creative workshop and retail space of French designer and author Adeline Klam. Do you know of her? I've been following Adeline's work for many years when I first found out about her through former decor8 columnist Emilie Gupta. So when my assistant lined up a special morning with this lovely lady, I was thrilled! She had me and my friend come to her shop for a special customized workshop - to create crepe paper flowers, and talk to her a little about her business.

Located in Paris, Adeline's shop is what you'd called a playland for crafty adults and children, too. She sells lots of lovely kits for makers that include all of the ingredients to make the featured craft on the kit cover. The one thing I associate the most closely with Adeline is Japanese paper. She sources only the best from Japan, some coming from very traditional paper factories there, and it's stunning! In fact, she infuses her many projects and products with it - there are so many applications for this type of paper that goes beyond origami craft. Adeline studied textile design in Paris and now applies her love of pattern to her work as a shop owner, craft creator, product developer and book author.

Toni Vinther for decor8

Toni Vinther for decor8

Adeline showing me one of her books. It was so nice to get an overview of her work and be in her environment. Her work is such an authentic expression of who she really is at her core and I appreciate that immensely. True to self - there is no better way to live!

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

I loved seeing the wooden animals; my son collects these as they are from Germany. She also had many other German products in her French shop which made me proud. I love France, but Germany also has some amazing craft products, toys, and beautiful interiors objects.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

It was so nice to take a custom workshop with Adeline. I could seriously do this once a month if I lived in Paris. We made paper flowers with the prettiest centers and delicate stems. I ended up taking all that we made home with me and used them to decorate my son's party.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

This is her shop from the front looking in. To the far left in the back is where she teaches as a large wooden table. Straight ahead in the back is a long space where I saw lots of desks and some of her staff working on the computer. Seemed like she has quite a bit of work to do and that in this studio, they are always very busy yet the spirit was gentle, calm and very chilled out.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

We were busy making flowers. Adeline liked having a man in her studio, she said it's rare to welcome men to make flowers there! Funny enough, my friend felt comfortable and made flowers that turned out prettier than my own! I was happy to see this, because I love watching people regardless of gender, make things, especially seeing men craft flowers - it shows that one is comfortable in their own skin to do what others may call typically "male" or typically "female". Adeline was so pleased having him there though, she was patient with us both and wrapped out blooms in a sweet little white gift box when we left. It felt so special! Also, Adeline also had plenty of pom poms and honeycomb balls in stock along with beautiful Japanese fabrics which were sold by the meter or pre-cut in kits.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

I loved the strands of origami dolls and cranes hanging around the shop. They looked so pretty! It made the shop feel festive. These are the flowers we made, the ones that look nicer than others are most likely the ones that she made. I wasn't nearly as good at paper flower making as I used to be when my mother made them with me as a child. I am rusty! I need to practice more often, so I was sure to grab a few flower kits before leaving her shop.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

A glimpse of just some her kits. Some include everything you need to make a craft. Others just include a selection of papers in a specific palette. I brought home a few different kits to explore my own creativity when I have time.

Toni Vinther for decor8

Toni Vinther for decor8

See the lovely cranes? These were tied to a wooden mobile. It gave me some ideas for my son's room.

Left: Toni Vinther / Right: Adeline Klam 1-4, bottom Holly Becker

Left: Toni Vinther / Right: Adeline Klam 1-4, bottom Holly Becker

Lighting is a big offering at her shop. Lighting that is wall mountable and pendants. Aren't they so lovely?

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

More great pendants in Japanese patterns. This one was very pretty in peach, and the pattern was quiet which I liked.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

Her shop was such a feast for the eyes. I wish I had been able to spend more time there, but we had arrived late (traffic!) so we lost an hour, which made our visit too short. Next time! I will definitely schedule a larger block of time so I can really look over everything in more detail.

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8
Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

Here is a closer view of her fabric nook. Wow, right!? She had some lovely fabrics framed too.  I'm a huge fan of Nani Iro so when I saw that she had lots of her prints, I was in heaven. Their painterly motifs range between organic shapes to flowers. You can use them to make clothes or for home craft. As you can see, Adeline also stocks bags and pillows, too.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

A glimpse of some of her book covers along with more fabrics and kits filled with Japanese papers. I also liked very much seeing origami flowers, horses, cranes and butterflies framed. Another great deco idea too, right?

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

Such fun petite patterns and cheerful colors with every turn. A real sensory explosion.

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8
Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

A closer view of the framed origami papers and a nice view of her shelves - washi tapes, tissue box covers, kits, pillows, rolls of crepe paper in a million colors, it was seriously heavenly.

Toni Vinther for decor8

Toni Vinther for decor8

Another view of these great wall lights which I can see fitting in perfectly in an artists' workroom or a little girl's bedroom, can't you?

Adeline thank you so much for having us in your beautiful store. I hope our visit inspired you as much as we were inspired by all that you do! Thank you for letting us snap some photos while there as well, it was a pleasure!

So readers... What do you think of this beautiful shop in Paris? Have you been? Do you want to go now? I bet you do! She has an online shop (and a blog) if you are interested in checking out her products.

Wallpaper By Bien Fait + Parisian Home Of Cécile Figuette

I love wallpaper! All who know me well knows that is a fact. That's why I'd like to tell you about my little visit to French wallpaper atelier Bien Fait ("well made" in French) in Paris recently. It was such a nice time spent chatting one-on-one with owner and founder, Cécile Figuette, while my assistant, Toni Vinther, chatted with her partner Nicolas. Together, we learned so much about their special process in creating over-scale patterned wallpaper made to order.  This means that it is 100% bespoke if you need it to be. Some elements of the pattern can move around according to the wishes of the homeowner or designer. For instance, if you want a bed in a certain place in a room, you can ask Cécile to create the paper so that the pattern fits around the bed... Maybe you want a tree a little to the left or right so that it can be viewed clearly on one side of the bed versus hidden behind the headboard. Now that's amazing service right there. I love the idea!

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

Cécile designs nearly all of the patterns herself, and whenever they are printed (she prints everything locally at the moment) she goes to personally check to see that everything is up to spec. This lady is so inspiring to me because she is not only a remarkable business woman with a great head on her shoulders for running a wallpaper firm, but she is a creative, artistic soul who loves to do work that speaks to her heart. And she's a mom!!! That's even more impressive to me now when I meet women with kids than it was before I became a mom.

Cécile clearly has a genuine passion for interiors, in fact I'll share some photos from her home at the bottom of this post so you can see what I mean. But first, a few photos that Toni and took in her 70 sq meter studio located in Village Saint Paul that opens onto the street and boasts a sunny courtyard.

By the way... In the photo above, you can see the wildly popular Animals pattern that my friend Emily Henderson has in her son Charlie's bedroom out in LA. This is a Bien Fait wallpaper that Emily had ordered and shipped all the way to California because she loved it so much. Whenever I see this pattern, I immediately think of Emily and sweet little Charlie!

Cécile Figuette for Bien Fait
Cécile Figuette for Bien Fait

This over-scale geometric pattern shown in their studio above is one of their bestsellers and is called Mosaic Soft. It's also available in either a stronger or a more muted colorway -- in Classic and Winter versions. Soft is definitely my favorite of the three, though.

Morten Toni Vinther for decor8
Morten Toni Vinther for decor8

This is one of my favorite patterns by Bien Fait, it's called White Birds. I love how bold it is!

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

Cécile and her team are directly inspired by, "Scandinavian and Japanese culture, travel, ethnic and folk culture and graphic design," which was apparent to us the moment we stepped in to their studio but even more, once they presented the entire collection to us on a large wall I could see their inspirations even more. I loved how they are set up to show their papers, you can see above... There are these multiple pull-down electric panels that rise and lower with the click of a remote. In the image above, you can see the Modular pattern on the wall in black and white and Copenhagen in green on the panel. Nicolas told us that they present their papers this way because they are so large-scale that it's the only way clients can really view them to get a sense of scale.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

The black "Typologie" mural is by ceramist Clémentine Dupré. It is shown on Bien Fait's Sunset wallpaper in their little lounge area.

Holly Becker for decor8
Holly Becker for decor8

As mentioned, Cécile is also a mom like me and so she has kids at home and all the fun (!) that goes with maintaining a stylish, creative home while also one where children can live and roam freely. I'm still learning the balance when it comes to this but French parents seem to have the knack hard-wired into their DNA. Parisian parents seem to always have the most stylish living spaces.

Now are you ready to see Cécile's beautiful family home in Paris? It's jaw-dropping, colorful, well curated and just amazing in every way. I cannot stop looking at it to be honest, it's lovely. I like seeing how she incorporated her own wallpaper patterns throughout in small doses and I really love the black and white animal print on the wall in her living room next to that lush green velvet sofa. Try to see if you can spot the many wallpapers as you look at these photos below taken by photogapher Julie Ansiau for Elle France found via the beautiful Miss Moss blog.

Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France

First, that's Cécile in her home shown top right.

Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France
Julie Ansiau for Elle France

There isn't much about this home I don't love. It's inspiring to me because it feels very lived in and loving but also so chic and graphic, interesting, and of course, so very French - at least in my opinion as an American. I love her clever mix of vintage pottery, mid century furniture, Berber rugs, artwork... It's all so fantastic.

What a pleasure to meet and mingle with Cécile in Paris, I'm so thankful that I got an intimate glimpse into her creative world and hope to be back in Paris soon again to meet more inspiring and imaginative people who are getting some great work done! Thank you Bien Fait for welcoming us to your studio, hope to visit again very soon!

 

Home Tour: Harmony in a Rustic French Home
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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

I just returned from a beautiful trip to Paris, then London, so I have a great deal to share with you but first, the highlight. My day at Merci in Paris with Artistic Director Daniel Rozensztroch. First, it was a dream come true to meet with him, not just for an interview, but for a store tour, lunch together and frequent chats throughout the day. He is such a creative man, a true artist, and I loved learning more about his life and travels which I’m thrilled to share with you now through my words and photographs.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

As Artistic Director, he is solely responsible for the overall image of this famed concept store which is a major design influencer in not only France but worldwide. Before coming to Merci, he was with top French interiors magazine, Marie Claire Maison, for 22 years as Editorial Advisor (Conseiller de la redaction). Now with Merci for 8 years as Artistic Director (Directeur artistique), it’s clear his attention to the brand, the customer, what’s happening globally in design and his own inner radar for what’s appealing fills his mind constantly and is something in which he possesses endless passion.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(One of the cafes in Merci, the Used Book Cafe, with walls of books to peruse while sipping espresso. This was born from Daniel's creative imagination.)

Daniel combs the globe for inspiration and products to take under his wing and bring into the store but additionally, he organizes and curates massive installations in-store that frequently change, all based around themes which range from microtrends (he has the power to set them) and rising trends in either design, fashion, lifestyle, cooking or movements in thinking. He’s always watching the news to see how current events may influence or shape ideas for upcoming shows at the store. He likes to bring awareness to particular themes while also inspiring Merci customers. He likes to make people think. It’s not all about selling product to him, his passion reaches much farther than the wallet – he wishes to inspire collective consciousness to motivate people to consider their lives and the everyday decisions that they make to move towards greater positivity and joy. And products can certainly help aid in that, if you are shown the right ones, which is something he believes in as well – the power of the object and its ability to bring harmony to life.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

The current theme, for instance, is sports and wellness and is called Sport in the City. Clearly an important topic as cities globally are expanding awareness on the topic and more juice bars, sports clubs and fitness apparel shops are bursting open. Paris is currently experiencing a great awareness around health and fitness too. I observed this clearly as I saw about 50% less smokers than in times past when I had visited the city.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(We loved the Lumio lamp and walked away with one of the Marshall portable systems)

After the fitness theme, he gave me an insider’s tip that he’s worked with a team of talented people to develop a monochromatic theme based around African prints, patterns and design, which I cannot wait to see because I only think of saturated color when I think of most African textiles and furnishings.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(The men's pop up shop, shown above. Daniel went home with that great camo coat and my assistant Toni Vinther left with the camel jacket he is shown wearing. We had a great shopping day!)

What I noticed immediately upon meeting this talented man is that he listens more than he speaks. He believes in moderation, kindness, compassion, and in creating a meaningful home over time and certainly not to impress others. As we spoke, I sensed that he soaks in everything; which in turn helps him to later decipher what would be an interesting topic to explore for the store or for a future design (he is also a Designer). As a listener, when he does speak, there is something of substance to hold on to and consider later. I really appreciated this because it meant that conversation held more value and meaning, and wasn’t full of the typical surface topics which never really move you closer to the core of the person. He’s a lovely man to chat with, for sure.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(Adidas are so hot right now in Europe, especially these with the black stripes.)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

I also caught on rather quickly that Daniel is obsessed with everyday items that are aesthetically-pleasing but also practical and functional, from a collapsible strainer he showed me in the Kitchen section along with a Japanese hand broom, to black matte cutlery on the floor for Home. His obsession clearly is what makes him so great at curating, his attention to detail and his dedication to collecting are inspiring because I also get excited over the little things so his passion was completely relatable to me.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(I loved that they have an Aesop pop-up shop on their ground floor, I grabbed the geranium hand balm from the Auriga kit.)

(Upstairs, they have a gorgeous paper shop. Swoon!)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

With a home in central Paris (where he tends to his small garden, a huge trend in Paris at the moment is this sort of renegade gardener) and another in the South of France, Daniel is frequently flying between homes but even more, frequently between countries – he travels to lands far and near in search of something that will catch his eye – it could be anything and generally, not always what is obvious. The sign of a true artist is to see something in what others may walk by, tapping into one’s imagination. His imagination is always running wild and his heart, completely open and free to explore, which makes him perfect for what others may consider an overwhelming responsibility to oversee and curate one of the most influential design stores in the world.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(I spotted a sweet marbleware lampshade that I liked immediately as I began photographing the lower floor near the cafe.)

While lunching at Merci on the lower floor near the gardens, I was seated at a lively table with many languages being spoken, delicious foods constantly arriving before us, a bottle of wine because it’s France after all, and I sat across from Daniel and just felt nothing but warmth and joy as he spoke. During lunch, we spoke about Instagram (he isn’t using it currently but maybe soon, wink wink), social media and blogging in general, his role at Merci and how he decides upon the next big thing to show in-store. Here is Daniel below, this portrait of him really captures his personality well.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

It was a pleasure to be meet with someone with such a rich background who doesn’t bring ego into it. Our chat was relaxing and made me realize that there is no need to try to impress people when you are impressive enough, you know? Daniel doesn’t need to prove a thing. He is who he is and his confidence reflects that and it’s an endearing quality because it makes others feel at ease. When you leave ego out of your work, you can get REAL work done. You can do what is important.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(I loved these glass vessels in their Home section and below, all of the ceramics - quite gorgeous. I walked away with the white/black basket shown lower left on the floor for Aidan's toys to discreetly tuck away in our living room.)

After spending nearly a day at Merci eating, shopping, meeting lovely people and photographing the store with Toni Vinther, I walked away more excited to follow Daniel’s work going forward and to keep an eye on the Merci blog and IG to see what he will do for the next installation, and the next, and the next. I also want to return again soon to visit him and maybe steal some time for a coffee because I just liked him as a person. I can’t wait to see where he will go next with his imagination. For me, I loved meeting with someone who brings so much wisdom and value into his work. He’s not fresh out of college or eager, he isn’t insecure or naïve. He’s a seasoned professional, a creative guru, who has seen it all, done it all, and wants to do even more in a fresh, creative and better way.

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(Their linens are to die for. Seriously, the best linen and the best quality ever. They have table linens and an entire room of bedding, as well. You can also order it all online. I also loved the Massimo Castagna flatware with the openwork handles. 

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(I loved how many styles and periods they mix together but also how global it all is - it doesn't look Scandi or French or Italian - it looks well-traveled and interesting, the contrasts are unique and add healthy tension, the focus is on comfort first.)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(Many of their pieces are handmade, one of a kind, like the lighting show bottom left. These are all sourced and made by hand and sold exclusively at Merci.)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(The stunning handmade Japanese pitchers on the table was a real highlight. I wanted so much to take one home and fill it with field flowers.)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(White enamelled metal flatware by Stefania Di Petrillo definitely had my attention and was something else I desperately wanted to take home with me. I also loved the black and white marble enamelware plates, which is trending currently in Europe for the tabletop. I saw it in London in all of the best stores, too. But I spotted it at Merci first!)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(I had to photograph the flowers and the simplicity of this tabletop. I loved the scalloped edges of this vintage farmhouse table. There is a lot of love in a table like that, and memories too.)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(So nice to see mustard and black, but even more, the pottery and linen... and glass. Everything was so cozy looking and welcoming but also stylish and current.)

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

Holly Becker for decor8

(I went home with the gorgeous chair above bottom right from HAY, I had to have it.)

Toni Vinther for decor8

Toni Vinther for decor8

I wish Daniel (shown throughout this post and above, with me) nothing but the best and thank him from the bottom of my heart (and my assistant, Toni Vinther, also thanks him too) for treating us like family and with such kindness – this was surely a highlight in my career that I’ll never, ever forget. And a big thanks to Toni for being the best travel partner ever and for all of the help, I couldn't have done this without you!

Holly