Friday, February 20, 2015

A Favorite Mirror: the Trumeau

A classic furnishing that is undeniably French is the trumeau mirror.

Originally a large overmantel treatment of Louis XV and Louis XVI style, consisting of a mirror and painting, it later became detached and used as a decorative mirror on its own or in a composition with a commode or chest.  

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This example hangs in my music room.  I purchased it from a friend several years ago who brought it back from France.

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The painting on board depicts a romantic couple with soft but striking colors.  It retains its applied moldings, gold gilding and original glass.  It is very heavy and the back consists of planked wood.

The overmantel trumeau that hangs in my master bedroom below, is a reproduction from Drexel Heritage.  It’s common to see trumeau-style mirrors today without pictures or paintings utilizing molded panels instead.

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I have seen many great examples in France and I’m always impressed at the variety of antique interpretations.  The trumeau continues to be popular due to its statement-making size and also its ability to fit beautifully into contemporary interiors.

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I hope everyone is staying warm.  I am certainly looking forward to Spring as our wind chill temperatures in KY are falling to 20 below zero tonight with well over a foot of snow still on the ground.  Even though we have all four season, this is highly unusual!  Brrrrrr…..

Blessings,
Kim

P.S. Don’t forget to click on the top tab to learn more about the upcoming 2015 Summer Shopping Tour to France.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday’s Inspiration: A Paris Apartment Bedroom

As I sit at my computer this Monday morning looking out the window at the snowfall, I am having warm memories about the lovely Paris apartment that the ladies and I stayed in last Fall.  It’s a wonderful example of how the French seem to decorate with ease and a great inspiration to start the week.  They are masters at the juxtaposition of antique and contemporary.

The bedroom was exceptionally striking with it’s simplicity and restraint.  Take a peek inside.

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The apartment was housed in a 19th c building with fabulous architectural details.  The room was done in an all neutral color scheme featuring linen drapes and a white cotton slipcovered chair.  An Asian-inspired dark wood table pierced the space as a visual break and accessories were kept to a minimum.  One of the design trends for 2015 is the use of more Asian influenced/themed furnishings. 

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The bed was also very inviting with a duvet and accents in creamy hues of white and ivory.  The minimalistic upholstered headboard added to the serenity of the space while the engraving framed in dark burled wood connected it with the side table previously mentioned.

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The focal point was most definitely the wall of bookshelves cleverly lined with antique French books with color-matched leather bindings.  The library ladder takes you to a small platform alcove containing only a twin mattress sheeted in white for napping, reading, or adding extra sleeping arrangements.

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A close-up of the collection of books with a chic industrial lamp…the blending of old and new apparent here.

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Neatly tucked away underneath the alcove was ample built-in storage wardrobes with mullioned doors backed with softly shirred fabric.

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My personal favorite element in the room was the original herringbone floors that had been bleached to a lighter grayish-brown hue.  It gave the appearance as though they could be limed-oak.

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I hope this starts your week off to some great interior design inspiration.  What is your take-away from this space?  A collection of books? An industrial lamp? Asian accent? Bleached floors?  Minimalistic?  Balance between old and new?

Stretch your design possibilities.

Blessings,

Kim

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Master Bedroom Décor Tip: Move The Bed

Change your perspective.  Sleep in a different area of your room….better yet, wake up to a different view in your room.

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I know some of you cannot change the position of your bed or move it to another wall because of the specifics of the room.  But if you can, try it.  Even if you have always resisted.

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We all know the bed is supposed to be the focal point in the room…right? But it doesn’t always have to be.  

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I fought with myself for years on this one.  Our master bed had always been between the windows since we built the house.  THE .SAME .WALL .FOR .9 .YEARS…  

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…until the other day when I released all the reasons in my head why it wouldn’t work and focused on what possibilities could be…

Now everything is better: the armoire looks better, the built-ins look better, and I love SEEING the light peeking thru the windows in the morning.  I had spent far too much time re-arranging things AROUND the bed instead of the bed itself!!!

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Now my advice is: change your bed to another wall and wake up to something different that can spark your creativity.  Just go for it.  You’ll be surprised at the way it makes everything else look better.

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My husband and I both absolutely love the new arrangement in our room so much that we believe we’re sleeping better and getting more rest.  Take the plunge…move something BIG in your house.

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Blessings,
Kim

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Best Valentine’s Day Present Ever: Summer 2015 French Vintage Shopping Tour: Dare to Dream!

Bonjour Friends!

What present are you wishing for on Valentine’s Day?  Chocolates? Jewelry?

I have an idea for you…

The 2015 French Vintage Shopping Tour that I help host with Sunday Brocantes will take place July 31 – August 7.  This will be a wonderful time to discover fabulous antiques and vintage items for your home while experiencing the charming Normandy countryside and finishing the tour at the famous Marche aux Puces in Paris.  This tour is décor-driven with lots of home inspiration focusing on French furniture and interiors.

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Outdoor brocantes and markets along with private warehouses filled with antiques are a paradise for those who have always wanted to shop in France.

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The tour offers a relaxing stay in a beautiful 17th c manior complete with historical charm and up-to-date facilities including a lovely spa.

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You will be smitten with the picturesque port towns in Normandy.

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And then there’s the famous beaches…

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What are you waiting for?  This is the perfect year to take that trip to France.  Dare to dream…

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This is the 3rd group tour I’ve done with Cat at Sunday Brocantes and I can’t wait to share it with a new group of ladies again this year.

Details:

Your trip begins in charming Normandy villages and stunning seaside resort towns, and concludes with exploring the world renowned Paris Flea Market, fully escorted and assisted. While shopping at small brocantes, exquisite antique shops and the flea markets purchases are collected and prepared for delivery back home after the trip concludes. When not shopping, guests partake in local culture at farm markets, dine in stylish bistro’s and fabulous restaurants for wine and tasting menus.
Included in your 7 day/7 night package:  Price $3500 per person double occupancy / $4990 single occupancy**
  • Transportation to and from Paris and all local transportation throughout the tour.
  • 7 nights accommodations in a classic 18th century seaside Normandie manoir with full service spa facilities, beautifully decorated bedrooms, large private bathrooms, WIFI, and all of the amenities, sea-view outdoor spaces to relax as well as walking distance to the beaches and shops.
  • Stops at shops, markets, brocantes, warehouses, and vintage sources.
  • Expert assistance with purchasing, packing and transporting your items home.
  • Expert French speaking native to translate, negotiate, assist and share local cultural information during your stay.
  • A hosted afternoon activity and aperitif at Rabbit Hill.
…. And more!
**Single occupancy is one person per room, one bed.  Double occupancy is two persons per room with two beds.
A $500 non-refundable deposit will secure your spot.   This tour offers a total capacity of 6 participants.

Please contact me at kimhites@gmail.com for reservation information.  There are currently ONLY 4 spots available.

Hope to see you in France,
Kim

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall Brocanting Tour To France: Part 2

The girls and I had so much fun on the 2014 Fall Brocanting Tour to France: From Paris to Normandy from September 26 – October 3.  We extended our stay in Paris at the end of the tour until October 6…why not stay longer?  You can read about the first part of the tour HERE.

Here is an overview of the last 5 days we were in France.

Day 6:  It was an early start for us today as we traveled to Caen to shop my favorite warehouses for French furniture and accessories.  I could stay in these places forever!  I think our tour host had to literally drag us out of here!

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This is French antique heaven for me!

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After we shopped ‘til we dropped, a casual delicious dinner helped finish our evening.

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Day 7:  Another busy day of brocanting with lots of stops and getting to visit a French linen mill with to-die-for authentic French linen fabric.

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A highlight of the trip was a visit to Cat’s home, Rabbit Hill.  She has done an amazing job of decorating and it’s truly a study in French Country décor.  She cooked dinner for us which was delicious slow-cooked duck and we ended the meal with a fantastic homemade pear tart as we ate by candlelight.

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Day 8:  As we came to an end to the actual tour, it was a road trip back into Paris for the Marche aux Puces at St Ouen.  We added a couple more “bodies” to our stash!

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We had a wonderful apartment in the St. Germain area on the Left Bank with a view of a beautiful cathedral right across the street.

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Day 9:  I always look forward to the Porte de Vanves flea market and this  one didn’t disappoint.

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The brocante only lasts until 1:00 so we headed to the right bank to check out the très chic store, Merci.

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Day 10:  It’s always fun to find a brocante you’ve never been to and that’s exactly what we did on our last day.  It was an interesting mix of items set out on a long street in the 13th arrondissment.

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Our last evening was spent strolling the cobblestone streets of St. Andre des Arts and Rue de Buci.  There was a magical glow in Paris this evening as dusk settled in and the business and street lights began to burn.

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It’s always hard to say good-bye but we headed home very early the next morning.  The last 2 posts have been a general overview of our tour.  I’ll be posting more in-depth about the places we visited and the wonderful pieces we bought.

Au Revoir,
Kim
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