Have you heard the quote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”? That came to mind immediately upon seeing this tiny Soho apartment (they’re claiming it’s 350ft², but maybe they’re including the inside of the bathtub as square footage? Ain’t no way). In this apartment you’d barely have room to take your shoes off without it feeling overcrowded. Designer Mischa Lampert has admittedly done a phenomenal job redesigning the space and making it feel larger than it really is. I think it’s all that dreamy white:
I cannot imagine having the bathtub jut right up against the kitchen sink, out in the open, but that’s just me. I would have closed it off and made that nook a big rain shower (the toilet is opposite in a closed off room). The apartment as a whole seems like it belongs somewhere in Europe, don’t you think? Could you live in a place this small? I’d need a writing desk for sure.
I was waiting to break out the Christmas music until December, a feat which required unparalleled strength and an itch I’m finally able to scratch now. To ramp up the holiday spirit, I thought I’d share a favorite Christmas song every Tuesday leading up to the 25th (which, it’s worth noting, falls perfectly on a Tuesday. It’s like Tuesday Christmas Tunes was meant to be!). If Jamal had a say, he’d start with this 1980s Dan Fogelberg song, “Same Old Lang Syne” which isn’t actually a Christmas song at all except that it mentions Christmas Eve in the beginning. But try to tell him that, he will blast this song all day during the holiday season if you let him.
To kick things off, let’s start with an absolute classic, shall we? John Denver and the Muppets will regale us with the most hilarious and adorable rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The part with Beaker just about kills me.
Happy December, kiddos! What holiday songs, if any, are you listening to this month?
Issue #3 of France Property Magazine is now live in the iTunes App store! Gearing up for winter, this month’s issue was all about chalets. I had two (two!) articles this month; the first features three chalets for sale near Mont Blanc:
The second is a profile on this impressive luxury hotel, Le K2, in Courchevel:
Go check it out!
I think it’s safe to say I’m most grateful this Thanksgiving for Gary Oldman. ;) Have a wonderful holiday, kiddos.
Thanks to my friend Scott for sending this video to me.
Sotheby’s and Christie’s Instagram accounts (top and bottom, respectively) are absolute treasure troves. Why it never occurred to me to check to see if the famed auction houses even had Instagram accounts is a mystery; I guess I thought they were too, um, fancy (?) to be slumming it on social media. It’s a sign of the times that you can follow both live auctions and go behind-the-scenes in the exclusive art world from the palm of your hand.
These are the perfect accounts to follow as I settle in to the long Thanksgiving weekend; I’m nearing the end of “Le Divorce,” the denouement of which will be an art auction at Drouot, and once I finish that book I’ll move on to “Sotheby’s: The Inside Story.” I’m thankful for many things this year (and always), but an uninterrupted stretch of reading time is at the top of my list. And canned cranberry sauce. And these pens (<3<3<3).
Any good Instagram account recommendations?
Today is one of those days (I think it’s the overcast weather) where I’d love nothing more than to stay home, curl up with a blanket and a good book, and lose track of the time. If it were in a room like this it would be even better, but I’m not too picky.
Sue first turned me on to those wishbone chairs, and now I want to incorporate them into every room.
My friend Vanessa sent me this picture, by photographer Henri Manuel, of Parisians during a 1920s flood being, shall we say, delightfully industrious. If this isn’t the most French way to handle a flood I don’t know what would be, aside from maybe fashioning a canoe from a large baguette. Mon dieu.
After an embarrassingly long hiatus from this series (oh my god, seriously? February?) my consumerism is making a comeback. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Not that we have any wall space left to spare at this point, but I’m really in love with this old photographs of Monet at Giverny. I love his hat and suit coat; he must’ve looked so formal, sitting at his easel. I know it’s one of the most obvious statements to make about photography, but I find it so incredible that records like that exist from the past. Do you think he knew that in 100 years we would be able to hang a photograph of him (not even a print of his work, just the man behind it) in our homes? How trippy is that? I think he’d say “Merci.” And in case you want to, you can say in style thanks to that J.Crew tee.
I am having a fight with this rug. I’ve had my eye on it for a while for the living room, but it was on backorder until the end of December when Home Decorators was having a 20% off + free shipping sale. I should have just ordered it to take advantage of the promotion, but the prospect of me exercising a modicum of patience, let alone enough to last me two months, seemed impossible. So I passed. But now it’s back in stock, and I still love it. It’s vintage-y and neutral while also possessing two very necessary qualities: 1. Fitz’s hair won’t stand out like a sore thumb, and 2. the pile isn’t too plush to freak Jamal out (dude hates flokati or any pile greater than a flatweave). What do I do? Wait for it to go on sale again? That’s the smart answer, right? And that settee, while it pairs perfectly with the rug, is just a pipe-dream; it’s adorable but seriously impractical. Do you see the brocade fabric wrapped around the back??
With all the books I buy/read (those are two very distinct categories) I would be broke were it not for the Amazon marketplace. I picked up a copy of “Le Divorce” for 99¢ earlier this week, and it arrived in pristine new condition. Somehow I missed the movie adaptation with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts from 2003, but Emma referenced it in a comment last week and it sparked my interest (thanks, Emma!). Since I’m a purist, I want to read the book before seeing the movie. I’m already halfway through it and I’m loving it so far (despite the really negative reviews it got on Amazon). If you amortize the cost of a book over the time it takes you to read it, new books are sometimes an extravagance (a necessary indulgence, though, and I promise I’m not complaining).
What are you up to this weekend? Sunday is our annual Friendsgiving (we’re having a Greek potluck this year!) and in between prepping the house for company and trying not to eat all the hummus Jamal makes, I’m hoping to get (what else) some writing done. Have a good one, kiddos!
In all of my advanced Christmas shopping, I’ve been very deliberate and careful not to splurge on things for myself. It’s an easy trap to fall into: the more shopping you do, the more you see, the more you want for yourself. But I’ve been good this year! Restrained! Frugal! It’s a Christmas miracle.
Except, well, for one tiny transgression. When we went to the museum a few weekends ago to hit up the treasure trove that is their gift shop, Jamal and I both spotted this mini Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog ornament amongst the Christmas decorations. We looked at each other and nodded and it was decided: new tree ornament! At the Christie’s auction last week, a Jeff Koons’ Orange Balloon Dog sold for $58.4M. Ours was $9.50. When you look at it that way, we basically got it for free.
I graduated from 100 Level French classes last night, and am officially a 201 Level étudiante. To celebrate, our class (most of the six of us have been together since I joined in 103 last December, and a few of them even started 101 together) had champagne, cheese, baguette, chocolate, and played a French version of the “A is for, B is for,” game, using cities and names, en Français. I won one round, besting Romy with “Ubud,” a town in Bali, and then lost to Rachel, our flawless teacher, when I couldn’t think of another man’s name that started with “K.”
French class is the best money I’ve ever spent.
We’re all continuing onto 201, including Rachel, who is really excited to introduce us to the subjunctive tense. Having to memorize another tense seems impossible, given that my head is still swimming with the difference between le futur and le futur proche, and le passé compose and imparfait. And the present. And the conditional. Being the nerd that I am, though, I am thrilled at the challenge. Also, we get new textbooks since we are now “intermediate,” and who doesn’t love new books?
I came home last night obviously a little buzzed off champagne and French vocab, and then had to write a feature article for France Property Magazine. By the time I went to bed around midnight, I was so saturated with French-y things I might as well have been in Paris. Clearly I still had Paris on the brain this morning, so when I found this apartment for rent in Saint-Germaine, on Rue Saint-Sulpice, I knew I had to share.
Maybe it’s my own specific romantic notion, but I’ve always wanted an attic apartment in Paris to hole myself up in and write furiously all day and night, stopping only to make the long trek six flights down, darting quickly across the street to my local patisserie for my daily baguette, pulling my collar up as I step outside to fend off the morning fog. A sur-le-toit view of Paris through the windows, original wood beams criss-crossing the eaved ceiling. You know, just like in “Midnight in Paris.”
Gil: I’m pushing for a little attic in Paris with a skylight.
Carol: Ah, “La Boheme.”
Paul: All that’s missing is the tuberculosis.
I keep laughing hysterically at that, but it’s so true. What is killer about this charming attic apartment is the cost: €1400/mo. That’s only $1900! Why do I not live there?!
Do you think you could hack it in an apartment like this? This is rhetorical. The answer is obviously “oui.”