Category Archives: home design

Something Special

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I originally hadn’t scheduled a post for today, but in making my morning internet rounds I came across this beautiful home tour with designer Danielle van Camp and was too smitten not to share. She moved to Paris because it’s where “magic and fashion combine into something special.” Replace ‘fashion’ with ‘art’ or ‘creativity’ and you’ve got my reasons for moving there. Van Camp freelances for brands such as Acne and Missoni, and publications like Vogue France and Numero. She lives in a 6th floor (sans ascenseur) studio in Le Marais, and while the apartment is tiny, it’s everything I’d need: a table for writing, fresh flowers, a view to die for, and happens to be located on the street where one of my book characters lives (“lives”). Van Camp says, “the space itself has beautiful light, which is the most important thing to me when looking for somewhere to live…[And] you see the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night time.” What else could you possibly need?

Two weeks from today.

April 16, 2014 / home design / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 16

White Room

So you may have noticed things look a little different around here! It was time for a change, a new layout, one that would allow me to have larger photos in preparation for Paris (oh yes, there will be photos). I also didn’t realize how much I missed having a sidebar. I’m by no means a coder/web developer, so the process was fraught with stumbling blocks and lots of trial & error, but I think I was able to pull it off in the end. A big thank you to Christine and my mom for being my test guinea pigs and giving me immensely valuable feedback and tweaks before it went live, and to Gloria, for helping me with a particularly tricky bit of CSS madness! If anything looks or acts weird, let me know! I’d love all of your feedback, too.

My blog wasn’t the only thing to receive a face lift; my white room got a bit of a redesign this weekend, too. Here’s what it looked like before (and more recently here). The painting is my dad’s, of the Smith Civil War Memorial in Fairmount Park. It’s gorgeous, and I love being able to look at it when I’m writing and feeling stuck or uninspired. The tiny watercolor is his, too. Other details: empty Diptyque jar (took me a year and a half to burn all the way through it) now used as a pencil cup, Ladurée box, Eiffel Tower, and some favorite books. This room is my favorite in the house; you’d never believe it’s half below ground with as much light as it gets.

A fresh start all around for spring.

April 14, 2014 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 32

A Bookish Apartment (with a view!) in Paris

I know I post a lot of glorious, architecturally stunning apartments in Paris (here for starters) to swoon over, and while I’d kill to live in any of them, in reality my requirements are adorably low: a roof, a window, a toilet. I don’t even need a hot plate or a mini fridge, or even much more than a bed and a desk with a chair. A studette on the 7th floor with a slanted roof and a shared toilet in the hallway landing? Parfait, as long as it’s in Paris!

But still…I wouldn’t exactly say no to this beauty, mostly because of the towering, countless stacks of books in every room. Be still my heart! This apartment is located in the 5eme arrondissement, right along the Seine, and has a view to die for (just wait until you see it).

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Oh, just Notre Dame, right out your window. Who needs a tv between those windows when you have that view? What I love most about the apartment is that all of the windows are thrown open, with those piles of books just beckoning you to curl up and laze around for an afternoon, listening to the Seine roll by. And in the fifth photo, if you look closely in the background, you’ll see a small nook with a bookshelf and a tiny ottoman squeezed in. That right there? Erin’s spot.

Price? $2.2 million. Womp womp.

March 19, 2014 / home design / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 26

A Maison Atelier in Paris

If yesterday’s apartment was classic Parisian, today’s surely couldn’t be more different. This maison atelier might not have luxe details straight out of a Haussmann sketch, but it is unexpected and charmingly unique. Located in the 14eme arrondissement, south of the city center near Parc Montsouris, this home is over 5100ft² (!!) spread out over five bedrooms, a double-height living room, a private courtyard, and a workshop (fulfulling the ‘atelier’ aspect). Likely because this home is photographed furnished, I’m imagining it’s inhabited by artists or world travelers. Maybe a cultural anthropologist? Gallery owner?

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Whoever the owners are, they have impeccable taste; the space is inviting and not stuffy. Can you imagine having dinner in that kitchen, the doors to the garden slightly ajar, a cool night breeze floating in? Honestly, it reminds me of my dad’s apartment/art studio (though this is roughly 10 times the size).

Not that you have to, but if could pick between this home and yesterday’s, which would you choose? If you need help deciding, this might sway you: this home is listed at $8.6 million. Zut alors!

February 19, 2014 / home design / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 11

A Classic Apartment in Paris

What do you picture when you hear the words “classic Parisian apartment”? Herringbone wood floors, large casement windows, scrolling iron railings, intricate moldings, sun-drenched rooms, fireplaces with built-in mirrors above them, oui? What a dream, to own such an architecturally iconic space. This apartment checks every single one of those boxes:

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I’ve left out photos of the updated bathrooms and kitchen, because while they are functional and modern, they clash with the rest of the gorgeous details of the apartment. I simply cannot get over how picture-perfect it is; as if someone drew from scratch what they thought a classic Haussmann apartment should look like. This is real! We could live there! Quick, who has $5.25 million??  I don’t think I would even furnish it (I couldn’t afford to!) but rather spend my time running back and forth between all the rooms squealing in delight like a child on Christmas.

February 18, 2014 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 25

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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1. Love Poems / 2. Candles / 3. Scarf / 4. Lip Balm / 5. Cookie Bouquet / 6. What I Love About You / 7. Poster / 8. Heart Balloons / 9. Pillow / 10. Barrettes / 11. Purse

Valentine’s Day is a week away, and if you’re like me and aren’t entirely disdainful about this Hallmark holiday (okay, that’s an understatement, I love Valentine’s Day, mostly for the color scheme), here are a few presents to get you in the spirit. Whether you have a lover in your life or not shouldn’t matter. The best Valentine you could ask for is yourself, and I see no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself to an extra special day of spoiling and adoration. And really, who doesn’t want an excuse to eat an entire bag of red and pink m&ms?

February 7, 2014 / fashion / vanity / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 19

An Attic in Paris

My goal this year (aside from 1. Finish the first draft of my novel, 2. Get married, and 3. Run away to Paris) is to read 30 books. Doable, yes? In January I read “The Paris Architect”, “The Goldfinch”, and “Sotheby’s: The Inside Story.” If I keep up this 3/month pace, I’ll be fine. Right now I’m almost halfway through “The Paris Wife,” a fictional account of Hemingway and his first wife and their time in Paris in the 1920s. The description of the first apartment they rent reminds me of the line “All that’s missing is the tuberculosis.” I’ve made that joke before, but I swear every attic apartment in Paris just begs for it.

Well, almost every attic apartment in Paris. This one, for sale at €865,000 ($1.17m) is more ‘loft penthouse’ than ‘bohemian attic hovel’, and the clear exception to the notion that top floor Parisian apartments are dens of iniquity and disease for starving writers. Check out that view, and that bookshelf! I don’t know which is dreamier.

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Want.

February 3, 2014 / home design / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 22

Loving Lately, vol 2.

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Tee / Necklace / Hand Lotion / Book / Lip Balm / Faux Flowers / Vase / Book / Flats

Just a collection of things I have my eye on recently. And no, I don’t have any of these picks except for the Sotheby’s book. Restraint!

January 21, 2014 / fashion / vanity / home design / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 17

Tiny Paris Apartment

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I could do this all day: find adorable, teeny apartments in Paris (and honestly, I mostly do, as evidenced by all these posts) and daydream about furnishing them and writing in them and swooning around pretending I’m French. Behold today’s find: this charming studio on the Rue Saint Gilles in the 3eme. People complain about the real estate market in Paris, and I can understand the financial side of their gripes (this apartment is 240ft² and is $400k!), but either I need to be a real estate agent because I have the magic touch when it comes to finding so many apartments, or there isn’t as dire a shortage of real estate as people make it out to seem. I love this one, even if I’m undecided when it comes to those ceiling beams. I love that they are historical and original to the space, but they make the room feel smaller somehow (an impossible feat, given that it’s a closet), don’t you think?

Unlike the last apartment I shared, this one is entirely unfurnished in the listing photos. A blank slate, if you will. I couldn’t resist mentally decorating it a bit. Small space decorating is infinitely more fun and challenging; everything has to be multi-use and thoughtfully arranged.

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1. Daybed / 2. Chair / 3. Wardrobe / 4. Bench / 5. Painting / 6. Desk / 7. Chair / 8. Topiary

I’d stick a narrow wardrobe in the nook behind the bathroom, and keep things mostly neutral and bright, especially with that gorgeous Degas print. A desk in front of the window, and a comfy chair to mope in when writer’s block sets in, and we’re good to go. Now all I have to do is come up with $400k. Anyone feeling generous?

January 13, 2014 / home design / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

The Present

“How can you live in the moment when the moment changes every second? I think we deserve at least different a option, a different scale of time that is a little bit more like life.”

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If you’ve ever felt like things, life in general, move too quickly and you can’t seem to enjoy the present, you’re not alone. How many of us have said “This week/month/year went by so quickly!”? That was the problem Scott Thrift, the designer of The Present, the world’s first annual clock, wanted to solve. A new kind of technology that helps us slow down, instead of being completely up to speed every single second of every single day.

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The hand on The Present clock takes one year to make one full revolution, keeping you fixed in, well, the present. On a day-to-day basis, it is impossible to see the hand of the clock move. The subtle shifts in color on the clock face represent the changing seasons, starting at what we identify as midnight, but what is now a pure white strip representing the winter solstice.

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It’s a truly fascinating concept, and it throws into sharp relief the reality of a full year. Regardless of it worked and I felt truly more centered and relaxed about the passing of time, it would look beautiful hanging on the wall.

It’s a snow day today! I’m working from home and hoping to also get some writing done today. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend, kiddos!

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January 3, 2014 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 7