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A La Maison (& Objet) with French Provincial

Last January, just before the renovation began, Martine and I made our semi-annual visit to the design trade fair, Maison & Objet. It was there that together we chose most of the primary furnishings — the kitchen cabinetry, cupboards, tables, chairs, sofa, chandeliers and other important “accoutrements.”

This Friday we’re going to do it again…but for our newest projects: “Le Saint-Tropez” and “La Brigitte” (my studio and studette) and for a client whose three-bedroom, three-bath luxury apartment with terrace in the heart of Le Marais is currently under renovation. Shopping the massive interior design trade fair is one of Paris life’s little pleasures and going with Martine is a special treat as she knows everyone who’s anyone worth knowing.

The massive show takes place September 4th through 8th at the exhibition hall known as “Paris Nord Villepinte” (near Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport) from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (except 6 p.m. on closing day). The site has eight halls of exhibition space ranging from 7,100 to 48,000 square meters…of which almost every square centimeter is filled with exhibitors from all over the world.

Should you attend, and keep in mind that it’s not designed for the public, but for the industry, expect to spend many hours and/or many days wandering the aisles and being overwhelmed by the “eye candy” of fabulous design and color. Martine and I look forward to it every half-year, even if we’re not in the market for anything in particular.

The French outperform everyone when it comes to upholstery fabrics and the Italians seriously know how to design contemporary bathrooms. The Belgians are making inroads into accessories and the British play a big role in outdoor furnishings. The French, of course, are the primary exhibitors and much of the furnishings are “provincial” — a style that can be described as “formal” yet for a “farmhouse” — as comfortable, but elegant furnishings to suit a “gentleman farmer.”

French provincial is “cozy, rustic, and warm, while carrying the elegance and opulent,” according to Stephan Teak of “” “The colors are rich, dark, and use many of the same hues such as the rustic reds, bronze, grassy greens, and gold. French provincial is more regal but comfortable, using the different patterns in the furnishings to show sophistication and comfort.”

This is Martine’s ‘forte’ — the kind of touch she set out to create at Le Palace des Vosges. Tonight we celebrate it’s “naissance” — toasting to its completion and its readiness to accept its new rightful owners. I offer a personal toast to Madame di Matteo, who we have to thank for allowing the “gentleman farmer” in each of us to show his face and desire for an elegant, comfortable and rich life in France…at my favorite corner in Paris, the Place des Vosges.

Editor’s Notes: Click on each link to learn more…

A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds with Martine di Matteo
Editor, Parler Paris

P.S. For those of you wanting a bargain visit to New York City between October 5 and 14, you can stay in the city’s best neighborhood (the heart of West Village) in a luxury studio apartment with a perfect view of the Empire State Building (!) at 50% less than the least expensive NYC hotel! Email me directly for more details: [email protected]

P.P.S. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, September 8, when we rejoin at Parler Paris Après Midi from 3 to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais after our summer break. Be there to meet new people and reconnect with Parler Paris Readers. Visit /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for details. See you there.


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