Nor is it Marlin, or Marlo, or Mali, but just try telling that to France.
My name, Molly, always seemed simple enough in America. In fact it often felt TOO simple. As a kid I wanted a sophisticated name like Samantha (Samantha was the name of my favorite American Girl doll when I was eight. She had long, flowing brown hair and a bow on her head. The Molly doll had pigtails, glasses and wore plaid.) I even changed my name to Mollie for awhile in fifth grade thinking that an ‘ie’ would somehow up the sex-appeal. It didn’t.
Over time I made peace with my name and could even laugh at the fact that my father chose the name because he thought “it sounded friendly.” Friendly is a quality I have in spades.
Then I moved to Paris and I became Marie. Marie is a perfectly nice name. I have numerous friends named Marie. But it isn’t my name. When introducing myself I’ve tried elongating the name so it makes sense to the french ear: “Ma - lee.”
"Bonjour Marie," they say.
"Non, Molly, avec deux L," I try again.
They look at me like I’m crazy. Who spells Marie with two L’s? Poff.
This week I spent two hours at the hair salon trying to explain the difference between Molly and Marie and my hairstylist, named Marie incidentally, smiled at me and said “oui, en anglais on est Mary.” Yes, in English we are Mary. Nope.
This guy at starbucks got pretty close with Moli …
But then the next day I got Mali. Like the country that France is currently intervening in with military force.
From my photos I’m sure you all think I spend an inordinate amount of time in Starbucks for a girl who lives in France but in my defense French Cafe coffee is often terrible, watered down and too tiny. That said I recently discovered a proper coffee shop in central paris called Coutume Cafe. http://www.coutumecafe.com/
It’s run by a duo of coffee-ophile Australians who take their coffee brewing seriously. The cafe is decked out in the Industrial Chic style that I love. Plus I’m sure they will be able to pronounce my name.
Update on bedside lamps. I just scored these vintage blown glass lamps on Ebay.fr
In France Le Salon isn’t somewhere where you get fluffed and highlighted while gossiping with your hair-stylist. Here Le Salon is simply the living room
or any room suitable for gathering for an apéritif. However mundane the actual meaning of the word it still has a bit of magic for me, perhaps it is all the talk about Gertrude Stein’s famous Salons where Hemingway and Picasso and anyone worth knowing came together to drink and talk.
I’ve been busy updating my salon with some new art and a few ebay purchases. My greatest frustration with this room is the wallpaper. It still has the same old dingy beige wallpaper that came with the apartment and since we are always on the verge of moving I’ve never had the motivation to rip it down and start over. So I have to work with what I have. My idea is to cover as much as possible with fabulous art.
When I moved in with my husband the living room was already decked out in burgundy rugs, dark brown furniture and white curtains. Not really my color combo. Piece by piece I’ve been lightening things up, but those burgundy rugs have been sticking out like fushia at a funeral. Do you ever have those colors which work perfectly well for clothes, accessories or lipstick but which make you nauseous when you have to live with them? Burgundy does that to me.
I have this Chloe bag and I love it so much I could carry it everyday.
However, the same color in this Ikea rug makes me want to accidentally trip while carrying a gallon of white paint.
I’ve finally convinced my husband to let me change the rug for something more interesting. I found this gorgeous vintage persian on Ebay for only 150 euros!
It arrived and it looks like this (unstyled) under the dining table:
I love the rug but now that it is in the space I realize that the colors are more muted than I expected. What looks like terracotta in the photograph is actually dusty rose. Dusty rose reminds me of my childhood bedroom. Not working. I resold the rug on www.leboncoin.fr (Fabulous Craigslist-esque site in France) and found something new.
What I’m going for is a bit of 1930’s glamour crossed with some bohemian cool. Something like this:
Source: At Home in Arkansas
Crossed with this:
Source: CDW design.
I found this beautiful rug from Pakistan in pure wool and silk on leboncoin. Perfect condition. It’s slate blues, and caramel colors are exactly what I needed to purge myself of burgundy boredom.
This is what the whole room should look like once I get my art hanging up on the wall.
1. Ebay print first seen here.
2. Great Ikat pillow from Allem Studio
3. Elle Moss photograph first seen here.
4. My drapes made by yours truly.
5. White-glazed ceramic stool from Asiatides.
Now I just have to recover my chairs in something soft and glamorous and I’m good to go.
Luminous and poetic.
THE ONLY THINGS WORTH LOVING ARE THE ONES THAT LIGHT YOU UP.
Judith G. Klausner. Triumph. 2005. Moth and lightbulb.The moth gets its wishes. The bulb gets its worshipper. Filament and fire, safe inside a glowing casket.
Lately I’ve been in the mood for some apartment projects but with the weather changing and the leaves falling I lose interest fast (read: I get sleepy.) Therefore the projects have to be small: research persian rugs on ebay, choose new hardware for my bedroom dresser, buy art and look for new bedside lamps. My bedroom currently has a modern asian vibe going on with dark red silk drapes, handmade pinwheel art, and a vintage Japanese parasol. Mine were inspired by the pinwheels below from www.myhandsmadeit.com.
Our current bedside lamps were old Ikea purchases which have since flickered for the last time. I want something which will up the level of our bedroom. In other words - take it out of pretty territory and into cool land. I am having a hard time deciding on a style however. So I’ve decided to bring the choices (some are fantasy choices, which are well out of my price range) to you, my readers.
1.) These lamps from Am Pm (A french design store) could give our bedroom a great industrial detail. I love that they hang from hooks next to the bed. They create a sconce effect with no rewiring necessary.
The Obra in action (image courtesy of La Redoute:)
2.) A more classical yet still whimsical option would be these horse lamps from Barbara Cosgrove.
3.) Speaking of horses, who doesn’t love a good horse head lamp redolent of Jonathan Adler?
4.) For something less figural here are some beautiful glazed ceramic lamps in peacock blue.
5.) And finally here are these filament bulb lamps. They look perhaps the most modern out of the five but they are actually based on one of the first lamps that Thomas Edison made.
What’s your favorite?
Watching my sister pick out things to fill the blank walls of her new apartment (otherwise known as The Novelist’s Lair) put me in the mood to buy some new pieces myself. We live in a new age where it is no longer necessary to go to an art gallery and spend a ton of money on a piece of art. (Although who am I kidding … if I had the money I would TOTALLY love to blow a chunk of change on something I loved.)
Now-a-days there is this wonderful invention called THE INTERNET where we can skip between the virtual galleries of many artists and styles and find our bonheur. I have been having a love affair with cream apparently because the last several pieces I picked out all have this color theme. I imagine a large gallery wall with all these pieces lumped together.
I just bought this 8 by 10 original photograph from ElleMoss on Etsy. I love the Danish Master- Painterly style. There is something both romantic and provocative about the way that she is lacing up her blouse.
Below is a metro map of Paris in Braille. I fell in love with braille maps a few weeks ago and they’ve been running through my head ever since. These maps are apparently available here: http://www.avh.asso.fr/rubriques/association/contact.php?ok=1
I just put in a request to order one. We’ll see how fabulous they are in person. It’s all about paper thickness. If the paper is thick enough I think it will look great in a beautiful frame. Plus the fact that it is a map of Paris means that it is close to my heart.
My sister also pointed me towards these three vintage etchings of eggs on ebay. I love the simplicity which makes them both classic and strangely modern at the same time.
Thick white mats and some nice salvaged wood frames and I think all these pieces will go nicely together. I would like to create something akin to this:
I hate the idea of blank walls but clutter isn’t my thing either. I think the balance is in the curating. There needs to be a common theme that ties all the pieces together. The next step is to hunt for some awesome frames on a budget. Any suggestions?
I’ve been in a bit of a fairytale mood lately. Perhaps because the weather has turned cold I’ve been needing a little comfort. As a child I loved nothing more than hiding under the covers with a huge book of Grimm’s fairytales for those dark, rainy days. And some Hans Christian Anderson if I was in need of a little light and sunshine.
Yesterday I came across the illustrator Dan-ah Kim on Etsy and I fell in love with her myth-laden pieces. Each one seems to tell a different story. If I had an extra 1000 dollars hanging around I would buy this to hang above my bed.
As you know I am obsessed with this color of indigo blue and this painting would work perfectly in my apartment.
Here are a few others that I love: