Tag Archives: Inspiration

WORLD OF INTERIORS, always a great resource for the unusual, recently wrote about Maison du Pastel, a treasured old French pastel manufacturer in existence since 1712. I made their shop a must see on my quick trip to Paris in mid January. The tiny atelier in Paris, open on Thursday afternoons only, is hidden in a courtyard in the Marais. This firm has been attracting artists and amateurs alike in this same location since 1912. While newly cleaned and slightly updated, it appears much the same today as it did when it first opened its’ door;  a welcoming front entrance, a long wall of painted drawers, open shelves holding boxes of colors, a well used wooden counter, charming student lamp and two enthusiastic, knowledgable young women to open your eyes to the world of pastels.

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Small is good,  especially when done well.  That means that every detail is carefully thought out and executed, the materials are strong, the design and architecture reflect the rest of the house and, of course, everything functions flawlessly.

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As I write this post, we are just days away from opening our showroom in London. To say the least, getting to the countdown has been challenging. The building, situated in a perfect location, was actually falling in on itself. The minute we decided to take out a wall, we knew we were in trouble– over budget and out of time. From creating a wider and more inviting stairway both up and down, repairing walls, leveling floors, installing steel beams, wiring for proper air conditioning, internet and phone, plus countless other construction details, arriving at opening day has been a long and drawn out process.

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Last week I attended the awards celebration of New England Chapter Institute of Classical Architecture and Art held at the State House in Boston, a fabulous Charles Bulfinch building built in 1798 with later additions. It is sited close to the summit of the south side of Beacon Hill overlooking Boston Common and the Back Bay. Bulfinch was not only the architect of the building for the seat of government, but also a public-minded citizen and selectman. At its completion, it was proclaimed one of the more magnificent buildings in the country.

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