Thursday, February 23, 2012

Contre le Blues Hivernal

Henri Rousseau, The Dream, 1910
I guess I have mentioned that I am not a Winter person. And we did have a reallllllllly cold Winter here in Lyon. But 4 days in Paris, walking around and breathing in culture, absorbing colors, laughing and window shopping really changed my perspective. I am ready to take on the crazy challenges I have ahead of me this Spring: selling a house then packing up said house and an apartment, getting the girls through some major end-of-year exams, keeping track of 2 dogs and two jobs (at least,) figuring out the shipping of a container of personal effects and antiques for Basic French, developing Basic French wholesale, finding an apartment (closet;-) to rent in Manhattan—the list goes on.

It has been years, perhaps since 2007, that we could not give away antiques or vintage pieces. The Ikea, Domino-style has reigned supreme, spattered with a bit of DIY ingenuity. I predict that old things will re-find their place in the decorative world. The trend is reversing and we will all realize that disposable furniture is just that, disposable. My focus now is on beautiful old things, 18th and 19th century pieces, that were made with loving care, to last a lifetime, or six. Those are the things that we want to pass onto our children, n'est-ce pas?

I noticed in Paris a few trends. Oddly enough, colors that seem to be huge for Spring are kelly green and peach. The red, white and blue, striped marinière theme is still looming large here, which is comforting since I love that look and it is so very basic French. Fabrics that are exotic in a far eastern way, like a printed paisley in poppy, crimson, indigo and celadon. Leather goods in simple, classic forms, made of stiff cowhide that will weather perfectly, last for decades and that carries the de-bossed logo of it's artisan manufacturer. Curtains and pillows with hand-made embellishments, like embroidery, comfy things, things hand-knit, things that are organic or bio, things made of paper. A most noticeable trend is animalia. There are animals and flora and fauna on everything. My friends at Objet de Curiosité and Hollister Hovey have loved this forever, but it seems everyone has now caught on and as our world becomes more and more computer-oriented we escape to the decorative forest, the inside of our home, where we surround ourselves with images of wild beasts, pillows with embroidered owls, decorative wallpaper recreated from Victorian originals, collections of insects. It is romanticism as it's best, pure escapism. Comforting, nurturing, a segue back to our natural selves.

Paris is an incredible antidote to the Winter blues—but if you can't go to Paris or escape into a world of French movies, go to a concert or go to an auction, hop in the car and just go. Drive 100 miles in any direction and do something you have never done before. I swear it will work, and then it will be Spring. Woo Hoo! Yippee! Yahoo! Hooray!

Out with the new and in with the old!

5 comments:

Velvet Thorns said...

You are such an amazing individual. Gosh lady ,, you just cheered me up.

Velvet Thorns said...

Crap Hi , Carol it's me Valencia yep thats my name velvet thorns . Thanks for the post it cheered me up

Colleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...
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Colleen said...

Hi Carol,
I have love reading your blog and living vicariously through your French life!
Are you keeping your Lyon Apartment?
Good luck to you and your girls here in Manhattan.
Colleen Biollay