My Design Travels

christmas in paris ..

Deirdre Brennan - Monday, December 22, 2014
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Christmas in Paris .. understated elegance but somehow underwhelming after London. Then again, Paris is beautiful without the decorations.





hotel lancaster paris, still my favourite ... for the moment

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, November 27, 2014
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My favourite hotel in Paris has always been the very stylish Hotel Lancaster. Interestingly, at the moment, two of the most iconic and glamorous hotels in Paris, The Ritz and Hotel de Crillon, are closed for renovation. 

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The Hotel Lancaster is all about pared back elegance ..

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a sophisticated, muted colour palette ..

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its artwork, chandeliers and Louis XV and XVI furniture ..

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and of course .. has something for everyone.


Beautiful hotels in Paris, particularly at this time of the year, are for slipping into for a hot chocolate and luxuriating.  If you are checking in .. all the better.  I can't wait for the grand openings of The Ritz and Hotel de Crillon. 




parisian fabric houses to peruse

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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To stumble across such jewels ... only in Paris.  The cobblestoned streets of the Left Bank lined with the prettiest shop windows.

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Jim Thompson ... one of my all time favourites.  What a joy. These windows were a spectacle.

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Pierre Frey ... always so smart and shades of colour to die for.

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Nobilis is pure elegance.

Just take the time to explore at leisure ... fabric houses for more than just fabrics. Cushions, trims and throws to play with alongside antiques and designer furniture. Shop after shop ... names you have only glimpsed in beautiful magazines.
And when it all gets too much, just pop into Laduree for a restorative pot of tea and delicate macaron.




french style .... hotel lancaster, paris

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, July 19, 2012

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The Hotel Lancaster in Paris is without doubt the prettiest hotel in Paris.  An extremely chic boutique hotel .... is this not just exactly what one would expect when we think of Parisian style.

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I adore the simple, pared back elegance which allows the architecture to shine. 

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This is the most sophisticated use of colour .... so subtle, yet only for the brave.  Shades of lavender, lilac and aubergine teamed with shades of grey, crisp white and hint of gold .... how divine !  Not as easy as it looks to achieve the perfect balance.

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I have always loved the tile and marble combination in a bathroom ... somehow it creates character.  It is so much more interesting than head to toe marble which is an easier option by far.  How decadent to have your own dressing table and in the bathroom... only in Paris !!

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This interior is timeless ... classic and contemorary all rolled into one. Their collection of artworks and antiques complimented graciously by the sumptuous colour palette and subtle attention to detail.

Having said all that, how inviting does that sofa look. Perfect for putting your feet up after a day shopping in Galeries Lafayette.

I knew I was going to fall in love with this hotel when I spotted those lavender grey striped awnings and gorgeous flower boxes.

 

 

hotel plaza athenee, paris .... a stylists dream

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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I fell in love with these images as soon as I saw them however just couldn't help but wish all hotel rooms felt this inviting.  It seems that no matter how much money one pays for that touch of luxury, hotel rooms do seem a little lacklustre. Yes it is the finishing touches .... flowers, candles, magazines and the extra scatter cushions .... and yes I have spoken about it before.  For any number of reasons this is the area that seems to have been eliminated from either the brief or the budget or both.  Therefore it is the boutique hotel with the fastidious attention to this sort of detail that we seek out .... the hotels that appear in glossy magazines and coffee table books.    

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These images show the beautiful Plaza Athenee in Paris .... a stylists dream ....miles of silk curtaining, elegant panelling and architectural detail, glamorous chandelier and sumptuous furniture.  Why aren't all hotel rooms filled with armfuls of fully blown roses, french champagne on ice and fragrant room candles !!!! 

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laduree coming to sydney

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, June 16, 2012

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The word is out .... the gorgeous Laduree is coming to Sydney .... supposedly in the Westfield Centre in the CBD.  I first discovered this patisserie in Paris one Christmas and thought I was in heaven.  I do hope they can recreate the opulence here in Sydney even if there isn't the architecture. I was encouraged to see a rather perfect Laduree in Harrods in London .... you would expect no less.

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There is nothing quite as glamorous as an afternoon tea at Laduree.  The interior itself is good enough to eat.  The packaging .... the wrapping and ribbons .... the presentation .... and of course the macaron !!! I wonder if Sydney will do hot chocolate the way the French do .... absolute perfection.

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The macaron are the most famous creation of Laduree .... created at the beginning of the 20th century by Pierre Desfontaines the second cousin of Louis Ernest Laduree who first thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. Once cooked the macaron are put to one side for 2 days before going on sale .... according to Laduree, the time it takes to achieve the perfect balance between texture and flavour.

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And the best bit .... each new season they create a new flavour ... the range of colours as important as the range of flavours and a vital part of their appeal. Rumour has it that a box of pastel coloured macaron from Laduree inspired Sofia Coppola, director of the film Marie Antoinette. 

Do look at Laduree's very cute website .... it is enchanting .... and the history of this iconic Parisian teahouse fascinating. 

PS. No macaron I have tasted elsewhere or since has lived up to my first in Paris !! 

 

 

paris....and apple....how beautiful.

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, January 12, 2012

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                 image: via hype means everything

It is no surprise to find the Apple store in Paris in such a magnificent building. Let's face it....everything Apple does is beautiful....starting with the packaging.....the satiny white bag with the silver apple logo and white draw string, the glossy white box and of course.....the treasure inside.  Apple products look exquisite and feel lovely to the touch.....such beautiful design.

Back to the building......this building epitomises Parisian Architecture.  It is one of the many pretty buildings in Paris that we all drool over and photograph. 

And we thought our Apple store in Sydney was beautiful ! Well it is ..... just in a different way.

 

 

 

 


 

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