We always kidding that our little businesses are all work and no play. And we mean it when we say we’re kidding. How lucky are we to be doing what we love?
So, a couple weeks ago, we jumped on the 6 p.m. Air France flight (our favorite flight: pretty good food, we can usually get a good seat and Air France is generous with the bubbly) and headed to Paris for some serious spring shopping.
We went to one of the Europe’s best-known gift, furniture and design shows. Eight enormous buildings were filled to the brim with thousands of people from all over the place and hundreds and hundreds of vendors and manufacturers.
Nothing says La Belle France like toile de jouy and we couldn’t resist a sampling of clever items, like these cute sling chairs that will work perfectly in the garden and in the house:
We picked up some fabulous linen, canvas and leather luggage from a lovely old company based in Southwest France (we’re anticipating a smack-down over these classic totes which are perfect for beach, country, mountains, carry-ons…you name it…)
(We realized we might be turning into a bag store….)
And, we’d been searching and searching for the famous Ice Bag which, in France, is always chilling bottles of wine in a perfect mixture of ice and water. It’s a totally handy, plastic tote that keeps your wine perfectly refreshing.
We fell in love with a luxe line of cashmere and faux fur that we’re holding off on until the fall, but the colors had us drooling:
We met a nice lady from whom we buy our favorite foutas. Foutas are amazing Tunisian cotton towels/throws/tablecloths/sarongs that we are simply nuts about. We went crazy over the juicy line of colors we saw. Can’t wait to have these monogrammed at HHH. They will look so sensational by the pool or on the porch this summer:
A real menu!
A darling waiter who kept our glasses full…
After lunch, we had to visit our new BFF, Tina Frey. Tina creates the most amazing pieces in resin and we are CRAZY about her stuff:
A very jet-lagged Meg and adorable Tina Frey
Among other fabulous objects, Tina creates the ultimate cool cuff. We love the crisp white one:
Tina’s designs are so sleek, elegant and clean and we’re all over this cool wine bucket: smokey gray resin with leather handles.
There was plenty of stuff you definitely won’t be seeing at Huff Harrington Home like this over-the-top riot of bad florals:
After all that shopping, talking and looking, we took a couple hours off and headed to Les Puces, the famous French flea market (where we heard we missed Rod Stewart and his wife by minutes. Darn!) We wanted to go to Paul Bert, one of many little sections that make up Les Puces – mostly because there’s a great restaurant there that Meg was dying to try and Ann had promised we could go. But before lunch, there was more exploring to do:
Oh, the glorious crunchy, crusty, beat-up and beautifully Frenchy stuff that was all around.
At the bus-stop (yes, we absolutely took the bus and it was so much fun) we made friends with a stall-owner. The stall had been in her family for decades and she was just lovely.
It turns out Ann had bought some pieces from her on the last pre-HHH opening in the summer. Friends reunited!
We look like twins but we were warm…
oh la la! How French can you get? Look at the little pet rodent the pug has sitting next to him.
And, we were drooling over these gorgeous, mossy and old looking pieces.
And the bowl of glass eyeballs:
After that, it was back to business and we had the excellent fortune to run into a nice group of young, smart, ambitious and very, very cute Frenchmen selling a cute line that we simply couldn’t (ahem…) resist.
We loved the concept of fun and sassy eyeglasses that sit in a handy little stand wherever you need them…but maybe it was the glass or two of bubbly they persuaded us with that sealed the deal:
And, to end the day in true French fashion, we stopped at the local outpost of Fauchon for a restorative (how could you possibly guess?) glass of champagne:
Then it was back to Ann’s adorable little jewel of an apartment to review and work on all the special things we decided to buy for Huff Harrington Home.
This is really and truly the view from Ann’s kitchen:
It was time to head home after that but we are excited and happy about the wonderful things that will be filling the floor at Huff Harrington Home.
Yes, it’s a tough job…and we’re so glad we have to do it.
P.S. we were absolutely head-over-heels with joy when we saw this in our favorite magazine, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles: http://www.atlantahomesmag.com/frenchfinds