Paris' most colourful cafe: Colorova

Hello! It's been a little while since I've blogged, as there have been a few changes in my life recently, but more about that later….

My first post of the year is about the beautifully colourful cafe and patisserie, Colorova that was published on Apartment Therapy last week!



The first thing you see as you step off the street and walk in Colorova, located just south of Saint Germain, is the black, white and red diamond wallpaper on the adjacent wall. As the name suggests, this place is all about colour, from the rainbow-coloured crocheted chairs to the colourful pastries and cakes that are so artful, they look almost too good to eat.

Paris is known for its beauty, but not necessarily for colour; this unique space created by French chef, Guillaume Gil, places design, and especially colour (hence the name) on the same level of importance as the food served. Gil wanted to create a space where he felt at home, after all, he comes her every day. He says: "The colours are very important to me; I wanted to have a business that didn't look like any other. Typical tea salon in Paris is decorated with cold colours that are very similar to the tea salons that you might find in Austria, for example. I wanted something eye-poppingly colourful and young. If I go into a tea salon as a client I want to feel a part of the space, and that's what I've tried to do here."

He shopped around for inspiration, visiting various stores, showrooms and numerous second hand markets, which, luckily Paris is famous for. He finally settled on colourful crocheted chairs from a store in Paris, windows he found while on holiday in Thailand and vibrant seats made from Tunisian markets. The interior is completed by unique display counters - which Gil had specially designed by a cabinet-maker - that beautifully exhibit the artisanal cakes. 

There are are also books and magazines dotted about on the shelves, reading lamps that add an intimate and more personal touch, artworks, and even the addition of a cool mint SMEG fridge. The result is a space where you feel instantly at home and so cosy that you'll want to move in! 







BODIE and FOU SS13

I've been following online concept store, BODIE and FOU for while now - I love the simplicity of owner, Karine Candice's styling and the natural materials she champions. Karine's French but lives in London (although she does have a summer home in the south of France), which is probably one of the reasons her site originally caught my eye. I've spent a lot of time since I moved to Paris, checking out interiors sites for tips, and although I have a very clear idea in my mind what I like, it's always good to get some inspiration. I particularly like the grey linen bedding below and the wicker basket, perfect for storing bits and bobs in the living room or bedroom.

BODIE and FOU's gorgeous new Spring/Summer 2013 catalogue is out now - see a few images below.

Cereal Magazine Issue II

Bath-based Cereal is quite possibly the most beautifully put together magazine out there on the market. I wrote about the launch issue back in February [here], so nothing could stop me posting some of the images from issue two. It encompasses everything I love about magazines - great photography, gorgeous styling, good typography, and it even smells good - it's the whole package and what's more, it's calming to look at. Just look at the front cover - who wouldn't want to curl up on a sofa with it and sail off to sea? This issue looks at the history of pepper, Korean condiment, the fiery red paste Gochujang and the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

You can buy a copy [here]


ROOMS

A friend recently introduced me to furniture brand, ROOMS, run by Tbilisi-based design duo, Nati and Keti, and I instantly fell in love with their quirky, clever and colourful creations - I'm currently lusting over the Knitted Armchair (below), which would slot very nicely into my living room. Nati and Keti were born in the same year (1981) and experienced a mixture of Asian, European and Soviet cultures in their upbringing that still influence their designs today. They studied Interior Design together at Tbilisi Academy of Arts and set up ROOMS after they graduated. Their first product was The Dressed Chair - literally a chair dressed in a jacket. Check out the rest of their products below from their new 2013 collection. Which one do you like? 
Blossom Chair
Knitted Armchair 
Collector's Box
Ironic Chair
Invisible Table
Embroider Blue

COS x Bonsoir Paris


I was hoping to get over to Salone in Milan this week, but it just wasn't feasible. I particularly wanted to check out Swedish' brand COS' offering, as it's one of my favourite go-to labels. They commissioned French design duo Bonsoir Paris - founded by Remy Clemente and Morgan Maccari to create an installation that reflected the brand's DNA. See photo above and check out the video below - it's a geometrical structure utilising a mixture of wood and white wires - very COS. They created a geometric ball with numerous points of entry so they could connect poles and play around with the structure. It's very childlike in a way, versatile and practical and yet at the same time a piece of art. Brilliant. 


C'est le weekend!

It's been a busy week. First my friend Harry came to stay on Tuesday for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week and now my mum is visiting.

Yesterday I took her to the Museum of Everything at the Chalet Society. I've been meaning to go for ages (ever since one of my Art Wednesday writers wrote about it for me), but just haven't had the time. Entertaining a guest, however, especially a parent is the perfect excuse to take the afternoon off, and I've haven't really explored Saint Germain, where it's based. I won't spoil it for you, but here are a few photos I took on the way in.


I watched Brene Brown's TED talk, which I read about on sfgirlbybay and have been sending it to everyone. Victoria was right, it's brilliant, thought-provoking and if you're procrastinating over something at the moment, it's just the inspiration you need to pull your finger out.

I also purchased LA interior designer Nathan Turner's new book (I know, not very French, but since I moved to Paris, I've been looking for interiors inspiration for the flat) after reading about him on Rue magazine, an interesting interiors and design-focused San Francisco-based publication - check out their new site, Rue Daily. I love his colourfully eclectic style that's peppered with patterned fabrics, art works and trinkets he picked up on his travels.



Image credit: Kimberley Genevieve for Rue magazine

I also discovered cool new quarterly magazine, Apology, edited by former Index and Vice Journalist, Jesse Pearson that's filled with literature, humour, essays, photography - see Ryan McGinley below and  fiction. And the front cover is gorgeous.



And so bon weekends everyone!

Image credit: 'The Red Balloon' print available to buy from [here]

Desk Space


I've been looking for the perfect desk for weeks now - I'm working from home in Paris, and the dining table just isn't doing it for me anymore. I found a gorgeous vintage one from here but sadly it was sold - although the owner does find some treasures, so I'm keeping my eyes are peeled to her blog. In the meantime here's some of my inspiration:

Image credits: 1. Artist Marina Abramovic's desk in her Soho apartment, NYC [here] 2. [here] 3. [here] 4. [here]


Image credits 5. [here] 6. [here] 7. [here] 8. [here]











Petit Paris: Concept Stores

You can't come to Paris without visiting a few of the city's concept stores. So here are my top five:

I think I visited Merci every time I came to Paris last year (which was a lot). Merci is a mecca for the style-conscious wanting to live in well-designed surroundings. I could spend hours in there browsing the clothes, flicking through the stationary and perusing the kitchenware, and then heading into one of the cafes for tea and cake. In fact I might ask if I can move in.

Image credit [here]
Wait is a vintage-style concept store from the founders of sunglasses brand, Waiting for the Sun, with a space that feels like you're walking into someone's living room. Complete with large sofa, rugs and wooden beams, it's actually their headquarters and office that they've fashioned into a shop, selling surfboards, bags, fragrances and vintage ware. The main thing that caught my eye was the vitage side-board and globe, which are very similar to the ones I have at home.

Image credit [here]
The Space was set up by two Brits - one of the girls inherited the shop from her grandmother, who was gifted the property by Elizabeth Taylor no less. It's a cosy store, with an old-world feel to it (see piano) and is perfect for magpies seeking out new treasures.

Image credit [here]


BABEL is Paris' newest concept store - it opened just after Christmas next to Canal Saint Martin in the 10th arrondissement - Paris' Bobo area (a bit like the capital's Dalston). With two large floor-to-ceiling windows, it's not unlike Merci Merci in style, but sports a slightly cosier feel with candles burning and armchairs dotted about. The owner, Vanessa Doger also teamed up with Taiwan-born Chen Costya, of 37m2 fame who is serving up Bubble Tea, a local Taiwanese drink made of tea mixed with fruit and milk, and pastries from Zen Zoo.

Image credit: Babel
I can't make a list of Parisian concept stores without mentioning the uber cool Colette that's a Paris Fashion Week favourite. The three-storey shop is Paris' most famous concept store and houses a cafe, small gallery space with a monthly rotation of exhibitions, books and music, and a cherry-picked selection of designs by brands such as Band of Outsiders, Carven, Maison Martin Margiela and Simone Rocha.

Image credit: Colette