design, Life, Styling

One Bamboo Table – A Design Exercise

egg & dart blog

Last time I was at my favorite brocante, one of the last things I picked up, arms full of bags and a toddler, was a bamboo folding table. For me, the best way to go at the flew market is with your gut: do you love it? Go with it! Are you not sure? Walk away. This method has never led me astray in almost ten years of brocanting. Do not over think it! So when the price was great and I didn’t have much to lose, I grabbed this little table knowing I’d figure out what to do with it when the time was right.

In the mean time, I decided to give myself the challenge of styling the table for two different set-ups: one as a bedside table and the other as a little writing desk using only what I had access to already at the house.

Bedside table

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I love this as a bedside table. If you have the space, it feels luxurious to have such a large surface to keep some of your favorite things nearby while still having space for the necessities.

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For me, those necessities are a place to have a glass of water at the ready and a dish for taking off jewelry at the end of the day. For years now, my favorite type of dish for that has been these beautiful vintage salt and pepper dishes! While I don’t keep pinch bowls of salt and pepper for daily use, the little bowls of these dishes are perfect for rings and earrings.

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Add books, a focal piece of artwork, maybe a favorite photograph (that one is my husband as a wee one!), and some green and you’ve a bedside table that is useful and inspiring!

Writing Desk

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I think we would all like to be better at finding the time to write notes and thank yous by hand. The time you spend thinking of someone while putting pen to paper creates something that feels so much more special than a digital note. I’m pretty sure if I had a pretty little writing spot like this, I’d be better at it, non?

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Favorite books and some to pull inspiring quotes from, a box for stamps, envelopes, and writing tools, and some cards ready to be addressed. What else does a writing desk really need? Oh, that pretty little box will be in the shop Friday!

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It was wonderful to sneak in the time to try these two set-ups and I’d love to try to find time (and space!) to do more. When I bought this table, I first pictured it for plants and artwork, but who knows how it will end up being used! What do you think?

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A special note of thanks to my assistant, above. I could have done it without you. But it maybe wouldn’t have been as much of a challenge. 😉

xo,

A.

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Loving

Loving List

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Amber Interiors | One Pan Pasta | Bordezac Bracelet | Mon Imagier de la Forêt


Today starts a heat wave here in France and heat always makes me nervous. I am such a Northerner. But I’ve got the apartment shaded, lemon sorbet in the freezer, and thank goodness for double pane windows, so we’ll be fine.

I was wrong about the yard sale last weekend – it’s this weekend! Opps. So I’m still looking forward to that and my list may have grown. Stay cool and happy Friday!

xo,

A.

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egg & dart blog
design, Life

Our Home – The Bedroom

While grand compared to the studio apartment we lived in previously, our current two-bedroom apartment is not huge and lacks the two floor to ceiling closets we had in the entry of our studio as well as the basement storage room. In fact, this apartment came with nearly zero storage. When we moved in there was only the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Not shocking given this building was built at the turn of the century but what it meant was that we had to change our “oh just put it in the closet and we’ll deal with it later” ways and not only pare down but be as inventive as possible to create function from just four walls.

For the past year and a half I’ve almost always had a bag hanging around being (not so slowly) filled with things I wanted g.o.n.e. It turns out that it is rather addictive. But I’ve been so grateful for it because I’m thrilled that we are getting into this mindful habit at this point in our lives. I feel like it will make it much easier to stay in the habit through the years to come. I’ll talk more about what I’ve learned from the experience another day because I don’t know about you but I find it fascinating!

Despite those challenges, we adore our home here! It fits us nearly perfectly, perfectly for our lives right now, and that makes us so lucky. So with that little bit of background about the challenges we’ve tackled since moving in, I want to introduce you to the space, where it started and where it is now and where I’m headed with it. Starting with our bedroom.

Our bedroom is the largest of the apartment’s rooms. While it may have been better to have the largest room be the living/dining space, the apartment is laid out off a long central hallway with the two bedrooms and the living room on one side (exterior side) and the kitchen and bathroom on the other (interior side). The kitchen and living room are roughly in the center and facing each other so the rooms at either end of the hall (on either side of the living room) are our bedrooms.

Since this apartment is older, we really lucked out and have marble mantles in our room and the living, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and wonderful moldings on the living room ceiling. Here is the bedroom empty before we moved it. We’ll have to make due with iphone images because I was too busy trying to find things in boxes to really document each room (also, we left for a two and a half week vacation one day after moving).

bedroom before bedroom before

These are standing in the doorway and the corner opposite the fireplace, respectively. There is really only one obvious place for the bed to go, along that wall to the left in the first image.

Since move-in day we’ve come a long way and this room is the closest to being done. I’ve been very careful about what I’ve added in here because it has had such a calm, unfussy, and comfortable feeling since we first moved in and so little was actually in the room that I’ve wanted to preserve that. Here is where it is today and keep in mind, these are progress shots and cleaned-up but not styled. My lens isn’t right to capture wide shots of the space so these are a mix of iphone and camera shots.

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Walking in the door, you see the fireplace (love the black marble) in the corner of the room and Romain’s guitars hanging on the wall to the right. This is the wall we see when we’re in bed and I love it. Before he got his electric guitar, we had a longer picture ledge on the bottom with the long narrow framed etching that is now on the mantle balancing out the smaller upper ledge. We replaced it with a second short ledge when the second guitar arrived and it is loaded with images from some of our favorite places (my hometown, the Louvre, Yosemite and Muir Woods from our honeymoon). Combined with the guitars, it may just be the wall that is the most representative of us in the whole apartment. (Also, that is Albert’s basket you see there on the low cabinets, where he snores away the night!)

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Turning to the left, our bed takes up the opposite wall with a dresser and a large Ikea PAX unit on the adjoining walls.

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My side of the bed has a thrift store table for a nightstand and a little corner for a chair. I have plans for another chair to live here once it is refinished. I need to reinforce my nightable though as you can see it is listing a bit to the side (which is less evident in real life than in the picture). But is survives the cat tromping on it so it is at least that sturdy.

bedroom progress

Taking up the wall next to my side of the bed is the PAX wardrobe. I made a sort of ‘crown’ for it to hold a hidden curtain rod (no space for doors to swing) and tossed it up there but ideally it would have some simple crown molding attached and be painted white. I’ll start with just painting it and sewing a curtain for it rather than that linen sheet and we’ll see from there. Also, that laundry bucket has got to go!

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Romain’s night table stumped me for a while. He (strangely) needs more night table storage than I do and it also had to be something that would let us open the dresser drawers. One day I screwed this leftover wooden drawer set to the wall and it is kind of perfect in terms of function. I need to think of a way to dress it up and finish it though because it’s completely raw. He also has the dresser on his side of the room with a lamp I wired from an old glass jug.

There isn’t a ton left to do in this room but there are still some important details left to pull it all together and make it sing. Here are some of the images I have been going back to for inspiration for the feeling of this space:

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Simple, clean, unfussy, airy, and warm with a mix of natural textures and more polished ones, old pieces and new, black and off white with our signature greens and blues – a retreat from the city outside. The rooms here were freshly painted a barely there gray right before we moved it, that was a stroke of luck! I’ve just recently ordered this piece of fabric from Etsy for the bed cushion and Romain said it looks like it’s always been here. A vote for perfect fit if ever I heard one! I just need to sew it (it’s simply wrapped around the pillow here).

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Then the head board needs to be made. It will be a simple clean-lined rectangle covered in the same natural linen as the bedskirt – another brocante find. To give you an idea of the texture, here is an extreme close-up:

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Then I have a fun plan for a big statement above the mantle which I’m keeping under my hat but here’s the inspiration (in the background), from the incomparable Lauren Liess:

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After that it is finishing details: lining and hemming the curtains, installing the rings and clips on the curtain rods, tweaking art on the bed wall, sewing the curtain for the PAX and painting its crown, and installing reading lights on either side of the bed, maybe these:

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That’s where we are with the bedroom. It doesn’t sound like a lot to finish but our hands are busy chasing after this little assistant! I’ll introduce his room next week.

Élie

xo,

A.

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Life

Making Home & Birthday Plans

Studio apartment couch pillows

It’s Friday! Again! Honestly, things have been so busy with work around here that we find ourselves in awe Thursday night that the following day is the last day of the week. Again. How is it possible? Well, in between all the typing I’ve been doing, I’m dreaming of polishing off the last projects I was hoping to do to finish this apartment. Talks of moving on are long and simmering in our home but the pace of those talks is picking up and, darn it, I just want to see some of these ideas come to life! Here’s some of what I’m hoping to maybe advance on this weekend:

– These green leafy pillows on our couch are new. I ordered the fabric from Spoonflower (depending on your screen, my picture is truer to the color of this cotton/linen blend than on the Spoonflower site) as soon as I saw it! I was planning to make two smaller deep blue velvet pillows to go with them but then I started thinking that would be too contrasty in our small space (um, we live in a studio and this couch is also our bedroom…) so I ordered this gorgeous cotton/silk ikat and I can’t wait for it to arrive! I love that it is the reverse (light on darker) of the leafy fabric (on a white ground).

– We have two lightbulbs still hanging from the ceiling with 5€ “it’ll do” drum shades on them. I’d like to do this one in the main living space but the hallway is still up for grabs. We have a very modern, simple glass globe in the kitchen space, my Moravian star in my “studio”, and huge Japanese paper shade in the bathroom (do you need a floorplan after all that?). I think I’d like something darker and older in the entryway, maybe like this or this?

– We still only have a small mirror in the bathroom. The only way to see how that shirt and that skirt are working together is when i get in the elevator to leave the building. My dream mirror might be like this! Maybe. But big and rectangular. Where to find that for a song in a city that knows the value of antiques? I’ve been playing with lots of different styles in my head.

Also, tomorrow is my birthday! I would like a bit of sunshine and to do the following things:

– Have tea and treats at the Mosquée.

– Shop for gorgeous green plants along les quais.

– Shop this vente ephémère (pop-up shop in French! literally ‘ephemeral sale’)

– And eat lunch at Khun Akorn.

Do you have any weekend plans? I hope it’s a beautiful one!

xo,

A.

 

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Life, Styling

Home Dreaming

living room

I’ve been so busy plowing ahead on a work project (al.most.done!) that I’ve been missing my time writing here! But i thought I’d share some home dreaming I’ve been doing in little snatches of time here and there.

See, this past weekend our one and a half year old Ikea PS Lövas broke. The thing is we live in a small studio apartment and, while we’ve arranged the space pretty well to make it seem like totally different spaces when the bed is open (master bedroom!) and when it is closed and functions as our couch (living room!), there is just no way we can hide a bed that’s broken and can’t be closed. R. declared that that was it! We need a bedroom with a real bed! (Read: a new apartment) He’s not wrong and this is the second time a bed has broken here in four years, but looking for an apartment in Paris is a full-time, high stress job. It’s too bad, too, because the only thing wrong with the bed is that the hinges had insufficient soldering. We’re trying to think up a solution that doesn’t require torches and sparks.

So, to distract myself from the horror that is apartment hunting, I’ve been dreaming of the much more appealing decorating phase of a new space. This is just a quick idea of what it could look like with all the space, time, and money I can dream of. I don’t know that I wouldn’t drive everyone crazy by playing around with different ideas, but at this moment, this is feeling pretty cosy.

This armchair is at the top of my list. I need a chair I can sit sideways in and I love wing chairs but this modern take has such clean but soft lines. Love. It will need a simple white or linen colored couch to go with it but I’d ditch those pillows real fast and add two big bolsters covered in this Chenonceau fabric. I must have fabric named after my favorite chateau! With all that lightness, I like the idea of a dash of black to ground the space and this coffee table plays into the rug without being heavy while bringing in some natural wood. These zodiac prints do the trick, too, and I’d have them play nicely on the wall with a vintage gilded mirror. Of course, this is dreamland and I can have Moorish doorways if I like and plenty of green with a fiddle-leaf fig. A branch-legged side table with a glass drop lamp next to the armchair would add some more organic lines and I am obsessed with Lauren‘s paisley for the window curtains (floor to ceiling, of course). Then to just plop myself on the couch with some little tealights and a cosy throw (from Maine!) and all that would be missing would be R., the bug, and a cup of tea.

What home dreams do you have running through your head? Please tell me I’m not alone.

xo,

A.

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