For the love of Deyrolle

About 5 years ago I had the joy of visiting Paris.  On that very brief visit, I was told that I MUST stop in to see Deyrolle while I was there.  For those of you that have never visited, it’s a natural science “Cabinet of Curiosities” shop started in 1831 that is filled to the brim with taxidermy, etymological specimens, shells and coral, beautiful instructional charts, classrooms, etc…and all displayed with a nod to whimsy.  (This is evident from the first moment you look in the window and see an antelope dressed in gardening clothes.)  Unfortunately, I had other appointments to attend to while I was there, but I literally could have stayed in Deyrolle for the entire day.  It left me feeling sad to leave because I wanted to explore every nook and cranny of this incredible place, and felt as if I’d only scratched the surface.

Fast forward a few years, and I heard that Deyrolle had experienced a terrible fire and most of it had burned.  Thankfully the owners and volunteers were able to save a great number of specimens…and today the shop has been rebuilt.

In 2009 Assouline Publishing released a book of photographs by Laurent Bochet called 1000 degrees Celsius that captured the remains of what happened after the fire.  It’s a captivating book that I would recommend to anyone who loves animals and the spirit of survival.  The portraits section at the end is my favorite part for it’s vitality against the blackened walls of the shop.  It features volunteers posing with specimens that survived the fire from Deyrolle.  My favorite quote from that section is, “Amid all this carbon, they [the specimens] had never looked as much like survivors.  We gathered them together so that they could rub each other, nuzzle each other – a kiss.”

See more photos from Laurent Bochet’s 1000 degrees Celsius after the jump. Continue reading “For the love of Deyrolle”


Just a great example of pattern & color mixing

This is not my personal style necessarily, but I do love a great example of pattern and color mixing done well.  This example is so tasteful and relaxing that I felt compelled to post it.

House Beautiful Showcase House  bedroom

New ideas for wallpaper

At least once a month someone asks me to come up with a new way to show wallpaper.  You’d think that it’s main purpose (ie. on a wall) would be the ideal scenario, but I find that “new and exciting” is what I’m often asked to come up with.  So it was with great pleasure that I came across the book Wallpaper Projects by Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith.


Their book features so many creative ways to use wallpaper that I got tingly all over!  (And the best part is the majority of their projects aren’t inventive for the sake of being filler to get to a certain page count for their book.  No!  In fact, many of these you might actually consider doing in your home!)   Here are a couple of my favorites:

wallpaper stairs

Wallpapering the stair treads?  I love it!  Just a single roll would give you maximum impact!

wallpaper headboard

I don’t think you know how much I love this.  I can never seem to commit to a bed frame that I love for for my master bedroom and therefore haven’t had one for years.  (It’s like the cobbler whose children have no shoes, right?)  Anyways…I think this could be an interesting solution for me.

wallpaper blinds

These look simple to make and the effect is undeniably great.

wallpaper silhouette

I know, I know…we’ve seen silhouettes a dozen times already.  Everyone is doing them now.  But this one is particularly cute, so I had to post.  It’s a great use for those wallpaper scraps & samples that you never seem to know what to do with.  (At least, I never know what to do with.  I must have four random rolls of wallpaper sitting in my closet right now that I love, but didn’t have enough to do a big project with.)

Anyways…there are a ton of other great ideas as well as all the instructions on how-to in this book, so I definitely recommend it.

Fireplace Mantle redecorating inspiration

This weekend we re-arranged the furniture & art in the living room.  It feels SO much better.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to do it because I’ve hated the way I’d initially laid out the room from the beginning.  (I was probably stuck doing other projects.)  Anyways…the one thing I haven’t had the energy to tackle is my weird fireplace facade and ugly mantle.  I’m still not going to tackle it at the moment since it involves demolition and I’m in the throes of doing that in the half-bathroom.  So I thought I’d just redecorate the mantle.  Here are my inspiration pics.

We’re probably going with the last idea because the mantle itself is kinda wonky and might not hold anything really heavy.  Plus we collect postcards from all of our travels.  It could be a good way to show them off.

(Lastly, I wish I could give photo credit for these, but I only know two of them.  The red sofa is from the Wallpaper Projects by Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith.  The last photo is from an old issue of Domino.  I’ve had the others saved in my inspiration file for ages.)

Duh! How did I forget to officially post “after” pics of my guest room?!

It’s been almost a hundred years since we actually finished the guest room, but I just realized that I never officially posted the “after” pictures of our work.   (If you like to snoop like me, then you may have already poked around my flickr and seen them, but since 99.9% of you don’t do that…I thought it might be nice to share.)  And because everyone needs a healthy dose of perspective, here are the BEFORE shots:

Pretty bluesy, right?  I mean…those mirrored closet doors made me want to poke an eye out.  (Not to mention one of them had broken glass.)   Anyways…so here is our AFTER shots:

Yes, you are correct our floors are slightly slanted…as is easily visible in shot #2.  Also, here’s the post showing the original inspiration for the guest room makeover.  On a completely un-related note, Nick has decided that whenever someone comes to visit and stays in our guest room he’d take a portrait of that guest(s), and we’d start a portrait collection.  And here’s the first one he did to celebrate our first guest since the room’s overhaul.  (It’s my best friend and soon-to-be maid of honor Ashley.)

And of course, all photo credit for the AFTER shots goes to Nick.   All the BEFORE shots….well those were all mine.  🙂

Invitation Inspiration

I can’t even HANDLE the BEAUTY!!  I mean…making all your invitations out of vintage hankies?!  OMG…If I had more energy (and money) to start digging for vintage hankies, then I probably would.  As it stands now, I’m probably going to have to let this idea go by the wayside, but it literally KILLS me to do it!!

invite inspiration2

via bird & banner (oh, B&B how I love thee.)

invite inspiration

via Green Wedding Shoes

Besides, if I used this as a Save the Date idea, how in the world would I top it for an invitation?   Everything else after that would surely seem like a letdown.  I just wish there was a way (that I knew of) to get the feeling of using a vintage hankie without having to collect 100 hankies.  Hmm…  if any of you have any thoughts on that, let me know!  (Or if you have any great invitation ideas for DIY.)

A little Inspiration before the weekend: Faye Toogood

I’ve been meaning to post about stylist / creative director Faye Toogood for awhile now because I love her work so much.  It seems like often when I’ve seen one of those magical photo editorials (in the World of Interiors for instance) it was Faye who helped create it.   At any rate, these gorgeous images speak for themselves.

inside the greenhouse

photographer: Bill Batten


photographer: Gregoire Alexandre


photographer: Tom Mannion


photographer: Tom Mannion


photographer: Tobias Harvey

Head over to her website for more deliciousness!  This was only just a taste after all!