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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2015

  • My English Journey

    Part 3- Paris for a Couple Days...

    One of my favorite aspects of being London-based for a couple months, is how easy it is to travel to the rest of Europe. Any time I can avoid a plane, I will opt for the alternative. A quick 2 hour train ride from London's St Pancras Station and you arrive at Paris’ Gare du Nord.

    Maison et Object, one of the most inspirational and respected home industry trade shows, was the main purpose of my Paris visit. The show is enormous-- furniture, rugs, home accessories. I went in search of magic for our stores, but also to refuel my own creativity.  Its always refreshing to see what’s trending in the design world at large.

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    We only had two full days in Paris, so Jaimee (my managing director) and I walked for hours through Maison et Object on our first day. The creative world is becoming so small and stores all over the world seem to be blending as one-- so I was excited to see the work of local artisans and bring their magic back to my shops.

    Our second day was spent combing through the city streets and absorbing the romance of the city. No detail went unnoticed-- from whimsicially hanging lampshades to lace handiwork in widows. We managed to visit some of my favorite Parisian design shops (Bonpoint, Merci, Collette). Our dear friend, artist Laurence Amelie, is involved in many aspects of the creative direction at Bonpoint and needless to say, their Parisian shop is amazingly wonderful. The floral ceiling fixture Laurence created is simply breathtaking.

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    After wearing out shoes and refueling my inspiration bucket, it was time to catch the train back to London. More of my journey to follow in next week's post...

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  • My English Journey

    Part 2- The Charm of Notting Hill

    Even though I grew up in North London, Notting Hill feels like home these days.  5 years ago I opened my London shop just off Portobello road (the world famous antique street market).  And my son, Jake, recently moved nearby.  It seemed the right location for me to spend the winter months, near Jake and my Shabby London family (Paulina, Pascal and David).

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    I rented a little room at The Main House...a modest space, nothing fancy but tasteful. At times I wondered why I had elected to leave my lovely Los Angeles home, but the artist in me needed simplicity and a true winter to go inward, plant ideas, and bloom.

    I caught up on my reading and snuggled under my Shabby Chic duvet.  I saw films down the road at the oldest cinema in London, The Electric.  There is a lovely tradition of painting the houses on Portobello...many in my Shabby Chic palette.  On Fridays and Saturdays, thousands of people flow through the tiny streets looking for antique treasures. I was on the hunt for watercolor paintings , easy for me to carry back to LA...and there is something rather special about the landscapes and floor studies.

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