On the Streets of Paris

January 23, 2013 | Color Inspiration, Doors, Hardware, Paris

I just spent the most fabulous week in Paris as the guest of Edward Ferrell-Lewis Mittman, one of my favorite furniture vendors. They are not one of my favorites just because they wined and dined me in Paris for the second year in a row!  Their top-notch customer service, continually expanding lines, and fast delivery times are truly why I shop with them time and again.  But a trip or two or three (hint, hint) to Paris certainly doesn’t hurt!

Between a day at the furniture fair Maison&Objet, a trip to the Paris flea market, and visits to antique shops on the Left Bank, I had 5 days filled with design inspiration. But the thing that gave me the most inspiration was walking the streets of Paris, eyes wide open, mini-ipad in hand, soaking in the architecture around me. There is nothing I like more than exploring neighborhoods and seeing beautiful buildings, whether they be old or new, traditional or modern.  The forms, lines and details set my designer-mind into overdrive.

One of my favorite things about Parisian buildings are the massive, colorful doors that dramatically mark the openings  to the monochromatic stone buildings. From emerald green to cobalt blue to lipstick red, the brightly painted doors are the perfect pop of color in an otherwise neutral setting.

I would love to see these strong colors on the walls of a foyer, library or dining room.  If you are so inspired to make an impact as large as these doors, here are some Benjamin Moore color options that are reflective of these:

For emerald green, “Brazilian Rainforest”

For cobalt blue, “Brilliant Blue”

And for the red, “Deep Rose”.

I also saw many beautiful door knockers and handles that added even more interest and beauty to these entrances.  These pieces of hardware are like jewelry, and I would love to see similar handles and knobs on dressers and cabinets — the perfect finishing touches to a piece!

Not everyone likes snakes as a decorative element, but I am obsessed with them!  They are dramatic, strong and so chic!

The over-sized swan knob makes a plain glass door feel almost regal.

I saw this handle on a nondescript glass paneled door that was desperately in need of a paint job. But it was still a stand-out because of the hardware. This handle is more modern in feel, and I could easily imagine it reinterpreted in lacquered wood or in two tones of metal instead of one.

Many beautiful Parisian buildings also have intricate ironwork on the exterior, whether it be a gated entryway or window grilles — they all make me think of potential patterns for custom carpets or fabrics.

So much to see, so little time!  I definitely need to go back to Paris again next year — there’s that no-so-subtle hint again!  I really hope someone from Edward Ferrel – Lewis Mittman is reading this!

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