At Home with Lauren

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lauren makes up the other half of The House that Jack Built along with Alison, whose flat I visited previously this month. Lauren's apartment came with her boyfriend Jeff, and she moved in Christmas 2012. It's fair to say she hit the jackpot with Jeff - I only met him briefly, but judging by his flat he's quite the catch. The apartment is unusually large for Paris - I could have easily cart-wheeled around the open living space (had I been so inclined), and on top of that it's located over looking Canal Saint Martin, possibly one of the best positions in Paris.

Situated on the fourth floor it's a light-filled space with three floor-to-ceiling windows, wooden floors and the furniture is a mix of modernist and vintage design pieces, such as an Eames lounge chair and ottoman, Knoll chairs, a vintage traffic light, an old stage light and a beautiful cream Krauss piano. Unsurprisingly it's been used before for various photo shoots, so I was glad to get in there and have a good nose around.

Scroll down for the full interview! 

How would you describe your interior style?
Eclectic, verging on schizophrenic. I love it all.

Favourite piece of furniture?
Jeff’s childhood piano. Especially when it’s being played – this week’s soundtrack has been Hey Jude.

Favourite places/shops to buy for your home?
Every Sunday growing up, my parents would drag my brother and I begrudgingly all over town to find antiques, we used to hate it with a passion. Now, it’s one of my favourite things to do. 

Going to St Ouen is an endless swoon. I also often pop into gallery and bookshop, OFR. They have ever-changing exhibitions and all the fashion, art, design books you could dream of. That’s where Jeff and I bought our first artwork together, a photograph by Mark Borthwick.

For house plants, Bleuet Coquelicot in the 10th. And for organising the ‘behind closed doors’ side to our lives, I swear by Muji.

Interiors/style that have inspired you?
Born in Australia, growing up in South-East Asia, with an English father, now living in Paris – in some way or another, I’m inspired by a plethora of styles, eras, materials, textures & designs from these different cultures.  

If your flat was burning down, what three things would you take with you?
We have a safety rope in case of a fire, so living on the 4th floor, I guess that would be useful. Then, I would take Jeff, because that’s the only way I would know how to use the rope. 
3rd thing? Irreplaceable family photos.

Favourite sources for inspiration
I am a sucker for Pinterest, I could spend hours dreaming my life away on that thing.

Last good book you read?

Breakfast or dinner?
Before going to sleep, I’m already excited for breakfast. I love breakfast so much that I sometimes eat it for dinner.

Evening drink of choice?
Tonight, an Aperol Spritz. But mostly, an Amaretto Sour.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee all the way!!! A single shot quartado. I can never win with tea - it’s always too scorching hot to drink, and then by the time I remember to drink it, it’s too cold.

Bedside table essentials?
A good book, papaw lip balm, hotel slippers, body cream.

How did you find your flat? Any advice for people searching for a flat in Paris?
The flat came with the boy! So find a boy/girl? If all else fails, spread the word. Word of mouth is the best way to find the best secret deals in Paris.

And finally you favourite places in Paris? 
Favourite Cafe : The BrokenArm, place to drink : L’Avant Comptoir in the 6th. I’m still thinking about the Rosé, croquette jambon & porc caramelisé I had there 3 weeks ago and I think the best brunch spot in Paris is: Le Marché des Enfants Rouges

Summer in the south

Friday, 15 August 2014

Paris in August is an eerie place. Shops, cafes and restaurants shut, sometimes for the entire month. Residents vacate the city, leaving only a few locals who blissfully enjoy the calm streets and baffled tourists trying to find somewhere decent to eat. 

So unless you're on holiday too, it's a good time for weekends away. Our friends parents have a beautiful house in the south of France, so we drove there on Friday night. The first part of the journey was through a raging storm that seemed to dump its anger on us, until we were 3 hours away from Paris when suddenly the skies cleared, a rainbow appeared and the temperature rose 10 degrees. Bliss.

We spent our time eating good, fresh food, basking in the sunshine, lying by the pool, playing table tennis, badminton and petanque (had to work off the mountains of baguettes, butter and fig jam I was scoffing every morning), swimming in the Ardèche river (highly recommended if you get the chance) and exploring Aiguèze, one of the Plus Beaux Villages of France. Afraid I only took a few photos, as I was trying to relax (of course the fact that I'm posting these photos kind of undermines that I guess...) Hope you like them anyway. 

Giverny: Fondation Monet

Friday, 8 August 2014

Last weekend, as you might have seen on Instagram, I ticked something off my bucket list. We drove with a couple of friends (who were over from Holland) to Giverny, the home of Monet. I'm a big art buff - my parents used to drag me to galleries when I was little - so a lot of knowledge went in by osmosis, but I also studied the impressionists at university, as well as various history of art courses while on my Erasmus year abroad in Valencia, Spain. So visiting Giverny has been on my to do list for a while. Luckily the weather stayed sunny (it's been rather schizophrenic lately) and the place was everything I thought it might be and more. I do recollect jumping up and down a few times and beaming from ear to ear like a kid when we arrived...

We got there around 11am on Saturday to try and avoid the crowds, which was pretty futile as there were already tourists from all over queuing to get in. But we did manage to jump the queue with our pre-bought tickets (recommended). We also packed a little picnic which we ate outside of the foundation by the river, again rather idyllic! And went in for a second look after lunch. 

Admittedly I might have gone a little overboard with photos here, but I just couldn't help myself. With every step I took there was something photo worthy. Giverny is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited and I would happily go back again and again. Private tour anyone, please?

What's on your bucket list?

Couldn't resist the cringe couple moment!
Jessica doing her thing

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