Friday, July 19, 2013

My Paris Room

The completion of this room has been a year in the making... and quite honestly if it were not for the creative vision of my son, it would never have happened.  But this francophile now has a Paris room that comes incredibly close to experiencing the real City of Lights on this side of the Atlantic, and it is easily accessible at an affordable price!

pre-renovation
The room originally belonged to my youngest when she was a toddler through elementary school.  The mint green wall paper with soft pink rosebuds suited a little girl just fine.  But she moved out of the room in sixth grade and it has remained a catch-all dressing room ever since.  At one point we tried to remove the wallpaper, only to discover that there was at least one more layer beneath that had been painted over twice.  Too much work for our busy lifestyles.

But last summer my son had a vision that the room could be transformed - and he made that dream a reality.  Rather than scrape wallpaper for days, he used a texture technique that could be applied to the existing walls.  Using ordinary tissue paper that had been wadded up and then re-flattened, he adhered each piece individually to the walls using a small amount of paint (in our case, a soft antique white).  While this was very time consuming and elicited the help of most family members, the result was a stucco appearance that rivaled the feel of vintage European architecture.

Parisan Cafe
It was my idea to try to replicate the feel of a Parisian cafe on one side of the room ... in the hopes that following the routine of Hemingway might inspire my own writing endeavors ... and then an indoor apartment on the other side, complete with a window view of Sacre Coeur, my iconic Parisian monument.  We were fortunate enough to find this lovely bistro table setting for two on one of our many visits to Lowe's ... and I purchased it on the spot (well, after much coaching from my son).  I found the black-and-white striped cushions at Hobby Lobby and a perfectly matched valance on Amazon.

The light reminded me of an old-fashioned gas light, which would be perfect for an al fresco setting, and the ivy garland at the top was to help recreate the atmosphere of an outdoor experience.  I managed to find a copy of the menu of Le Moulin de la Galette (my ultimate Parisian dining experience) which I printed and framed, and I used a collage frame to showcase some Parisian postcards circa turn of the 20th century.

When you enter the room you see the "indoor apartment" view.  My mother's red couch was the perfect  accent piece, and coordinated perfectly with the silk geraniums I used to adorn the window boxes.  While I have another room, which I fondly call my nook, that houses most of my book collection, I have chosen to keep only those books that pertain to writing and travel on this bookcase.

While it is hidden from view in this photo, I did manage to find an Eiffel Tower desk lamp at a local flea market to use on my French provincial nightstand from childhood that serves as the perfect side table where I can put my beverage, a scented candle, and a holder for all my writing utensils.

But the piece de la resistance... the one item missing until just this week... was the framed picture of Sacre Coeur that I can view while sitting on my couch.  We found the window frame at a local flea market ... along with the matching red shudders.  I took the picture when I last visited Paris two years ago, and found a terrific online printing service that cropped the photo to my specific dimensions and mounted it on foam board for stability.  My husband was able to use his carpentry skills to tape the photo to the back of the frame, adhere the shudders to the side of window, and then secure the window to the wall.  The result was perfection!

The trunk belonged to my husband's grandmother and is the quintessential symbol of exotic travel.  And while it is impossible to tell from this photo, I have small tea lights embedded within the ivy that add a warm twinkling glow after dark.

I also have a fountain in the room, that lends a soothing sound of trickling water... albeit a bit too loud for this small space.  And in an effort to entice all the senses, I have a Baguette scented candle that when lighted takes me back to the fragrant aroma of the small neighborhood boulangerie ... and I recently purchased a 3-CD collection of Parisian Cafe songs that I play in the background.

It might be a number of years before I return to my beloved Paris... but until then, I can come very close to recreating that intimate cafe experience every single day.  Many many thanks to my son... and husband... who made this dream a perfect reality.



1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous, stunning, lovely, and Parisien. It was such a delight to take a tour around your Parisien room, Molly! Thank you for sharing it. Now I have some idea about where you 'go' to write, and also I can turn over in my mind what I want for my writing room to have an England feel to it. I hope you have many, many hours of writing in your special room, Molly.

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