I’m looking for a classic fauteuil to go with my chic canapé clic-clic, and a stylish tapis to tie it all together. A what, you say?
Yeah, that’s how I felt, too. Then there was the metric system to contend with. Decorating my Paris apartment was another rite of passage in becoming a full-fledged homeowner in France. But I learned fast as I shopped the internet for ideas for my petit nid parisien. I discovered I could do a lot from 3660 miles away with the help of IKEA, Maisons du Monde, La Redoute, Habitat, Open en Ville, Bo Concept, and Conforama. Even before I arrived in Paris to shop in person, my list was nearly 100% finalized, and I’d mastered the vocabulary:
- armchair: fauteuil
- rug: tapis
- sofa bed: canapé convertible
- floor lamp: lampadaire
- headboard: tête de lit
- mattress: matelas
- throw pillows: coussins
- shelves: étagères
As it turns out, the deco phase was the most joyful part of the process. Unlike the renovation, I was completely in control of the result—my ideas, my execution. There was no one telling me something couldn’t be done exactly the way I wanted. Everything could be exactly the way I wanted. Bliss.
It started with a “Look Book,” a scrapbook of inspiration—from photos of entire rooms to paint chips and fabric swatches. While the deco of my New York apartment is more of an ad hoc affair—we’ll call it, “Accumulation Chic”—when it came to my Paris place, I had a very clear vision. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so decisive. Normally, I agonize over big decisions, and often, I’ll research something for months then never pull the trigger. Is it fear of making the wrong choice? Maybe. But with the apartment in Paris, I was fearless. I just drew up the design and made it happen.
Who was this person?
I suppose, she’s the same person who found the courage to purchase the apartment in the first place; the one who undertook an overseas renovation. Hell, choosing a sofa—er, I mean canapé? Piece of cake.
Me, fearless. Huh, that’s a new one. This apartment is proving to be more than a place to live; it’s teaching me how to live.