Today we are talking…
“First Look” : November 15
Pop-Up Shop: November 16-18, no ticket required
What brought me to France this past summer were the famed antique markets, also known as brocantes, throughout the countryside around Provence. I traveled with my dear friend, Kim, who is a local of Grilly, France. She was my driver, translator and companion from market to market shopping by day and sipping local wines in bed and breakfasts by night. It really was a francophile’s paradise. Here is what I found:
Everyone has heard the saying “If it’s good enough for Paris, it’s good enough for me”, right? No? Did I just make that up? Well, that’s what I was repeating to myself as I wiped this vendor clean of these woven bags at a market in St. Remy. I had seen women all over Paris toting the round ones, which made me giddy when I found them for myself. I love these as an easy holiday getaway bag, or stash it away for a stylish debut in the summer.
One trend that I adore is the comeback of portraits in the art world. This artist in France was so kind, making it even harder to resist these pieces. I love the way that she has taken a classic style of artwork into modern day through silhouettes and color choices. What a perfect opportunity to fill that empty space on your wall with these masterpieces. Grab one for yourself and one for a friend even!
My most versatile find while scouring the markets in France were these blankets. Is it a throw? A tablecloth? A picnic blanket? A beach blanket? All of the above? You decide. It truly is the perfect purchase.
Soaps! I simply cannot do without my French soaps, and I am proud to say that I found the best handmade collection of them. Not to mention they come in a multitude of scents: lavender, lemongrass, rose…you name it! These squares from heaven (known in this scenario as France) are the perfect hostess gift this holiday season or a lovely way to treat yourself.
Picture this: I am standing in a mass of people outside the gates of a brocante in Montpellier and suddenly, the clock strikes 8:00am, the gates opens, and the crowds rush in. After getting my bearings, my treasure was this collection of incredible Klismos style chairs from a furniture vendor from Denmark. I love the unexpected Lion gracing each of the armrests so much that I had to have them. These chairs offer the perfect opportunity for extra seating in any room!
These may look like just your typical pot, but, I promise, they are much more. They are confit pots and I was drawn to them for their beauty and history. These pots were standard in French kitchens before there was refrigeration. It allowed households to preserve duck in its fat for several months, until they were ready to eat it. While you may not need to preserve duck, these pots would still be lovely in a collection on a shelf or sporting a flower arrangement. The color and glaze is even more spectacular in person.
While it seems unusual to pack up your entire family and take them across the world to purchase handmade artisan goods, it really bonded us as a family. I had always been drawn to Morocco and I jumped on the chance to go the moment to opportunity arose (which, in my world, means the kids were on break from school). While I loved searching for goods to bring back with me, my husband loved indulging in the incredible food, and my kids loved the chance to ride donkey’s through the streets.
This was such a special day for my family! We were at a rug gallery in Fes, drinking mint tea while being shown hundreds of handmade rugs. We formed such a bond with the weaver that I commissioned him to make four 100%, 9 x 12, wool, hand-loomed, cream and black rugs, that will be on sale during the Pop Up Shop. They are the perfect rug to give any room a face lift, and their quality is unmatched.
My family and I stumbled upon these amazing artisans on the outskirts of Fes. We were mesmerized by the way they took simple tables, bowls, and mirrors then painted each carefully by hand, turning them into pieces of art. The craftsmanship that goes into each bowl is absolutely breathtaking, as is the result. These durable and unique pieces can be the perfect focal point as a center piece, a wow factor when serving a meal, or an unforgettable hostess gift.
These beautiful poufs are were crafted at Chouara Tannery in Fes, by dozens of men standing waist-deep in dyes, soaking the hides to turn them into high quality leather. This process hasn’t changed in the nearly 1,000 years this tannery has operated! I couldn’t believe that leather this quality could be achieved without any machinery. If the history alone doesn’t convince you that these poufs are a worthy purchase, perhaps finding the perfect spot for them at the foot of a chair or as extra seating will. They should not be passed up.
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into our sale, and we can’t wait to see you at the Pop Up Shop this weekend!