Posts tagged Paris
Coming Out of the Canvas: A Conversation with Setsuko Klossowska de Rola

Today Gagosian Paris opens its first exhibition of the Japanese-French artist’s ceramic sculptures and paintings. Earlier this week, Klossowska de Rola spoke with us about her influences, the exhibition and her collaboration with Astier de Villatte

Setsuko Klossowska de Rola in her bronze studio. Image courtesy of the artist

Setsuko Klossowska de Rola in her bronze studio. Image courtesy of the artist

‘I travelled the world in the nude but lived an alienated life very far from the real world,’ says Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, who for many years was only known as the semi-naked figure in her late husband Balthus's painting The Turkish Room.

Today, Setsuko keeps busy by making up for lost adventures. She lives between Rossinière and Paris, where her ceramic studio is located inside Astier de Villatte’s factory. She is the designer behind the ceramic brand's iconic black terracotta cat incense burner, and was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2005.

Just days before the opening of ‘Into the Trees’, her first exhibition at Gagosian Paris, Klossowska de Rola talked to us about her Gagosian debut and Shintoism, among other things.

Jae Lee: You left Japan to join Balthus at Villa Medici, where he was the director and was working on its restoration. How did that influence you as an artist?

Setsuko Klossowska de Rola: One thing that really struck me was watching Balthus replace the marbled floors with handmade terracotta tiles. When I first arrived at Villa Medici, the atmosphere was heavy with 19th century-style decorations. We removed all the gold leaf applications because originally, it was a remote, cosy residence where those touches would have been out of place. In Japan, I didn’t study art. I read European literature and studied French, but when I arrived in Europe, I realised that art and beauty are universal, and that Japanese ideals like wabi-sabi existed in Europe.

When did you start making tree sculptures?

I started making them about four years ago, but I’ve always found my inspirations from nature. Have you seen the sacred old trees around Shinto shrines in Japan? From the Native Americans to the people of Ancient Mesopotamia, there has always been an adoration for nature, but modern society has forgotten a lot of that sentimentality.

Your ceramics are produced with Astier de Villatte, can you tell us more about this process?

The collaboration with Astier de Villatte began five years ago, but my friendship with the owners, especially Benoit, goes back a long time. His father was a resident of Villa Medici resident when I was the headmistress.

I work with their Tibetan artisans. I make samples first and then we work together to add the volume, especially on the large trees, which are about a metre tall. The artisans are always singing or chanting; I feel very serene when I’m with them.

What can we expect to see at the exhibition?

There will be glazed and natural terracotta tree sculptures; some of them function as an incense holder or a flower vase, so the plan is to have smoke flowing out of them at the opening. Aside from ceramics, there will be still-life paintings, which I’ve been making since the 80s in the Grand Chalet, as well as bronze trees.

What else are you currently working on?

I started working with bronze last year, so it’s still a very exciting medium for me. Later this year, I may visit Asia for a fashion project. After Balthus’s death, I wanted to come out of the canvas and leave the sheltered life behind. It took a long time for me to be young again, and I am open to everything now.

Text / Jae Lee
Artwork images / © Setsuko Klossowska de Rola. Photographs by Zarko Vijatovic, courtesy of Gagosian

Chemin de vigne , 2016-2017. Enameled Terracotta, 63 x 50 x 40 cm

Chemin de vigne, 2016-2017. Enameled Terracotta, 63 x 50 x 40 cm

Retour , 2015-2016. Terracotta, 100 x 74 x 46 cm

Retour, 2015-2016. Terracotta, 100 x 74 x 46 cm

Sentier de lierre , 2017-2018. Enameled Terracotta. 38 x 13 x 11 cm

Sentier de lierre, 2017-2018. Enameled Terracotta. 38 x 13 x 11 cm

Sentier de vigne , 2016-2017. Terracotta. 91 x 40 x 40 cm

Sentier de vigne, 2016-2017. Terracotta. 91 x 40 x 40 cm

Souvenir d'une vie 2,  2015-2016. Enameled Terracotta, 70 x 40 x 40 cm

Souvenir d'une vie 2, 2015-2016. Enameled Terracotta, 70 x 40 x 40 cm

ArtJae LeeParis, France

Following the recent edition of Asia Now – Paris Asian Art Fair, Jae Lee had the opportunity to speak with Paris- and Tokyo-based Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto about architecture, cuisine and chaos

Image courtesy of IWAN BAAN

Image courtesy of IWAN BAAN

Siegrid Bing described Japonisme — the affinity for Japanese art and design — as ‘a bond of kinship born of the same love of beauty.’ Widely known for its violent reactions toward modernisation, France’s 160-year-old passion for Japanese architecture may come as a surprise. From the humble 1867 tea house by Shimizu Usaburo to the modernists invited by its Japanophile president, the secretive love affair is now offering solutions to the city divided between heritage and modernisation. Among the welcomed is Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, one of 23 selected in 2016 to ‘reinvent Paris’ in the city’s Reinventing.Paris initiative, which aims to develop urban projects in the city.

Jae Lee: How did you come to set up your studio in Paris?

Sou Fujimoto: Back in 2014, I won a design competition with my L’Arbre Blanc proposal for the city of Montpellier. After that, about 10 new projects followed, including Mille Arbres in Paris. It made sense to set up a studio in France.

Paris has a history of reacting negatively towards modernisation. Did that ever cross your mind when coming to Paris?

I’m very happy to be working in a city that’s so passionate about architecture. I personally feel that today’s France is optimistic towards modernisation. They’re quick to accept new concepts or philosophies as long as it hits the spot. Of course, to do that you must communicate honestly with the local lifestyle.

A great number of Japanese architects are realising their projects in France. What’s the appeal? 

Yes, there are many Japanese architects in Paris now, but in my case, I've always loved French architecture for its imbedded cultural heritage. It glances off very strongly. I try to fuse the French context with the Japan-ness I carry. And there are cultural similarities, like the delicate sensitivity. if you compare French and Japanese cuisines, they’re both all about the subtle flavours of the ingredients instead of overpowering spices.

You are one of the architects designated by the city to reinvent Paris and embrace its density problem. Could Paris look like Tokyo in the future?

No. I feel that France’s passion for art really comes alive with its cityscape. In Tokyo, I’m afraid people aren’t as interested in their urban scape. Much of it is created for economic reasons, which can hinder the quality of living. Compared to Tokyo, Paris is far more organised, but each city has its own chaos. I think that chaos is a hidden opportunity for better social harmony. Architecture is not about concealing a problem, but about representing it by suggesting a solution. They are a part of the context.

You are designing number of exhibition spaces this year as part of Japonismes 2018 : les âmes en resonance. Are there any specific aspects you want to highlight?

The Asia Now Paris venue — Les Salons Hoche — is a traditional French building with strong marble surfaces and enclosed pockets of space. I tried to bring the openness and fluidity of traditional Japanese architecture to the exhibition. The bare wooden columns serve as half walls, you could even call them ‘anti-walls’. Usually at a fair, galleries are incased in a cube. I wanted to go beyond that and realise more natural interactions and communication with both the booth’s neighbours and the structure itself. At Musée des Arts Décoratifs, I plan on continuing the sense of semi-transparency by re-discovering the concept of shoji walls. They can be delicate, strong or very organic in form. The feeling of in-betweenness, ma (間), is the essence of Japan’s design sensibility that I hope to apply to the Japonisme exhibitions.

Text / Jae Lee

Image courtesy of SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI

Image courtesy of SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI

Sou Fujimoto Image by David Vintiner

Sou Fujimoto
Image by David Vintiner

Image courtesy of SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI

Image courtesy of SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI

Image courtesy of SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI

Image courtesy of SFA+NLA+OXO+RSI

Image courtesy of IWAN BAAN

Image courtesy of IWAN BAAN

Image courtesy of IWAN BAAN

Image courtesy of IWAN BAAN

The Designer’s Guide to Paris

Heading to Paris this September for Maison&Objet? Here are a few of our favorite places to stay, shop, eat, drink and see.

Bon voyage!

Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers

Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers


Where to stay

There has been a flurry of new designer hotels opening in Paris in recent years, but we think these are the best picks of where to put your head down when the lights go out in the city of light.

Set in twin low-rise buildings on a quiet street, the Hôtel Adèle & Jules is a discreet gem. Designed by Stephane Poux the spaces feel warm and modern with a classic twist. Make this your base and you’ll be surrounded by some of the best of what Paris has to offer.

Hôtel Bachaumont

Hôtel Bachaumont

Hotel Des Grands Boulevards

Hotel Des Grands Boulevards

Hôtel Bachaumont is proof that designer Dorothee Melichzon is not afraid of colour. Here she has infused each of the spaces with a distinctive palette. The lobby bar is run by the lauded Experimental Group (of Experimental  Cocktail Club fame), but aside from moreish cocktails it’s also a place to see and be seen.

First time hotelier Michele Delloye wanted to create a space that felt more like a comfortable guest house, and a platform to showcase French creativity, the result is COQ Hôtel. The acronym stands for Community of Quality. Designed by Pauline d’Hoop and Delphine Sauvaget of Agence Favorite, this petite place has only fifty rooms.

The long anticipated re-opening of the Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, was worth the wait. The team of high profile designers includes Tristan Auer, Chahan Minassian and fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. Grand and stately but not at all pompous the hotel has incorporated an impressive art collection to grace its walls. Four dining destinations mean you have plenty of options —  including L’Ecrin, awarded one Michelin star earlier this year. The subterranean pool and comprehensive spa facilities (including a men’s grooming station) makes this one hotel from where you’ll literally never want to check out.

By the Experimental group, and designed by the current doyenne of Parisian design Dorothee Melichzon is Hotel Des Grands Boulevards. With only fifty rooms this hotel has a decidedly more boutique vibe to it. The building is quite historic but Ms Melichzon has infused the rooms with just enough tech and modernity. Our tip: book one of the attic-style junior suites and sleep like royalty.

The Hoxton, Paris

The Hoxton, Paris

The newest and maybe the hippest on the list is the latest edition to The Hoxton stables. The Parisian outpost has been designed by the team at SOHO House (the public spaces) and rooms by Humbert & Poyet. Located in the heart of the 2e — location wise it doesn’t get much better. You’ve got four basic room types, all furnished in a simple industrial-hipster chic decor. The Moroccan-themed ‘Jacques Bar’ and the all-day-dining ‘Rivié’ complete the dining options although you’ll be spoilt for choice in the near vicinity.

The Hôtel de Joséphine Bonaparte

The Hôtel de Joséphine Bonaparte

The Hôtel de Joséphine Bonaparte, or JoBo for short, was named after one of the country’s most famous pair of lovers. The interiors, by decorator Bambi Sloan, are as quintessentially French as they come and were heavily inspired by the iconic Madeleine Castaing. Walls are bedecked with toile, animal prints or napoleonic emblems and motifs. It’s a rich, historically imbued pastiche of design elements, but mixed with all the mod cons. Situated in the heart of the le Marais you’re just a quick walk from all that the right bank and the Rue de Rivoli has to offer.

Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers

Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers

Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers

Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers

A quiet newcomer to the scene is the Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers. The name refers to the traditions of craft and materials that the French are so highly regarded for. Designer Raphael Navot was charged with the design, a fitting partner as he’s known for “made-to-measure interiors, combining traditional methods with contemporary savoir-faire”. There are only seventy rooms in this boutique accommodation but each of them display the best that contemporary French design has to offer.



Hotel Panache

Hotel Panache

Modern French elegance reigns supreme at the Nolinski. Designed by Jean-Louis Deniot each of the rooms has been decorated with his signature mix of custom, antique and vintage and feels more like a very chic residence than a hotel.  Even if you’re not checking-in the ground floor Brasserie Rejane is well worth a visit for a stylish dining experience.

Another recent project by designer Dorothee Melichzon is Hotel Panache. Each of the forty rooms are different, all a little bit quirky and fun, and all very chic. Its location makes this new bolthole a short walk from numerous neighbourhood establishments, if you decide to venture out you won’t need to go far. Worth checking out are the groups other properties Hotel Paradis, also designed by Dorothee Melichzon and  Hotel Bienvenue designed by Chloé Nègre.

Hôtel Saint-Marc

Hôtel Saint-Marc

In the heart of the right bank is the new Hôtel Saint-Marc.  Designed by Dimore Studio the interiors are as hip, fresh and inimitable as you would expect from the Milan-based duo. No doubt the swathes of pattern and generous lashings of pink have made this an instant instagram favorite. Not just a pretty face though, despite its central location the hotel has also managed to squeeze in a pool and comprehensive spa facilities.

Only thirty seven rooms makes the Le Roch Hotel & Spa one of the smallest of the new boutique offerings. Unmistakenly Parisian, the interiors the lobby, restaurant and bar are dark and decidedly moody, and slightly more casual. While the rooms are lighter and crisper.  Designed by Sarah Lavoine, who also resides in the neighbourhood, she’s imbued the spirit of the locale in each of the spaces. True to its name, and despite its central 1e location, you’ll find fully fledged swimming pool and spa facilities to indulge yourself in.


Where to shop

One of the world’s fashion capitals, it goes without saying that Paris is undoubtedly a shopping mecca. You shouldn’t limit yourself to just clothes and accessories, there is a plethora of ultra hip boutiques proffering a highly curated selection of books, home accessories, furnishings, and more.

Christian Liaigre

Christian Liaigre

Karl Lagerfeld is quoted as having once said ‘I have a fatal attraction for books. A disease I don't want to be cured of’. His library at his own Paris apartment is famous, but the bookshop he owns and curates — 7L Bookshop — is lesser known to overseas visitors. This left bank store is well worth a visit for any booklover, particularly those looking to discover a tome or two on art, fashion, design and architecture. Often rare, out of print, independant titles are to be found.

‘For us, books are a matter of intellect and emotion, of heritage and innovation’ say the founders of luxury book publisher Assouline. The maison’s pint-sized Paris outpost is a must see if you’ve got space in your suitcase, because you’ll be sure to want to lug back a couple of these divine books.

Astier de Vilatte’s signature ceramics are hand-made in an historical workshop in Bastille — once home to Napoleon’s own silversmith. Made with black terracotta and then fired with a milky white glaze, each piece is unique. There is charm in imperfection — and you’ll be sure to agree once you lay eyes on their collection of everything a chic home needs from plates to pitchers.

Paris has a few fantastic department stores, but we always find it hard to go past Bon Marche. And even harder to leave the basement food court. In this subterranean space you’ll find all manner of French gourmet delights, from cheeses and cured meats to preserves — the list goes on. Between the lower level foodie paradise, to the top level book and stationery department (heaven for print geeks), you’ll find one of the city’s best selections of clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and the home.  

Buly 1803

Buly 1803

Founded in 1803 Officine Buly 1803 on rue Saint-Honoré by perfumier Jean-Vincent Bully the brand has since opened flagship stores around the world, but the boutique on rue Bonaparte feels like a relic from another time. While the collection has grown and formulas modified, the packaging remains the same charming style making each item a decorative accessory as much as functional products.

French designer Christian Liaigre is the master of a bold, highly-crafted minimalism. No longer the creative director of his namesake company, but his legacy lives on in the new flagship store on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Textiles, accessories, home fragrance and the highly covetable furniture collection are available so you can recreate as much or as little of the look at home.

If you really need to pick up some new threads while you’re in town, we’ll forgive you for that. Ex-Hermès creative director Christophe Lemaire and Sarah-Linh Tran are behind the collection, Lemaire, showcased in a beautiful boutique on the right bank. Here you’ll find womenswear and menswear displaying a paired-back simplicity that is modern yet adventurous.



A retail icon since it was founded in 2009, Merci has a carefully curated selection of home and living accoutrement, a fine selection of books, and an insightful edit of mens and womens wear. Set back from the street by a small courtyard, you can’t miss it for the iconic, and now oft instagrammed red fiat parked and often artfully styled. With three cafes on site, you can while away many an hour here.

In a delightful neighbourhood in the 3rd arrondissement, the OFR Librarie & Galerie has a stellar selection of independent contemporary books, magazines, fanzines, posters and other printed matter related to art, fashion and design. They regularly hold exhibitions too

Husband and wife team Ria and Youri Augousti have been working together for decade to produce their own furniture and accessories under the R&Y Augousti label. Their boutique on rue du Bac showcases their range perfectly. Highly inspired by the opulence of the art deco era as well as the decadent materials — these still feature in their work. Expect to see unusual combinations including bronze work with shagreen, exotic animal skins, metal leaf, precious stones and shell — often mixed together.

bars & Restaurants

Where to eat and drink

Burned a few calories on your retail therapy session? Here’s where we think you should revive, imbibe and indulge.

In the heart of one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in Paris, saint Germain des Près, is L’ Alcazar. The space is deceptively large but feels like an indoor garden with lush green foliage and simple elegant furnishings courtesy of local designer Laura Gonzalez. The menu consists of modern cuisine that is fresh and light, with meals served from brunch to dinner.

Balagan  Image by Studio l'Etiquette

Image by Studio l'Etiquette

The place everyone is talking about in Paris right now is Balagan. The name translates from Hebrew to ‘beautiful mess’ — which is an indication of what to expect from the menu. Simple but chic interiors by Dorothee Melichzon are the delightful backdrop to one more establishment from the Experimental Group. Headed by two top Israeli chefs — Assaf Granit and Uri Navon, and new talent Dan Yosha, the menu consists of a fusion of Moroccan, French and Israeli recipes and everything is designed to share.



The French are known to like their food, so it’s really no surprise that something like Beaupassage would be developed in Paris. The only surprise is that it took so long. Officially opening at the end of August is a section of a pedestrian street dedicated entirely to food, wellness and a bit of art thrown in for good measure. Destinations will include a restaurant and wine cellar by Yannick Alléno, a cheese shop by Nicole Barthélémy, a street seafood restaurant by two star chef Olivier Bellin, a boulangerie by starred chef Thierry Marx, a new concept from chocolatier and pastry chef Pierre Hermé, an epicurean outlet by three star chef Anne-Sophie Pic, a Boucherie by breeder and butcher Alexandre Polmard plus a coffee shop by barista Junichi Yamaguchi. Bon appetite!

A quintessentially parisian dining spot, Chez Julien never disappoints. On the edge of the right bank of the Seine (in fact we highly recommend a stroll after dinner to top of the night) this is a place that you can eat alone or in a group and it will be equally special. The decor is old school and cosy and the shabby-chicness only looks more chic when candelit.  Another tip — start the night with an apertif at Au Petit Fer à Cheval, another charming local haunt that’s a short walk from the restaurant.

Le Flandrin was a stalwart on the Paris dining scene but looking tired until famed designer Joseph Dirand gave it a makeover recently. Now it’s a picture of opulent decadence, with walls covered in gleaming gold and a heady art-deco influenced mix of furnishings and finishes. Go for a drink, stay for dinner. The menu consists of classic French dishes that don’t disappoint.

The most famous French bakery and patisserie is the 150 year-old Ladurée. Their pistachio green shop facades, dotted around several locations in the city (and now internationally) are instantly recognisable. While the macarons are what they’re known for, we recommend you try the Religieuse (raspberry to be precise). It is as close to a religious experience you can have with a pastry.

Behind the rather non-descript front door at Le Mary Celeste you’ll find inventive cocktails, wine, oysters (they even do an oyster happy hour!) and some of the best bar food in the city. Come for the oysters, stay because of the chilled vibe and because you won’t need dinner after eating here.



Located inside one of our favorite cultural destinations — the musée des Arts décoratifs — is this stylish new cafe designed by Joseph Dirand. The menu at LouLou is overseen by young chef Benoit Dargère and is inspired by the French and Italian Riviera. The space is suitably hip, as you’d expect from anything designed by Dirand, but on a nice day it’s the exterior that we think makes this place a winner.

Monsier Bleu

Monsier Bleu

Another breathtaking cultural food combination designed by Joseph Dirand is Monsier Bleu, this one is attached to the Palais de Tokyo. The American-inspired brasserie style menu has a few classics and a few surprises. You can’t lose dining here — either sit inside and take in the stunning surroundings, or sit outside and enjoy the view of the Eiffel tower. Either way it’s going to be a meal you’ll remember.

If you like your gin (at let’s face it, who doesn’t these days) and feel like a tipple in Paris, then head over to one of our favourites — Tiger bar. It's located on a toursity street, but don’t let that fool you, the crowd here is very local. Inside you can expect an expertly concocted spanish-style gin tonic (with fresh seasonal botanicals, served in a balloon glass), from one of 130 gins mixed with their homemade tonic. No wonder it’s frequently listed as one of the best gin bars around.


What to see and do

Where do we start? Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, and there’s little wonder why. Apart from its perennial beauty and charm, there is a list an arm and a leg long of fantastic cultural institutions to visit and other interesting places to see. These are a few of our faves.

Galerie-Musée Baccarat

Galerie-Musée Baccarat

The Galerie-Musée Baccarat is worth a visit to see the selection of over 350 pieces from the company’s collection that’s been amassed since it was founded in 1765. An added, oft unknown, bonus is that parchment walls that line one of rooms were designed by Jean-Michel Frank with bronze doors created by architect and decorator Eileen Gray in the 1920s when the building was the home of wealthy patrons Marie-Laure and Charles de Noailles.

Centre Georges Pompidou

Centre Georges Pompidou

The controversial design for the Centre Georges Pompidou (a collaboration between several architects including Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers) is often called ugly and brutalist but undoubtedly helped earn Rogers his Pritzker. What’s on the inside is more important, and that’s one of the most progress and avant garde displays of contemporary art, an impressive book shop and that’s not to mention the Atelier Brancusi that’s connected. On a nice day one of our favorite things to do is buy a crème glacée (ice cream à la française) and sit in the square to the rear of the museum and soak it all up.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton

The Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton is worth visiting for the arresting architecture alone. On the skirts of one of Paris’ largest parks there are a multitude of opportunities for an incredible view of the city and surrounds. But don’t let that distract you from this seriously impressive art collection. The exhibitions are changing regularly enough for a visit each time you’re in town.

Designed by architect Pierre Chareau, Maison de Verre, was built in the early twentieth century for its original owner, Dr Jean Dalsace. The doctor and his family resided on the upper levels, while the ground floor housed his practise. The house has since changed hands and now belongs to former Wall Street magnate Robert Rubin. Mr Rubin has had the building restored and preserved and its now open to infrequent and limited tours. To be eligible to visit  you must be a student or professional working in architecture or related fields. To apply you need to email 3-4 months in advance of your desired time with a email outlining your interest in the building and your qualifications. Good luck. It’s worth the effort — we promise!

Paris has an impressive litany of grand, tourist-filled museums. We highly recommend you try a few of the more petite and lesser known ones instead. For example, the Musée national Gustave Moreau is in what was the private home of artist and namesake Gustave Moreau. The house itself is quaint and charming and filled to the brim with the artists furniture, books and personal belongings. The two upper levels were once the artist’s studio and now display an impressive selection of Moreau’s more important works.

Another former home turned museum was that which belonged to Moïse de Camondo, a wealthy Ottoman banker and art collector. Now the Musée Nissim de Camondo (named after his son) is open to the public. The mansion contains an impressive collection of French decorative art and fine art from an era considered to be the belle epoque.

While one of the most iconic artists of the twentieth century was in fact Spanish, not French, the Musée Picasso in Paris was donated and bequeathed a collection that includes 5,000 important works of art and tens of thousands of archival documents. This includes Picasso’s own private collection and works donated by his heirs and children. An extensive renovation was completed in 2014 replete with furnishings and light fixtures by Giacometti. For anyone even vaguely interested in art, this is a must see.

For architecture buffs — Villa La Roche was built by Le Corbusier and his cousin and frequent collaborator Pierre Jeanneret in 1925 and later renovated by Charlotte Perriand. Since named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and now open to the public, its managed by the Fondation Le Corbusier. Next door sits Villa Jeanneret, a private home commissioned by the architect’s brother, which houses the Le Corbusier archives. The Jeanneret home is not open to the public but the library is accessible by appointment. After several years of renovation the Studio Apartment of Le Corbusier has now reopened to the public. And if you want to do the full Le Corbusier pilgrimage, then a visit to Villa Savoye is a must. Though technically not in Paris, but in an outlying village called Poissy, lies what many an architect would say is a masterpiece. Designed by Le Corbusier and built in 1927 according to his modernist principles the house was originally built as a weekender and displays a number of unique features that won’t go unnoticed to the trained eye.

Hotel de JoBo

Just steps from Place de Vosges in Paris’s bohemian Le Marais district, boutique Hotel de JoBo is decorated as an homage to the late Josephine Bonaparte (who, the owner posits, would have been known today as ‘JoBo’). Each of the 24 rooms is decked out in traditional French motifs: black and white toile de Jouy, leopard print, florals and, of course, black swans. A small basement meeting room would make this a great spot for a company retreat, or the venue of a special celebration.

The Nolinski

In the heart of Paris’s premier arrondissement and just a short walk from the Jardin des Tuileries and the Seine is bijou 45-room hotel The Nolinski. Designer Jean-Louis Deniot — the darling of those in the know — has adopted a palette of soft greys and jewel tones throughout each unique room. Brasserie Réjane on the ground floor is the perfect place to dine before retiring to the grand salon for a digestif, and the subterranean pool and hammam are the perfect jetlag remedy.

Designer Q&A - Jean-Louis Deniot
Portrait JL Deniot

Portrait JL Deniot

French Designer Jean-Louis Deniot has certainly taken the design world by storm in the 15 years since establishing his eponymous Paris-based design studio. His high-end residential projects span the continents and he has designed furniture collections for Jean de Merry, Pouenat and Marc de Berny. Deniot shares with Design Anthology eight of his favourites.

Design Anthology: What are you reading at the moment?

I mostly buy art and architecture books. I recently bought a set of books on the Vienna Secession period, Austria 1910 architecture, and furniture, lighting and glass pieces. It’s a very inspiring period if you want to achieve the most current 80s revival look.

What are you listening to?

I’m a Sonos addict. It’s a great system to access music wherever you are. I wake up to electronic music and listen to it pretty much all day. Music stimulates and inspires me. There’s a playlist on Spotify called Lounge/Soft House that I enjoy very much. It’s a great sound to both relax and work to.

Your favourite restaurant?

It depends on the when and where. Sunday brunch at Chateau Marmont in LA, dinner at Omar’s in New York, lunch at Mandolin in Miami, drinks at LouLou’s in London, lunch at Le Bistrot de Paris in Paris, dinner at Villa Joséphine in Tangier. I also love Cafe Pushkin in Moscow, but the best is always to eat at someone’s home!

All-time favourite design item?

Ado Chale tables in bronze or semi-precious stone mosaic, used as large dining or coffee tables. The most timeless and most mixable design icon ever.

Colour of the moment?

Khaki green, in felt or matte wall paint, mixed with grey and tarnished gold touches in furnishing or lighting.

Favourite fashion house?

Chanel, by far, for the house codes, Coco’s symbols, the chic, timeless, modern qualities. Chanel pieces never go out of style. They can be handed down from generation to generation. The same is true of Hermès.

Best museum/gallery?

The PAMM museum in Miami for its exceptionally curated collections and incredible diversity. As for shopping, I remain a flea market addict — Paris, Los Angeles and Tangier among many locations. I enjoy selections which have not yet been edited. I like the confrontation of pieces from different provenances.

Favourite movie?

I watch quite a lot of movies on the plane. One that stayed with me is Maps to the Stars starring Julianne Moore. I adore her, anything she does. She was amazing in Boogie Nights.

Maison&Objet Paris review

Our intrepid Editor-in-Chief took the long and arduous journey, through rain and snow, to Paris in January,  just to bring you back our best picks of Maison&Objet. The things we do for our readers...

A Touch of Grace

Images / Courtesy of A Touch of Grace

Hong Kong-born, Paris-based Grace Leo (see issue one for the feature on her Paris home) is known as one of the pioneers of the boutique hotel movement. Born to hoteliers and formalising her education at both Cornell and Stanford, Leo is more qualified than most to consult on hospitality. When this is coupled with her innate sense of style and savoir faire, it’s no wonder she is responsible for some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

In her first solo venture, online luxury boutique A Touch of Grace, Leo has created a platform to present a wide range of high-quality hand-crafted products from lesser-known European brands, making them available in Asia for the first time. The curated selection spans four categories:

Art of the table is a range of flatware, glassware, dinnerware, serving pieces and accessories from brands such as Orrefors, SIECLE, Garnier-Thiebaut and Dibbern

Art of decorating includes vases, decorative bowls, boxes and cushions from brands such as LANCE, L’Objet and FRADKOF.

Art of pampering consists of fashion accessories from brands such as Apto and Victoria de Talhora

Art of gifting is a selection of thoughtful gifts for him and her from brands such as Vittorio Martini and Médard de Noblat

Each pieces has been carefully hand-selected by Leo herself, with the thought that each product can be purchased individually but has also been styled into a range of distinctive collections, allowing clients to purchase an entire ‘look’.

A Touch of Grace lives up to its name — it is not just a store, but an interactive platform where Grace is available to answer questions about living the good life.