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shopping travel

paris: fleux

May 7, 2013

When planning where to go on this trip, I did a bit of research on the Design*Sponge city guide for Paris, and put Merci on my must-see list of design shops.  It is located in the Marais, which a colleague also recommended as a great neighbourhood to walk around.  I loved the area — it was both bustling yet laid-back and the narrow, winding streets were a lot more hushed than the more popular sights in the city.  We decided to walk from the Hotel de Ville to Merci, and happened upon Fleux, the subject of this post, by chance.

fleux storefront

Fleux is a design shop, focusing mostly on home decor goods, furniture, and lighting.  It was a lot of fun to explore.  My favourite parts were the furnishings and lighting (surprise!)  They have the famous French-designed and hand made Jielde lamps in all sizes and colours, as well as the equally iconic Tolix chairs.

You guys, they have ALL THE TOLIX CHAIRS!  And Tolix cabinets, stools, and tables.  In fact, they had a Tolix-only upstairs floor, with all of the pieces right there in many paint colours, finishes and sizes.  This was the first time I had seen the perforated metal Tolix chairs, which look really nice, especially in the gun metal and black versions.  We saw the black perforated ones again at Merci, where we ventured later on.  Being on this floor surrounded by all that shiny, brightly coloured paint made me very, very happy.

Fleux is huge by the way.  It spans about four different adjacent small shops.  If you’re coming from the west/city center, you’ll likely happen upon the smaller, Tolix- and Jielde- focused shop, which is actually a separate space from their main store, just across the street.  The main store goes on and on.  Among the many nicely-styled displays in the furniture shop, I did spy this neat lamp-cum-bookshelf which I kind of regret not getting:

I would love to use it in a Scandinavian, minimal space, perhaps in a little reading nook involving a vintage rattan chair with a sheepskin draped over it.  I may just have to create such a nook in our house.  You know, to justify getting this cute shelf-light-thing someday?  Sounds like a plan to me.

This store was a very lucky find.  I recommend visiting if you’re nearby!

And so you don’t have to hope to encounter it by chance, here’s where to find Fleux:

39-52 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie
75004 Paris



May 6, 2013

eiffel tower | photo credit karolina buchner via
typographic art | photo credit karolina buchner via
pink shoes and flowers! | photo credit karolina buchner via
paris apartments | photo credit karolina buchner via
jardin du luxembourg | photo credit karolina buchner via

flower shop | photo credit karolina buchner via

I’m back!  Despite this being a work trip for the most part, I have to say my visit to Paris was fantastic!  All that fuss about springtime in Paris?  Totally deserved.  Warm and sunny weather in this city just puts things over the top.  It was ridiculously charming.
I am so happy that I got to experience the city in a state of near-perfect health this time around.  Last year’s visit, while an actual vacation, was ridden with illness and pretty sad.  This time, after a few days of work for me, we walked every day until our feet could take no more, ate dinner out every night (we ate out ONCE last time), and then walked some more because I could not get enough of this place, painful feet or not.

As promised, I have some goodies to share, and I’ll be posting a little something every day this week, just for you!

photos:  Karolina Buchner

interiors travel

palm springs: a house visit

April 3, 2013
sunlit banana leaf, rug and chair, teak chest, vintage clockmodern house at night


dear house, 
i love you, but sometimes i see other houses.  
if it helps, they do look quite a lot like you.

Oh, I am so mean.

Sometimes there are some really nice houses that I just have to visit.  Like this Racquet Club Estates house in Palm Springs where we stayed for a mini-vacation a few weekends back.  And friends, it was very nice indeed.

The house is an Alexander, decorated in what the rental listing calls “organic earthy modern”.  I really liked this concept, very fitting for a modern house in the desert.  The owners had a mix of both vintage midcentury (Cherner chairs!) and new modern furniture, with kilim rugs and a scattering of cute accessories.  A lot of desert neutrals.

I was pretty sick most of the time (somewhat unknowingly too, as in:  that really was a very high fever, not just imagined windburn, or a condition I referred to in my weakened state as “fire face”).  Upside:  the inside of this house was thoroughly photographed!

collage of wood cabinet, ocotillo cactus, pillow, chair

Clockwise: bathroom cabinet, ocotillo cactus, Trina Turk pillow, pretzel-y Cherner goodness


Since our Eichler has serious issues with its original slider cabinets in the kitchen, we’ve been on the lookout for functional sliders.  The ones in the bathrooms of this house looked custom, made of higher end plywood, and they actually slid properly.  Not really what we need for our kitchen, but a definite possibility if we were to replace some of the IKEA cabinets in our master bath.

One thing that I really liked was the polished concrete floor.  So simple and such a great backdrop for the furnishings, crazy art, and rugs.   Filing this idea away for our place.  Our tiles are kind of a snooze compared to the raw awesomeness of the concrete.  It looks modern but also very practical as far as cleaning might go.  (I think our current tiles are secretly designed to store dirt.  Ugh.)

beige rug and feet


Did I do my pedicure to match the rug?  Or was it pure coincidence?  You decide.

And boy, they had some gorgeous kilims throughout the place.  BEHOLD:

teak chest and kilim rug


That teak chest is pretty adorable too.  I wish I had spent more quality time petting it and admiring its wood grain whilst bathed in the lovely soft light that comes with having all your walls painted white.

The spareness of all the rooms was so restful.  Makes me want to throw away all of my THINGS.

white bedroom interior


I’ll end on this silly picture of me trying to capture the essence of this little bedroom.

And I hope my house forgives me for this visit.  I have a work trip this month involving a stay in a bland hotel, which should make up for this.  I am totally sold on renting apartments and houses for vacation now, so it’s going to be tough.

Have you ever rented a house for vacation?  What was it like?

photos: Karolina Buchner
layouts: Pugly Pixel