Sunday, July 4, 2010

Paris By Design

I was talking to a friend about some inspiring people I have worked with and thought I'd share this story with you.

Nikki Parker, who owns this glorious apartment in the Place des Vosges in Paris, is an old colleague and friend. We worked together a few years back on mostly "fashionable branding" projects at the agency she and her then partner Paul owned. I guess you could say that back in those days she was a real Carrie Bradshaw kind of girl (maybe I was Miranda?) and always had great clothes, lots of energy and a really positive attitude to what life had on offer.

It was no great surprise last year, then, when I opened the Catherine Martin issue of Vogue Living to find her apartment in Paris, decorated by none other than French design legend Jacques Grange. I couldn't believe how over-the-top and fabulous it was - all silk drapes and upholstered walls, chandeliers and antiques.

The history behind this is that Nikki began her working life in the Ralph Lauren Paris store, (working the floor alongside none other than a young Kate Betts who went on to be editor of US Harpers Bazaar) and thus began a life-long love affair with the city of lights and all things French and stylish!

Often we look at these other-worldly magazine spreads and they seem more like a fairy tale than real life. Yes, I can drool over that bed with the silk canopy, but I am much more inspired by the fact she has managed to dream of this and pull it off. The message here is that anything is possible if you have a passion. Nikki never really hesitated in reaching out for her dreams, despite some quite difficult life challenges and setbacks.

But it would just be like Nik to pick up the phone and call Jacques Grange on the spur of the moment and talk him into doing her apartment. I wonder what's next on her wish list... and on yours?

BTW you can rent this apartment for short stays in Paris. It's in the Marais district!


  1. Oh my goodness, what a lux and lovely apartment. The high ceilings are just wonderful with the larger than life windows. My favorite photo is the second one. Not colors I would normally choose but it looks so rich.

  2. Hi Catherine, thank you for sharing. Really absolutely stylish. I love place des Vosges. When I am in Paris I always go to Cafe Hugo! I usually stay with friends but this appartment might be just the right thing to suprise my boyfriend at some stage!

  3. Cafe Hugo, Cafe Les Deux Magots, Brasserie Lipp - aren't the old cafes divine? Paris is one place that lives up to its reputation.

  4. I would never leave that window. I am a sucker for a huge, romantic window. It's so hard to imagine anyone actually living in something as beautiful as this. Sigh. Not a Lego man in sight.

  5. This is a beautiful apartment. Your blog is gorgeous! The bed is divine!

  6. I love the drapings in all of these photos. And this story is inspiring to all women who still dream.

    Wishing you a lovely week!