I love French decor magazines and this week I’m completely enthralled with the new issue of Côte Paris.  This edition features the 6ème Arrondissement apartment of Charlotte de La Gràndiere, the owner of a furniture and clothing textile store called Rue Herold, near the Jardin du Palis Royal.

The beginning of the Côte Paris story is very Ludwig Bemelmans: “Behind a gate of the VI Arrondissement, high enough to let in the carriages, the paved courtyard of a mansion now houses the bikes of its tenants…” Charlotte de La Gràndiere noted that detail — and many others at the charming garden estate — when she was looking for her new home.  Her second-floor corner of the building is tiny, only 30 m², but she’s creative and resourceful.  Here’s a look at her place:

The apartment is very much like Charlotte’s beautiful store: White with accents of black and gray. Since she lacks closets, she’s clever about how she uses the space.

Her shoes are lined along a wall. Papers are stored high on a shelf in black boxes. I adore that wood chair, and of course that herringbone wood floor is magnificent.

Everything is color coordinated (toothbrushes included!) I love how she displays pieces of clothing. And her inspiration boards are treated as wall art.

A number of the walls are lined with shelves, housing books, trinkets and the sort of objects that give a place soul. I’m intrigued by the collection of mechanical mice. I would love to know the story behind them.

She’s used a canvas curtain to turn a hallway into a closet and she’s built shelves for her shoes, openly stored in cardboard archive boxes, each tagged and decorated with a black silhouette of a shoe. With the exception of her bedroom, the apartment is basically one large room.

I have a friend — also skilled at living in small places  — who only buys furniture that can serve several purposes. Charlotte’s chaise lounge chairs could also be beds. Her dining room table serves as both a desk and a display surface for some of her books and magazines.

If you’re interested in Charlotte’s store, Rue Herold, the website is here.

Some of her other resources:

Bed linens by Adele Shaw for Society Limonta.

Books from L’Ecume des Pages in the 5ème arr.

And ribbons and such from Shindo Paris.

Categories: Decor, Featured, Featured Decor | 16 Comments »

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The September issue of Marie Claire Maison
has a feature on the home of Léa Bawnager in southern Sweden. The magazine calls it “florilège,” which translates in English to anthology, a bouquet of verse.

The house is filled with treasures from Ms. Bawnager’s store, Affär, in Copenhagen.
(The store has a website featuring a selection of beautiful things that you can order via email.)


Categories: Blog, Decor, Featured, Featured Decor | 11 Comments »

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The French decor magazine Ideat has a feature
in this month’s issue on stylist Marcus Hay’s eclectic New York apartment.
It’s packed with good stuff:

I especially love the hallway filled with art!

For more: Hay showcases his esthetic sensibility on his website and on his blog, Fluff ‘n’ Stuff.

(Photos by Jonny Valiant)


Categories: Decor, Featured | 14 Comments »

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One of my friends once joked that even if she became temporarily homeless she’d need a PO box just to get her monthly copy of The World of Interiors. It’s easy to understand why. So few magazines capture the British Eclectic sensibility as marvelously as this glossy tome.

An article in the September issue on designer Frédéric de Luca’s Paris apartment is a perfect example. Writer Marie-France Boyer, detailing every nook of the apartment, observed: “(Frédéric’s) charming and welcoming three-roomed flat is full to bursting with a hotchpotch of furniture, paintings, fabrics and colourful knickknacks that give it the feel of a box of bonbons or a treasure chest.”

Have a look:

Frédéric’s esthetic muses: Una Troubridge, the Marchesa Luisa Casati, Nancy Cunard, Colette, Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolfe. Boyer notes: “The last two have pride of place in a photo on his bookshelves. In the decorative arts too, his two main references date from this period: the Wiener Werkstätte and
the Bloomsbury Movement.”

(Sigh. Swoon.)

While I’m writing this I realize that I have to remember to tell my friend Susan the she doesn’t need a PO box to get her World of Interiors. Copies are now available online for subscription and download on Zinio.com.
See the September issue here!

(Photos from the magazine by Roland Beaufre).

Categories: Blog, Decor, Featured, special | 1 Comment »

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I came across these photos by Shella of Frillie Designs the other day.
They’re snapshots of her house in a little coastal village in Essex, England:

nice n tidy!!



Shella’s home will be featured in a new book, called “Homespun Style,” by interior stylist Selina Lake and photographer Debi Treloar. This is going to be an amazing collaboration. Lake co-authored “Romantic Style” and “Bazaar Style” for publisher Ryland Peters & Small. And Treloar photographed “Modern Vintage Style,” “Flea Market Style,” and about ten other books on my coffee table!

In between tidying up for the photo shoots, Shella is getting ready to open a teahouse called The Loft in the seaside village of Tollsbury, England.


By the way, follow my blog with Bloglovin! I’m starting new with only four followers at the moment.

Categories: Blog, Decor, Featured, Vintage | 2 Comments »

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The new issue of Matchbook Magazine is out today. As you guys know I LOVE this magazine…but I’m especially excited this month because I’m included as one of the featured bloggers. We were asked: What would you bring to a potluck?
Visit the magazine here!

PS: We’re finally done moving…Now comes the hard part: unpacking the boxes.


Categories: Decor | Comments Off on Matchbook Magazine, May Issue

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…can’t quit…

Last night I had made a decision to close down this blog. But the truth is, I just can’t. It’s too important to me for reasons
I know all of you understand. I’m sorry about the drama.
Come what may, I’m here to stay.
(Photo by Parpadeo.)


Categories: Decor | 68 Comments »

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Because of circumstances outside my control, I regret to tell you that I must close down English Muse. I want to thank you for all your love and support over the past three years, especially last year after the death of my father.
I’m going to keep my RSS feed open, so please save it on your reader. (Or friend me on facebook.) Maybe someday I can start blogging again.

I am so sorry.


Categories: Decor | 53 Comments »

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I was searching the Internet today for information on renovating Victorian cottages when I came across a New York Times story on this fantastic little housein the Catskills:

It was an old hunting cabin that Sandra Foster
turned into the romantic Victorian cottage she had always wanted.
You even have to use a ladder to get to the sleeping loft!
And look at the front porch:

So cute!


Categories: Blog, Decor, Featured | 11 Comments »

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I positively devoured this Guardian story by the paper’s weekend Space editor, Hannah Booth. In this piece, Miss Booth pokes through the home of vintage maven Jo Kornstein, owner of the posh London boutique,
Howie & Belle.

Have a look:


Turquoise paint and vintage satin pillows. Outstanding!

Categories: Decor, Featured | 9 Comments »

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Hello everyone.
I’m crazy about this new decor magazine called Anthology. It was created by Anh-Minh Le, a regular contributor to The San Francisco Chronicle Datebook and Home & Garden sections, and by Meg Mateo Ilasco, who has authored six books, including Craft, Inc. and Crafting a Meaningful Home. The duo have adopted the motto “Print is not dead,” music to my ears! Anthology is printed quarterly, but you can also get a sneak peek online.

Have a look:

Screen shot 2010-09-24 at 5.29.49 PM

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The enterprising editors have also done this fantastic video:

Print Is Not Dead from Anthology Magazine on Vimeo.


Categories: Decor | 12 Comments »

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Dearest readers, Tina has asked me to let you all know her dear Dad passed away today. Please say a prayer for her and the family.

♥ Liss

Categories: Decor | 89 Comments »

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Hello my dears, it’s Tina here. I wanted to check in and give you an update on my dad, who is fighting leukemia in the hospital at the moment. For the past week, we’ve been keeping vigil at his bedside, watching helplessly as his body wages a war against a growing army of white blood cells. A week ago, his white cell count was 23,000 — twice the normal rate. Today it topped 140,000, mixed with “blast” cancer cells. His hands and arms are covered with bruises. He stopped eating days ago, despite my mom’s delivery of home-cooked food.

Yesterday, the hematologist gently asked him to open his eyes.
“Mr. Daunt, can you tell me what I look like?”
My father lifted his head, opened his blue eyes and answered: “You’re a handsome man.”

This horrible disease will inevitably rob him of his life but it has not yet stolen his sense of humor. And because of this I have hope…

Photo above by Dicky Jiang

Important PS: I am so grateful to the Liss, LenoreNeverMore and the other guest bloggers who have kept English Muse going. And thank you for reading. Love you. T.

Categories: Decor | 35 Comments »

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Window Box
We learned today from our real estate agent that we have ten offers on our house! Almost all of them are above our asking price. The offers arrived with the loveliest, heartfelt letters. There were so many kind comments about the garden from the sweetest people imaginable.

I spent most of the weekend on the couch with a box of tissues feeling such a profound sense of loss. I was semi-prepared for my layoff. After so many of my dear colleagues had lost their jobs before me, I had vowed to only keep at my desk what could be packed in five minutes. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the realization that we could no longer keep the house.

I am heartened tonight knowing that the house will soon be owned by a family who loves it as much as we do.

Categories: Decor | 34 Comments »

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Dominique Browning, the former editor of House & Garden, wrote so beautifully in today’s New York Times Magazine about her struggle to rebuild her life after Conde Nast closed the magazine in 2007. I’ve read a lot of layoff stories since I lost my job at the Los Angeles Times in October, but Browning’s captures the pain and devastation most eloquently.

She writes: “Just because something failed doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Just because something has ended doesn’t mean it was all a mistake. Just because you’ve been rejected doesn’t mean you’re worthless and unlovable.”

I know I’ve been talking a lot these days about my layoff. It’s weighting especially heavy on my mind because — like Browning — we’re selling our house to start anew. This is how it goes: first you lose the job and then you lose the life.

I’m not exactly sure how my new life is going to shake out. It will be different — and maybe even better.

Categories: Decor | 36 Comments »

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Diana Camera
It’s official: our little Tudor style house is on the market.
If anyone out there is looking for a very cute place in Pasadena, maybe this is the house for you.

I would like to write a missive here about my layoff….I’m just going to say this: We spent nearly 12 happy years in this house. I’ll miss the roses and the clawfoot tub.

Life goes on…

Categories: Decor | 46 Comments »

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I started English Muse a little over a year ago to help deal with the sadness and hopelessness I felt watching so many of my friends lose their jobs at the Los Angeles Times. After so many years working at the paper, I felt like a refugee there, searching for a community where I belonged. I had no idea then that my friends here would be the ones who would help me the most after my own layoff from the LAT.
So I’m wondering, if you’ll please tell me, why did you start your blog?

(Photo from Yay!Everyday)

Categories: Decor | 125 Comments »

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Which room do you like the best?

Categories: Decor | 44 Comments »

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The Guardian has been doing this fabulous series spotlighting one room in the homes of major designers and artists.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Lulu Guinness


Alice Temperley

I love Erdem’s collage wall!

Categories: Decor | 19 Comments »

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I love these photos from the Jeu de Paume series, which I found in my favorite bookstore in LA’s little Tokyo recently! These little apartments have so much style. Have a look:

From the apartment of Cajsa Bratt & Pontus Frankenstein. I love the pink fabric.

From the apartment of Linda Karlsson. It’s such a clever way to display a teacup collection — just nails on wood.

From the apartment of Saga Ekman.  Ooooh I love the Chanel clogs!

From the apartment of Lilian Bäckman. I love photo walls, although they’re complicated to put together, like a puzzle.

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone…I’m meeting a friend for lunch here in LA, where the weather is perfect today…

Categories: Decor | 17 Comments »

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