FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

French

SPACES | Our Pied à Terre in Brooklyn

SPACES, LIFELauren CaronComment
Image Source: Abkasha.com

Image Source: Abkasha.com

Last week we finally made the big 'move'  by packing up and moving 75% of our furniture and accessories into a POD, which is currently on it's way to Seattle and fingers crossed, everything arrives safe and secured. I have so much anxiety that we're going to open the POD and it'll be a mess of crumbled furniture, glass and boxes or that the door will have been opened and stuff will have been stolen. There's really nothing too valuable, we just have a lot of antiques that we really care about, and basically everything is fragile.

What's left in New York is for my pied à terre (or the apartment). I like thinking we are fancy now and have a second home in the city. We technically do, but realistically I'm going to be using it as a home base for my NY projects, and we're splitting it with my parents. We are going to wait until next year to decide if the current situation is working for us financially, or if we should rent it. 

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

For the time being, I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign the space into a relaxing, yet productive space. I'm greatly inspired by real Parisian Haussmann pied à terres, where the decor is about less furniture, more wall space, no strict direction.  It seems to be very...  je ne sais quoi, let's call it laissez faire in style. You know, very French.  Removing the giant desk Jack built from the living room created a major domino effect, allowing me to test out different layouts and furniture placements (which I don't think is very French - except that I did it IRL not on a computer within CAD). It's so interesting how different you can make one space look by just moving around furniture. I'm breaking my own rules and doing things that I said I would never do. It's fun and it reminds me that you really can't take design too seriously. If you're intrigued to see more of my inspirations, you can find them [here]. So here are the planned ch-ch-ch-changes along with a few images of those that I've already accomplished.....

DINING TABLE

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

First up, we brought in an official dining table. It's for 4 people, I would love to find an extension table or one with a leaf that isn't expensive. For now though, this little french country style table is kind of perfect. We also had these neoclassical empire dining chairs that my mom has had for years, recently reupholstered in a Schumacher leopard print. I'm completely swooning over how they turned out. The table is set where the desk was and fills that space nicely. Also, when I'm not feeling the desk, I can sit here and work, it gives me a change of scenery - even if it's only a few feet away.

FURNITURE PLACEMENT

Next big change, is where the sofa is placed. The room is basically a box shape and is almost as wide as it is long, it's also the space that you pass through to get to the bedroom, so it can present some layout challenges. I always had the sofa set on the back wall opposite the built-ins and placed a coffee table in front with the two accent chairs near the bookcases. This made the seating area wider than the usual, but left room for a walk way. Now I'm trying to break the rules I set, and have moved the sofa several feet closer to the bookshelves. The seating area becomes more intimate. The walk way is yes, a little tighter but when it's just me who will be there most of the time, I don't really care. Behind the sofa I've moved the entry cabinet - which doubles as a desk to the back wall. For nights that I have guests, I can set it up as a dry bar and hide all of the desky things within. I don't have a great photo of the sofa yet, but I will share soon when I have all the elements well set and styled. 

ARTWORK

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

I love my artwork and gallery walls, but for this new design, I want to keep the artwork to a minimum. I think having the walls a little more clear and open feeling will add to the relaxing mood. With that said, my mom is lending a few beautiful pieces for the apartment. We set this gorgeous Chinese silk tapestry on the back wall above the bar to be the major statement piece. It is the perfect place for this piece too, since it can't be in direct sunlight and that wall, never gets the sun. Other artwork we brought in are some lithographs of Roman ruins for the dining area and two mirrors. We may bring a few other small pieces, but that's about it. 

PAINT

Image: Lauren L Caron

Image: Lauren L Caron

I'm slightly adjusting the paint in one place to tie together the colors. We've decided to draw a color from the silk tapestry to paint within the book shelves. I love the dark interior shelves but I'm now thinking since we have 4 black dining chairs, and a rug with black in it, there's too much black for the space. So a muted yet airy gray green will look really nice as a backdrop, the color I chose is by Ben Moore it's called Paris Rain (how appropriate). 

BEDROOM

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image Source: Paris Perfect

Image Source: Paris Perfect

For the bedroom I was greatly inspired by the image above and wanted to evoke the same mood as closely as I could. The window and room layout are similar, although slightly smaller. Originally I moved my dresser to the wall opposite the bed, but it felt too tight so I ended up moving it back to the wall it was on for the past 5 years. I plan to have a table cloth made to cover the Saarinen table, I haven't figured out what textile yet, something with a pattern would be nice. 

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

reflection_ffwu

We purchased a new bed frame (a very inexpensive one for $59 from Amazon, I'll link it at the bottom) and this gorgeous headboard that I've had my eyes on for quite some time from Urban Outfitters. We brought in a few French-y accents like the sunburst for over the headboard and this gorgeous gilt frame mirror. Last but not least, I plan to add some decorative pillows to make the bed feel more finished. 

Image Source: Rue Mag

Image Source: Rue Mag

Margaux Headboard - Urban Outfitters

Sunburst Mirror (similar) - Wisteria

 

Bedframe - Amazon

Bedroom Wall Sconces (similar) - Lamps Plus

 

Thank you to those of you who have been sending us well wishes about our move. It's been long winded to say the least, and I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about this 'move' which doesn't seem like it will ever end. Believe me, I feel you! Check in soon for more updates because things are actually moving forward.  I plan to photograph the living room soon of the apartment updates, and in the next few weeks I'll be in Seattle, where I plan to accomplish a lot of decorating in that home. I'm excited to see how all of our stuff will look in the new place!

Wedding: Ideas & Planning, Where to Begin

Lauren CaronComment

The Barn - Reception Entrance. Photography by Michelle Gardella Photography The best place for any bride to begin planning their wedding is with a story.  A visual story that describes the couple's style and pulls together a cohesive theme.  To make the event special it is important to go beyond just a color theme.  Colors are elements that help in the narration of the story but having a strong concept in mind will really let your guests know who you are and what you are drawn to. I had a million ideas floating around when I thought of what my dream wedding would be, but to solidify the story and really nail down the experience, I needed to sort out the specifics and decide which details were most important to me. The concepts I had from the start were based around my style and taste and relate to our most favorite places that we had visited as a couple. Paris is a city that is very dear our hearts, and I just love all things French, vintage, and charming. Which meant there were a number of to pick from. My top three choices were: a Nouveau Style Affair, a Rococo extravaganza or a Carnival Theme with a French flair. How did we make our final decision? Read on to see. . .

Academy Gardens - Photo by Michelle Gardella Photography

The next part for any wedding is to choose a location, because that will always force you to finalize the overall style. If you choose to get married on a beach in St. John you can not hold a Texas barn party. Our options were slim, and really, I didn't have much of a choice. We played with the idea of the the Boat House in Prospect Park, or a wedding in Paris but the only location that would feel right, would be to have our wedding at my parent's home. Growing up, my mother had her garden, she worked everyday in it and started a business based around her passion. She did garden design and consulting, sold rose bushes and rented out the property for small wedding ceremonies. The garden in the 90s was featured in Country Home, Better Homes & Gardens, and Fine Gardening.  As you can imagine, the location is gorgeous, the perfect place for nuptials. Deciding on this location would dictate the mood, creating a garden party feel for the ceremony and a slightly rustic feel with barn reception. We didn't want a "rustic" wedding so I would have to push the space to it limits and make it the most glamorous that I could without losing the integrity. These elements combined meant that our wedding theme would be most cohesive with the Vintage French Carnival approach.

 

Soon after our date was chosen as we had to coordinate with the Inn next door about blocking off enough rooms for our guests. We had a basic idea of what we wanted and of the weekends that were available at the end of May early June, 6.1.13 would be our favorite option. Then came the fun part, working on all of the decor and fashion details. Which is where I will leave off for now, next post will be about the decor!  Yippee!

Mood Board - Style(small)

Thanks for reading. . . my best, Lauren

 

 

 

 

Great Finds: French Ticking

SPACESLauren Caron5 Comments

Who doesn't like a great unexpected find?  Yesterday I went to Anthropologie to return a few things and stumbled upon a lovely quilt.  It was on sale from $348 to $169. Now $169 is still a little high for my price range but I have looked for a quilt for a while that has the french ticking like fabric.

Although the recorded history of ticking fabric is slim, I found a little about the specifics of ticking. Vintage ticking was used to hold the feathers of old mattresses and pillows. It was important to individuals who slept on feather mattresses and pillows that the feathers did not poke them through the fabric.  It was also important to keep as many feathers in the mattresses and pillows as possible. The very tight woven vintage ticking provided both qualities.  True vintage ticking was woven with natural cotton colored thread and thread died with indigo blue dye. Original ticking was sold only with indigo blue stripes. As time progressed, different colors and patterns were developed and sold. Ticking was also made with washed-out red, blue and green stripes.  You can find a little more information about ticking fabric [here].

Previously when I was searching for bedding options I found fabric by the yard at Ballard Designs and that Restoration Hardware carries a line of bedding that has similar kinds of fabrics, but its $$$$.  If I didn't have a million other projects going on I would toy with the idea of making my own quilts.  The Anthro quilt however, provided me with instant gratification! What I like best about the quilt is that it is reversible, with one side being a little bolder and darker than the other.  I put the quilt on my bed last night and decided that the less busy side works best for summer, because it has an airy feel to it.

The  quilt is also styled with an iron bed that is very similar to the bed frame that I purchased recently on a trip to Connecticut.  As past posts [here] have shown, I have a love affair with the Louis XV style bed.  Ballard Designs sells one, but with the cost of shipping and taxes the total would come to around $1100!  Unfortunately my post-grad/not yet full-time employee budget cannot afford that.

The bed I purchased was $345.00!  It has a French Industrial look partnered with the Louis lines and caning, that adds some charm.  My mother calls it tenement style, I like to call it French Utilitarian Chic!  But of course with a price like that, the bed still needs some work.  I really dislike the current color and faux finishing, however with a little paint the hidden charm will come to life.

I'll have to post before and after images when I am finished with the painting!  In the future I want to go into detail about the store Preservation, where I purchased my bed.  It's a great find in the quiet corner of Connecticut and definitely worth the trip.

photos:

Anthropologie

Ballard Designs

Lauren Gries

Bonjour!

SPACESLauren CaronComment

So I'm back from my trip to Paris and of course it was wonderful. Filled with lots of laughter, inspiration, adventure and of course fatigue.  I took so many photographs, I think upwards of 2,000 and probably will only keep about 1,000. That's still a ton of pictures to go through! So I would love to post a bunch and separate them into categories, interiors, window displays, monuments, food, and of course the odd and random beautiful things one can discover that wonderful city.

Our apartment was in Le Marais, which is the an older part of town with many boutiques and thrift stores.  The culture is composed of young artists, Jewish families, gays and lesbians.  I love that neighborhood because of the cool little unique stores that you can find while wondering along the small streets.  Unfortunately our apartment was also outside of a loud restaurant/bar that was literally open everyday from 6 am to 2 am.  We weren't the most well rested travelers, that's for sure.  But coming from NYC, it wasn't the worst to have a  loud apartment,  we enjoyed being in the thick of the city and being able to walk to many monuments easily.

That is what we did a lot of too, walking, walking that caused for me, 4 blisters and a swollen tendon! Of course i chose the cutest shoes I own and not the most comfortable to wear, because after all it is Paris.  I also did not want to be the token American wearing sneakers and a backpack. Believe me there's a ton of those! We were just as good as spotting Americans as the French.

The first day we arrived I forced my boyfriend to fight the fatigue by going to get the Eiffel Tower visit out-of-the-way.  This construction is truly a beautiful creation.

Being the cheap-ies we are, we also decided to take the stairs. . . . Yeah, that was pretty stupid. Fortunately, we got a different perspective of the architecture and construction as we ascended up the tower.  Getting up there was of course a great pay off, looking of the city and getting to see all the beautiful 2nd empire architecture makes me all warm inside.  It was also to great to finally experience this place with Jack, its awesome to be with someone who has so much common interest and appreciation of art, architecture, history and the overall  beauty that Paris holds.  He's now hooked on the city and it seems like my plans to move there  someday are becoming a little more realistic.

all photos owned and copyrights to: Lauren Gries

 

Extended Absence

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment

Tomorrow evening at this time I should be on a plane, flying to Paris with my boyfriend!  We will definitely be taking tons of photos of our endeavors that I will share when I return.  Planning to visit the flea markets with hopes of taking at least one special something home.  So far the weather forecasts are sunny and in the 70s! Let's hope its a safe and happy vacation!