I'll be away for the next 2 weeks and busy enough that blogging might be a tad too ambitious... 
So, I leave you with a stunning image, of the lovely color, of a seductive hammam, in a divinely refined riad in Nabeul Tunisia. 

I will report on my trip when I get back.
a bientôt.



The bay of Tangier upper right with southern Spain on the left

My business partner and I are off to Morocco for 2 weeks tomorrow.
This time again we'll really have a lot to do. We are going straight there with none of the usual fun detours through Paris. 
This time it's strictly business. 
We'll be putting the final touches to the Moroccan part of our soon-to-be-launched line of accessories and home textiles
In Tangier, we need to make sure our sample collection is being woven according to our directions, that our briefs for color, size and details are strictly followed.
I said all business? Well almost... 
We do plan to have a little fun. 

We will of course visit our favorite haunts like the Salon Bleu and the Hotel Minza (this postfor a tall freshly squeezed orange juice or a nice tea break, and the funky Cafe Abdou (this post) and we will of course have lunch at our new favorite lunch-with-wifi spot, the Café du Cinéma Rif or on the terrace of the Women's Association Darna. 

In Marrakesh we will oversee the embroidered pieces that are part of our line and bring last minute changes if need be.
We plan to do a little more research: new sources and hopefully a few new fabrics (a big challenge in Morocco it seems) and, who knows, a few new finds just waiting to be redesigned by us to fit in our Abanja line.

Samples need to be finished, labeled, packaged and ready to be taken back with us and we need to plan carefully to ensure that production will go smoothly after we leave...you know what they say: "the best laid plans of mice and men..."
We also want to photograph parts of our line in the country to add a little personality to our future website. This time my son Kevin, our guardian angel, a genius at this sort of thing and a great photographer, will design and create our site. The fact that he lives in Australia does not seem to faze him, but it's one very pesky inconvenience for us as our very lean and mean "start-up size" budget will not allow us to fly him in as Vogue, say, might do with Peter Lindberg; so, we will have to do all the shoots ourselves. Where there is a will...

As usual, we will stay at our favorite place, Riad Awa, but with just 2 days in Marrakesh, there will not be a lot of spare time for the fun places we love to visit there like the crazy "zoo" that is the shoe shop Artika or the wonderful shops in the Zone Industrielle
At the very least we will certainly make time for a nice dinner somewhere; Marrakesh is not lacking in that department.
images flickr, tissusetartisansdumonde, maison.deco, cinema.blogs.ipag, riadawa

Such is the life of the daring entrepreneur. 
Could be worse.

au revoir.


DIFFA 2012

Echo Design Group, my favorite table at the DIFFA Dining for Design; 
I love the modern tribal feeling and the feathered light fixture is one of the most magnificent I have ever seen.

I went to the DIFFA Dining By Design show, held at Pier 94 in New York City on Friday, to see the 2012 edition of this wonderful exhibit of tables designed by an array of the best designers in NYC.
For those of you who are not familiar with DIFFA, it means Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. 
It "is one of the country’s largest supporters of direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventive education for those at risk. Merging care and commerce, supporters of DIFFA come from all fields of fine design and the visual arts, including: architecture, fashion design, interior design, photography and consumer product design." -diffa

There were many tables to be admired but a few in particular caught my eye.
 Marimekko with its expected 70's vibe and upbeat style

David Ling with his glowing boxes and surprising choice of materials

Benjamin Moore Paints with a table made entirely of books covered in paper in the many colors of their paints
And this fun table covered in dripped candle wax. Minimal and textured.
(Sorry I did not take down the name of this designer, if anyone is aware of it, please let us know.) 
*Anonymous, thank you for informing us the creator of this table is David Rockwell

After the show, I came out into the sunshine of this magnificent 1st day of Spring and as I was walking down the streets and avenues of the Big Apple, I realized how neat New York City is when the flowers make their debut and how I will indeed miss it when I move back to Paris.

But I'll be back to visit.
I'll probably even be sort of commuting to work, so to speak...

au revoir.




Just something that a caught my eye
image archibat design ludovic petit

Moroccan modernism, warmth and simplicity, unexpected textures mixed with traditional crafts. 
And, those lanterns!

au revoir.



You know you are in the presence of a great designer when you first set eyes on his line of products and find that they are so elegant in their utter simplicity and  so surprisingly affordable, you want to empty your cupboards and simply start at square one.
This is the case for Billy Cotton.
Billy Cotton is fun, cute, indefatigable and he designs, designs, designs.
He came up with the stunning ceiling light above, and the to-die-for, sleek, ultramodern line of lacquer furniture you should go check out on his site.

This, however, was not quite enough for Billy Cotton; 
No, no, no.
Billy decided to create a table top collection I am in love with. And considering he has sold it to Bergdorf Goodman, Niemann Marcus and Bloomingdales- where I was last night for the launch of his corner there- I am not the only one. 
Far from it.
Here is a peak


SUPER simple lines, playful colors, thin glassware, lean and clean-lined plates, great flatware and a LOT more to mix and match at your heart's content.
All we have left to do now is sit there and try to figure out how on earth we can decide which colors to get...
There, my friends, is where we are more or less on our own...

au revoir.



"Classical music is playing softly in a shop in central Tokyo. Uniformed members of staff are polite and attentive to the needs of customers, who are ushered to chairs whilst the employees crouch next to them and take their orders. All of this is taking place in the most elegant of surroundings, with high ceilings, tasteful lighting  and beautiful displays. It is what you might expect from a high end retail establishment, but not, perhaps, what you may picture when you think of a greengrocers, which is what this is. " -digital hen
This article describes the very exclusive food shop in Tokyo called Senbiyika.

To me this is the very definition of Japanese sky-high sense of service and painstaking attention to detail. Seen in every realm of Japanese life, it is most acute in the presentation of food.

At Senbiyika the melons are exactly the same size and shape, the stalks trimmed to a very precise length, the color constant always.
Not a blemish. Not a bruise. Not a dent. 

A melon sorbet is precisely shaped and accessorized.
This Senbiyika approved grower trims his melon plants so as to leave only the melons that are at one specific height off the ground, ensuring that they will all get the same amount of sunlight. Exposition to the sun is controlled by sun "hats" carefully placed on each fruit.

Melons are not the only produce on offer presented like precious objects.
Cherries are chosen for their size, color and shape, just like pearls for a necklace.

As are lemons...
...and gelatin desserts!
images via bbc world

It may all seem over-the-top and somewhat objectionable in a global context where poverty and malnutrition is the norm in so many countries. Yet I cannot but  admire the care and effort put forth in this search for "the best".

au revoir.