Design Scouting: Paris

June 11, 2013


Tim, Alex and I just got off the plane from Paris where we were visiting my parents.  Traveling with a kiddo (maybe mothering in general) is one improvisation after another — meaning that when your son’s pants are hurting his stomach and preventing him from napping on an 8 hour flight home, and you forgot to pack his comfortable shorts in the carry on, you take your long sleeved shirt from Gap, stick his legs down the sleeves, make a few knots and call them pants…..between making pants (and barf bag puppets) on the fly I managed to do a little design scouting to share here with you!

This sprouted sweet potato arrangement in the window of Le Bar des Artisans (a vegan/organic juice place) was the highlight of my trip – it made me think differently about what is ‘beautiful’ and what constitutes a flower arrangement.  I wish I’d gone back and taken more photos, including one from across the street so you could see how striking it was from a distance — there were a few other sprouted veggies in sleek containers – shocking, verdant and made me want to sprout myself a sweet potato as soon as we got home.


The auction house Drouot was a decorative arts nerd’s slice of heaven and best of all, free.  Anyone can go to the showrooms and there was so much to see. This was also the best people watching in Paris – we saw a man and his young daughter come pick up two huge urns, two satisfied old men walk out with paintings wrapped in paper.



Stumbled upon this Woods Davy exhibition floating at the end of an ally on a rainy day.


Lots of Mosko & Associates animals running through the streets.


Simon Hantai retrospective at the Centre Pompidou unfolded and opened up, in a fitting tribute to the artist’s own work.


And speaking of open spaces – one day Alex and I took a wrong turn and found ourselves in the middle of a Roman amphitheater full of school children racing around and raising dust.  It was easy to imagine gladiators sweeting in the hot sun and the crowd going wild.


And speaking of specters of the past … the ghostly sculptures of famous women of the Luxemburg gardens capture French formality, reserve and grace all in one.


Hans Peter Feldmann’s Shadow Play.


The French proved they do flowers like no other, over and over and over.


Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 7.44.26 PM


Up later in the week, a cheat sheet of recommended restaurants and things to do with kids!


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie June 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

What a great peak at slightly off-the-beaten-path Paris. That sweet potato is truly magnificent! Excited to see your restaurant list.

Brenda June 11, 2013 at 9:37 am

Thanks for the “trip” to Paris this morning…delightful!

joanna goddard June 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm

what beautiful finds! i love how your mind works and the little discoveries and observations you make:) xoxo

Abbey June 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Thanks so much you guys! Julie — your comment made me laugh — I wish this was an “off the beaten path” guide. I can highly recomend “The Fashion Insider’s Guide to Paris” which is slightly more off the beaten path and there are lots of blogs (I promise I’ll link to a few!).

ecs June 12, 2013 at 5:02 am

I’ve been sprouting all kinds of things from kitchen scraps (like that sweet potato) and it’s so fun. Here’s a nice little guide with tips and info:

Tokyo Jinja June 13, 2013 at 3:06 am

Such an atmospheric perfect tour of Paris!

Abbey June 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Ecs — LOVE that link! Thank you!!

Abbey June 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm


Thanks for the nice comment! Good luck with your move!

Natalia Workman August 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Yum…could you just drop some off at my house? I also think of this more as a winter pie, but why not now? I’ve made many pumpkin pies, but never a sweet potato pie. Looks really good!Stay safe in the weather heading our way!

Song Xuan October 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm

The leopard just look so real, it is a nice piece of art. January 1, 2014 at 11:07 am

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