Monday, February 21, 2011

Parisian touches

When I moved to Paris, I brought 10 boxes with me, most of which were clothes, and, in the nearly two years there, I learned (sort of) not to consume so much as I knew I’d have to pack it all up in the end. It was good practice in living with less and enjoying an uncluttered home.

Now that I’m back in New York, I’m trying to maintain the same sparse (but cozy) aesthetic. I’m also trying to honor my time in and trinkets from Paris. It’s taken me awhile to unpack and settle back in, but slowly my apartment is coming together. And when I look around at my imported Parisian touches, it makes me happy and feel connected to my “other” life.

I now have a mini library devoted to Paris...

I'm still figuring out how to display all my fabulous chocolate and macaron boxes, but my Ladurée Earl Grey candle, which was a gift, has prime space on my table...

I can drop earrings, elastics and whatnot into my little tray before dropping off to sleep. And the lovely perfume atomizer, a gift from Jo, gives me a happy pause...

You can't see it, but this little tray says "Paris", which I received as a gift before moving. But I like the other memorabilia... a little chocolate box from Un Dimanche à Paris, a coaster from the bar at the Ritz and my Louis Vuitton bear key chain—my very first "Vuitton" product, complements of Mel's awesome eye on her journey to Tokyo.

On my desktop, I keep my pens in the little cup I bought at Le Petit Atelier de Paris. And the post card behind it, of a woman stretching rapturously behind Notre Dame, reminds me of how many times I felt that sentiment, criss-crossing the Seine.


  1. Lovely, all those familiar to you little touches here and there.
    Have you a great huge photo or poster on the wall?
    We , of course, knew we would be pretty much permanently here in BA, so we brought Everything. Everything, ask the movers.
    And it is a great comfort to me on some days to walk around the rooms and see the Things that have grown to be a permanent part of all of my Homes.
    Especially the Husband and the Pup :)

  2. It's so important to have those important things out and close by. I did much the same with my Parisian things from three visits - they're in the office I created, on shelves, tacked to bulletin boards, on my desk. They're tactile, very real symbols of my time there. And they help to hold and look at when I'm writing my own book.

    (wanna see my office? I posted about it here:

  3. Love that Taschen book, such a pleasure to flick through.
    And lovely pictures, Amy!

  4. Love these little tokens of Paris - they definitely help to recreate bits and pieces of your itty bitty Paris apartment! Have alays been intrigued by the Ladurée candles - any good?

  5. Oh, my.. I have that same postcard on my bedroom mirror. It so expresses how I feel about Paris.

    I have a Hemingway coaster, too.

    The longest I've stayed there is a month. I envy you almost 2 years. I wish I'd discovered that marvelous city when I was younger. Sigh.....

  6. I am new to your lovely Blog, but I can only wonder why you are back? Much as I love New York (and I do!!), I have to ask "how could you leave Paris?" What did I miss?

  7. Where's your Donald Mitchell???? :) xoxo

  8. So many lovely things you've collected...

    I've been wondering what to do with those chocolate and cookie boxes after all the goodies are gone too. Once you figure it out, you need to do a post on that!

  9. what nice displays. :) The books looks interesting, with dreams of going to Paris myself I think I'll check out a couple of them next time I'm at the bookstore...

  10. Wonderful Parisien momentos Amy...
    And lovely still lifes to paint!
    What is the cookie floral cookie box that says 'mary'(?) I think?

  11. I love your sentimental tokens. Each one adding to the composition of your life. Paris is never far away!