I love Paris in the springtime… I love Paris in the fall… and it turns out I really love Paris in January! Undoubtedly my favorite city anywhere, ever, Paris is always a good idea in my book. And going to Paris Deco-Off was definitely a great decision!
Each January, the design community gathers for a special design week called Deco-Off which takes place in the heart of Paris. I had heard stories of the great parties and how the showrooms roll out the red carpet and keep the champagne flowing for their guests. So obviously, this has been on the top of my designer must-do list!
It all started over a lunch last October. A designer friend of mine wanted to pick my brain about the Pasadena Showcase House and I was happy to oblige. After discussing the ins and outs of showcase, the conversation shifted to Paris. My friend Frank has been instrumental in planning the events for the American designers in attendance at Deco-Off in conjunction with the Los Angeles ASID Chapter. Just a few details of the upcoming events were enough to make me dead set on being there and not missing a thing.
Hours later I was booking flights and just like that, we were booked round trip to the City of Lights! Some icing on the cake came in learning that most of the events take place in my very favorite Paris neighborhood, Saint Germain des Pres. This was going to be GOOD!
It wasn’t just good. It was pretty perfect. What a week we had! Our first stop before all the big events began was a trip out to Napoleon and Josephine’s neoclassicly styled country home, Chateau Malmaison. My husband Marco and I had the pleasure of enjoying the week with our dear friend, Jeff Simko. In addition to being a friend, he is also one of my reps for brands including Scalamandre.
Another highlight was a private tour of the Hotel de Crillon. An iconic Parisian hotel, a 300 million Euro renovation was just completed and we were shown around by the lead designer himself. Just gorgeous. Next time you’re in Paris, make sure you stop by the swank hotel bar for a cocktail and some great people watching.
During the day, we enjoyed showroom visits and special presentations for Paris Deco-Off. Among them were Pierre Frey and Hermes. It was so fun to see these special fabrics and hear the story and inspiration behind each collection.
Another favorite outing was our chance to view the boiserie collection at Feau & Cie. An outstanding collection of antique French wood paneling, they specialize in selling original pieces and crafting custom size reproductions. They’ve worked in palaces, ballrooms, and grand estates and have been involved in some of the most beautifully designed spaces in the world.
We also had a wonderful tour with the ASID Los Angeles group of the Ecole des Beaux Arts. One of the oldest architecture schools in the world, many great American architects have studied here. One of my design icons, Julia Morgan, was the first female American to attend.
One thing that I had especially been look forward to was the Americans in Paris Party, hosted in part by Kneedler Fauchere and other prominent American and French companies. With over 800 people in attendance, it was one of the parties of the year in the design world. Set in the College des Bernardins, it was quite the party. I was amazed by how many people I knew that were part of this most amazing week. It’s so great to see many Americans traveling to enjoy Deco-Off and all this experience had to offer.
And when we weren’t at great events for Paris Deco-Off, we definitely wasted no time in enjoying Paris. Until this trip, I had spent time in Paris during every season except for winter. I was apprehensive about what they weather might be like, but it was nothing but brisk and delightful. The city was virtually empty of tourists and we often felt like we had all the sites unto ourselves. If you are up for wearing a few extra layers, I would definitely recommend a visit to Paris in winter. Besides, it’s almost like French onion soup, beef bourguignon and hearty gratins were just made for this weather.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the pictures! Most of all, thank you Paris for always greeting us with fresh croissants, inspiring design, and beauty at every turn. I hope we see you again soon for another dose of la vie en rose.
See more of our work at Samantha Williams Interior Design!
March 11, 2019
We strive to make the design process fun and enjoyable by listening to our client’s needs and tailoring each project to reflect our client’s unique style. Located in Pasadena, California.
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