Tuesday, April 22, 2008

60 Square Metres of Charm

This tiny 60 square metre three room Paris apartment was reorganized by interior designer and set designer Robert Gervais to maximize the use of its limited space. Gervais organized the rooms around a central vestibule and created a wall that encorporates a library as well as providing privacy between areas. The painted Lorraine pine floor was raised to allow ease of access to the balcony window. An office chair by Jean Prouvé stands in front of a small 18th century table. Overhead are six aluminium epoxy lamps created by Gervais. The sculpture is by Eric Lagarde.

In the small living room, the wall niches provide space-saving storage -- the screened large niche by the 1940s leather chair discreetly hides the radiator. A Berber wool pillow sits on the late 18th century daybed, once used in Napoleon's Egyptian campaign.

A subtle palette of halftone shades on the walls and woodwork give the rooms variety without being distracting. In the bedroom, Flemish pine planks were painted in "fleur de sel," then sanded, and serve as both a headboard and to provide privacy from the adjacent small room used as an office.

The walls of the bathroom are lined with wood, a look inspired by the Art & Crafts movement. The polished marble sink from Laos sits on a glazed tile countertop.

From the Marie Claire Maison website -- a tiny apartment that's big on style.

Emma Darwin's Cookbook

This is a page from the 1839 hand-written recipe book of Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife. Besides various recipes for such things as Irish Chocolate ("bake for six hours"), Veal Pie and Creme a la Victoire, it includes instructions for boiling rice in Charles's own handwriting. I'm always fascinated by old cookbooks, and reading this it's nice to imagine the famous naturalist and his wife sitting down to dinner together in the evening, chatting over their Mont Coquins Chicken Pie. You can read the entire manuscript here.

66 Degrees

I had a nice note yesterday from Stephen of 66degrees.com, a new Toronto-based e-tail site that operates as a private gallery/club for buyers of unique high-end art and design from all over the world. Membership is automatic with your first purchase, and the ever-changing selection ranges from splurge-worthy limited-edition items such as hand-painted floor rugs by Patricia Baun ($11,000 US) to smaller pieces such as the silver Cracked Ice ring shown here by Niki Kavakonis, which retails for $180. More info can be found on the website, or (for a quick overview) you can read an article about it here.
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