Paris By Design
Contributed By: Kris Brigden
I must admit, as a designer I tend to see things differently than others might. Sometimes it’s a positive, and other times it means complete dysfunction. Let me explain. If I am out to dinner with others, family or friends it matters not, at a new posh restaurant, the food doesn’t even cross my mind. I am so distracted by the design and layout of the space, that I can’t enjoy the plate in front of me, never mind the conversation. I will fixate on the crooked painting on the wall, or the chipping paint. I have been known to get up and straighten the art.
Even the positive design elements deter me from my meal. I will try to figure out the height of the floor lamp for example, while wondering if I remembered to put my tape measure in the car, or worse yet, I will have an internal debate as to whether or not my company would be embarrassed if I were to measure it, or worse turned it upside down to see if by chance the supplier had put their logo on the felt below.
When I travel abroad it’s even worse. I am like a sponge, trying to soak up as much visual and tactile information as possible storing it away in the design files of my brain. The result is too much water for the little sponge, and I don’t pay attention to the items everyone else sees. I am the weirdo who arrives at the hotel lobby’s check-in desk and touches the material on the feature wall, trying desperately to figure out what it’s made of, how to better it, or reproduce it.
As we age, however, we learn to accept our oddities and work with them. Hopefully the people that love me have learned to do the same. The fact that my design brain organizes visual footnotes like a bride does her tear sheets for her wedding binder, has afforded me the ability to travel, or eat out for that matter, simply for the design. Nice to be paid for your oddities rather than be ostracized by them. Now let’s get to the point.
Paris, France, home to the latest 5-star boutique hotel ‘Le Narcisse Blanc’. Three letters could describe this gem. WOW! Admittedly, it is not often I am speechless. That’s exactly what happened when I stepped into their foyer. This venue, as of now anyway, is unsurpassed in my opinion in its branding, architecture, design and decoration.
As I do, take inspiration from this must-see hotel. Use these tips to incorporate into your own home décor by following their lead:
• Use a relevant color pallet & marry it with modern clean lines
• Add moldings, texture & patterns to create extra rich interest
• Repeat themes like the flower in the different design elements
• Layer & mix ‘like’ fabrics together
• Use lighting to enhance the design not just illuminate it
• Be sure to mix masculine with feminine for balance
• Add metal undertones, and mirrors to reflect the natural light
• Don’t forget the ceilings, play up the illusion of height with draperies, or hanging fixtures
• Remember flow, scale and proportions are as important as all the rest
Marble marquetry narcissi and graceful sculptures in reception area | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Small sitting room overlooking Restaurant Cleo | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Open air garden terrace | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Bedroom with soothing colors and lighting | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Aurore suite garden terrace bathroom | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Cleo suite sitting room | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Cleo suite with fireplace and view of the Eiffel Tower | Photo: Christophe Bielsa
Hotel Le Narcisse Blanc
Le Narcisse Blanc hotel-spa, the quintessence of luxury nestling between the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides, is close to the storied banks of the Seine, with some of the most majestic buildings in Paris at its feet.
19, Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg, 75007 Paris
About Kris Brigden
Toronto & Muskoka based designer Kris Brigden, Principal of North Muskoka House Ltd. The Firm is a full service residential design firm that works on small and full scale design projects throughout Northern Ontario & Toronto and GTA. Dedicated to designing inviting interiors that are specifically catered to each clients individual lifestyle needs.