tag archives: france


in memory of a modern master, french interior designer, christian liaigre (1943-2020).

a designer of products and projects.  furniture and furnishings.  residential, hospitality, and yacht interiors.


he had ‘style without being stylish’.

-liaigre website

penthouse | new york, ny | interior design by christian liaigre | architecture by john pawson

liaigre | written by christian liaigre and thomas luntz | pages 115, 100-101

photo credits (c) mark seelen


‘a maven of modern minimalism’,

-interior design magazine


who could be thought of as ‘our generation’s jean-michel frank’.

-brad ford, interior designer

-elle decor magazine

residence of jean-michel frank | paris, france

jean-michel frank, adolphe chanaux | written by leopold diego sanchez | page 70


jean-michel frank (1895-1941) collaborated regularly with the giacometti brothers, alberto (1901-1966) and diego (1902-1985), whose sculptures and furnishings also inspired liaigre.

residence | het zoute, belgium | interior design by christian liaigre

christian liaigre | trepied side table | 53121

christian liaigre | st. germaine lounge chair | 13607

liaigre | written by christian liaigre and thomas luntz | pages 123-125

photo credits (c) mark seelen


alberto giacometti (1901-1966) | la place II | bronze | 1948 | museum berggruen | berlin, germany

photo credit fondation giacometti


the endless columns of constantin brancusi (1876-1957) were another artistic inspiration.

residence | galicia, spain | interior design by christian liaigre

christian liaigre | nagato side table | 60521

maison christian liaigre | written and photographed by herbert ypma | pages 30

photo credit herbert ypma


atelier brancusi | reconstructed by renzo piano | centre pompidou | paris, france

photo credit centre pompidou | 1997 (c) agap, paris


as well as, the minimalist art, architecture, and furniture of donald judd (1928-1994).  like judd, liaigre reduced objects and space to their essential forms.

donald judd (1928-1994) | untitled | six units | douglas fir plywood | 1975 | judd foundation | new york, ny and marfa, tx

photo credit judd foundation


residence | mougins, france | interior design by christian liaigre

christian liaigre | marais console tables | 57023

christian liaigre | toja coffee table | no longer in production

liaigre | written by christian liaigre and thomas luntz | pages 276-277, 280-281, and 282

photo credits jean-philippe piter


liaigre was a minimalist and a modernist, yet a traditionalist.

which, may be why his work continually inspires me.

townhouse | london, united kingdom | interior design by christian liaigre

liaigre 12 projects | written by christian liaigre | pages 38-39

photo credit (c) mark seelen

visiting the fondation louis vuitton (flv) was a highlight of our recent visit to paris.  the private contemporary art museum was created at the initiative of bernard arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of luxury business group moët hennessy louis vuitton (LVMH), for his personal and corporate art collections.  the museum is located in the jardin d’acclimation, an amusement park in the bois de boulogne, which was converted from a royal hunting ground into a public park in 1860.

arnault collaborated with american architect, frank o. gehry, who also designed the guggenheim museum in bilbao, spain and the walt disney concert hall in los angeles, CA, to design a museum that epitomized the corporate image of LVMH as a patron of the arts, culture, and heritage.

the architecture of the museum was inspired by 19th century glasshouses, such as le palmarium that was built in the jardin d’acclimation in 1893, and demolished in 1934.

‘the idea of using glass…was essential in making the fondation a true bois de boulogne building, in the spirit of a children’s park.’  -frank o. gehry


frank o. gehry | sketch of the fondation louis vuitton building preceding the initial architectural models | april 2006

photo credit (c) gehry partners, llp and frank o. gehry via fondation louis vuitton


gehry partners, llp | architectural model | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credit (c) fondation louis vuitton via archdaily

 architectural digest (ad) magazine compared gehry’s architectural masterpiece to one of the masterpieces of hellenistic sculpture.

‘the structure alights in the park with the delicacy of the ‘winged victory’ perched at the head of the daru staircase in the louvre.  -mayer rus, architectural digest

IMG_0705 (2)

the winged victory of samothrace | parian marble and gray lartos marble | samothrace, greece | circa 190 BC

louvre museum | paris, france

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

the current chinese contemporary art exhibition at the fondation louis vuitton, bentu: chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation, even includes a replica of the winged victory of samothrace.



xu zhen | eternity-tianlongshan grottoes bodhisattva, winged victory of samothrace | fiberglass, steel, cement | 2013

a replica of the winged victory of samothrace balanced on top of a buddha from the tianlongshan grottoes (21 buddhist cave temples from the eastern wei-tang dynasties (534-907), located in shanxi province, china)

bentu: chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france | 27 january-2 may 2016

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

along with a sculpture by ai weiwei, who reportedly visited the fondation louis vuitton while he was in paris for the installation and opening of er xi: air de jeux (child’s play or playground), his recent exhibition at le bon marché department store, which is also owned by by LVMH.

click here to read my previous post about ai weiwei @ le bon marché.


ai weiwei | tree | fragments of dead wood | 2010

in the background:  huang yong ping | fifty buddha arms | metal, terra cotta, resin, various objects | 1997-2013

 the structure of the museum is actually a building within a building.  the ‘iceberg’, the interior core of 11 irregularly shaped art galleries, is clad in 19,000 panels of white fiber-reinforced concrete.  a network of steel trusses and wood beams support the verrière (canopy), the exterior shell of twelve sails constructed from 3600 glass panels.



the ‘iceberg’ and the verrière (canopy) | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

you can see the structure of the canopy more closely from the west, east, central, and high terraces, which are accessible from the second, third, and forth floors of the museum.


verrière (canopy) | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace
the panoramic views of paris from the rooftop terraces are spectacular!
to the west, la défense, one of the major business districts in paris.



views of la défense from the fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

in the background:  la défense | under construction in the foreground:  the location for the louis vuitton women’s autumn/winter 2016 fashion show

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

and, to the east, the eiffel tower.


view of the eiffel tower from the fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

the building is brilliantly sited not only to capture the views, but also to comply with local zoning ordinances.  to comply with height restrictions, the site was excavated so that the lower ground floor of the museum could be built below grade.  the fondation louis vuitton commissioned inside the horizon, a site specific installation, from danish-icelandish artist olafur eliasson for the grotto behind the underground reflecting pool.


olafur eliasson | inside the horizon | stainless steel, aluminum, LED light system, colored glass, mirror, sound | 2014

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

the terraced waterfall flows into the subterranean reflecting pool.


the terraced waterfall | fondation louis vuitton | paris, france

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

it’s always exciting to make new discoveries in a city that you’ve visited many times.

i never knew about the atelier brancusi, located in front of the centre pompidou in paris, until i read about it on heather clawson’s lifestyle blog, habitually chic.  the atelier brancusi, a reconstruction of the art studio of constantin brancusi (1876-1957), contains a permanent exhibition of his sculptures.

atelier brancusi | place georges-pompidou (rue rambuteau side) | 75004 paris, france

wednesday-monday 2-6 pm | closed tuesday and 1 may

free entrance

photo credit rpbw

the reconstruction, designed by renzo piano building works (rpbw), reproduces the layout, volume, and light of brancusi’s
art studio, which was located in the 15th arrondissement, near montparnasse.  renzo piano designed the building as a pavilion.  inside, the glass walls that enclose the four room studio create space to circulate around the perimeter of the pavilion.

renzo piano building works | atelier brancusi reconstruction | 1992-1996

photo credit rpbw

brancusi was so preoccupied by the relationship between his sculptures and the surrounding space, that he bequeathed the contents of his studio to the french government under the conditions that his studio would be reconstructed, and reinstalled in its entirety.

photo credits center pompidou

studio 1

brancusi’s exhibition studio

studio 2

brancusi’s second exhibition studio

studio 3

brancusi’s private quarters, where he lived and worked

studio 4

 brancusi’s storage area

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspac

 do you think that the reconstruction recaptures the essence of the original?

 constantin brancusi’s studio | 11, impasse ronsin | 75015 paris, france | 1929

photo credit centre pompidou

simplicity /sɪmˈplɪsɪti/ (noun)

the quality or condition of being plain or uncomplicated in form or design

oxford dictionaries

a reflective stainless steel canopy supported by slender pillars.

less really is more.

the events pavilion | quai de belges | vieux port | marseille, france

designed by foster + partners

opening celebration 4 march 2013

photo credits nigel young

during our recent holiday, my husband, bob, and i spent a few days in paris on the way home from milan.  i have to admit that we always feel sad about leaving italy, even if we are going to paris!  so, here is our ‘paris after italy’ survival guide:

cafes verlet

cafes verlet

256 rue saint honore | paris | 75001

monday – saturday 9h30-18h30

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

in a city where cappuccino is served with whipped cream and chocolate, cafes verlet serves excellent cafe (espresso).

comparable to an italian cafe, or an espresso from one of the artisinal coffee roasters in san francisco.

cafes verlet | cafe

espresso pulled from panama coffee beans

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

creperie suzette

creperie suzette

24 rue des francs bourgeois | paris | 75003

daily 12h00-23h00

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

creperie suzette is our favorite lunch restaurant in paris.  we discovered it by accident.

‘it’s crowded…it looks good…it has a local clientele…let’s try it…’

ten years later, the galette vosges is still my favorite.

creperie suzette | galette vosges avec chevre, tomate, et basilic

vosges galette with goat cheese, tomato, and basil

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace
cantine du potager

cantine du potager

restaurant on the lower ground floor of the merci concept store

111 boulevard beaumarchais | paris | 75003

monday-saturday 12h00-15h00

photo credits left: dustyburrito.blogspot.com right: contessanally.blogspot.com

after a day or so in paris, we are always craving green.  cantine du potager solves that problem.  the petit asiette (small plate) includes a choice of three salades du compteur (salads from the counter).

one day, our lunch included salads of:
harcort verts et feves (green beans and fava beans)
tomates (heirloom tomatoes)
fenouil et pamplemousse (fennel and grapefruit)

followed by, crumble pommes et fraises (apple and strawberry crumble) that was still hot from the oven.  tres bien!

cantine du potager | salades et desserts du compteur

salads and desserts from the counter

photo credit tresorparisien.com


entrance | l’hotel

13 rue des beaux arts | paris | 75006

photo credit small luxury hotels

until this trip, l’hotel was our favorite boutique hotel in paris.  it’s charming, comfortable, and conveniently located.  the architecture and the interiors make you feel like you are visiting the paris of your imagination.

atrium | l’hotel

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

stairway | l’hotel

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

but, this time, the concierge at l’hotel did not do a good job of booking our dinner reservations.


do you have a favorite hotel in paris?