Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's All About Presentation

When most of my days are spent hunting for vintage treasures, I enjoy looking at new gift items during the holiday season. It's the only time that I take to trek around town devouring the store windows and the goodies inside them. Some of my favorite little boutiques in the Bay Area are Tail of the Yak in Berkeley, Bell'occhio & Nest in San Francisco. There are too many to name, but these are some real treasures. I can never leave these stores without purchasing something!

Today I visited Hayes Street and went to Miette Confiserie Candy Store, what a treat! They have everything from unique French confections to Rose Geranium cotton candy and fancy cupcakes. It's such a fun place and everything is beautifully presented. Also other wonderful clothing and boutiques on Hayes Street.

Next stop, Fillmore Street to visit Nest. Starting with their window display, fabulous. Victoria at SFGirlbyBay did a wonderful post about them including photos. After oohing and aahing, I made a couple of purchases. I asked for gift wrap and wow, what a surprise! Hot pink tissue with little birds nests and eggs. And of course, their cute Nest sticker. It's $5 for their custom wrap and every bit worth it. I love presentation. It could be the smallest little gift, but if it's packaged beautifully it makes all the difference. Thanks Nest for making my day. I'm staring at these beautiful boxes it looks more like a party than your typical holiday gifts. I also have to mention Claudia at Bell'occhio who I visited last week. Bought some goodies there and the packaging, gorgeous as always! You must visit these stores if in the San Francisco Bay Area. Anyone can put sticker bows on packages, but little things like twine or vintage doodads you have laying around can add the most special touch for that special someone's gift. Anyone have any favorites store gift wraps that you want to share? I'd love to hear from you! Happy Holidays!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apartment Therapy House Tour ~ Lynn & Leif's Paris Hotel Home

Photography by Sandy

It's been awhile since I posted to the blog because we were so busy moving over to our new web site. Today our home was featured in Apartment Therapy Los Angeles House tours. You can click here to view the tour. Thank you so much to Grace Hsiu at Apartment Therapy for asking us to feature our home. You've been a gem! Special thanks to Sandy who gets the real credit for taking such fabulous photos. They are wonderful!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Decorating with Animal Accessories

Vintage glazed ceramic elephant at Paris Hotel Boutique

The first time I really got inspired by decorating with animal accessories was during my stay at the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs, designed by Kelly Wearstler. This was about 3 years ago. I had heard about Kelly Wearstler and KWID, but never stayed at one of her hotels. My friend Janet and I nearly flipped when we saw it! The dramatic black & white decor with touches of lemon yellow. Each guest room balcony had a white cement whippet sitting proudly overlooking the pool. We went crazy! What a great touch! We asked to look at some of the larger suites and they had paw prints leading into the room. Another great touch.

After that stay I starting adding elements of Hollywood Regency decor to my home. I purchased Kelly's first book, Modern Glamour, and had fun reading through it and seeing how she used animals as a touch of whimsy in her decor. She says, "Animal accessories call out to me every time I go shopping." She talks about animals being the most inspiring things on the planet. Being sculptural and colorful. She says, "I also use a lot of animal forms as accessories to temper a room that may seem too forbidding or too decorative. Animals really lighten things up a little and enrich our spaces." I couldn't agree more. As soon as I returned home from Palm Springs, I was on the hunt for whippets. My friend Janet found me this one...the exact whippet in Kelly Wearsler's book. I love its special place in my living room. It dates to the 1950's/60's, glazed ceramic, made in Italy.

My whippet

Photo from Modern Glamour, Kelly Wearstler

My latest acquisition is a fabulous large black and white ceramic glazed elephant planter. It's a wonderful eye-catching piece! I was going to keep it, but I am accumulating far too many animals in my home and that includes my real dog, Vito! The elephant is available here on my web site, Check it out!

Animal accessories have been getting increasingly popular. There are many reproductions being made, but none thrill me as much as the vintage breed. The Italian ceramic pieces are so well made and more detailed than the modern reproductions. They can get costly though. If you want the look, they are definitely out there at different price points. Do you like decorating with animal accessories? What are your favorites?

Photos from Modern Glamour by Kelly Wearstler

Viceroy Palm Springs, from Modern Glamour by Kelly Wearstler

Saturday, September 08, 2007

About Me

Hi, I'm Lynn, the owner of the online shop, Paris Hotel Boutique. I've been selling vintage and antique wares for over 19 years now, and blogging since 2007.

This blog is a companion to my online shop, Paris Hotel Boutique. Paris Hotel Boutique celebrates the glitz and glamour of a bygone era by offering vintage and antique finds including European furnishings, antique curiosities, first edition books, paintings, Mid Century decor, and a vast array of old hotel souvenirs and silver.

Blogging allows me to share my musings in the world of vintage; flea markets, tips on collecting, travel, trends, friends and fun finds. I welcome your comments and suggestions. Thanks so much for visiting!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Design*Sponge Bloggers Online Shopping Guide

Thanks to Grace at design*sponge for creating the bloggers online shopping guide! With this two part guide you will find some of Grace's favorite bloggers' online haunts which include furniture, lighting, textiles, paper goods, wallpaper, gifts, ceramics, garden, vintage finds, artwork and "hidden gem" web sites. It's really worth taking some time to read these finds. There are some fantastic links!

Shopping Guide Part One

Shopping Guide Part Two

I want to extend my thanks to Victoria at SFGirlByBay,

Anna at Absolutelybeautifulthings and Courtney at StyleCourt for including Paris Hotel Boutique among their favorite vintage finds! Thanks so much!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Summer in the City

It's be awhile since my last post, but I've been busy shopping for new inventory and getting photos ready for the web site in addition to updating the site. Should be seeing a "new & improved" Paris Hotel Boutique in the weeks to come!

I just have to share my joy... Indian Summer just started 3 days ago in The City by the Bay. This is my third day of wearing sandals and I couldn't be happier! Gone with the summer turtlenecks and down jackets and time for summer, fall? The fog could take us by surprise, but to my fellow San Franciscans, "HAPPY SUMMER!!!"

Saturday, August 04, 2007

California Dreamin'

The other day I decided to pamper myself and get a pedicure at Teashi on Polk Street here in San Francisco. Such a cute salon that I couldn't resist purchasing one of their new lines of candles from Seeay California. These candles are amazing! First of all, they are 100% soy wax and each burn for 55 hours. More importantly, the packaging is gorgeous! Hot pink boxes with wonderful modern graphics that have a Hollywood Regency vibe. Each box is packaged with little matchbooks wrapped in cellophane tied with vintage type material ribbon that is the cutest ever. And don't we all love presentation? More than that, the aroma is divine! My whole house smells like a tropical island and that's sure nice when we're in the dead of winter here in S.F. The scents are inspired by the sights and scents of the California coast. There are 8 scents including Malibu, Big Sur, Half Moon Bay, etc. And, these candles are fairly priced at $28. I think I want to order one of each! You can order them online here at Seeay California. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

House of Whimsy

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Kimberlee Edgar's home in the East Bay. Kimberlee is a long time friend and antiques enthusiast. She has been collecting vintage items her whole life. Everyone in her family is a collector with eclectic and over-the-top homes. Kimberlee's Mom is an antique dealer/collector. Her Mom introduced Kimberlee to antiques when she was very young. They went to flea markets, estate sales and shops to uncover hidden treasures.

Kimberlee was fascinated with ribbons, ephemera and millinery items, and started her journey collecting as a young girl. Her Uncle was also a great influence to her collecting. He had an old barn set up like a prop museum with big chandeliers, taxidermy, top hats and more. Mesmerized by the barn, Kimberlee decided to sleep there instead of in the home. When she got older her Uncle would give her a trinket every time he saw her. They were always rare and unusual.

This really got Kimberlee going with collecting. Now her favorite things are top hats, holiday collectibles, dress forms, taxidermy, ephemera (paper) and anything unique. Her advice to newcomers collecting is to try and pick something rare and different which makes the hunt fun and interesting. Kimberlee and her husband Charles love to go antiquing. In fact, Kimberlee claims that Charles has an amazing eye for buying wonderful things. Sit back and enjoy the photos of their home. There is much too much to photograph, but you can get an idea of their whimsical house of curiosities! You can also check out Kimberlee's blog, Edgar and Edgar to see more of Kimberlee's unique finds. Thank you Kimberlee for the most enjoyable visit!

Friday, July 06, 2007

If You're Going to San Francisco...

Click on photos to enlarge...

Be sure to wear a heavy coat! Well, it's that time of year. Gloomy Summer. My favorite. Dreaming of sunshine and sitting in the fog. Brrrr...The rest of the country may be sweltering in the grip of record summer heat and drought, but we here in San Francisco are lost in a blanket of grey gloom. Our usually lovely view of mountains, Twin Peaks and the East Bay is a bank of fog. We can hardly see the cars in front of us while driving down the street. And everyone is all bundled up like we're in Alaska. Actually I think it's colder here than Alaska. It is 51 degrees and windy as well. YES, I just checked. It's 62 degrees in Anchorage, Alaska. Unbelievable! No one believes me when I say, "if you're coming to San Francisco in the summer, bring a coat!" Fisherman's Wharf must make huge profits in the summer selling thousands of sweatshirts to tourists trying to stay warm! Everyone is walking around in Bermuda shorts with sweatshirts of Alcatraz. Scary. As it is said, "the only seasons in San Francisco are Summer, Winter and Fog." Also, the overused quote, supposedly by Mark Twain, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” This is true.

So for all of you in need of air conditioning, please come to San Francisco. I guarantee you will cool off right away and start missing those sandals! I sure do!

Updated House Photos

Just thought I'd share some current photos of my home. Thanks to my friend Sandy who did such a great job with his professional camera equipment! And thanks Della Wilson for all of your help in completing the bedroom. I never thought I'd finish! I do love the Tiffany blue touch.

Be sure and click on the photos to enlarge...

Vito resting in the living room