Winter in Paris


We are almost through the first month of 2024, I hope it has been kind to you and you have found warmth and shelter at home or away if you have been travelling.

I wanted to personally say hello and thank you to all our new subscribers. It’s so lovely to see our numbers growing and knowing that what I write about resonates well with you all. 

We know everyone’s inboxes are at capacity, so we send one newsletter per month, on the last Friday of the month. It’s that simple. Here you will find some of the thoughts and contents of my head, I write the whole newsletter and select all the images myself, and then Christina puts it all together and makes it all look lovely!

We share insight into my design travel trips, sneak peeks at our projects and what materials and textures are resonating with us. We don’t do trends or passing fads, we are seekers of beauty and of frictionless living. Living with ease is at the core of all that we do. So thank you for coming along for the ride with us, I really appreciate it!

It’s been a very grey and chilly month, not a lot of snow in Toronto, just lots of rain and low hanging cloud which has made all seem very dreich (the most fabulous of Scottish words for dull or gloomy).

January took me to Paris, with a little side trip to Edinburgh to see my loved ones. It’s always a tricky balance for me, travelling in January, you are just back to work and then you are gone again, but the trip was fabulous, and my design projects will be all the better for it this year! 

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that Paris in January means one thing and that is Deco Off. The annual pilgrimage to an impossibly beautiful city to see beautiful things with a heavy focus on textiles. 

It’s my idea of heaven. Four days spent traversing the left and right banks of the city to see showroom after glorious showroom, gallery after gallery. 

Yes, it was freezing cold and oh so very damp, but it was Paris and I simply layered on extra thermals and walked for miles every day and drank copious amounts of hot chocolate which the French do exceptionally well.  You can order one and not feel like a child for not drinking coffee, they manage to make all so sophisticated including hot chocolate.

My days were long, and I am still processing a lot of what I saw but there were several highlights that I shall share with you below. Some of these I shared images of on Instagram which is another way to keep up with us and what is going on in the studio. 

Firstly, I got to share my colourway design Stockholm with the design community in Paris and beyond, that was quite a treat.

Christopher Farr Cloth, a beautiful hand printed fabric and wallpaper company from London, England had invited twenty designers to recolour their iconic design Carnival that was celebrating its twentieth birthday party. 

I was asked to take part in this shortly after returning from my summer holidays in Scandinavia. My colourway called Stockholm has colours that are reminiscent of my trip – the pink reminds me of all the lovely seafood I had!!

The launch was in the beautiful Paris apartment of Canadian designer Garrow Kedigian and we had such a fun and fabulous night as the photo above can attest! 

Celebrating Pierre Frey‘s spring collection in the oldest theatre in Paris on a Thursday morning will forever stay with me. The energy and enthusiasm was insane and yet rightfully placed. Only in Paris! 

Seeing Loro Piana‘s (yes they do interiors also) new collection in a beautiful Parisian apartment that was designed by Gustave Eiffel, yes the same Eiffel. 

The apartment is owned by artists who allowed Loro Piana to take over the divine space for the show. To be in such an ethereal space, wrapped with Loro Piana cashmere and wool was a very cocooning experience. 

Seeing the new Holly Hunt collection from the first floor (second floor in North America) of the Crillon Hotel and spilling out onto the sunny balcony afterwards. 

Another Pierre Frey win was allowing what felt like the whole of Paris (there was a long line of people queuing on the street) into their newly renovated and decorated HQ on a Saturday night. 

Getting into anyone’s studio is always a treat. Getting into the Pierre Frey design studio and atelier was incredible, all was topped off with a gold tin foil wrapped basement turned night club. 

It gave me a lot of wonderful ideas for our studio party later this year.  The image on the left above is their design studio and the image on the right is their design studio from above with their wallpaper designs being shown in rotation on the buildings side wall.

So as you can see February has big boots to fill!

In the studio we are working away on multiple projects at multiple stages as well as a several internal projects. It keeps our days fresh and I am really excited by all that we are designing and the people we are working with.

Newly added to our website is a beautiful project we completed last year which was a collaboration with Richard Wengle Architect and Sierra Homes. We have entitled this project Midtown Quiet Luxury

It is a new build in Toronto that we had the pleasure of working on. The rooms are bright and airy and layered with gorgeous textures, lighting and millwork. 

Lighting can make or break a project. Never underestimate the negative power of a bad light bulb without a dimmer. Not that there are any of these to be seen in this project. We have an exquisite selection of fixtures that all complement and allow the interiors to shine. Pop on over to our website and take a look!

Spring will bring the launch of our first digital lookbook. Entitled Shelter it will bring you what we love the most, from travel to food, fashion to interiors and things to see and do in the city we call home. It will delve into things deeper than we have space for in our monthly newsletter. We are aiming to produce three this year with the intention of printing a compilation issue in 2025. 

As a newsletter subscriber you will receive the first copy of Shelter in your mailbox, if you are reading this and are not a subscriber please subscribe to ensure you are included!

Internally we have been honing our processes and Cris has been refining our renderings but more about that next month! 

What you can all do for me now is VOTE for my Christopher Farr colourway Stockholm. The three designs with the most votes will have permanent placement on the Christopher Farr website. 

So please go here and give my design a tick! It would mean the world to me. And yes of course I coordinated!!! 

Thank you all for your continued support and reading, please let me know if you have any questions or would like any specific topic discussed on the newsletter or in our new magazine.


Credits and other musings:

Smoke Tree the most beautiful plant and one that I want to have in my garden someday. Image sourced via Pinterest, source unknown. Hot chocolate always looks better when served in a beautiful cup and without marshmallows and cream in my humble opinion, this beauty can be found on our Pinterest board Recipes, source Half Baked Harvest. All things chocolate, I adore this outfit and love the narrow charcoal waistband and tabs on the trousers, stored on our Pinterest Board Fashion, source unknown. The Louvre in the moonlight. The loveliest way to see Paris is to stroll. Photograph Gillian Gillies. The launch – Stockholm. Me with my design, Gary Searle, EVP Christopher Farr and Annalisa Capurro, Ms Modernism. Photographer Pierre Eve. Pierre Frey 2024 collection launch, Théâtre des Variétés, Paris. Photograph Gillian Gillies. Loro Piana temporary showroom Paris. I could have moved in. Photograph Gillian Gillies. Hotel Crillon, Paris for the Holly Hunt launch. Such a beautiful setting for a beautiful collection. Photograph Gillian Gillies. The Pierre Frey design studio with a focus on comfort and well being this is the studio to beat all studio’s. Photograph Gillian Gillies. Welcome to Midtown Quiet Luxury. Interior Design Gillian Gillies Interiors, photography Virginia Macdonald, styling and art direction Me & Mo. Vote for me! Me with Michal Silver, Creative Director Christopher Farr

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